The Best Peanut Butter Buttercream

Peanut butter is one of my favorite flavors. I add it to my oatmeal, my yogurt (Strange, I know! But I swear it’s delicious with honey!!), and I love baking with it! I’ve made several cakes with peanut butter in the past, including my next level honey roasted peanut butter cake, and my PB&J cake!!

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While I’ve used peanut butter buttercream on a lot of my cakes, I’ve never really shared my go to recipe! It’s really just adding some peanut butter to my classic american buttercream, but the peanut butter really thickens the frosting! I add in some additional heavy cream and egg whites as well, to make it more spreadable, and easier to frost with.

The Best Peanut Butter Frosting

This is my go to peanut butter buttercream recipe! It’s really just adding some peanut butter to my classic american buttercream, but the peanut butter really thickens the frosting! I add a touch more heavy cream and a tiny bit of egg whites to thin it out, and make it nice and smooth.

Prep Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 8 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp pasteurized egg whites (room temperature)

Instructions

  1. Beat the butter and peanut butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment, until smooth. 

  2. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with small splashes of cream. 

  3. Once fully mixed, add in the egg whites and salt, and beat on low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached. 

  4. If the frosting is too thick, add in additional cream (1 teaspoon at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).

Recipe Notes

If you are making frosting for a cake, it is important to mix the buttercream on low at the end of the process for a couple minutes, to get out any extra air that might have be incorporated during the mixing process. This will make it easier to get super smooth sides on your cake!

When using this to frost my go-to chocolate layer cake recipe (which can be used to make four 7 inch or 8 inch cake layers) I usually make 1.5 – 2 batches, depending on how I’m decorating the cake.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cake

Peanut butter plays a big part in my life. I eat it every single day. This proves two things;  I’m an extreme creature of habit, and that I love peanut butter (I put it in my oatmeal every morning!!). When I realized National Peanut Butter Day was just around the corner (January 24th), I knew it deserved a cake. I grew up on PB&J sandwiches, and have wanted to make a peanut butter and jelly cake for quite a while. The stars seemed to align, and I finally had the perfect opportunity to relive my childhood through cake!! The recipe and instructions are included below.

Vanilla Cake Ingredients:

  • 3 1/4 cup (416 grams) all purpose flour
  • 3 cups (600 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp (13 grams) baking powder
  • 1 tsp (5 grams) salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter or 2 sticks (226 grams), room temperature
  • 2 tsp. (9 grams) vanilla extract
  • 1 cup egg whites (244 grams) – about 7 large egg whites; I use egg whites from the carton to avoid wasting egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups (360 grams) buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1/8 cup (28 grams) vegetable oil

American Buttercream Ingredients: 

  • 6 sticks (3 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 12 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 3 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup of peanut butter + 2 Tbsp heavy cream (to be added once made)

Additional Ingredients and Decorations: 

  • 1 jar of your favorite jam or jelly (I used strawberry jam)
  • 1 bag freeze dried strawberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped, salted peanuts
  • Additional peanut butter (to drizzle and spread on the sides of the cake)
  • 8 medium sized strawberries

Instructions:

Begin by making the vanilla cake layers. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line four 7” round pans with parchment rounds, and grease with non-stick cooking spray.

Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined.

Mix chunks of room-temperature butter slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly.

Pour in egg whites, and mix on low until just incorporated.  Mix in the buttermilk in two installments, on a low speed. Add in vanilla and oil, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds.

Divide evenly between the prepared cake pans. Bake 37-38 minutes (or until a skewer comes out clean). Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan. Place cake layers into the freezer for 45 minutes, to accelerate the cooling process.

Once the layers have fully cooled, trim the caramelized bits from the sides of the layers using a serrated knife. While these layers bake pretty flat, sometimes I’ll also trim the top of the layers too. Be sure the layers are completely cooled or chilled before trimming. If you try to trim the layers while they’re still warm, they will crumble apart.

