Light and fluffy, yet decadent and rich, this Vegan Peanut Butter Frosting is the stuff dreams are made of! Super easy to make with just a handful of ingredients. Pipe it on cupcakes, spread it on cake, slather it on graham crackers, sandwich it between cookies, dunk apple slices in it, or eat it by the spoonful!
The taste and texture is just like traditional frosting, but this version is made with vegan ingredients. It’s every bit as creamy, sweet, and indulgent as frosting should be.
Ingredients you need
Ingredient notes and substitutions
Sugar ~ Just like in traditional frosting, you’ll need powdered sugar for this vegan peanut butter frosting. It’s light and airy and incorporates perfectly.
Do not sub with another type of sugar.
While all sugar is plant-based, it’s not necessarily vegan. Some brands use animal bone char to process the sugar. If this is important to you, be sure to choose organic, which is always vegan, or check the label for a certified vegan product.
Butter ~ Vegan butter sticks are the way to go. Use them cold from the fridge.
I have used sticks from Earth Balance, Miyoko’s and Country Crock Plant Butter in the past and they all work. I’m sure there are other brands available, too.
If you don’t have access to vegan butter sticks and must use spreadable butter from a tub, try to find a brand that had a very firm consistency.
Peanut butter ~ You want a creamy variety, not chunky. Chunks of peanuts will weigh the frosting down and they will get stuck in a piping tip.
Although I love natural organic peanut butter, now is not the time for it. Honestly, the only time I ever buy traditional no-stir peanut butter is for this frosting. It’s creamy and smooth and sets up perfectly.
Skippy makes a No Sugar Added variety that is just peanuts, oil, and salt. I like this because the frosting is already quite sweet (obviously – it’s frosting!).
If you truly need to be oil-free, you can use a natural peanut butter made from just peanuts and salt, but the frosting will actually turn out more oily and heavier. While it will still be delicious, it is better spread onto baked goods rather than piped on.
Milk ~ You just need a few tablespoons to thin out the consistency of the frosting. Any unsweetened, plain non-dairy variety will work.
Vanilla ~ Pure vanilla extract is always the way to go.
Salt ~ If your peanut butter has salt in it, you only need a small pinch of extra salt, about ⅛ teaspoon, to help bring out the other flavors. If you somehow find an unsalted peanut butter, add ¼ teaspoon of salt.
How to make the recipe
Add the butter and peanut butter to the bowl (1) and whisk until smooth (2).
Turn off the mixer and add the vanilla, salt, and half of the powdered sugar. Turn it on low and whisk until the sugar is mostly incorporated. Turn up the speed slowly and whisk until smooth and creamy. Repeat with the remaining sugar, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally to ensure all ingredients are fully incorporated, until light and fluffy (3).
Add milk, one tablespoon at a time, if needed, until you reach the desired fluffy consistency (4).
If the frosting is too thick, add additional milk one tablespoon at a time. If the frosting is too thin, add additional powdered sugar ¼ cup at a time.
How to serve
This vegan peanut butter frosting is the BEST complement to my Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes!
You can use a piping bag if you plan to frost cupcakes.
Pro tip: Stand the piping bag up in a tall glass and fold over the top a bit, then fill with frosting. This prevents the frosting from accidentally getting on the outside of the bag and potentially making a mess. When ready to pipe, fold the top back up and twist to secure.
If you don’t have a piping bag, any food-grade plastic bag will work. Simply snip off a small portion of the bottom corner, insert a piping tip, and fill the bag with frosting. If you don’t have a piping tip, I suggest filling the bag with frosting first and then snipping off the bottom corner. Otherwise the frosting may start squeezing out of the bag as you fill it.
You can also use an offset spatula to frost a cake or cupcakes.
Get creative and use this vegan peanut butter frosting to make a sugar cookie sandwich, slathered on graham crackers, as a dip for apple slices, stirred into homemade vegan ice cream, or just eat it by the spoonful!
Store leftover frosting in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to a week.
You can also freeze it! Transfer it to a freezer-safe plastic bag. Be sure to squeeze all the air out of the bag before sealing. It should keep well for 1 to 2 months.
Let the frosting come back to room temperature and give it a good stir before piping or spreading onto treats.
Pro tips and tricks
~ ~Use an electric stand mixer for ease and convenience. You can also use a handheld electric mixer.
~ Use powdered sugar, not cane sugar or any other kind of sugar.
~ Use traditional no-stir creamy peanut butter. Do not use chunky peanut butter. If you choose to use natural peanut butter, know that your frosting will be heavier and more oily and won’t pipe well (still delicious though!).
~ Use just enough milk to reach a light and fluffy consistency. Add just one tablespoon at a time.
~ If the frosting it too thick, add additional milk (again, just one tablespoon at a time).
~ If the frosting is too thin, add additional powdered sugar ¼ cup at a time.
For this recipe, it’s best to use traditional no-stir peanut butter, like Skippy or Jif. Natural peanut butter is too oily and heavy for frosting.
Yes! Powdered sugar, confectioner’s sugar and icing sugar are all different names for the same product.
If your frosting is too thin, add additional powdered sugar ¼ cup at a time, until the desired light and fluffy consistency is reached.
Add the powdered sugar a little at a time and mix well between each addition. Stop occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure all ingredients are incorporated fully.
More vegan peanut butter recipes
- Frozen Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pie
- Peanut Butter Pancakes
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Smoothie
- Dark Chocolate Vegan Peanut Butter Cups
- Oatmeal Peanut Butter Balls
- Peanut Butter Oatmeal
- Peanut Butter Banana Bread
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Vegan Peanut Butter Frosting
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter I prefer traditional no-stir peanut butter here instead of the natural kind that separates (see notes)
- ¾ cup vegan butter sticks 1 ½ sticks
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups organic powdered sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons unsweetened, plain non-dairy milk
- Cream together the peanut butter and butter sticks in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle or whisk attachment.
- Turn the mixer off and add the vanilla, salt, and 1 cup of the powdered sugar. Slowly turn the mixer back on. Once the sugar is mostly mixed in, turn up the speed until it's fully incorporated. Turn off the mixer and add the remaining powdered sugar. Again, turn the mixer on slowly, allow the sugar to mostly incorporate before turning up the speed and mixing until smooth and creamy.
- Whisk in the milk one tablespoon at a time, if needed, until the frosting is light and fluffy.
Serving Serving amounts will vary depending on application. You should have enough frosting for 12-18 cupcakes if you pipe it on fairly high. If you frost them with a spatula, you should have enough for 24 cupcakes. Spread thinly with an offset spatula, you should be able to frost two 9-inch round cakes or one 9 x 13 cake..
Storage/Freezing Store leftover frosting in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to a week. You can also freeze it! Transfer it to a freezer-safe plastic bag. Be sure to squeeze all the air out of the bag before sealing. It should keep well for up to a month.