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Peanut Butter Frosting

If you love peanut butter, this peanut butter frosting is for you! It has a strong peanut butter flavor and, like a classic buttercream frosting recipe, it pipes perfectly onto cupcakes and cakes.

Peanut butter frosting on peanut butter cupcakes

Peanut butter frosting is wonderful frosting to have in your frosting arsenal. As you might imagine, it goes really well on chocolate cupcakes and vanilla cupcakes. But, the combination of peanut butter and banana may make my banana cupcakes my favorite pairing.

Tips for Making the Best Peanut Butter Frosting

Peanut butter frosting being piped onto cupcakes

Use smooth peanut butter. Chunky frosting doesn’t pipe well and won’t look as pretty.

If you use natural peanut butter, be sure to mix it really well before adding to the frosting. It’s important the oils are thoroughly mixed in.

I recommend using unsalted peanut butter and adding the amount of salt listed in my recipe. However, if your peanut butter has salt added to it, don’t add salt to the frosting without tasting first. It may already be salty enough.

What are the Ingredients in Peanut Butter Frosting

This frosting is considered an American buttercream frosting.

American buttercream is the easiest of the buttercreams to make and the one that I make most often. (Try my vanilla frosting for another great example.)

Tip: If you’ve heard that making buttercream frosting is hard, you are probably thinking of Swiss, Italian, or French buttercreams. All of those buttercreams involve eggs and much more vigorous mixing. They aren’t as sweet as American buttercream and they are a little more fluffy.

My peanut butter buttercream contains just a few ingredients.

Butter

Buttercream frosting starts with butter. Always use unsalted butter. You can add salt later in the amount perfect for your palate.

Butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachement

The butter must be at room temperature. You should be able to lightly press into it with your finger and leave an indentation. It’s too soft if the butter smooshes completely down when you press it.

Tip: You can bring butter to room temperature by microwaving it. Microwave the butter for five seconds at a time until it reaches room temperature.

Peanut Butter

As I mentioned above, always use smooth peanut butter for the best results.

Adding peanut butter to peanut butter frosting

Powdered Sugar

Powdered sugar is necessary to make buttercream frosting stiff enough to pipe. It also is what makes the frosting sweet.

Use the powdered sugar quantity that I give in the recipe as a guideline. You can add more to make the frosting stiffer or less if you want it to be looser.

If your powdered sugar has hard clumps in it (which can happen over time from moisture), be sure to sift it before adding it to the recipe.

Tip: Powdered sugar and confectioners’ sugar are the same thing. There is no difference.

Salt

Adding salt to frosting helps to bring out the other flavors. I always add salt to buttercream frosting.

How to Make Peanut Butter Frosting

The recipe starts out like any of my buttercream frostings (see my strawberry frosting and my lemon frosting).

Beat butter for about three minutes at high speed in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. This incorporates air into the frosting. If you don’t beat the frosting for long enough, it will be very dense.

Tip: You can also use a hand-held electric mixer. I do not recommend making buttercream frosting by hand. Unless you have incredible arm strength, your arms will tire out way before the butter is whipped enough.

Whipped butter in the bowl of a stand mixer

Then, mix in the peanut butter and the salt.

Adding peanut butter and salt to peanut butter frosting

Next, mix in the powdered sugar. You don’t need as much powdered sugar in this recipe as you do for other buttercreams because the peanut butter itself makes the frosting stiff.

Adding powdered sugar to peanut butter frosting

At this point, see what you think about the consistency of the frosting. If you need to add more powdered sugar, you can. If it seems too stiff, you can always add a little milk.

Peanut butter frosting on paddle of KitchenAid mixer

Does Peanut Butter Frosting Need to be Refrigerated?

You can leave buttercream out on the counter for up to three days.

Tip: If you aren’t going to be using it right away, store it in an air-tight container and keep it in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to a month. Bring frozen frosting back to room temperature by first putting it in the refrigerator overnight and then leaving it on the counter for a few hours. You will also need to re-whip it before use.

Variations

You can easily make this same recipe with any nut butter. I suggest trying it with SunButter if you are bringing it anywhere where someone might have a peanut allergy.

Recipes to use Peanut Butter Frosting On

hi-hat Cupcakes

I love using peanut butter frosting in hi-hat cupcakes (chocolate-dipped cupcakes).

Use it as a filling between two homemade Oreo cookies!

Spread it onto brownies

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Peanut butter frosting on peanut butter cupcakes
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5 from 4 votes

Peanut Butter Frosting Recipe

Peanut butter frosting has a strong, salty peanut butter flavor and pipes perfectly on cupcakes and cakes.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword peanut butter, peanut butter buttercream, peanut butter frosting, peanut butter frosting recipe
Prep Time 6 minutes
Total Time 6 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 221kcal
Author Stef

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 3/4 cup creamy unsalted peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar add more if needed until reaches your preferred consistency

Instructions

  • Beat butter on high speed with an electric mixer for about three minutes until light and airy.
  • Add peanut butter and salt and continue to beat for another minute.
  • Mix in powdered sugar a little bit at a time.
  • If desired, add more powdered sugar to make the buttercream frosting stiffer.

Notes

  • If you plan to make a large swirl of frosting, this recipe will only cover about 8 cupcakes. Double as needed.
  • The frosting will cover one 8" cake.
  • If you want to pipe it on cupcakes, the easiest way to achieve the perfect cupcake swirl is to use a 1M tip.
  • While there are many frosting recipes that you can mix by hand, the best buttercream frostings require lots of air to be incorporated into the butter. To really get this job done right, I highly recommend that you use an electric mixer. A hand mixer or a stand mixer will both work well.
  • You will need to stop and scrape down the side of the bowl every minute or so while you are mixing as butter will stick to the edges of the bowl. The easiest way to do this is with a silicone spatula. One way to avoid scraping down the bowl is to use a mixer that has a scraping paddle. Many mixers now come with scraping paddles, but you may be able to purchase one if yours doesn't (e.g. the beater blade).
  • Sift the powdered sugar if needed. Take a look at the actual sugar to see if it has clumps (some brands are clumpier than others). Clumps of powdered sugar will not get integrated into the frosting and may end up getting stuck in your piping tip. Measure before sifting.
  • The frosting lasts for up to a week at room temperature or months in the freezer. You will need to bring it to room temperature and mix it again for a minute or two before you start piping.
  • Use smooth peanut butter. Chunky frosting doesn't pipe well and won't look as pretty. If you use natural peanut butter, be sure to mix really well before adding to the frosting. It's important that the oils are thoroughly mixed in.
  • I recommend using unsalted peanut butter and adding the amount of salt listed in my recipe. However, if your peanut butter has salt added to it, don't add salt to the frosting without tasting first. It may already be salty enough. 

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Peanut Butter Frosting Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 221 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 7g35%
Cholesterol 20mg7%
Sodium 172mg7%
Potassium 105mg3%
Carbohydrates 18g6%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 16g18%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 235IU5%
Calcium 9mg1%
Iron 0.3mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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