While the layers bake and cool, prepare the vanilla and peanut butter frosting. Beat the butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment, until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with small splashes of cream. Once fully mixed, add in the vanilla and salt, and beat on low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached. If the frosting is too thick, add in cream (1 teaspoon at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).

NOTE: When making frosting for a cake, it is important to mix the buttercream on low at the end of the process for a couple minutes, to get out any extra air that might have be incorporated during the mixing process. This will make it easier to get super smooth sides on your cake!

Once the vanilla frosting is made, place 1/4 of the frosting in a separate bowl. Add 1 cup of your favorite peanut butter, and 2 additional Tbsp of heavy cream. Mix until fully incorporated and smooth.

Fill one large piping bag with vanilla frosting (to create a frosting dam, to contain the jam that will be added between each layer).

Then it’s time for the best part, the assembly of the cake! Stack cake layers, and pipe a ring of vanilla buttercream around the edge of the layer.Spread a layer of peanut butter buttercream inside the vanilla frosting, then add a drizzle of warm peanut butter (I heated a small jar in the microwave for about 20 seconds).

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Chill the cake in the freezer for about 2 minutes to allow the peanut butter to firm up, then spread jam on top, ensure it’s contained by the ring of vanilla frosting.

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Repeat this process with all remaining cake layers. Cover the cake in a thin layer of vanilla frosting (crumb coat) to trap any run-away crumbs. Chill the cake in the freezer or fridge for about 5 minutes, until the buttercream is firm to the touch.

Next, add a thicker, second layer of vanilla buttercream. Use a bench scraper to smooth the sides of the cake, then add on dabs of peanut butter. Smooth again using a bench scraper, to create a watercolor effect with the peanut butter. You can see a full tutorial on how to frost a cake with smooth sides here. Use a small offset spatula to smooth the top of the cake.

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Add crushed freeze-dried strawberries and chopped peanuts around the base of the cake. Spread peanut butter on the sides of a piping bag fitted with aWilton 1M frosting tip, then fill with vanilla buttercream.  Pipe 8 larger swirls on top of the cake, and place a strawberry on top of each swirl. Sprinkle additional freeze-dried strawberries between the swirls.

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This cake serves about 16 people, so be sure you have lots of friends around to help you enjoy it!! It is every peanut butter lovers’ dream, and is an epic way to celebrate one of my favorite national food holidays. While the outside of the cake is pretty, the inside is really the star of the show! Just look at jam!!

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Peanut Butter Snickers Cupcakes

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I can always rely on my mom to have a decently stocked candy cupboard at home. Sure enough, when I arrived home for Christmas I was happy to find a giant bag of peanut butter snickers. Of course, my first thought after seeing them was a peanut butter snickers cupcake 😛

Chocolate Cake Batter:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup  vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Peanut Butter Buttercream:

  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. heavy cream

Garnish:

  • 1 Bag Peanut Butter Snickers
  • Sea salt
  • Crushed peanuts
  • Chocolate ganache (equal parts heavy cream and chocolate)

Begin by preheating oven to 350ºF. Line 2 regular muffin pans with cupcake liners. Combine flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of a mixer. Mix on low. Add eggs, buttermilk, 1 1/2 cups warm water, oil, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until smooth and completely combined. Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 full. Bake until cakes are set and a toothpick inserted into the center of each comes out clean, about 16 minutes. Let cool in pans set on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Turn out cakes onto racks, and let cool completely.

While the cupcakes bake, prepare peanut butter buttercream. Whip the butter and peanut butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer, until it is fluffy. Slowly incorporate the powdered sugar, adding it in multiple installments. As the frosting thickens, add salt, heavy cream, and vanilla. Continue to mix, and add additional cream until desired consistency is reached.

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Frost the cupcakes with a swirl using a closed star tip. Drizzle cooled ganache over the top of the frosting, and garnish with crushed peanuts, sea salt, and a chopped piece of peanut butter snickers 😀 Next time I make these, I think I’d also try drizzling some salted caramel over the top.

