Filed Under: Dessert | Snack

Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites

By Tessa Arias
  |  
January 1st, 2022
5 from 36 votes
5 from 36 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.

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:

January 2022 Baking Challenge

This recipe is one of the current picks for our monthly baking challenge! Join the challenge by baking the recipe and snapping a photo for a chance to win prizes!

January 2022 Baking Challenge
5 from 36 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

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!)

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Recipe Rating




  1. #
    Jim J — January 20, 2022 at 2:24 pm

    When it comes to measuring water should you use a measuring cup are weight it on scale. If a scale should you use ounce, fluid ounces, ml or grams for the weight?

    • #
      Emily — January 21, 2022 at 9:51 am

      Hi Jim! Not everyone agrees with this, but Tessa prefers using liquid measuring cups when measuring liquids, though she uses a digital scale for everything else. With a liquid, you can’t compact too much into a measuring cup, and it’s easy to tell when to stop pouring once you’ve reached the line. I hope that helps!

  2. #
    Clara Lawson — January 20, 2022 at 8:45 am

    this was my first time making pretzels and i loved it! everyone else loved it too- i used a baking soda bath and they look great 🙂 thank you!

    • #
      Emily — January 20, 2022 at 12:10 pm

      Happy to hear your first time making pretzels was a success!

  3. #
    Carla — January 19, 2022 at 8:44 am

    Delicious! My kids loved these and so did I. Will definitely make them again.

  4. #
    Miriam Rose Blanar — January 18, 2022 at 2:34 pm

    Very good!

  5. #
    Diana — January 18, 2022 at 11:37 am

    These are delicious and I seriously can’t stop eating them

  6. #
    Kim — January 17, 2022 at 5:27 pm

    I loved these. We had to freeze half the batch because it made so many.

  7. #
    Vanessa Roshong — January 17, 2022 at 2:06 pm

    So good and easy to make. Couldn’t stop eating them!

  8. #
    Kiersten — January 17, 2022 at 12:09 pm

    This recipe is delicious and rewarding to make. Everyone who I made it for was a huge fan!

  9. #
    Stephanie SMITLEY — January 16, 2022 at 7:32 pm

    My picky daughter loved these!

  10. #
    Jackie Kartchner — January 16, 2022 at 6:48 pm

    I made this for a game night with friends and family. They taste like mini cinnamon rolls in your mouth when you pair it with the cream cheese frosting. The frosting is a must have, it just melts in your mouth with the pretzel bites.

    • #
      Emily — January 18, 2022 at 11:21 am

      I’m drooling just reading your comment, I may have to make these this afternoon haha! So happy you loved them!

  11. #
    Esther Chow — January 16, 2022 at 3:34 pm

    Yum! These were delicious! My pretzel bites finished cooking at 6 min. I’m glad I didn’t bake at the minimum of 12 min because they would have burned. I have some experience with baking bread so I had a feeling 12 min would be too long.

    • #
      Emily — January 18, 2022 at 11:07 am

      Wow, what a difference in timing! Just to compare, did you have to reduce the timing as well when you made our Classic Soft Pretzel recipe? Thanks for the feedback, Esther!

  12. #
    Meagan — January 16, 2022 at 1:36 pm

    So yummy! These were easy and delicious

  13. #
    Celia — January 16, 2022 at 12:16 pm

    Somehow I never thought of a sweet pretzel‍♀️
    I thought they were good, the dough was super easy! But I prefer savory

    • #
      Emily — January 18, 2022 at 11:29 am

      Thanks for the feedback! Just to confirm, did you coat your pretzel bites in the cinnamon sugar? The pretzels should have been fluffy and buttery, with the outside coating contributing to the sweetness, especially when you add the cream cheese frosting to dip them in 🙂 If you prefer savory pretzels, be sure to check out our Classic Soft Pretzel recipe (with Beer Cheese Dip!) or our Garlic Parmesan Pretzels. Enjoy!

  14. #
    Liz — January 16, 2022 at 11:17 am

    These were so good!! We couldn’t stop eating them!!!!! The cinnamon sugar was so good on top with the cream cheese frosting! Can’t wait to make them again!!

    • #
      Emily — January 18, 2022 at 10:54 am

      So happy to hear that!

  15. #
    Alexis Hall — January 15, 2022 at 9:59 pm

    These were so fun to make! I’ve never used yeast before and I am very new to baking. I was honestly putting this off because I was so intimidated to make these BUT this recipe was SO user friendly and SO MUCH FUN! I was so proud of myself and am so excited to keep making them! They do take time so plan out your time wisely.

    • #
      Emily — January 18, 2022 at 11:09 am

      Woohoo!! So happy this recipe was easy to follow and that you had fun making them!

  16. #
    Cindy — January 15, 2022 at 1:38 pm

    Easy to follow recipe and they taste great!

