This Peanut Butter Frosting is light, fluffy and has a deliciously rich peanut butter flavor. It’s perfect for piping on cupcakes, cookies or cakes!

This peanut butter buttercream is the perfect complement to your favorite chocolate desserts! You can pipe it onto Chocolate Cupcakes, spread it onto Chocolate Donuts, or use it for my Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting recipe!

Peanut Butter Frosting piped into a small glass jar on a white background.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Easy frosting recipe. Not only is this peanut butter frosting recipe super yummy, but it’s also really easy to make! It comes together in no time and only takes a few ingredients — most (if not all) you probably have on hand!
  • So creamy and smooth. Whipping the peanut butter and the butter really really well until it is light in color and smooth makes a huge difference in terms of texture. The frosting is also especially smooth thanks to sifting the powdered sugar. This removes any clumps and ensures a smooth frosting.
  • The perfect complementary frosting. Having a delicious peanut butter buttercream recipe on hand is a good idea since it goes so well with so many delicious foods! Whether it’s cookies, cake, cupcakes, or even swirled into ice cream, it’s so yummy!

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients used to make peanut butter frosting on a gray background.
  • Peanut Butter: I use the normal kind of peanut butter not natural. Natural peanut butter is typically separated at room temperature. This will increase the likelihood that your frosting separates, too. If you are using natural peanut butter, then I recommend you beat it for longer to try and ensure it doesn’t separate. Use creamy peanut butter, not crunchy.
  • Powdered Sugar: Sift the powdered sugar prior to using. This will help your frosting be smooth and light. Without sifting, you risk getting clumps of powdered sugar in the frosting.
  • Milk: Add more or less milk to get your desired consistency. Always err on the side of less first. You can always add a splash more milk if needed.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Cream the butters. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or using a hand-held electric mixer, beat the butter and peanut butter until creamy, well combined and light in color. 
A glass stand mixer bowl with butter and peanut butter in it.
  1. Add the powdered sugar. With the mixer on low, gradually add the powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time until all of the powdered sugar has been added. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. 
  2. Add remaining ingredients. Mix in the vanilla, salt, and milk. Turn the mixer to medium-high speed and beat for 2-3 minutes or until the color is light and the texture is fluffy. 
  1. Use to decorate. Pipe or spread onto cooled cake or cupcakes. Use this frosting in my Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting recipe!
Peanut Butter Frosting on the paddle attachment of a kitchenmaid stand mixer.

Recipe Tips

Butter: You can use salted butter and eliminate the 1/4 tsp salt! Be sure to use butter that is still cold. We just don’t want the butter to be just barely taken out of the fridge before making the frosting. Take the butter out of the fridge for about an hour before making the frosting. We want the butter to still be a little cold so that when we beat it together with the peanut butter it doesn’t get too warm and lax that it doesn’t hold well.

Peanut Butter: I haven’t made this recipe using natural peanut butter. However, you should be able to use natural peanut butter, just keep in mind that there’s usually more oil separation in natural pb so make sure to stir it well before measuring it out and adding it to the recipe. Also, you may need to add a touch more powdered sugar or forgo the milk. If you’re finding the frosting is separating, it could be due to the oils.

Be sure to beat the peanut butter and butter together until it gets light in color. The finished result shouldn’t be the color of peanut butter, it should be a very light tan color.

If using this frosting to fill for sandwich cookies (for example, two chocolate sandwich cookies with frosting in the middle), you may want to add a little bit more powdered sugar so the frosting is a tad (just a tad!) firmer.

Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing

Store at room temperature for 5-6 hours. Any longer than that, I would recommend storing in the fridge.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days or in an airtight container in the freezer for 2-3 weeks. When removing from the fridge or freezer to use, let thaw (if frozen) and place in a stand mixer and beat on medium low speed until fluffy. Spread or pipe unto cookies, cupcakes or cake.

Recipe FAQs

Why did my peanut butter frosting separate?

Did you use natural peanut butter? This is the kind of peanut butter that is already separated in the jars. You’ll know what I mean because the top layer is oil. Natural peanut butter will separate on its own, so if you use that, it is more likely to separate than if you used normal peanut butter.

What is the difference between frosting and icing?

Frosting is made with a butter base and icing is made without butter. Icing is typically made with just powdered sugar and liquid (usually milk) whereas frosting is made with butter and powdered sugar (and a little liquid, such as milk).

Is powdered sugar the same thing as confectioners sugar?

Yes they are the same thing! You can use powdered sugar and confectioners sugar interchangeably.

How much frosting does this recipe make?

This recipe will frost a 9×13 cake, 24 cupcakes, or 12 generously frosted cupcakes. If doing round cakes it will frost a 2 layer 8” round cake.

A glass jar with Peanut Butter Frosting piped into the jar using a swirly tip.

More Peanut Butter Recipes

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Peanut butter frosting swirly piped into a small glass jar, with piping bag in background.
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Peanut Butter Frosting

This creamy peanut butter frosting recipe can be used on just about any cupcake, cake, or dessert you can think of! Cross your fingers the frosting actually makes it to the cake because you'll be "testing" the frosting about 100x because it's SO good!!!
Prep Time: 2 mins
Mixing Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 7 mins
Servings: 12 servings

Ingredients
 

Instructions
 

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, or using a hand-held electric mixer, beat the butter and peanut butter until creamy and well combined. 
  • With the mixer on low, gradually add the powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time until all of the powdered sugar has been added. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. 
  • Mix in the vanilla, salt, and milk. Turn the mixer to medium-high speed and beat for 30 seconds to 1 minute. 
  • Pipe or spread onto cooled cake or cupcakes. 

Notes

If using natural peanut butter, just keep in mind that there’s usually more oil separation in natural pb so make sure to stir it well before measuring it out and adding it to the recipe. Also, you may need to add a touch more powdered sugar or forgo the milk. 
This recipe will frost a 9×13 cake, 24 cupcakes, or generously frost 12 cupcakes. If doing round cakes it will frost a 2 layer 8” round cake.
Store the frosting in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days or in an airtight container in the freezer for 2-3 weeks. 
Nutritional information is based on 12 servings.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 419kcal (21%)Carbohydrates: 44g (15%)Protein: 6g (12%)Fat: 26g (40%)Saturated Fat: 12g (60%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 41mg (14%)Sodium: 151mg (6%)Potassium: 147mg (4%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 41g (46%)Vitamin A: 475IU (10%)Calcium: 16mg (2%)Iron: 1mg (6%)
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
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