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Small Batch Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting

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This small batch chocolate peanut butter frosting is your favorite peanut butter cup candy in frosting form!  Smooth and creamy chocolate buttercream combines with creamy peanut butter for a decadent frosting that is perfect to top your favorite small batch of cupcakes.

Large scoop of peanut butter chocolate frosting on a cupcake and topped with peanut butter cup candy.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting

Every delicious small batch cupcake deserves a delicious frosting.  What you will find spectacular about this chocolate peanut butter frosting is it tastes just like your favorite Reese’s peanut butter cup candy!

At the base of the frosting is a creamy vanilla buttercream.  Cocoa powder and creamy peanut butter are added to give you the eat-from-the-spoon buttercream frosting.  The frosting is incredibly smooth, and fudgy, and has the perfect balance of chocolate and peanut butter

What you decide to use the frosting on is entirely up to you!  A tender and moist peanut butter cupcake comes to mind first.  But you can go so far as to sandwich the frosting between two peanut butter cookies or spread liberally on your favorite vanilla celebration 6-inch cake.

Scoop of chocolate peanut butter buttercream frosting on top of a cupcake.

Easy Ingredients Frosting Ingredients

Ingredients for creamy cocoa frosting in small bowls on a table.
  • Unsalted Butter – For successful buttercream frosting, the butter needs to be room temperature – which means it will still feel cool to the touch, but leave an impression when poked with your finger.
  • Powdered Sugar – I recommend sifting the powdered sugar to remove any lumps.  This will also help to make a super smooth frosting.
  • Creamy Peanut Butter – The peanut butter needs to be a regular creamy peanut butter, like Jif or Skippy.  Natural peanut butter (that has a visible oil layer) will not work.  It will make the chocolate frosting oil and separate.
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – Sift the cocoa powder as well to remove lumps.  Dutch process or natural cocoa powder will work.
  • Heavy Cream or Milk – I prefer heavy cream for a creamier frosting.  Though whole or 2% milk will also work.
  • Vanilla Extract – For a little extra flavor in the chocolate peanut butter frosting!
  • Salt – A little salt will balance and enhance all the flavors in the frosting.

How To Make This Fudgy Peanut Butter Frosting

 1.  Cream the butter – Add the butter to your mixing bowl.  Use the paddle attachment to beat the butter until it is creamy and smooth.

2.  Sift the powdered sugar into a small bowl – This will remove any lumps and will make the frosting super smooth before you add it to your butter.

3.  Add the powdered sugar and salt to the creamed butter – You will probably want to start the mixer on a lower speed to get the powdered sugar combined so it doesn’t spray everywhere!

4.  Beat the frosting on medium-high for about 2 minutes – Until the frosting becomes velvety smooth.  This is the point where I can’t resist ‘taste-testing’ the frosting over and over because it is that good! 🙂

5.  Add the peanut butter, cocoa, and vanilla to the frosting – I recommend sifting the cocoa powder into the frosting as well to remove any lumps.  You can do this by placing a small mesh strainer over your mixing bowl.

6.  Beat the frosting on medium-high for 3 to 5 minutes – The frosting will start to get creamy and light.  As you’re mixing, you can add a little more cream or powdered sugar to get your desired consistency.  The frosting is ready to be used immediately.

Ice cream scoops of chocolate peanut butter buttercream frosting on a small plate.

Chocolate Frosting Tips

  • Don’t let the butter get too warm – I’m guilty of it – letting the butter get too warm.  The result can be a soupy, oily frosting.  The butter should still feel cool to the touch when you press it.
  • Sift the powdered sugar – You’ll be surprised how smooth the chocolate frosting consistency is when you sift the powdered sugar.  It makes it extra fine and removes lumps.
  • Sift the cocoa powder – Same result here as with the sugar – sift the cocoa powder to remove lumps.
  • Use regular creamy peanut butter – Trust me, I have tested this chocolate peanut butter frosting with natural peanut butter – the kind you have to stir.  And the result was an oily, separated frosting mess.  Use regular creamy peanut butter for the best results.
  • Beat for longer than you think – The frosting will appear to come together quickly.  But giving it at least a full 3 minutes will incorporate more air into the frosting, making it extra light and fluffy.
Pretty cupcake with large dollop of chocolate peanut butter frosting on top.

FAQ – Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting

How many cupcakes/cakes will this frost?

This is a small batch recipe. You will easily have enough to frost 4 to 6 cupcakes, or a single layer cake.

Is Dutch-process or natural cocoa better for chocolate frosting?