  17. #
    Ghadeer — January 15, 2022 at 8:30 am

    Baking newbie here! If I wanted to make 40 instead of 80 bites, do I just half all ingredients? Which ingredients need to stay the same quantity?

    • #
      Emily — January 18, 2022 at 11:58 am

      Hi there! Yup, go ahead and halve all ingredients, except for the baking soda bath ingredients (water/baking soda). Those will stay the same. Enjoy your pretzels 🙂

  18. #
    Pam — January 14, 2022 at 9:11 pm

    Can I use a lye bath for these like the classic pretzels or do I need to use the baking soda bath?

    • #
      Emily — January 17, 2022 at 4:46 pm

      Hi Pam! This recipe wasn’t designed to use a lye bath. The baking soda bath helps to achieve that soft texture more similar to the mall-style pretzels that we all know and love. I can’t wait for you to enjoy these!

  19. #
    Kelsi — January 14, 2022 at 11:54 am

    Loved these! Better than Auntie Anne’s.

  20. #
    Sarah Carver — January 13, 2022 at 1:20 pm

    Yummmmmmmmm! I couldn’t stop popping these pretzels in my mouth. Such an easy recipe too! Thanks HTH!

  21. #
    Kaija Harlow — January 13, 2022 at 8:22 am

    These pretzels turned out so well! They are so soft and pillowy on the inside, and I was so surprised with how easy they were to make for such a delicious treat. I will definitely be making these again

  22. #
    Divya Thanikodi — January 11, 2022 at 3:54 pm

    This was my first time making pretzels. These were really easy to make and delicious.

    • #
      Emily — January 12, 2022 at 11:19 am

      So happy to hear your first time making pretzels was easy!

  23. #
    Laura Wolf — January 11, 2022 at 9:15 am

    These were exactly like the pretzel bites that you get at the mall! My 8 year old loves them and asks for them every time we pass by the kiosk. Today when he tried these after school he was in love.❤️

    The recipe and all the tips made making this a breeze. Will definitely make again.

    • #
      Emily — January 11, 2022 at 10:23 am

      Aw, yay! What a special after school snack! So glad he loved them 🙂

  24. #
    Brenda — January 9, 2022 at 5:17 pm

    Easy recipe and makes quite a few bites. Everyone enjoyed them

  25. #
    Cindy Jarchow — January 9, 2022 at 4:09 pm

    These are delicious! It’s my first time even working with yeast and I am thoroughly impressed with how easy this was! They were a lot of fun to make. The family was eating them before any cinnamon and sugar they smelled so good. My daughter is eating them up (even the cream cheese frosting, which I didn’t expect for her to like). Delivered some to our neighbors as they do make a lot and if they are best enjoyed fresh, wanted to spread the yumminess around!

    • #
      Emily — January 10, 2022 at 12:05 pm

      Wonderful! So happy this recipe was easy to make and that your family loved it so much 🙂 Also, how nice of you to share with your neighbors! Thanks so much for taking the time to write such a rave review!

  26. #
    Robin L. — January 9, 2022 at 2:06 pm

    These were so delicious and easy to make! An easy afternoon snack for sure. I didn’t try the cream cheese frosting but may try a simple glaze type dip next time. That would certainly elevate it for sure. But it is not needed. These were so yummy!

    • #
      Emily — January 10, 2022 at 11:52 am

      So happy you loved them!

  27. #
    Caroline — January 9, 2022 at 1:07 pm

    Delicious! They smelled so good in the oven and the cinnamon sugar coating was amazing! The dough was very easy to work with as well.

  28. #
    Aviv — January 9, 2022 at 10:21 am

    These tasted delicious, however I didn’t get that nice and pretty shape :(( My pretzel pieces were a bit on the flatter side. The dough came out great so I think something went wrong during the baking soda bath
    Not sure though, since I followed the instructions thoroughly, I’m just thankful they were still delicious

    • #
      Emily — January 10, 2022 at 1:13 pm

      So glad your pretzels were delicious! As for them being on the flatter side, I would double check to make sure your yeast is fresh (more details can be found HERE)! You could also try letting the dough rise more after shaping for more height 🙂

  29. #
    Jill — January 8, 2022 at 6:05 pm

    I feel so silly asking this. So are you greasing the pan and applying the parchment paper to that or greasing the parchment paper? Can I grease the pan with just a spray oil? I am probably over thinking this.

    • #
      Emily — January 10, 2022 at 11:58 am

      Hi Jill! No such thing as a silly question, and I do see where you could get confused! You’ll want to just grease the parchment paper to ensure that your pretzels don’t stick 🙂 No need to grease the pan itself. Let us know what you think when you give this recipe a try!

