Soft Pretzel Bites - Handle the Heat
Filed Under: Bread | Dessert | Savory | Videos

Soft Pretzel Bites

May 7th, 2014
5 from 1 vote
5 from 1 vote

Soft Pretzel Bites are chewy pieces of heaven that you can serve salted alongside homemade cheese dipping sauce or sweet with a cinnamon sugar coating.

Yield: 7 dozen bites

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook: 55 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

TASTE: It’s a challenge to describe that characteristic pretzel flavor, just imagine little bites of pretzel bliss. I love that you can serve these salty with an ultra cheesy sauce or sweet with warm cinnamon-sugar. Amazing.
TEXTURE: The outside has a bit of a crust while each bite is ultra chewy. The cheese sauce is outrageously thick and creamy and the cinnamon sugar topping adds a nice granular crunch.
EASE: Definitely not an everyday recipe. While the dough only takes a little more than an hour total, it needs to be divided into bites, briefly boiled in baking soda water, then baked. I cover all of this in the step-by-step video. Watch it!
APPEARANCE: Don’t these just look like they came out of a restaurant, like a super cute German-inspired beer garden?!
PROS: So freakin’ addicting in the best possible way. I love that there’s two ways to serve these PLUS there’s a couple awesome make-ahead options so making pretzels at home is more manageable.
CONS: Not an everyday fair.
WOULD I MAKE THIS AGAIN? I’ve already made these a handful of times!

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Soft Pretzel Bites are chewy pieces of heaven that you can serve salted alongside homemade cheese dipping sauce or sweet with a cinnamon sugar coating.

Homemade Soft Pretzel Bites with Cheese Sauce (video) from

What is it about the sound of an email arriving in your inbox that is SO INCREDIBLY URGENT? Whenever I hear that noise I find myself instantly and involuntarily opening my inbox, even if I was right in the middle of doing something. A third of the time it’s some annoying email about a lame sale at a retail store, and the other third of the time it’s a food related press release that has nothing to do with me. Sometimes it’s important, but rarely does any email constitute the immediate attention so many of us seem to give it. Do you suffer from the same email insanity? I partially blame smart phones, they’ve created an anxiety-inducing standard that all emails must be answered STAT. I seriously can’t even imagine a time when all typed correspondence had to be physically delivered via snail mail… that already seems like such a foreign and ancient concept.

I’ve been making a conscious effort to pull in the reigns on email insanity, allowing my phone to be in a different room while I do other things. It’s a nice relief. I did that while making these pretzel bites, only checking my phone while waiting for the dough to rise and the bites to bake. Unfortunately it wasn’t all too relaxing because I was still single-handedly filming myself making these soft pretzel bites. That’s no easy feat so I hope you guys like these videos! If you do, make sure to let me know what you’d like to see next.

Homemade Soft Pretzel Bites with Cheese Sauce (video) from

This recipe was actually first published in 2011.

Homemade Soft Pretzel Bites with Cinnamon Sugar from

5 from 1 vote

How to make
Soft Pretzel Bites

Yield: 7 dozen bites
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Inactive Time 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Soft Pretzel Bites are chewy pieces of heaven that you can serve salted alongside homemade cheese dipping sauce or sweet with a cinnamon sugar coating.


For the pretzels:

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 package) instant yeast
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 1/2 to 5 cups (562.5 to 625 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 whole egg
  • Coarse sea salt

Cinnamon Sugar:

  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

For the cheese sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


For the pretzels:

  1. Combine the water, honey, yeast, and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer. Attach the dough hook and add the salt then gradually add the flour on low speed. Knead on medium speed for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. If the dough appears very wet and sticky, add up to a 1/2 cup additional flour, a little at a time. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  2. Make ahead: the pretzel dough can be refrigerated for up to three days or frozen in an airtight container for three months. Thaw frozen dough in the fridge overnight. Refrigerated dough can be shaped into pretzels while still cold, but allow some extra time for the pretzels to puff up before dipping and baking.
  3. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
  4. Remove the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces, about 4 1/2 ounces each. Roll each piece into a long rope 22 inches long. Cut the rope into 1 to 2-inch pieces to make bites. Cover the dough while bringing 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large shallow pot. Gradually add the baking soda.
  5. Boil the pretzel bites in the baking soda water in batches of 15, for about 30 seconds. Remove with a large slotted spoon to the prepared baking sheet. Make sure the bites aren’t touching.
  6. In a small bowl beat the egg with 1 tablespoon of water. Brush the tops of the bites with the egg wash. If making savory bites, sprinkle generously with the sea salt. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven. Make ahead: allow bites to cool to room temperature then store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Reheat from frozen in a 250°F oven until warmed.
  7. If making sweet bites with cinnamon sugar, brush all over with the melted butter before sprinkling with cinnamon sugar. Toss to coat. If making savory bites, let cool for 5 minutes before serving with the cheese sauce.

For the cheese sauce:

  1. While making the pretzels, begin the cheese sauce. In a medium saucepan over medium heat melt the butter. Add the flour and cook for one minute. Gradually whisk in the milk and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened. Add the cheese and stir until melted and smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot.
Course : Appetizer
Cuisine : American
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. #
    Laurie Aaronson — November 19, 2023 at 9:14 am

    great recipe but first attempt came out very sour / metalic and i think it was b/c 3/4 cup of baking sode was too much, at least for us. we reduced to 2 T and they were delicious the second time around!

