Why It Works
- Commercial peanut butter emulsifies with butter particularly well, so the frosting whips up creamy and light.
- Invert sugars, like honey and corn syrup, cut down on the need for powdered sugar, for a smoother, silkier frosting.
- Made from raw cane, organic powdered sugar tastes more complex than its conventional counterpart, making the frosting seem less sweet.
Ready in under 10 minutes, this salty-sweet frosting is perfect for spur-of-the-moment desserts. With it, you can turn a batch of fresh banana muffins into cupcakes, make snack-time sandwiches with graham crackers, or whip up a simple topping for brownies. While honey's a natural match for peanut butter, don't hesitate to try maple syrup or molasses instead; any sticky syrup will do—even Homemade Caramel, if you happen to have a batch on hand.
- 4 ounces unsalted butter (1 stick; 110g), soft but cool (about 65°F)
- 4 1/2 ounces commercial creamy peanut butter (1/2 cup; 125g) (see note)
- 1 ounce honey, corn syrup, or maple syrup (2 tablespoons; 30g)
- 1/4 teaspoon (1g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use half as much by volume or use the same weight
- 1 teaspoon (5g) vanilla extract, plus more if needed
- 6 ounces powdered sugar (1 1/2 cups; 170g), preferably organic (see note)
Combine butter, peanut butter, honey, salt, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until creamy and pale, about 3 minutes, then reduce speed to low and sprinkle in powdered sugar, a little at a time. After the last addition, increase speed to medium and continue beating until creamy and light, about 3 minutes. Scrape bowl and beater with a flexible spatula, then continue beating a minute more. If you like, adjust to taste with more vanilla or salt. Use immediately. Frosted desserts will keep up to 1 week at room temperature.
Stand mixer with paddle attachment
Organic powdered sugars are typically made with tapioca starch instead of cornstarch, which gives them a smoother texture. Any powdered sugar made with tapioca starch will work in this recipe. Regular powdered sugar will work, too, but will produce a slightly grittier frosting.
This frosting tastes great when made with natural or fresh-ground peanut butter, but it may have a somewhat curdled appearance compared to frosting made from commercially homogenized peanut butter.