This peanut butter cream cheese frosting recipe is simple to make and perfect for frosting your cakes and cupcakes with!
Peanut butter and cream cheese. Who knew. Match made in heaven. And if you’re licking the beaters after. Well I’m sorry. Not sorry.
I decided when making this peanut butter cake recipe, I wanted a nice thick frosting to go on top. I could have used my regular peanut butter frosting, or my chocolate buttercream frosting. But I wanted something different. And I love the tang of cream cheese frosting. It helps to off set the sweetness in desserts. Basically, perfection.
So peanut butter + cream cheese frosting = GRAB A SPOON. LIKE. NOW.
Ingredients for this peanut butter cream cheese frosting
- Cream cheese – I recommend full-fat for the best texture and make sure it’s softened so you end up with a smooth frosting.
- Unsalted butter – I don’t recommend salted as it tends to add to much of a salty taste to the recipe. Again, make sure it’s properly softened butter so you end up with a smooth frosting and it’s easier to mix.
- Confectioners Sugar – Aka powdered sugar (icing sugar)
- Vanilla– I recommend pure vanilla extract for best flavor.
- Peanut Butter – I recommend smooth, non-natural (the kind you don’t need to stir) peanut butter.
How To Make Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe – Step By Step
You want to start first by creaming together your softened butter and cream cheese. Again make sure both are softened so you end up with a SMOOTH frosting as opposed to one with lumps.
Then add in your powdered sugar. Make sure to do this about a 1/2 cup at a time with the mixer off. Then mix on low until incorporated. Unless you love cleaning up powdered sugar in your kitchen everywhere…
Then add in your vanilla extract and a pinch of salt.
Add in your peanut butter. Again I would add the good old regular stuff as opposed to the natural style. I haven’t tried it with the natural peanut butter so if you do and it works let me know! Make sure to the mix that in, scrape down the bowl as needed, until nice and smooth.
Tips For Making This Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
- Use softened butter and cream cheese. This is important. If either one is too cold they won’t incorporate and turn into a smooth frosting. You will end up with a lumpy cream cheese frosting. I used to recommend using cold cream cheese frosting so it could be piped. But no longer. I found that when I did that it was not smooth. Pipeable maybe. But not smooth. So soften both. Being able to pipe will come down to ratios of butter to cream cheese which this recipe has. And if you need to soften your butter quickly I have 3 easy ways to do that for you. But basically you can leave them out on the counter for an hour or so until softened.
- Cream The Butter First. Then add in your cream cheese. Otherwise you may end up with a weird mouthfeel if you do this the other way around. A tip I picked up from The Kitchn.
- Scrape down the bowl as you go. Sometimes the butter and cream cheese will stick to the bottom of the bowl or beater and not be mixed in evenly. So stop and scrape the bowl down with a sturdy silicone spatula to ensure that everything is being mixed in.
- Use Full Fat Brick Style Cream Cheese. Sorry but now is not the time to save those calories.
- Use unsalted butter. Different brands of butter can use varying amounts of salt in their salted butter. So you want to control the amount of salt by adding it yourself.
- Sift If Piping Your Cream Cheese Frosting. I usually don’t have a problem with powdered sugar lumps. But if you want to be on the safe side, especially if you are going to use a piping bag with this frosting, you can sift your powdered sugar first. This will ensure no lumps get stuck in your piping bag. If you’re not a fan of sifting (and neither am I!) you can also just whisk your powdered sugar in a bowl before adding it to the frosting.
- Do Not Use Natural Peanut Butter. The kind where you have to stir the oil in, I think this may cause for an oily frosting that may separate.
Do I Need To Refrigerate Cakes Made With Cream Cheese Frosting?
So according to Food Network, the cake covered in a homemade cream cheese frosting need to be refrigerated.
Just make sure to take it out of the fridge an hour or two before you plan to serve it so the frosting has time to come to room temperature.
Why Is My Cream Cheese Frosting Runny?
This can happen for a few reasons.
- Your butter may have been to warm. When you are softening your butter make sure there is no melted spots to it.
- You mixed the cream cheese for too long before adding your powdered sugar causing the liquid in the cream cheese to dissolve some of the powdered sugar. If your cream cheese is softened you should only need to mix for a minute or so before adding the powdered sugar.