Because this is a frosting, it is entirely up to you. I prefer Dutch cocoa because I don’t find it as acidic as natural, and it has a more robust cocoa flavor.

Is chocolate peanut butter frosting gluten free?

It is. But I always recommend double-checking the ingredients in the products you use. Additionally, if you choose to decorate with peanut butter cup candies, know that some are not gluten free.

Can the chocolate peanut butter frosting sit at room temperature?

The frosting will be fine at room temp for about 6 to 8 hours. Beyond that, I recommend refrigerating it. The peanut butter will start to loosen the frosting if it sits out too long.

Can I freeze the frosting?

You can! Place it in a freezer-safe covered container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator, then bring to room temp to serve. Add a splash of cream and give it a mix to loosen when ready to use.

Single peanut butter cupcake with creamy chocolate peanut butter frosting scoop on top.
Large scoop of peanut butter chocolate frosting on a cupcake and topped with peanut butter cup candy.
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5 from 1 review

Small Batch Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting

Yield: 6 Servings
This small batch chocolate peanut butter frosting is your favorite peanut butter cup candy in frosting form!  Smooth and creamy chocolate buttercream combines with creamy peanut butter for a decadent frosting that is perfect to crown your favorite small batch of cupcakes.
Prep15 minutes
Total15 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (sift for best results)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons heavy cream (or milk)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (Dutch or natural)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons creamy peanut butter (regular, not natural)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • In a medium mixing bowl, add the butter. Using a hand held mixer with beater attachments, beat the butter on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy – about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar, salt, and 1 tablespoon of cream. Beat on medium speed until combined and the frosting is smooth and creamy – about 1 minute. Tip – See Notes for how to use your stand mixer. I also recommend sifting the powdered sugar into a small mixing bowl before adding it to remove any lumps and for a smooth frosting.
    3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Add the cocoa powder, peanut butter, and vanilla. Continue to mix for about 3 to 5 minutes – the frosting will start to get fluffy and light. At this point, you can add a little more cream or powdered sugar to get your desired frosting consistency. I prefer my frosting lighter, so I add the second tablespoon of cream.
    1 ½ tablespoons creamy peanut butter, 1 to 2 tablespoons heavy cream, 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 pinch salt
  • The frosting is ready to use immediately, or can be stored in a covered container and refrigerated for up to 1 week. If refrigerating, bring the frosting to room temperature to use. I also recommend giving it another splash of cream and mix to lighten and loosen.
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RECIPE NOTES

  • Serving Size – This is a small batch recipe that can easily be doubled.
  • Yield – As written, the recipe will make enough frosting for 4 to 6 cupcakes (depending on how much frosting you like), or a small 6-inch cake.
  • Stand Mixer – You can use your standard tilt-head stand mixer and attachments with a small 3 quart mixing bowl.  Note that when creaming the butter, you will want to scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Even though it is a smaller bowl, the butter may want to stick to the sides.
  • Cream or Milk – I prefer heavy cream in the frosting to make it extra creamy.  However, milk will also work.
  • Sift the Powdered Sugar – I recommend sifting the powdered sugar to remove lumps and make a smooth and creamy frosting.  
  • Frosting Consistency – I prefer a lighter, fluffier frosting.  I usually add an extra splash or two of cream to make the frosting lighter.  Otherwise, as written, the frosting will be sturdy and easily piped.  Feel free to add more powdered sugar if you like a super-thick frosting.
  • Mix Time – After adding all the ingredients, you will want to mix the frosting for at least 3 to 5 minutes to achieve a light and fluffy frosting.  This is where using your stand mixer comes in handy!
  • Storage – The frosting is room temperature stable for up to 8 hours.  Beyond that, and I recommend refrigerating as the peanut butter can may it loosen.  If you are not using the frosting right away, I recommend refrigerating it in a covered container for up to 1 week.  When ready to use, bring to room temp and mix it again to get it fluffy.  You can also add another splash of cream to loosen.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Erin Cernich

NUTRITION ESTIMATES

Calories: 174kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 27mg | Potassium: 55mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 248IU | Vitamin C: 0.03mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 0.3mg
Nutrition information is calculated by a third-party and should only be considered an estimate and not a guarantee.
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I'm Erin and I'm all about desserts - and a little bit of butter!

I've tested, written, and photographed hundreds of recipes on my website. Here you'll find the tastiest small batch desserts - all homemade, all simple, and all for you! Click here to learn more about me!

5 from 1 vote

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