Cherry Pretzel Dessert Recipe

Cherry Pretzel Dessert

The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 8 mins
Refrigerate: 60 mins
Total: 78 mins
Servings: 12 to 16 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
240 Calories
9g Fat
39g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12 to 16
Amount per serving
Calories 240
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 11%
Saturated Fat 5g 27%
Cholesterol 25mg 8%
Sodium 234mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 39g 14%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 25g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 2mg 11%
Calcium 89mg 7%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 158mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This easy cherry pretzel dessert is made with a crunchy pretzel crust. The slightly salty crust and sweet creamy filling and cherry topping make this an extra special dessert. Perfect for the holidays or even potlucks or picnic gatherings, this dessert goes well with any type of meal. 

It's a great make-ahead dessert and can be made up the night before and covered with plastic wrap then stored in the refrigerator for the next day. Change it up and use another kind of fruit topping instead of cherry. Try blueberries or strawberries. Any way you make this, this cherry delight with pretzel crust is sure to be a hit. 

This delicious dessert is similar to the classic strawberry pretzel salad or dessert. Top it off with homemade whipped cream for an even more decadent confection. 


  • 1 1/2 cups finely crushed pretzels

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted

  • 1 (12-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

  • 1/2 cup cold water

  • 1 (3 2/5-ounce) package vanilla pudding mix

  • 1/2 (8-ounce) container frozen lite whipped topping, about 2 cups, thawed

  • 1 (21-ounce) can cherry pie filling

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Heat the oven to 350 F/180 C/Gas 4. 

  2. In a large bowl, combine the crushed pretzels, 1/4 cup of sugar, and melted butter. Blend well. Press the pretzel mixture into a 9x13x 2-inch baking pan. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

  3. In another bowl with an electric mixer on low, combine the condensed milk and water until well blended. Add the pudding mix and beat on medium-high for 2 minutes.

  4. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.

  5. Fold in the whipped topping until well incorporated. Spread over the cooled crust and refrigerate until the filling is firm.

  6.  Spoon the cherry pie filling over the filling layer. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.

  7. If desired, top each serving with a dollop of freshly whipped cream or whipped topping.

Recipe Variation

  • If you prefer a sweet graham cracker crust, use 1 1/2 cups of crushed graham crackers, vanilla wafers, or shortbread cookies instead of the pretzels and increase the sugar from 1/4 to 1/3 cup.
  • Use another kind of fruit topping, from blueberries to strawberries, or whatever fruit topping you choose.

Make Ahead

Go ahead and get ready for whatever event your using this dessert for, whether a family dinner or party, and make this dessert up the night before. Cover it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve or take with you.

How to Store

Any leftovers (if there are any at all!) can be placed in the refrigerator where the dessert will keep for up to three days. Make sure that it is wrapped tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to keep it fresh.