- You used the wrong kind of cream cheese. Again make sure to use full fat cream cheese.
- You added in more liquid. Try adding in more powdered sugar to thicken it back up.
To fix this:
If your icing is runny you can try a few things:
- Add more powdered sugar. Add a few tablespoons at a time. This can cause the frosting to be a bit on the sweet side. So just a little at a time.
- Add cornstarch. Again a few tablespoons at a time and then mix again to see if it thickens up.
What type of peanut butter is best for this frosting
I recommend smooth peanut butter that you don’t have to stir to combine (you know the all natural kind), but I haven’t tried it with that. I think chunky peanut butter could work, but would be harder to pipe.
Can This Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting Be Used For Piping?
Absolutely! This homemade peanut butter cream cheese frosting is thick enough to pipe onto cakes and cupcakes. It’s all about using the correct ratio of cream cheese to butter so that its not too wimpy.
I found that 1 stick of butter and 1 brick of cream cheese frosting was ideal. If it’s too soft, try refrigerating it for a bit to help it stiffen up before piping.
How Do I Make My Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting Thicker?
If you need a thicker cream cheese frosting, then do the same as if your icing was runny as described above.
- Add in 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar. Mix again. You can add more if you’d like but I recommend adding in a couple tablespoons at a time.
- Add in a one tablespoon of cornstarch. (if you it thicker, but not sweeter) Start with one tablespoon and mix. Continue to add in one tablespoon at a time until your desired thickness.
How much frosting will this recipe make?
This will easily frost a dozen cupcakes (if you swirl on a good amount, otherwise it will frost more if icing them by hand), a 2 8-inch layer cake or 9×13 cake.
If you are frosting a larger cake (like a 9-inch layer cake) and if you plan on adding embellishments like rosettes then I recommend making a double batch.
How should I store this peanut butter cream cheese frosting?
I love making buttercream of any kind in advance. So storing it properly is a must. Because a lot of the times I always end up making too much. So whether it’s you need to store your leftover buttercream or just make it ahead of time here is what I recommend:
- One week in the fridge: I make it up to a week ahead of time and store in the refrigerator.
- Freezer for 3 months:You can also freeze this frosting up to 3 months. When ready to use, thaw the frosting overnight in the refrigerator.
What can I use this frosting on?
Oh the possibilities! First start with my Peanut Butter Cake (the cake in the photos you can’t stop drooling over). It’s such an easy cake to make and it’s packed with peanut butter flavor. Of course, you could always make my banana cake and frost it with this frosting instead of cream cheese frosting. Or use it on my banana cupcakes, or chocolate cupcakes!
Craving More Peanut Butter…Check Out One Of These Recipes!
Tools Needed To Make This Recipe:
- Electric Mixer – Stand or hand held will work. I do prefer a stand mixer so I can just turn it on and walk away for a few minutes to get some dishes done!
- Spatula (to scrape down the bowl as you go) – I prefer silicone spatulas that are 100% silicone as opposed to a handle you can remove. I find those can get grimy after awhile or are flimsy and separate. Especially when I am trying to stir something thick like a frosting.
If you try this cream cheese frosting recipe let me know and leave me a comment and star rating below!
Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz. (227 grams) cream cheese softened
- 8 tbsp. (113 grams) unsalted butter room temperature
- 3 cups (343 grams) confectioners’ (powdered, icing) sugar
- pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup (270 g) peanut butter
- In a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter until smooth. Add in the cream cheese.
- Beat on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes.
- Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth.
- Mix in the vanilla extract. Add in a pinch of salt. Mix until smooth and creamy.
- Add peanut butter and mix until smooth and creamy.
- Use immediately or store in the refrigerator for 4 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.
- Tools: Electric Mixer | Spatula
- Storage: I make it up to a week ahead of time and store in the refrigerator for one week and then remix until consistency is reached. You can also freeze this frosting up to 3 months. When ready to use, thaw the frosting overnight in the refrigerator.
- Amount of peanut butter: If you want more of a “cream cheese flavor” I would recommend using 3/4 cup. Add 3/4 cup and taste it. If you want more peanut butter then add the additional 1/4 cup!
- Type of peanut butter: I recommend smooth peanut butter that you do not have to stir. I haven’t tried it with chunky peanut butter but I think it would also be delicious!