Make fluffy peanut butter frosting that's soft and creamy, and holds for piping. It has intense nut flavor and is delicious on cake, cupcakes, brownies and cookies.
If there's one thing I love, it's frosting. At age 4 I asked my mom, "What's the stuff that holds up the frosting?" Cake was inconsequential to the fluffy, sweet frosting on top.
I clearly knew then that cake takes second fiddle to delicious icing or frosting, and this homemade peanut butter frosting is no exception!
What's the stuff that holds up the frosting?
Cake holds up the frosting of course, or maybe a cupcake or brownie! But those baked goods take a back seat to this whipped peanut butter frosting.
Easy peanut butter icing!
What's the difference between frosting and icing? For most folks the terms can be used interchangeably. We say "ice a cake," or "put icing on the cookies," and it is most often really frosting.
In food terms, icing is typically a thinner, more sugary, and often used as a glaze. Frosting is known for being fluffy, whipped and thicker.
In my post on brownie variations, I used melted butter to make a peanut butter icing, which made a perfect thin layer on the brownies.
I make the best vanilla buttercream frosting with confectioners' sugar and butter. It melts in your mouth. Try it if you need to switch to something without peanuts.
I think cake with peanut butter frosting, especially chocolate cake, is to die for. The combo is classic, and this bakery-style frosting is perfect.
I took this combo a step further and used this as a peanut butter topping for brownies. My brownie cake is not only delicious, but really beautiful. A bit of a show-stopper with the shortcut of boxed brownies.
Why I make Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Icing
Inherently peanut butter frosting or icing is not as smooth as other frostings. The peanut butter can create a stiff mixture that tastes great, but doesn't pipe or spread well.
I use butter, as well as a bit of cream cheese, to create the smooth creaminess I want in a fluffy peanut butter frosting.
Sure, there is a very slight tang to the frosting, but the sweetness and rich peanut flavor aren't overpowered. No one will notice, but they will know it's dang good icing.
Tips for making fluffy peanut butter frosting that is smooth:
• Cream cheese, as I mentioned, helps the frosting with its silky texture.
• Use smooth peanut butter rather than natural peanut butter. Natural peanut butter hasn't been homogenized and isn't as creamy. It will make a more grainy, oily icing.
• Don't over whip. I keep my mixer on medium speed as I add the confectioners' sugar so I don't incorporate too much air. If there is too much air the frosting will still taste good, but won't look as smooth.
• Add more confectioner's sugar if you'd like the frosting to be more stiff.
I'm a total fan of homemade frostings and icings. Here are a few more you don't want to miss:
• Chocolate cream cheese frosting recipe, great for a classic yellow or chocolate cake.
• For a milk chocolate flavor try my fluffy chocolate frosting.
• Learn how to make caramel frosting that's really good with spice cake.
How to make bakery-style peanut butter frosting:
Best Fluffy Peanut Butter Frosting
- 1 cup smooth peanut butter
- ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 4 oz cream cheese room temperature
- ¼ tsp salt
- 3 cups confectioners' sugar
- 2½ tbsp milk
- In a mixing bowl beat together the peanut butter, butter, cream cheese and salt. Mix in the confectioners’ sugar, mixture will be stiff, then add the milk and beat until smooth.
- If piping, transfer frosting to a piping bag fitted with a #825 open star tip. Pipe or spread frosting on cupcakes, cookies, cake or brownies.
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- Best Fluffy Peanut Butter Frosting
Recipe by Tara Teaspoon
I’ve been in the food publishing business for over 20 years, creating recipes and food styling for magazines, books, television and advertising. Find out more about me!
Recipe Tara Teaspoon. Photography Ty Mecham