Filed Under: Dessert | Savory | Snack

Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites

By Tessa Arias
  |  
January 1st, 2022
4.96 from 93 votes
4.96 from 93 votes

These Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites are so easy to make and are even better than the mall pretzels! Soft and fluffy buttery pretzel bites coated in delicious cinnamon sugar. Dunk in cream cheese frosting and enjoy.

Yield: 80 pretzel bites

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook: 16 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste:  Just like those famous mall pretzels but BETTER!
Texture:  Crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy inside.
Ease: Definitely more of a relaxing afternoon type of baking project, but absolutely achievable.
Appearance: Sparkly and adorable.
Pros:  Nostalgia in each bite.
Cons:  None!

My life from the ages of 13 to 15 was spent mostly walking in circles around the mall with my friends.

The aroma of Auntie Anne’s or Wetzel’s Pretzels was the primary scent of my early teenage years. Of all the mall pretzels, the cinnamon sugar ones were my favorite. Especially if they came with a little tub of that sweet dipping sauce.

Since this month is basically Pretzel Month here at Handle the Heat, it only seemed fitting to publish a copycat mall cinnamon sugar pretzel recipe that transports you back in time.

Unlike my classic Pretzel Recipe, these are quicker and easier to make and bake. They’re perfect for dessert or a sweet snack. Perfectly crisp on the outside but fluffy inside, each bite is delightful.

Tips for Homemade Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites

How to Make Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites:

  1. Make the pretzel dough: You only need a few basic ingredients, and luckily your stand mixer will do most of the work for you. After kneading the pretzel dough in your mixer, you’ll let the dough rise until it’s just about doubled in size.
  2. Shape the pretzel bites: Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces, then roll each piece into about a 20-inch long log. Next, use a bench cutter to portion about thirteen 1 1/2-inch pieces from each log.
  3. Prepare the baking soda bath: This gives the pretzels their distinct pretzel taste and crust. Bring water to a boil, add baking soda, and dunk pretzel bites in for 30 seconds at a time. Then transfer the pretzel bites to parchment-lined baking sheets.
  4. Bake the pretzel bites: Bake until golden brown.
  5. Coat the pretzels in cinnamon sugar: a hefty pour of melted butter and a generous coating of cinnamon sugar finishes these babies off to perfection.

Instead of boiling the dough pieces in the baking soda water, we dissolve the baking soda in boiling water. Then let the pretzels have a dip in their little jacuzzi. This helps protect the bites from getting too wrinkled and pruny and makes the recipe that much easier to follow.

Can I Use Active Dry Yeast Instead of Instant Yeast in Pretzel Bites? What’s the Difference?

Yes! Either will work. Just note active dry may require the dough to rise for a longer amount of time. To speed that up a little, sprinkle the active dry yeast over the warm water called for in the recipe and let sit for 5 minutes. This will activate the yeast more quickly but is optional. If using instant yeast, just add in directly with the other dough ingredients.

Check out my full Active Dry Yeast vs. Instant Yeast article here.

Can I Use This Recipe to Make Regular Sized Pretzels Instead of Pretzel Bites?

Yes. Follow the shaping instructions in my classic Pretzel Recipe here and bake for about 16 minutes.

However, I will say the taste and texture of this recipe is much better as a bite in my opinion. When I baked these as regular pretzels, there wasn’t enough cinnamon sugar coating in each bite and they didn’t have the same contrast of textures.

Can I Use a Lye Bath with This Recipe?

Though I highly recommend using a lye bath for my classic Pretzel Recipe mentioned above, these Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites were not designed to use a lye bath. The baking soda gets that soft texture more similar to the mall-style pretzels.

What to Serve with Pretzel Bites:

I’ve included my super easy Cream Cheese Frosting recipe below, which complements the cinnamon sugar pretzel bites perfectly.

You could even put some of the pretzel bites in a bowl and top with vanilla ice cream or Salted Caramel Sauce for an extra decadent dessert.

How to Store Cinnamon Pretzel Bites:

Once the baked pretzels are tossed with the butter and cinnamon sugar, they really are best served immediately.

Can You Freeze Pretzel Bites?

Yes! You can freeze the baked but uncoated pretzels in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months.

To reheat frozen pretzel bites, thaw to room temperature, then refresh in a 350°F oven for 5 minutes before coating as the recipe instructs.

