This vegan peanut butter frosting is the ultimate in creamy frosting recipes. It’s made with only a few ingredients (including a secret one that makes this frosting oh-so-easy to make). Add swirly dollops of peanut butter goodness to vegan chocolate cupcakes for your next party!
I have quite the love affair with peanut butter. I swear I have some with bananas nearly every day of the week. So, when a dessert opportunity to use peanut butter comes up, I’m all over it! This peanut butter buttercream frosting is my new favorite. And I think you’re going to love how easy it is to make!
Why This Recipe is a Winner
- Whipping the vegan butter aerates it, creating the perfect fluffy foundation for this frosting.
- Adding peanut butter powder is the secret sauce that makes this frosting recipe so easy to make. The powder offsets the fat in the peanut butter, creating the best flavor and the best consistency without all the hassle of some peanut butter frosting recipes.
- Using real peanut butter gives this frosting lots of delicious flavor.
What You Need
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
- Lemon — We’ll use both the zest and the juice of the lemon.
- Oats — I used rolled oats for this recipe, but you can substitute instant oats.
- Chia — We’ll add some ground chia seeds to create a thicker texture. You can use whole chia seeds; I just prefer ground because it creates a smoother finished texture.
- Syrup — I used maple syrup, but you can substitute agave nectar.
- Milk — We’ll use almond milk for the best overnight oats! Substitute your favorite plant-based milk.
- Yogurt — I love adding some plant-based yogurt (plain, unsweetened) for an even more tangy flavor.
- Protein Powder — I add some vanilla protein powder for increased flavor and nutrients. If your protein powder is not sweetened, you may want to add an extra teaspoon or two of sweetener.
- Cornstarch — We’ll use cornstarch to thicken the lemon curd topping.
- Turmeric — A pinch of turmeric makes that lemon curd sunny yellow.
- Vegan butter — Use Earth Balance, Miyoko’s, or make your own homemade vegan butter.
- Powdered sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Peanut butter powder — I find peanut butter powder (e.g. PB2) is usually stocked in the grocery store right next to the peanut butter. I recommend plain peanut butter powder rather than chocolate-flavored.
- Vegan creamer — I like using Silk Oat Creamer or Ripple half and half, but there’s a wide choice of vegan creamers. Try to pick one that is not flavored unless you want a different flavor, like hazelnut, in your frosting. You can substitute coconut milk or soy milk.
- Peanut butter — I recommend using creamy peanut butter for this recipe.
What Peanut Butter is Best for Frosting?
There are three basic types of peanut butter: 1) Natural (the kind that has to be stirred, 2) Creamy, and 3) Crunchy. Some types of peanut butter work better for different recipes. I recommend using creamy peanut butter for this frosting to make sure the oil is homogenized and therefore won’t create issues with the frosting texture.
How to Make Vegan Peanut Butter Frosting
- Cream the butter and peanut butter on medium speed until light.
- Beat in the powdered sugar.
- Add the peanut butter powder and continue mixing until it’s equally distributed.
- Mix in the vegan creamer until light and fluffy.
Here are more detailed instructions with step-by-step photos:
Step One: Cream the Butter
Use a handheld or stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Cream the vegan butter and peanut butter on medium speed until creamy, approximately 2 minutes. Add the peanut butter and cream until combined.
Mix in the peanut butter power and vanilla.
Step Two: Add Powdered Sugar
Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, mixing on low until it’s incorporated between each addition. Then bump it up to high speed. If the frosting is smooth and spreadable, you’re good to go. However, you can add another teaspoon or two of creamer if your frosting is still too thick.
The Secret Ingredient
I call peanut butter powder the “secret ingredient” because without it, this frosting is too soft. The peanut butter powder stabilizes it and makes a perfectly smooth frosting without a bunch of complicated steps. Simplicity is the way to go when it comes to frosting!
Frosting Cakes, Cupcakes, and More
- Spread frosting on a cooled cake — Make sure your cake is completely cooled before frosting it. You can even transfer the cooled cake to the fridge for a few minutes to make it cold and firm. This makes spreading frosting even easier.
- Use a Piping Bag for Cupcakes — You can smear frosting over cupcakes and add some sprinkles or other garnishes, but to make them look beautiful I recommend using a piping bag. For these photos, I used a Wilton 1M star tip.
- Peanut Butter Buttercream as Filling — If you’re making a two-layer chocolate cake, you can use this fluffy peanut butter frosting as the filling and then frost the cake with this Vegan Chocolate Ganache. It adds flavor, color, and texture when the filling is different than the rest of the cake.
- Peanut Butter Icing — You can use this frosting as icing on things like Vegan Chocolate Donuts. Simply add a little bit more creamer to make the consistency thinner, then dip donuts in the icing. Don’t forget to add some sprinkles or chopped nuts on top!
- Peanut Butter Frosting for Brownies — Typically brownies are sweet enough and rich enough on their own, but this peanut butter frosting is amazing paired with chocolate. I recommend a generous smear of frosting on top of these Vegan Brownies, Vegan Gluten-Free Brownies, or these Chocolate Banana Brownies.
What is peanut butter powder?
Think of peanut butter powder just like you think of cocoa powder. In both cases, the bean is roasted and defatted, and the remaining coarse mixture is ground into a fine powder.
Do I need to sift powdered sugar for frosting?
Powdered sugar can get clumpy as it sits. Using a sifter or a mesh strainer to sift the powdered sugar helps to avoid little lumps in your finished frosting. To do this, measure the sugar first and then sift it.
Is peanut butter frosting gluten-free?
Usually peanut butter icing and/or frosting is gluten-free because it’s made with ingredients that do not have gluten. However, if you have sensitivities to gluten, always check the ingredients to be sure.
This homemade peanut butter frosting is pretty amazing on its own. But here are some goodies you can drizzle or sprinkle over the top:
- Chopped Peanuts (or any nuts, such as pecans or walnuts)
- Vegan Chocolate Syrup
- Vegan Caramel Syrup
- Chocolate Sprinkles
- Dairy-free Chocolate Chips
Store frosting in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. When you’re ready to use it, allow it to come to room temperature and maybe even add another teaspoon or two of plant-based milk until the spreadable consistency returns.
Perfect Cakes for Peanut Butter Frosting
Everyone loves vegan chocolate frosting. But you can change things up by using this peanut butter buttercream on these delicious goodies:
Vegan Peanut Butter Frosting
- Use a handheld or stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Cream the vegan butter on medium speed until creamy, approximately 2 minutes. Add the vegan peanut butter and mix until creamy.
- Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, mixing on low until it's incorporated between each addition.
- Add the peanut butter powder and vanilla. Mix until combined.
- Add the vegan creamer one tablespoon at a time and mix on medium-high speed until light, fluffy, and spreadable.
- Store frosting in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. When you're ready to use it, allow it to come to room temperature and maybe even add another teaspoon or two of plant-based milk until the spreadable consistency returns.
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The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.