The best peanut butter frosting recipe without leftovers! Small Batch Peanut Butter Frosting makes enough to frost 6-8 cupcakes or one 6 inch cake.
It’s been awhile since I posted a frosting recipe, but I’m back with this Small Batch Peanut Butter Frosting.
This is what inspired me to post my peanut butter buttercream recipe separately.
Not a fan of peanut butter? You can check out my other frostings on my small batch frosting recipe guide
What makes my small batch peanut butter frosting special? You make only what you need.
How many times have you made frosting, only to have a ton leftover?
Unless you have plans to make another cake, you end up throwing out said extra frosting. All that butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla wasted.
That’s why I set out to make a small batch of peanut butter buttercream. Just the right amount of frosting for most small batch cakes without having to throw it away.
How To Make Homemade Peanut Butter Frosting
I highly recommend using an electric mixer to beat together the ingredients rather than beating by hand.
Using a mixer makes it super smooth and adds air, which is key for making a fluffy frosting.
I personally use a 5 quart stand mixer. However, you can also use a hand mixer.
First, you want to start with room temperature butter.
If you beat it while too cold, the frosting won’t be as smooth and may result in a lumpy frosting. If you beat it while too warm, the frosting will become too soft to set up.
Since I always use unsalted butter, I often add a pinch of salt to my frostings. It helps amplify the other flavors.
Next, beat together the butter, peanut butter, and powdered sugar until smooth and creamy, roughly 1-2 minutes depending on how powerful your mixer is. You will also want to scrape down the bowl to make sure everything is super smooth.
I like to sift my powdered sugar before beating so it’s not all clumpy. That also helps with making a smooth frosting.
After the frosting is light and fluffy, you then add your vanilla and a little bit of milk to help make it more spreadable.
How do you fix runny frosting?
At this point, you need to decide if your frosting is to your liking. If you’re making a cake, you want the frosting to be spreadable.
However, if you’re piping cupcakes, you want the frosting more on the firm side so it doesn’t fall over while piping.
If your frosting is too runny, add more powdered sugar. If your frosting is too thick, add a few drops of milk.
Sometimes if your frosting is the right thickness but too warm to pipe, the refrigerator is your friend! My kitchen gets super warm when the oven is on, even in the winter.
What I do is chill the frosting in 15 minute increments until firm enough to pipe.
How much frosting does a small batch make?
The yield for this frosting recipe will vary depending on what you’re making:
- If you’re piping cupcakes, you can frost between 6-8 cupcakes, depending on how tall you make the swirls.
- If you’re frosting cupcakes with an offset spatula, you can frost 1 dozen cupcakes because you typically don’t use as much as you would piping.
- If you’re frosting a 6 inch cake, you can frost the top and edges with about a spoonful or two left over, depending on how thick you like it.
- If you’re frosting an 8 inch cake, you can still frost the top and edges. Depending on how thick you like your frosting, you may or may not have some leftover.
- If you’re frosting a small two layer cake, you can frost the middle and top. Frosting the edges will depend on how much you’ve used so far. You can always leave it as a naked cake with the edges showing.
Can frosting be made in advance?
Yes, you can make peanut butter frosting in advance! Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
You will need to bring your frosting to room temperature if it’s too hard to spread.
Sometimes I’ll even beat it again for a minute until it becomes spreadable again. At this point if it’s still too thick, I’ll add a drop or two of milk to help thin it out again.
Do you have to refrigerate peanut butter frosting?
The biggest question I get about frosting is do you have to refrigerate a cake with peanut butter buttercream frosting?
The answer is no. Because it uses a good amount of powdered sugar, buttercream frosting is safe to leave out at room temperature for 2-3 days.
That means a small cake covered in buttercream frosting can sit out overnight for up to 2-3 days.
However, buttercream frosting does tend to melt if it’s too warm because of the butter’s melting point. In the winter I can leave my cake out, but in the summer I refrigerate my cakes.
How to refrigerate a cake with peanut butter frosting
To refrigerate a cake with peanut butter frosting, first put it in the fridge uncovered for about 15 minutes. This will harden the frosting just enough so it won’t smear if accidentally touched.
Next, you want to cover the cake so it doesn’t dry out in the refrigerator.
You can either loosely wrap with plastic wrap (you can use toothpicks if you don’t want it touching the frosting) or store in an airtight cake container (affiliate link).
I highly recommend using a cake container because it won’t actually touch your cake and you can store other items on top in the fridge.
Cake Recipes For Your Small Batch Frosting
As much fun as it is to eat frosting with a spoon, chances are you need a cake recipe too. That’s why I wrote my 6 Inch Cake Recipes For Two People guide.
You can also pair peanut butter with my small batch chocolate cupcakes.
Mix and match your favorite flavors!
More Small Batch Frosting Recipes
Looking for frosting but don’t want to make peanut butter? Here are some more recipes for small batch frosting you can make:
- Small Batch Buttercream Frosting – the most traditional and basic buttercream frosting
- Small Batch Chocolate Frosting – the best chocolate buttercream recipe without leftovers.
- Small Batch Cream Cheese Frosting – a tangy and sweet frosting that pairs well with most cakes
- Small Batch Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting – a berry sweet and tangy frosting made with fresh berries
- Small Batch German Chocolate Frosting – a coconut pecan frosting made without evaporated milk
Items you may need (affiliate links):
- 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons or 2 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- Pinch of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1-2 teaspoons milk
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the peanut butter, butter, powdered sugar, and salt until smooth and creamy, about 1-2 minutes.
- Scrape down the bowl then add the vanilla and 1 teaspoon milk. Beat for another 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
If the frosting is too thick to spread, add the remaining 1 teaspoon milk. If it's too thin, add more powdered sugar.