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Strawberry pretzel dessert

Looking for a potluck-perfect dessert that will get gobbled up by a hungry crowd? This strawberry pretzel dessert, inspired by Sugar Apron, will have your family and friends talking long after the dish is scraped clean.

Pretzels in a dessert, you ask? Absolutely! The crunchy, sweet and slightly salty pretzel crust makes a tasty foundation for cream cheese filling and a strawberry-studded gelatin topping. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it! If you’ve never had this retro-inspired dessert, you’re going to want to make it for weekend potlucks, summer holiday barbecues and everyday family meals.

ALSO TRY: No-bake Key lime pie in a jar

This dessert has some history. Originally, this retro recipe was known as the strawberry pretzel salad, and was first published in the 1960s cookbook, The Joys of Jell-O. Once you dig into the scrumptiously sweet layers of gelatin, cream cheese, and pretzels, you’ll understand why it has been updated from “salad” status to a first-class dessert favorite. Regardless of its moniker, the strawberry pretzel dessert is a must-make summer treat.

MORE: Strawberry basil kombucha waffles are brunch perfection for special occasions

Mix together pretzels, sugar and butter

Crush two cups of your most-munched brand of pretzels (we suggest lightly salted pretzels) and combine them with sugar and melted butter.

Using your finger pack pretzel mixture into baking dish

Press this mixture into the bottom of a large baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes, just until the pretzel crust is toasty. Set the crust aside to cool while you make the filling.

Mix sugar, cream cheese and whipped topping

Use a hand-mixer to beat the sugar and cream cheese until smooth. Gently fold in the whipped topping until it is fully incorporated into the sweetened cream cheese.

Spread cream cheese mixture evenly on pretzel crust

Spread cream cheese filling evenly over the top of the pretzel crust. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until the cream cheese layer is set.

Pour strawberry jello into mixing bowl

The strawberry powder is so pretty, and an essential part of this delicious dessert.

Add hot water to jello powder and whisk till dissolved

Whisk together strawberry gelatin mix with boiling water to dissolve the gelatin granules.

Add strawberries to the jello mixture

Stir in the fresh strawberries and refrigerate mixture for about five minutes.

Pour strawberry mixture on top of cream cheese

Carefully pour the strawberry gelatin mixture over the cream cheese filling; be careful not to splash any of the goodness out of the pan. Place dish in the refrigerator for at least one hour or until it is completely chilled.

This strawberry pretzel salad dish is so beautiful

Use a sharp knife to cut your dessert into evenly-sized squares and use a small spatula to transfer squares to dessert plates.

MORE: A beautiful cheese tart with strawberry glaze makes for a gorgeous dessert

Grab a fork and dig in!

Patience is essential to the success of your strawberry pretzel dessert. If you wait until it is fully set up, you will be able to neatly cut and serve impressively layered squares of yum! The delectable contrast in colors and textures makes the strawberry pretzel dessert the go-to treat for every gathering.

Strawberry pretzel dessert

Yield 16-20 servings



  • 2 cups pretzels, crushed
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 8 ounces whipped topping


  • 3 ounces strawberry-flavored gelatin
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 10 ounces fresh strawberries, sliced


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the pretzels, sugar and melted butter. Mix well.
  3. Press this mixture into the bottom of a 9x13-inch pan.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes, or until pretzel layer is lightly toasted. Set aside to cool.
  5. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the sugar and cream cheese. Using a hand mixer, beat until smooth.
  6. Fold in the whipped topping until well-combined.
  7. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over the cooled pretzel layer.
  8. Refrigerate until cream cheese mixture is set, about 30 minutes.
  9. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the strawberry gelatin mixture and boiling water.
  10. Mix in strawberries and refrigerate for five minutes.
  11. Pour gelatin mixture over the cooled cream cheese layer.
  12. Refrigerate until completely chilled, at least one hour.
  13. Cut dessert into squares and serve.

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