  30. #
    Lindsay Sudut — January 8, 2022 at 5:28 pm

    These were quite good and fairly easy! My dough was a bit sticky and my bites weren’t evenly sized, but they baked just fine despite this! The cream cheese dip was very yummy and really made this a treat for me, the bites by themselves with the cinnamon sugar weren’t too exciting. I need to freeze a bunch as I’m the only one in the house to eat these, so I’m eager to see how they taste after following the directions for that!

    • #
      Emily — January 10, 2022 at 12:02 pm

      Glad you loved this recipe! It’s so nice keeping pretzels in the freezer for any time you have a craving, enjoy!

  31. #
    Liz — January 8, 2022 at 2:57 pm

    Just made these!! I’ve made some pretzel bites in the past. These ones were incredible!!!!!
    Super easy to make. Loved the cinnamon & sugar coating with the frosting. Perfect touch!!

    For sure making these again!!!

  32. #
    Sheilla Tutson — January 7, 2022 at 11:20 pm

    I prefer these sweet pretzels. I made mine regular size and the cream cheese dip is amazing

  33. #
    Josh Lawrence — January 7, 2022 at 6:29 pm

    If this is what you’re in the mood for, you will absolutely be satisfied! Pretty quick and simple of put together, which is definitely appreciated! I was able to do the first steps while putting dinner together, the. Let it raise while eating and cleaning up, then finish them off in time for dessert!

    • #
      Emily — January 10, 2022 at 12:44 pm

      Awesome time management! So glad you loved this recipe!

  34. #
    Julie — January 7, 2022 at 10:04 am

    These are so good!! And so easy!! I can’t stop eating them.

  35. #
    Bailey — January 7, 2022 at 8:12 am

    The recipe instructions are pure gold—and I mean that! She specifically tells you what to do and what not to do. For example: she tells you not to use flour or oil when forming the dough bites—and that’s something I’ve always done, but the dough bites would be so slippery. I’m so glad she told me not to do that because it made it 100 times easier to for the dough bites. Seriously, these are wetzel pretzel worthy!!!!

    • #
      Emily — January 7, 2022 at 12:03 pm

      Yay!! So happy this recipe (and the tips!) worked perfectly for you! I agree, it feels strange not flouring a countertop when rolling out dough, but it’s not necessary at all for these! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, Bailey 🙂

  36. #
    Melissa Lankheet — January 6, 2022 at 1:58 pm

    These are Soooo good! My husband started eating them before I even put the cinnamon sugar on because they smelled THAT good! I think these would be a perfect appetizer for any party.

    • #
      Emily — January 7, 2022 at 11:56 am

      haha love it! So glad he loved them 🙂

  37. #
    Katie Kelly — January 4, 2022 at 6:56 pm

    This was my first time making pretzels and they were so good! The idea of pretzels seemed intimidating but it was surprisingly easier than expected. As other reviewers mentioned I also made mine slightly too big and will adjust next time. Overall amazing and tasted so good!

    • #
      Emily — January 6, 2022 at 11:47 am

      So happy your first attempt at making pretzels was a success! Glad you enjoyed them 🙂 I just added in additional text to the recipe so people know that they do puff up in the oven, thanks so much for the feedback!

  38. #
    Kristen Ewing — January 4, 2022 at 7:54 am

    These were so good and definitely a hit with the family. I also made them a bit big but still very good and it made a lot. It was my first experience with pretzels and they were much easier than expected. Thanks for the recipe!

    • #
      Emily — January 4, 2022 at 9:32 am

      Wonderful! So happy your first experience making pretzels was easy! Glad they were a hit 🙂

  39. #
    Erin m. — January 3, 2022 at 4:12 pm

    These are so easy and absolutely delicious!! Definitely recommend making them!!

    • #
      Emily — January 4, 2022 at 9:31 am

      Yay! Happy to hear that!

  40. #
    Elizabeth Brubaker — January 3, 2022 at 1:00 pm

    Since I made regular pretzels just last week, I decided to try the Sugar Cinnamon Pretzel Bites. The recipe was easy and the taste was spot on.

    • #
      Emily — January 4, 2022 at 9:31 am

      Great! So glad you enjoyed them!

  41. #
    Erin m. — January 2, 2022 at 10:28 am

    This recipe is awesome! The dough is a dream to work with! I think I made mine a little too big and will make them smaller next time. Also, I had to double the amount of melted butter and cinnamon/sugar to coat all of them. Will definitely make these again since they are fast and easy!

    • #
      Emily — January 3, 2022 at 10:21 am

      So happy you loved them, Erin!

  42. #
    Irene — January 1, 2022 at 1:03 pm

    If I wanted to make this spicy rather than sweet- could I add jalapeños? If so would I just add them to the existing recipe or would I need to make changes to the recipe?

    • #
      Emily — January 3, 2022 at 11:59 am

      Hi Irene! We actually have a Garlic Parmesan Pretzel recipe being published on Wednesday, which would be perfect to add jalapeños to! You should be able to add them to the recipe, no problem. Please let us know how it goes!

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