Delicious strawberry pretzel dessert recipe

June 11, 2021

It's strawberry season! This crunchy and sweet strawberry dessert is a hit EVERY time I make it! It's one of my favorite desserts ever. I'm not a big cook so when I share something here you know it's going to be good and easy. This is so yummy! It's a perfect combination of sweet and salty, my favorite. 

A friend of mine used to make this every time we got together and it got to the point where I would request it. I finally asked her for the recipe and now it's my go-to for summer get togethers. (But it works ALL year round!)
Strawberry cream cheese and pretzel dessert

Here's what you'll need to make this Strawberry Pretzel Dessert: 

  • 2 cups crushed pretzels (make sure this is two cups after you've crushed them -- I actually use a little more)
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 (8 ounce) package softened cream cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 (8 ounce) Cool Whip
  • 2 (3 ounce) packages of strawberry gelatin
  • 2 (10 ounce) packages frozen strawberries (I use one 14 ounce package and it's fine)
  • 9x13 pan 
To make the "crust" take your pretzels and smash them -- I put them in a baggie and pound them: 
crushed pretzel dessert

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Then mix the pretzels, melted butter and three tablespoons sugar: 
pretzel and strawberry dessert

Spread them into the bottom of a 9 by 13 pan till covered. (This is the pan I use -- there's also a cover that makes it really easy to transport.) 

Bake at 400 degrees for eight to ten minutes and then set aside to cool:
Strawberry and pretzel dessert

You'll want this to cool down before adding the next layer so I wait until this is out of the oven before continuing. 

Mix softened cream cheese and one cup sugar:
Strawberry and cream cheese dessert

Make sure your cream cheese is softened (place in microwave for 10 second increments) to ensure you don't have chunks. 

Fold in the container of Cool Whip: 
Strawberry cream cheese and pretzel dessert

Try with all your might not to eat it right then. :) Little fact about me -- I could (and do) eat Cool Whip with a spoon. Delish. 

Spread this mixture onto the pretzels: 
Easy summer dessert

Important tip -- make sure to spread the cream cheese mixture to the edges and don't leave any holes. This will keep your pretzels nice and crunchy. 

Next is the gelatin -- prepare in two cups of boiling water (according to the box instructions, just leave out the cold water at the end). Then add the package of frozen berries: 
Strawberry dessert with pretzels

You'll want this to set up for a bit -- the recipe calls for it to be a egg white consistency. I usually put it in the fridge for five to seven minutes and stir. You'll be able to tell when the gelatin is starting to set up.

Spread the strawberries over the cream cheese mixture. Let set up even more in the fridge -- even an hour is fine. 

I'm telling you -- this is SO good. I warn you though, it's addicting. You'll have some and then need more: 
Pretzel and strawberry dessert in trifle bowl

I love the combo of the creamy and crunch and sweet and salty. It's a lovely summer dish -- I hope to make it again with fresh picked strawberries soon!

Have you tried this dessert? Any twists on it that are worth trying? You can even add some blueberries on top for a patriotic look. :)

Pin and save this one for later with this image: 
Strawberry cream cheese and pretzel dessert

Check out all of my recipes here! These are a few of my most popular...

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  1. When I was working there was a co-worker and this was her signature dessert. She knew if there was a potluck, she had to make it. Thankfully she shared the recipe with several of us so after she retired we could still enjoy it. Now I'm retired as well but I still have the recipe. You are right, it is addicting. When I have made it and brought it to somebody's house, the dessert is gone every single time. :-)

  2. My husband bribes the kids of friends to request I make this so that he can eat it. I have made with both fresh and frozen strawberries. I prefer the frozen for what it is worth. And I have never thought to let the gelatin set up a bit before pouring over the cream cheese layer. Brilliant!

  3. Love this recipe. Strawberry is great now and then switch to peach later in summer...yum!!

  4. This sounds delish and I openly admit I am a spoon dipper in cool whip (I don't buy the container's anymore HA!)

    Lauren | Lovely Decor

  5. I see your pretzels are still in stick form after putting them into the pan - is the smashing just to break them up a little or should they actually be crumb-like? Thank you!

    1. Just to break them up a bit so you still have some crunch!

  6. Our version has you crush the pretzels more, and use 2 cans of pie filling rather than the jello and strawberries combo. Usually cherry pie filling but I've switched it up and used blueberry as well so yummy!

  7. Can this be made the day before? I would e to serve for father's day.


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