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Peanut Butter Brown Sugar Buttercream

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Creamy peanut butter buttercream with a hint of brown sugar is perfectly fluffy and delicious. Pipe it on your favorite cake or cupcakes for an extra special treat.

Swirl of peanut butter brown sugar buttercream.

Silky smooth and perfect for piping, this peanut butter frosting dances between sweet and slightly salty.  As if the peanut butter flavor wasn’t enough, there is a bit of brown sugar mixed it to enhance that warm and nutty flavor. 

It is perfect to pair with chocolate cupcakes, banana cake or a spoon!

We all know frosting is a weakness of mine. a BIG weakness.  It is so easy to make, fun to play with and delicious to eat!

mixer bowl full of peanut butter and brown sugar buttercream frosting.

I have been wanting to make a peanut butter buttercream to share with you, so when I whipped up some banana cupcakes it seemed like the perfect excuse to finally follow through. Banana and peanut butter are such a perfect pairing.

I had the basic idea of where I was going in my head.  An American buttercream is always the easiest to make and super adaptable.

mixer paddle full of peanut butter brown sugar buttercream frosting.

Using some peanut butter in place of some of the butter is a simple swap and the powdered sugar could help make up for the texture difference.  So there is almost no way to go wrong.

But the container of brown sugar was calling my name.  Something about the pairing of brown sugar with the peanut butter just seemed like it was meant to be.

cooling rack full of banana cupcakes with swirls of peanut butter buttercream.

I added just enough to give the frosting some depth of flavor but I didn’t want the final texture to be too grainy, so I did limit how much I added.  Be sure to give it a nice good beating after you add the brown sugar so that it can dissolve into the butter and peanut butter mixture before you add the powdered sugar.

After that you just follow the basic American buttercream steps, add powdered sugar and a bit of vanilla.  Add milk or cream until your desired texture and whip it really well to get it light and fluffy.

If you are curious about the various types of frosting and different styles of buttercream, check out my Frosting 101 Guide.

Tips for making delicious peanut butter buttercream:

Use commercial peanut butter, not the natural kinds that separate.  The emulsified peanut butters are less likely to ooze oil later.

I highly recommend creamy peanut butter if you plan to do any piping or decorating. 

Feel free to try crunchy peanut butter if you are spreading the frosting over your cake or cupcake and you aren’t worried about a smooth finish.

banana cupcake with swirl of fluffy peanut butter and brown sugar buttercream and a slice of banana on top.

Adjust the amount of salt you add to your liking.  I added a bit more than I usually would for a frosting to play up that sweet and savory peanut flavor.

Extra frosting can be stored in an airtight container on the counter for a few days, or in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. Just bring allow chilled frosting to soften a bit and rewhip before using.

You can always adjust the final consistency of your frosting with a bit of extra milk or powdered sugar. Just be sure to add the milk slowly, it doesn’t take much and you can’t take it back out!

(You can always add more sugar, but it takes a lot and the frosting can get overly sweet quickly.) 

If you like peanut butter frostings, you can try my peanut butter cream cheese frosting as well. Or check out my collection of frosting recipes for more buttercream inspiration!

Swirl of peanut butter brown sugar buttercream.

Peanut Butter and Brown Sugar Buttercream

Servings: 24 Servings
Author: Carlee
Creamy peanut buttercream with a hint of brown sugar is perfectly fluffy and delicious. Pipe it on your favorite cake or cupcakes for an extra special treat.
5 from 14 ratings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 1 cup butter softened
  • cups peanut butter
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar packed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons milk or cream


  • Beat together butter and peanut butter until completely smooth.
    1 cup butter, ⅔ cups peanut butter
  • Add brown sugar, salt, vanilla and 2 Tablespoons of milk. Beat on medium speed for at least 2 minutes.
    ¼ cup light brown sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 3 Tablespoons milk
  • Add powdered sugar and beat for another 2 minutes.  Add more milk as necessary to get your desired final consistency. 
    4 cups powdered sugar


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 195kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 2gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 142mgSugar: 20g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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5 from 14 votes (14 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating


Wednesday 4th of January 2023

It taste gritty from the brown sugar...great flavor though


Wednesday 4th of January 2023

I am glad you liked the flavor. You can always add a bit more liquid or try mixing it more if it feels a little gritty. That will give the sugar more of a chance to dissolve.

Sandy Wilkinson

Friday 30th of July 2021

Could you swap shortening for half of the butter to make it more stable in warm weather?


Friday 30th of July 2021

Yes, that should work well!

Leanne | Crumb Top Baking

Tuesday 6th of August 2019

I don't often eat buttercream frosting, but I have a real weakness for it! I also adore anything peanut butter, so this is the perfect frosting for me!

Amy (Savory Moments)

Friday 2nd of August 2019

This looks delicious! I'm not the greatest cake/frosting person, but I just made two homemade frostings for my twins' birthday and loved it. A blueberry and strawberry buttercream using freeze dried fruit! I'm inspired now to try more recipes like this in the future.


Monday 5th of August 2019

Freeze dried fruit is perfect for frosting! More frosting is always a good idea!


Friday 2nd of August 2019

I could definitely eat this all by itself


Monday 5th of August 2019

Me too!