More Soft Pretzel Recipes You’ll Love:

4.96 from 93 votes

How to make
Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites

Yield: 80 pretzel bites
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 16 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 1 minute
These Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites are so easy to make and are even better than the mall pretzels! Soft and fluffy buttery pretzel bites coated in delicious cinnamon sugar. Dunk in cream cheese frosting and enjoy.

Ingredients

For the pretzels:

  • 1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
  • 3 tablespoons (25 grams) brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (about 110°F)
  • 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 4 1/4 cups (540 grams) all-purpose flour

For baking soda bath:

  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 cup baking soda

For the cinnamon sugar coating:

  • 4 tablespoons (57 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 4 ounces (113 grams) cream cheese, completely softened to room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons (57 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon cream or milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (125 grams) powdered sugar

Directions

Make the dough:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine all of the dough ingredients. Mix on low speed until combined.
  2. Increase speed to medium and knead for 7 to 10 minutes until the dough is elastic and smooth and doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl or your hands, adding more flour if needed.
  3. Place in a greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise until about doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Spray with nonstick cooking spray or grease with butter.

Shape the pretzels:

  1. Remove the dough to a clean work surface. Divide into 6 equal pieces. Roll each piece against the counter or between your palms into about a 20-inch long log. Keep the remaining pieces covered. Only add flour to your work surface or dough if absolutely necessary.
  2. Using a bench cutter, cut about thirteen 1 1/2-inch pieces from each log. Be sure to not cut these too big, they will puff up in the oven! Place on two greased parchment lined baking sheets.

Prepare the baking soda bath:

  1. Bring the water to a boil (I like to use an electric kettle). Carefully pour the water into a large bowl (I use the bowl the dough rose in) and add in the baking soda. Stir with a wooden spoon to dissolve.
  2. Dunk the pretzels bites in the baking soda solution, starting with the ones you shaped first, for no more than thirty seconds before gently removing with a slotted spoon back to the greased and lined baking sheets, spacing them out at least half an inch apart.

Bake the pretzels:

  1. Bake both trays at 400°F for about 12 to 15 minutes, alternating the trays half through the baking time for even baking, until golden brown to your preference.
  2. Let cool for 5 minutes before peeling away from the parchment paper.

Coat with cinnamon sugar:

  1. Place the cooked pretzels in a large sealable container. Toss with the melted butter. Add the cinnamon and sugar and toss to combine.

Make the cream cheese dip:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, butter, cream or milk, and vanilla on medium-high speed until very light, creamy, and smooth, about three minutes. On low speed, gradually add in the sugar and beat until fluffy.

  2. Coated pretzels are best served soon after making. Alternatively, you can freeze the baked uncoated pretzels. Thaw to room temperature, then refresh in a 350°F oven for 5 minutes before coating as the recipe instructs.

Course : Dessert, Snack
Cuisine : American
Keyword : cinnamon sugar pretzel bites

Photos by Ashley McLaughlin

January 2022 Baking Challenge

This recipe was the January 2022 selection for our monthly baking challenge! Every month you can join the challenge by baking the recipe and snapping a photo for a chance to win prizes! Full challenge details here. Check out everyone’s pretzels:

Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Find Tessa on  

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Recipe Rating




  1. #
    Tintin M. — April 10, 2022 at 8:23 am

    I made a savoury version today and they are super yum! Right after the “bath” I sprinkled some dried rosemary, black and white sesame seeds, poppy seeds and some japanese spices on the dough bites for an assorted savoury finish! Made a four cheese blend, baked in the oven for an easy dip, they are simply delicious! Loved every bite that’s crunchy on the outside, soft and chewy inside. Can’t wait to bake another batch!

  2. #
    Ana — March 25, 2022 at 1:51 pm

    These pretzel bites were so good to make! They do make quite a fair amount so we are giving a lot of way, but that is actually a good problem to have. They’re super delicious and thanks for the recipe!

  3. #
    Donna — February 15, 2022 at 4:59 pm

    Sayonara mall pretzel shop & pizza chain! My daughter & I made these pretzel bites today, 1/2 cinnamon sugar & 1/2 garlic Parmesan (your recipe). Amazing! Super easy, fun & delicious!

    • #
      Emily — February 16, 2022 at 9:42 am

      Woohoo!! So happy you both loved this recipe!

