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Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting 

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting is the perfect touch when you want a flavor that is nutty and elevated but not too sweet. Excellent for cupcakes, cakes and cookies, this frosting is perfection!

Chocolate cupcake with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting with a bite out of it

Peanut butter can be a tricky flavor to work with when baking. Use too much and the peanut butter flavor can be overwhelming while the texture becomes way too chewy. Too little and it can come out overly sweet. 

How do you strike the right balance? Cream cheese. 

Cream cheese has the ideal amount of tang and flavor that compliments peanut butter without making it too sweet. Cream cheese is also, obviously, creamy, which expertly blends with the texture of peanut butter.

The result of combining the two is this irresistible frosting recipe. It is smooth, delicious, flavorful and creamy, without being too rich to enjoy. This fluffy peanut butter frosting is great for piping on chocolate cake, chocolate cupcakes, cookies and more–or eating with a spoon! Peanut butter lovers, this recipe is for you!

Why Make This Recipe

  1. Twist on a Classic: A good cream cheese frosting can take a dessert from good to amazing, but adding peanut butter puts a fun twist on the flavor. Another great variation is Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting or Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
  2. Easy to Make: While this frosting offers an elevated flavor, it’s not difficult to achieve with just a handful of ingredients. This easy recipe gives you all the tips for balancing the flavor and the texture to add to your favorite dessert!
  3. Yummy: Imagine for a moment spreading this luscious frosting on banana bars, brownies or chocolate cupcakes. Peanut butter, chocolate and cream cheese are all made for each other!

Ingredients You Need to Make This Recipe

Labeled ingredient shot
  1. Cream Cheese: I use a block of full fat cream cheese because it has just the right amount of fat to give this frosting a full, delicious texture. You could use reduced fat but your frosting may be slightly softer. Allow it to come to room temperature before you try to mix it into your frosting or you may end up with lumps.
  2. Peanut Butter: You need smooth peanut butter and not a natural peanut butter or one you have to stir. If your peanut butter separates, there’s a chance your frosting could separate as well and you don’t want that!
  3. Unsalted Butter: Unsalted butter allows you to control how salty your frosting is. You also want your butter to be softened to room temperature to avoid any lumps.
  4. Confectioner’s Sugar: Powdered sugar is what holds your frosting together
  5. Vanilla: Vanilla extract really helps bring out all the flavor.
  6. Pinch of Salt

Tools 

  1. Handheld Mixer or Stand Mixer with a paddle attachment
  2. Rubber Spatula: It’s important to scrape the sides of the bowl every once in a while to make sure no lumps get left at the bottom

How to Make This Recipe

Step One: Cream Butter and Cream Cheese

butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer
creamed butter mixture in the bowl of a stand mixer

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the stick of butter and cream cheese on high speed until smooth and creamy. 

Step Two: Add the Peanut Butter

peanut butter mixture on the paddle attachment

Add the peanut butter, vanilla, and salt, and mix again until combined. 

Step Three: Whip with Sugar

peanut butter cream cheese frosting with powdered sugar added
Blended peanut butter cream cheese frosting

Add in the powdered sugar about 1 cup at a time, mixing at medium speed or low speed between each addition until just combined.

Once your cake or cupcakes are cooled, use a piping bag to pipe or spread the frosting on top or between the cake layers. Enjoy! 

Expert Tips

  • Make sure your butter and cream cheese are fully soft and creamed together before adding in your other ingredients. This will ensure a smooth, consistent texture throughout. If your butter and cream cheese are softened before you begin, it should only take 2-3 minutes to cream them together. If you still encounter lumps, try sifting your powdered sugar next time.
  • You could use chunky or crunchy peanut butter for this recipe, but the chunks will make it more of a challenge to spread. It’s up to you!
  • Try to keep your frosting cool. The ingredients in this creamy peanut butter frosting can melt in a warm environment.

Why Is My Frosting Runny?

peanut butter cream cheese frosting piped into a glass jar

There are a few reasons that your frosting can be runny. Here are some suggestions on how to fix it!: 

  • Softened Ingredients: If your frosting comes out runny the most likely culprit is your butter or cream cheese being too soft or melted. Try placing your frosting in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to firm up.
  • Need More Sugar: If your frosting is still too runny, you can try adding just a tablespoon or two more of powdered sugar. You do not want to add too much and risk your frosting ending up chalky. 
  • Wrong Type of Ingredients: Your frosting may also be runny if you used the wrong type of cream cheese or peanut butter. Reduced fat cream cheese is softer than full fat and will result in a softer cream cheese. The same is true for peanut butter. If your peanut butter is runny, your frosting may end up runny.
  • Needs Cornstarch: One last trick to try to make your frosting thicker is to add in one tablespoon of cornstarch and mix  well with your mixer. 

FAQs

Chocolate cupcakes with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
Do I Need To Refrigerate Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting?

To be on the safe side, yes, you need to refrigerate this frosting. It will pipe better and have a better texture at room temperature so if you are not serving it right away I recommend frosting right away, while your frosting is soft, then storing until you are ready to serve. 

Pull it out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving to allow it to come to room temperature again. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

This frosting should be safe at room temperature for about 2 to 4 hours.

What Type of Peanut Butter is Best for this Frosting?

You don’t need to invest in a really expensive peanut butter to make this frosting. In fact, Jif or a similar brand of regular peanut butter work just fine. You want smooth peanut butter that does not require mixing before using.

How to Serve

This cream cheese peanut butter frosting is perfect for banana cake, peanut butter cookies, banana cupcakes, chocolate peanut butter cake, or brownies. You should have enough frosting to frost a 9-inch layer cake. Make a double batch for all your favorite peanut butter treats!

Did you enjoy this Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting? If so, make sure to check out these other recipes I picked out just for you: 

Chocolate cupcake with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting with a bite taken out of it.

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting is the perfect touch when you want a flavor that is nutty and elevated but not too sweet. Excellent for cupcakes, cakes and cookies, this frosting is perfection!
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Course: Dessert
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 3 cups
Calories: 1422kcal

Equipment

  • Handheld Mixer or Stand Mixer with a paddle attachment
  • Rubber Spatula

Ingredients

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla
  • ¼ tsp salt

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the butter and softened cream cheese on high speed until smooth and creamy.
  • Add the peanut butter, vanilla, and salt, and mix again until combined.
  • Add in the powdered sugar about 1 cup at a time, mixing between each addition until just combined.
  • Once your cake or cupcakes are cooled, pipe/spread the frosting on top or between the cake layers. Enjoy!

Notes

Recipe copyright The Domestic Spoon. For educational or personal use only. 
  • Make sure your butter and cream cheese are fully soft and creamed together before adding in your other ingredients. This will ensure a smooth, consistent texture throughout. If your butter and cream cheese are softened before you begin, it should only take 2-3 minutes to cream them together. If you still encounter lumps, try sifting your powdered sugar next time.
  • You could use chunky or crunchy peanut butter for this recipe, but the chunks will make it more of a challenge to spread. It’s up to you!
  • Try to keep your frosting cool. The ingredients in this creamy peanut butter frosting can melt in a warm environment.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 1422kcal | Carbohydrates: 174g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 79g | Saturated Fat: 39g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 26g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 158mg | Sodium: 458mg | Potassium: 364mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 164g | Vitamin A: 1961IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 106mg | Iron: 1mg
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