Reeses Chocolate Cupcakes

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I received a phenomenal cupcake order this week: A request for Reese’s Cupcakes 😀 I used my favorite chocolate cake base, topped with a fluffy peanut butter buttercream, chocolate ganache, crushed peanuts, sea salt, and a mini Reeses.

Chocolate Cake Batter:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup  vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Peanut Butter Buttercream:

  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. heavy cream

Garnish:

  • 1 Bag Mini Reeses
  • Sea salt
  • Crushed peanuts
  • Chocolate ganache (equal parts heavy cream and chocolate)

Begin by preheating oven to 350ºF. Line 2 regular muffin pans with cupcake liners. Combine flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of a mixer. Mix on low. Add eggs, buttermilk, warm water, oil, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until smooth and completely combined. Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 full. Bake until cakes are set and a toothpick inserted into the center of each comes out clean, about 16 minutes. Let cool in pans set on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Turn out cakes onto racks, and let cool completely.

While the cupcakes bake, prepare peanut butter buttercream. Whip the butter and peanut butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer, until it is fluffy. Slowly incorporate the powdered sugar, adding it in multiple installments. As the frosting thickens, add salt, heavy cream, and vanilla. Continue to mix, and add additional cream until desired consistency is reached.

Frost the cupcakes with a swirl using a closed star tip. Drizzle cooled ganache over the top of the frosting, and garnish with crushed peanuts, sea salt, and a mini Reeses 😀reesescupcake

Butterfinger Cupcakes

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First it was the Milky Way Cake, then the Snickers Cake.…and now it’s butterfinger cupcakes!! Why? Because I love candy bars almost as much as I love cupcakes 😀 And who doesn’t love the classic combination of peanut butter and chocolate?!

Chocolate Cupcake Base:

  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup hot coffee
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 Tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Ganache Filling:

  • 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • pinch of salt

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Buttercream:

  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • pinch of salt

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Bake Time: 18 minutes

Cool Time: 1 hour

Assembly Time: 30 minutes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard-size cupcake pan with liners. Place the chocolate and cocoa powder in a medium bowl. Pour the hot coffee over the mixture, and whisk together until smooth. Set the mixture in the fridge for 5 minutes to cool. Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl; set aside. Whisk the oil, eggs, vinegar, and vanilla extract into the cooled chocolate-coffee mixture until smooth. Gradually add the flour mixture, and whisk until smooth. Divide the batter evenly between the muffin pan cups, filling them about 2/3 full. Bake until the cupcakes are set and just firm to the touch, 17 to 19 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove the cupcakes from the pan and place on the wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.

For the ganache, bring the cream to a boil. Pour it over the chopped chocolate, and let this sit for a minute. Add salt, and stir mixture for another minute, until fully incorporated. Let this cool and thicken, as you prepare the frosting.

While the cupcakes cool, whip together the peanut butter and chocolate buttercream. Cream the butter and peanut butter, until fluffy (about 2 minutes). Slowly add in the powdered sugar, and continue mixing until well blended. Add in the salt, vanilla, and half of the heavy cream. Reserve 1/2 of the frosting in a separate bowl, and add unsweetened cocoa. Blend on low-speed, and add additional cream until you reach the desired consistency. Beat at high-speed until frosting is smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Cut the center out of each cupcake, and fill with the cooled ganache. I wanted to pipe both frostings together, and followed the same technique I used to make my rainbow cupcakes. Stripe both frostings onto a piece of saran wrap, and roll up tightly. Twist the ends of the frosting pack. Feed this into a piping bag fitted with a star tip, and pull on of the ends through the frosting tip. Cut off excess plastic, and pipe swirls onto each cupcake.Sprinkle with crushed butterfingers, and top with a broken piece of butterfinger. BAM! If this cupcake doesn’t satisfy any chocolate/peanut butter cravings you have, I don’t know what will 😀