  2. #
    Ellie — January 27, 2022 at 5:36 pm

    Can you use lye instead of baking soda?

    • #
      Emily — January 28, 2022 at 9:27 am

      Hi Ellie! This recipe wasn’t designed to use a lye bath. The baking soda bath gets that soft texture more similar to the mall-style pretzels, but you’re welcome to give it a try! You could also check out our Classic Soft Pretzels recipe but cut them into bites and reduce the baking time, as that recipe was created to use a lye bath. I hope that helps!

  3. #
    Bill Payne — July 17, 2021 at 3:33 pm

    Best pretzel bites ever, and trust me I’ve made alot of them.

    • #
      Tessa — July 19, 2021 at 10:41 am

      Amazing, I’m so happy to hear that!

  4. #
    Lorraine — April 26, 2020 at 11:37 am

    So excited to make these! Is this something you can freeze? And would you recommend freezing them before or after baking them?

  5. #
    Annabelle — October 15, 2016 at 10:06 pm

    Tess: As Marsha has asked, where is the recipe?

  6. #
    Genny T. — March 18, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    This is going to be the appetizer I serve at my next gathering. I’m mean, who doesn’t LOVE pretzels and cheeeeese?!!!! This is going to be a hit with our friends!!!

  7. #
    marsha — February 5, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    where in the heck is the printable recipe!???

  8. #
    Anijah — April 23, 2015 at 11:19 am

    Those look delicious i going try those !

  9. #
    Sandi — April 9, 2015 at 6:53 am

    I just made these and they turned out perfect! Now I don’t have to buy those big, expensive pretzels at the supermarket or at the mall. This was my first attempt at homemade pretzels and I was lucky enough to get a great recipe. You are a great teacher, Tessa! Thank you for sharing!

  10. #
    Rebecca — February 2, 2015 at 8:04 am

    We made these pretzel bites for our Superbowl party yesterday and they were a HUGE hit! So delicious!! Even more important, my pre-teen girls had a blast helping me whip them up! Thank you for all the wonderful recipes – everything I’ve made of yours so far has turned out excellent.

  11. #
    Zena — January 13, 2015 at 9:00 am

    Hey! I’m wondering if it’s impossible to make these without a stand mixer? I’m waiting on mine to arrive, but the pretzelly goodness is too much to resist! Thanks!

    • #
      Tessa — January 13, 2015 at 1:01 pm

      Sure! It’ll just take some upper body strength 🙂

  12. #
    Kim — January 2, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    What is the difference between “active dry yeast” and “instant yeast”? Can I use them interchangeably in this recipe?

    • #
      Tessa — January 2, 2015 at 6:08 pm

      Instant yeast can be substituted for active dry yeast but not the other way around, this recipe was specifically written for instant yeast. To sub with active dry yeast you’d need to combine the yeast and the water for 5 minutes until frothy before proceeding with the recipe. The rising time may also need to be increased.

  13. #
    Elayne — October 27, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    So absolutely delish!!

  14. #
    Ladycj — July 13, 2014 at 6:34 am

    These were awesome! My family moved to Senegal in West Africa last year and with 3 kids they are always hungry. I needed a snack that I could make and have in the freezer for them to heat up when they can’t wait for the next meal. I have tried to make pretzels before but they have never tasted good so I gave up trying. Until I happened on to your site ( I think from pinterest) watching your video you made it so simple for me to duplicate and they don’t just look great that tasted even better. Thank you so much!

  15. #
    Hazel Trembley — June 11, 2014 at 8:06 am

    Thank you so much for the video and recipes for the pretzels and cheese sauce. I recently had eaten theese at a brew pub and the taste has stayed on my mind. When I saw the pin interest picture I had to get the recipes! I hope to make them soon. Thanks again.

  16. #
    Shirley — June 4, 2014 at 3:32 am

    Is it just me or you really need 3/4 CUP baking soda??

    • #
      Tessa — June 4, 2014 at 3:02 pm

      Yes! Please feel free to watch the video to see exactly how the baking soda is used.

  17. #
    Natasha @ The Cake Merchant — May 27, 2014 at 6:06 am

    Great video! I’m definitely making these, but I’ll wait until I have friends over so I don’t eat them all myself!

  18. #
    Erin @ The Speckled Palate — May 22, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    You’re speaking my language with these pretzel bites AND cheese dipping sauce, Tessa. And like you, I suffer from the e-mail insanity, too, though I make an intentional effort not to freak myself out too much and try to unplug as much as possible… and kind of wish that snail mail was still a thing because it seems so lovely compared to how many e-mails we’re inundated with daily.

  19. #
    denise — May 7, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    They look so yummy, I’m gonna diiiiiiieeeeee!!! 😛

  20. #
    sally @ sallys baking addiction — May 7, 2014 at 10:48 am

    I love homemade pretzels Tessa, especially in bite size form! Love the cinnamon sugar topping too.

  21. #
    Gaby — May 7, 2014 at 7:24 am

    Totally irresistible! I love homemade pretzels!

  22. #
    Chloe @ foodlikecake — May 7, 2014 at 4:10 am

    I love pretzels! These look amazing!

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