  4. #
    Kathy Darling — January 31, 2022 at 11:29 pm

    These Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites were super easy to make and fun! I brought them to friends house for dinner and they were a big hit!

  5. #
    Denise — January 31, 2022 at 4:04 pm

    I made the cinnamon sugar pretzel bites for the January baking challenge. So yummy I couldn’t stop eating them.

  6. #
    Collette Ricks — January 31, 2022 at 3:21 pm

    These Pretzel bites are delicious!!!! I didn’t have a bench scraper, so I used the edge of a sharp spatula. I thought the directions were easy to follow and helped set me up for success! Delicious success! 🙂

  7. #
    Morgan — January 31, 2022 at 12:04 pm

    Loved these! I ended up doubling the frosting, but that’s only because I’m a frosting fiend!

    • #
      Emily — February 1, 2022 at 9:46 am

      ha, love it! Glad you enjoyed them 🙂

  8. #
    Danielle Flynn — January 31, 2022 at 10:59 am

    These were sooo tasty for a dessert treat! I had a little bit of a hard time cutting the dough with the bench scraper so they were not all shaped wel but they were delicious.

  9. #
    Madison L — January 31, 2022 at 8:52 am

    Oh man, these are super easy and taste absolutely delicious! Definitely a family favorite.

  10. #
    Husna Zak — January 31, 2022 at 6:41 am

    This was the PERFECT pretzel recipe!! It was chewy and soft in the inside, and had the perfect texture!!

  11. #
    Fithria — January 31, 2022 at 2:43 am

    Nice to snack on

  12. #
    Joanne johnsen — January 30, 2022 at 5:49 pm

    My favorite of the two that I made. I love sweet. The dough was not as springy and much easier to handle. Very tasty.

  13. #
    Taylor Flowers — January 30, 2022 at 2:25 pm

    I haven’t even made the frosting yet but the bites themselves are delicious! Just make sure to keep a close eye on them in the oven, they burn quick.

  14. #
    Shimada — January 30, 2022 at 12:11 pm

    These were delicious, and so easy to make!

  15. #
    Ashlee Lensmyer — January 29, 2022 at 8:30 pm

    These are dangerously good! And way too easy! My husband and I were eating them as I was putting them on the plate. Absolutely love these!

  16. #
    Nina Arredondo — January 29, 2022 at 8:27 pm

    This recipe is amazingly easy! It’s delicious! I’m so happy i tried this recipe! I’m definitely going to make these over and over. My husband loved these and will be sharing these with my best friend, she always looks forward to trying any sweet treats i make! Thank you for this amazing recipe! I also want to make the garlic parmesan pretzels! I already know they will be great!

    • #
      Emily — February 1, 2022 at 9:33 am

      Wonderful! So happy you both loved this recipe!

  17. #
    Heidi Bee — January 29, 2022 at 7:48 pm

    Terrific very clear recipe. They are so delicious, my kids devoured them!!

  18. #
    Amy Hoffman — January 29, 2022 at 5:32 pm

    I loved these pretzel bites! The recipe was easy to follow & well written. I loved the optional dip too! I can’t wait to make these again!

  19. #
    Cassie — January 29, 2022 at 5:19 pm

    Fun, easy recipe! Don’t need to head to the mall for these anymore!

  20. #
    Ruth Edmondson — January 29, 2022 at 5:13 pm

    Super delicious and super easy to make! It will definitely be a new favorite!

  21. #
    Ruth Edmondson — January 29, 2022 at 5:11 pm

    These are super addicting! AND super easy to make! It will definitely be a new favorite snack. I didn’t get a chance to make the frosting, but they were still tasty!

  22. #
    Jessica — January 29, 2022 at 4:57 pm

    I absolutely love the cinnamon sugar pretzel bites. They’re not too sweet but just right and soft and chewy. Probably a bit bigger than a bite but that is my fault as I made them a bit bigger than they should have been by making 60 of them instead of 80. They really are excellent.

  23. #
    Renee Meaux — January 29, 2022 at 1:31 pm

    Super simple and super worth it! My kids loved them!

  24. #
    Sarah Bomberger — January 29, 2022 at 12:21 pm

    Delicious and surprisingly easy! The only drawback was that it’s such a large batch to be eaten very quickly. I may try doing just half next time or at least saving these as a party snack. Very yummy though!

