Pretzel Cake Recipe

Pretzel Cake Recipe [Easy Guide Explined]

Are you ready to tantalize your taste buds with a unique blend of sweet and savory flavors? Look no further than this delightful Pretzel Cake recipe. 

Crafted with love and creativity, this cake offers a symphony of textures and tastes that will leave you craving more. Let’s dive into the magic of baking and create a masterpiece that’s sure to impress your friends and family.

The combination of sweet and salty elements creates a harmonious balance that appeals to a wide range of tastes.

Notes On This Recipe

One aspect I appreciate about this recipe is its use of unconventional ingredients, such as pretzels, to add texture and flavor to the cake. 

Grinding down pretzels to incorporate them into the cake batter not only infuses a subtle salty flavor but also introduces a unique crunch that contrasts beautifully with the soft cake layers.

The addition of molasses adds depth and richness to the cake, enhancing its flavor profile and giving it a warm, caramel-like undertone. 

It’s a small detail, but it contributes significantly to the overall complexity of the dessert.

Furthermore, the Swiss meringue buttercream provides a luxurious finishing touch to the cake. 

Its silky smooth texture and delicate sweetness complement the robust flavors of the pretzel-infused layers, creating a delightful contrast that keeps every bite interesting.

What truly excites me about this recipe is the opportunity to experiment and customize it to suit my personal preferences. 

Whether it’s adjusting the sweetness of the buttercream or incorporating additional toppings into the pretzel crunch, there’s plenty of room for creativity and innovation.

Easy Pretzel Cake Recipe Guide


For the Cake:

  • 1/2 cup (113g) butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups (250g) sugar
  • 1 tbsp (21g) molasses
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup (78ml) buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup (118ml) vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup (93g) cake flour
  • 3 cups pretzels, ground down to a powder

For the Pretzel Crunch:

  • 4 oz. pretzels, crushed to the size of rice krispies
  • 2 tbsp (28g) brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp powdered milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp (56g) butter, melted

For the Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup (200g) sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (340g) butter, softened
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla


For the Cake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Prepare two 6×4″ cake pans by buttering and flouring them.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the softened butter, sugar, and molasses using the paddle attachment until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk and vegetable oil.
  5. In another bowl, whisk together the baking soda, baking powder, salt, cake flour, and pretzel powder.
  6. Gradually add the wet ingredients to the butter mixture, mixing until combined.
  7. Incorporate all the dry ingredients at once and mix until just combined.
  8. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans.
  9. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the center of the cakes is set.
  10. Remove the cakes from the oven and let them cool completely on a wire rack. Once cooled, divide each cake horizontally to create four layers.

For the Pretzel Crunch:

  1. Preheat your oven to 275°F (135°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.
  2. In a bowl, combine the crushed pretzels, brown sugar, powdered milk, and salt.
  3. Add the melted butter to the mixture and toss until everything is evenly coated.
  4. Spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet in an even layer.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until the mixture is lightly toasted. Allow it to cool completely.

For the Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the egg whites and sugar. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water and stir until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  2. Transfer the bowl to the stand mixer and beat with the whisk attachment until the mixture is light, fluffy, and the bowl is at room temperature.
  3. With the mixer on medium speed, gradually add the softened butter, one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture becomes creamy and glossy again. Don’t worry if it looks curdled; just keep mixing.
  4. Add a pinch of salt and vanilla extract, mixing just until combined.


  1. Begin assembling the cake by alternating layers of cake, Swiss meringue buttercream, and pretzel crunch. Repeat this process until all layers are used.
  2. Once you’ve placed the final layer of cake, cover the entire cake with Swiss meringue buttercream.
  3. Sprinkle any remaining pretzel crunch on top of the cake for an added crunch and visual appeal.
  4. Slice, serve, and enjoy the delicious harmony of sweet cake and savory pretzel crunch!

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. What is Pretzel Cake? 

Pretzel Cake is a dessert that typically combines the salty crunch of pretzels with the sweetness of cake or creamy fillings. It’s known for its unique texture and flavor contrast.

2. What ingredients are needed for Pretzel Cake? 

The basic ingredients for a Pretzel Cake include crushed pretzels, butter, sugar, cream cheese, whipped topping (like Cool Whip), and a sweet layer that could be fruit-based (like strawberry or pineapple) or something like a flavored gelatin.

3. How do you crush pretzels for the crust? 

To crush pretzels, you can place them in a zip-top bag and use a rolling pin to gently crush them into smaller pieces. You want a mixture of fine crumbs and small pretzel pieces for texture.

4. Is it necessary to bake the pretzel crust? 

Yes, baking the pretzel crust is typically recommended to help it set and become slightly crispy, which contrasts nicely with the creamy filling. It’s usually baked for a short time, around 10 minutes.

5. Can I make Pretzel Cake ahead of time? 

Yes, Pretzel Cake is an excellent make-ahead dessert. Assembling it a day in advance allows the flavors to meld together and the pretzel crust to soften slightly from the moisture of the filling.

6. How do I prevent the pretzel crust from getting soggy? 

To prevent the crust from getting soggy, ensure the pretzel layer is fully cooled before adding the filling. Also, make sure the filling is thick enough to form a barrier between the crust and any wetter layers on top.

7. Can I use a different type of pretzel? 

Absolutely! While traditional salted pretzels are commonly used, you can experiment with different types like butter-flavored, unsalted, or even flavored pretzels for a unique twist.

8. What are some variations of Pretzel Cake? 

Variations can include different flavored gelatins or fresh fruits for the top layer, adding chocolate chips or cocoa powder to the filling, or using a caramel drizzle on top for added sweetness.

9. How should Pretzel Cake be stored? 

Pretzel Cake should be stored in the refrigerator, covered, to keep it fresh. It’s best consumed within a few days.

10. Can Pretzel Cake be frozen? 

While freezing is possible, it’s not generally recommended as the texture of the pretzel crust can change, becoming either too hard or too mushy upon thawing. If you do freeze it, wrap it well and consume it within a month for best quality.

Final Words

Get ready to wow your taste buds and impress your guests with this unforgettable Pretzel Cake. Whether it’s a special occasion or just a craving for something truly unique, this recipe is sure to be a hit. Bon appétit!

Recipe Credit: Cake & Crunch by Christina Tosi, Buttercream by ZoëBakes

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