Copycat Auntie Anne's Pretzels

Copycat Auntie Anne's pretzels on a piece of wax paper with mustard and salt

The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney 

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Rise Time: 60 mins
Total: 100 mins
Servings: 10 servings
Yield: 10 pretzels
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
359 Calories
11g Fat
56g Carbs
8g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10
Amount per serving
Calories 359
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 7g 33%
Cholesterol 28mg 9%
Sodium 2576mg 112%
Total Carbohydrate 56g 20%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 78mg 6%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 154mg 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.)

Everyone loves an Auntie Anne's pretzel. The second you walk into the mall, you can't help but smell them—and crave them. It's hard to resist the crunchy, chewy, buttery goodness of these pretzels.

This recipe allows you to make these wonderfully addictive pretzels yourself, plus have the amazing smell wafting through your own home. Easy to make, they require a simple dough and a little rise time. Twisting the pretzels is easy to do, and it's so much fun to do in a group or with kids.

You can easily double this recipe if you need an extra-large batch of pretzels. They freeze well—just toast them up when you're ready to serve. You can serve them with mustard, nacho cheese sauce, or any savory or sweet dip.


For the Dough:

  • 2 cups milk

  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) salted butter

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed

  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast

  • 5 cups (745 grams) all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons salt

For the Topping:

  • 2 cups warm water

  • 1/3 cup baking soda

  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) butter, melted

  • Pretzel salt, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather your ingredients.

    Ingredients for copycat Auntie Anne's pretzels gathered

     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

  2. Scald the milk in a small pot. Do not boil; just heat the milk until it is hot all of the way through.

    Milk scalding in a pot

     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

  3. Add the butter and sugar to the hot milk. Stir until the butter melts and the sugar has dissolved. Set it aside and cool until just a bit warmer than room temperature. If the milk is too hot, the yeast will die; too cold, and it won't rise as quickly (around 100 F is ideal).

    Butter and sugar added to the warm milk

     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

  4. Add the yeast to the top of the milk mixture and allow it to soften for a few minutes.

    Yeast sprinkled on top of the milk mixture

     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

  5. Using the bread hook attachment on your stand mixer, add in the flour and salt and stir with the hook attachment until completely combined and a smooth ball forms.

    Pretzel dough mixed in bowl

     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

  6. Cover the bowl with a clean dish towel and allow the dough to rise for 1 hour or until it doubles in size. Then punch down the dough in the bowl.

    Dough rising in the bowl

     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

  7. Turn the ball of dough out onto a cutting board. Cut the dough into 10 equal pieces. If you are looking to make smaller pretzels, cut the dough into smaller pieces. This will give you smaller pretzels. You need a decent size piece of dough to make the large, skinny pretzels that are Auntie Anne's signature.

    Cutting dough for Auntie Anne's pretzels

     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

  8. Preheat the oven to 450 F. Roll a piece of the dough into a long and very skinny "rope," about 36 inches long.

    Roll dough to twist for pretzels

    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney 

  9. Loop the dough in half and then twist the ends together 2 or 3 times.

    Loop dough in half and twist for pretzels

     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

  10. Pull the ends back over the loop to make the classic pretzel shape, pressing the ends to make them stick.

    Dough formed and twisted into copycat Auntie Anne's pretzels

     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

  11. Whisk together 2 cups of warm water and the baking soda in a shallow dish. Dip the pretzels into the baking soda bath. Flip and dip the other side.

    Pretzel in baking soda bath on a plate

     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

  12. Place the dipped pretzels onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. You should be able to fit 2 or 3 onto each baking sheet.

    Auntie Anne pretzels on a parchment-lined baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

  13. Bake the pretzels for 7 to 8 minutes or until golden brown.

    Auntie Anne's pretzels baked on a parchment-lined pan

    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney 

  14. Brush the pretzels with melted butter.

    Soft pretzels brushed with melted butter

     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

  15. Sprinkle them with coarse pretzel salt.

    Copycat Auntie Anne's pretzels sprinkled with salt

     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

  16. Dig in immediately. They are best when they are eaten hot and fresh out of the oven.


Try serving the freshly baked pretzels with beer cheese dip, chipotle pumpkin queso dip, or for a salty and sweet combo, serve with chocolate sauce or caramel sauce.

Recipe Variations

  • Pretzel salt looks and tastes the best in the recipe, but you can also use a regular coarse salt like kosher salt.
  • You can substitute the milk with water and non-dairy butter for the butter if you are looking to cut out dairy.

How to Store and Freeze

  • You can refrigerate the dough for up to 24 hours as it rises.
  • You can also freeze the dough for three months. Move to the fridge to defrost overnight and proceed with the recipe.

What Makes Auntie Anne Pretzels so Good?

Auntie Anne Pretzels are somehow more delicious than your average pretzel. A healthy dose of sugar makes for a tasty dough, and a topping of melted butter and salt makes them positively addictive. Another reason the popular pretzels are so good is they are made and served fresh and warm.