    • #
      Emily — February 1, 2022 at 8:35 am

      Glad you enjoyed them! These freeze beautifully (perfect for weeknight cravings)! Check out more details in the pink box above the recipe 🙂

  25. #
    Tess — January 29, 2022 at 11:17 am

    Delicious, easy snack to have on hand!

  26. #
    Suzanne Holup — January 29, 2022 at 7:46 am

    My first batch was delicious! The recipe is easy too. However subsequent batches I believe I left in the baking soda bath too long and they came out having a “metallic/bitter” taste. I will try this recipe again.

  27. #
    Suzanne Holup — January 29, 2022 at 12:56 am

    It’s a wonderful recipe as I know since my classic pretzels turned out fabulous, It was very easy to make as well. However my first batch tasted the best. Subsequent batches seemed to taste very “yeasty”. Not sure why, but I didn’t know how to keep the baking soda bath hot enough throughout the process, so after the first couple batches I heated the mixture over the stove to keep it hot for dipping like the method for classic pretzels. Not sure if that is where I went wrong?

    • #
      Emily — February 2, 2022 at 3:09 pm

      hmmm so interesting that your first batch turned out great, whereas the other batches tasted more yeasty! I’d definitely make sure you’re measuring the yeast and sugar properly. Too much sugar can result in the yeast growing too fast, but also too much yeast would result in a dough with that unpleasant yeasty taste. Did you notice your pretzels tasting more like baking soda than yeast? If so, it’s possible they were left too long in the baking soda bath for those subsequent batches. I definitely hope you give these another try, especially since your first batch turned out perfectly! Let me know how your next batch goes. Good luck!

  28. #
    Emily — January 28, 2022 at 5:30 pm

    Easy and delicious! I made them for my family, with rave reviews!

  29. #
    Risa Nash — January 28, 2022 at 12:03 pm

    Just popped one I my mouth warm and soft. The Cinnamon and Sugar combined with the butter is beyond yummy. Recipe easy to follow and they came out exactly as I had anticipated. Warming treat on an extremely cold January day in Toronto.

    • #
      Emily — January 28, 2022 at 3:36 pm

      Yay! So happy to hear that, Risa! Have a wonderful weekend 🙂

  30. #
    E — January 28, 2022 at 9:14 am

    My first yeast dough and it was a success. Your tips and directions were so helpful along with the video. Thank you for such a fantastic recipe!

    • #
      Emily — January 28, 2022 at 9:29 am

      Yay! So happy to hear that, thanks for trying our recipe!

  31. #
    Amy — January 27, 2022 at 11:43 am

    These were so easy to make and absolutely delicious! They look amazing, taste even better, and I felt like the best mom ever when my kids came home to these as their after school snack. We will definitely be making these again. I’d love to try them topped with butter and salt or with a mustard dipping sauce.

    • #
      Emily — January 28, 2022 at 9:08 am

      Aw yay!! So glad your kids loved them!

  32. #
    Sabrina Ferras — January 26, 2022 at 4:08 pm

    They were really good! I will make again to perfect my skill.

  33. #
    Robin Michaels — January 26, 2022 at 3:34 pm

    These are delicious!!!!! So tasty! Easy to make! Great for parties!

  34. #
    Cali — January 26, 2022 at 4:09 am

    These are so amazing! They were eaten so quickly!! My favourite part was the baking soda bath. I had no idea what I was doing but it was pretty fun. Love this recipe. Super addictive.

    • #
      Emily — January 26, 2022 at 7:46 am

      Way to try something new! So glad you enjoyed the process of making these as well as the end result! 🙂

  35. #
    Shannon Dopko — January 25, 2022 at 9:53 pm

    WOW!!! These were wonderful!! Crispy on the outside and tender and perfect texture inside. They didn’t last long with the family!!
    I’ve never had luck with pretzels before until now!
    I’ve also made the garlic Parmesan pretzels and they were a huge hit as well!

    • #
      Emily — January 26, 2022 at 7:45 am

      So glad this recipe was easy to follow and that you enjoyed them!

  36. #
    Nikki Bennett — January 25, 2022 at 5:23 pm

    These were a hit and not very hard!

  37. #
    Karen VandenBos — January 25, 2022 at 12:58 pm

    These were fun to make and delicious!

  38. #
    Ally — January 24, 2022 at 2:00 pm

    These were easy to make and so delicious! We made the frosting to go with them and they were gobbled down in record time.

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