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Strawberry Pretzel Dessert, also known as a strawberry pretzel salad recipe, is the ultimate summer dessert. My family requests this nostalgic recipe every year.
This tasty treat consists of a buttery pretzel crust, a no bake cheesecake layer, and is topped with fresh strawberries set in strawberry Jello.
Why I love this recipe:
- Family favorite, especially during strawberry season
- Sweet and salty dessert
- Perfect for potlucks or birthday parties
- Delicious make-ahead dessert
- Made with real whipped cream (without cool whip)
The exact quantities are listed in the recipe card below, but here is a list of ingredients for your grocery list.
- Crunchy pretzel crust: crushed pretzels, melted butter, and a bit of sugar. The combination of sweet and salty is what every dessert needs and the crunch this layer adds plays nicely with the top two layers.
- Cream layer: cream cheese, sugar, and stabilized whipped cream. This is my homemade version of Cool Whip.
- Strawberry Jello layer: Fresh strawberry slices set in strawberry Jello.
How to make strawberry pretzel dessert
Because there are three layers, this recipe is made in three different steps.
Make the salty pretzel crust
Crush the pretzels into small pieces. Do this by placing them in a large ziploc bag and crushing them by hand with a rolling pin or potato masher. Alternatively, you can pulse them in a food processor.
Then you will stir together the crushed pretzels, melted butter, and granulated sugar in a medium bowl. Press the mixture into the bottom of a baking dish. Bake the pretzel layer for 8-10 minutes and then set it on a wire rack to cool.
Make the creamy filling layer
In a large bowl using an electric mixer, cream together the room temperature cream cheese and one cup sugar. Fold the stabilized whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.
Spread the mixture in an even layer onto the fully cooled pretzel crust. To avoid a soggy crust, be sure the creamy layer reaches all edges of the pan to make a full seal, thus preventing the strawberry layer from getting to the pretzel layer.
Set it in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.
Mix the strawberry topping layer
While the cream layer is chilling in the refrigerator, dissolve the strawberry Jello in boiling water. Allow the strawberry gelatin mixture to cool until the mixture is about the consistency of egg whites. You want it to cool to the point where it begins to thicken but you can still easily stir in the fresh sliced strawberries. Spread the strawberry mixture over the rich cream cheese layer.
Refrigerate until set, usually about 4-6 hours.
Strawberry pretzel dessert recipe FAQs
Cover this perfect dessert with plastic wrap and keep it refrigerated until you’re ready to eat it.
Pretzel salad can definitely be made with other fruits, but fresh berries are the best choice. I’ve made this exact recipe with fresh raspberries and raspberry Jello and it was a huge hit!
Fresh sweet strawberries work best, but frozen berries will work.
Strawberry dessert recipe recommendations
Love Strawberry Dessert Recipes? You will have to try these favorites:
- Strawberry Pie
- Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
- Classic Strawberry Shortcake
- Old Fashioned Strawberry Ice Cream
- Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Strawberry Marshmallows
- Strawberry Shortcake Poke Cake
- Strawberry Lemonade Baked Donuts
- Coconut Berry Icebox Cake
If you’ve made this or any other recipe on my site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out. I love hearing from my readers!
Strawberry Pretzel Dessert
- 2 1/2 cups pretzels crushed or broken into small pieces
- 3/4 cup butter unsalted, melted
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
Middle cream layer:
Top strawberry layer:
- 6 ounces strawberry jello 2 (3 ounce) packages
- 2 cups boiling water
- 3 cups strawberries sliced
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease or parchment line a 9×13 baking dish.
Make the pretzel crust layer:
- Stir together crushed pretzels, melted butter and 3 tablespoons granulated sugar. Mix well and press mixture into bottom of prepared 9×13-inch baking dish. Bake 8-10 minutes, until set. Set aside to cool.
Make creamy middle layer:
- While the pretzel crust is cooling, make the cream layer filling. In a large mixing bowl cream together cream cheese and white sugar. Fold in the stabilized whipped cream. Spread mixture onto fully cooled crust. To avoid a soggy crust, just be sure the creamy layer reaches all edges of the pan. Set in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.
Make the strawberry layer:
- While the cream layer is chilling in the refrigerator, dissolve the strawberry Jello in boiling water. Allow cooling until the mixture is about the consistency of egg whites. Stir in sliced strawberries and spread over the cream cheese layer. Refrigerate until set.
- Use regular homemade whipped cream (without the gelatin). It just won’t hold its shape as well.
- Use Cool Whip instead of homemade stabilized whipped cream. I’m personally not a fan, but it’s what other recipes use.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
This recipe was originally published in May 2018 and has been updated with helpful information, ingredient and process photos, as well as recipe tips. Don’t worry – the recipe hasn’t changed!