Krakelingen (Sweet Dutch Pretzels)

Krakelingen (Sugared Dutch Pretzels)

Photo from Kosmos

Prep: 50 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Resting TIme (up to): 2 hrs
Total: 3 hrs 5 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Yield: 16 cookies
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
282 Calories
12g Fat
41g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 282
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 16%
Saturated Fat 7g 37%
Cholesterol 54mg 18%
Sodium 80mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 41g 15%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 28g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 17mg 1%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 45mg 1%
*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.)

Pretzels are known and loved throughout the world, but Dutch pretzels are different from the salty snack you may know. In the Netherlands, pretzels or krakelingen as they're called locally, are sweet rather than savory.

Most Dutch shops sell mechanically-cut pastry pretzels nowadays, but there are still a few bakers who roll traditional yeast dough krakelingen by hand. This type of pretzel is available in both crispy and soft forms.

The following recipe is for soft pretzels. Make them the regular way or extra long and slender for so-called magere mannen ('skinny men'). Alternatively, simply make twice as many small pretzels from the same dough, divided over two baking sheets, keeping in mind that the smaller they are, the crispier they'll turn out.

This recipe has been translated and adapted from the original Dutch in Het Nederlands Bakboek and published on the Dutch Food site with the kind permission of the publisher.


  • 1 cup (250 grams) all-purpose flour (tarwebloem)

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (kristalsuiker)

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 3 1/3 tablespoons tepid milk

  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) best-quality unsalted butter, melted

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

  • 1 cup (200 grams) pure cane sugar

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Place the flour, yeast, granulated sugar, and salt in the large bowl of a stand mixer. Add the milk, butter, and egg to the bowl, and use a spatula to mix the wet and dry ingredients together.

  3. Use the dough hook attachment to knead the mixture until it forms a soft, supple, non-sticky dough. If you don't have a stand mixer, simply knead the dough on a floured surface or a silicone mat.

  4. Once the dough has reached the right consistency, shape it into a ball and place it back into the bowl.

  5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and put it in a warm, draft-free place until the dough has almost doubled in volume. Because this is an enriched dough, it will take a little longer to rise than ordinary bread dough.

  6. Sprinkle about a third of the brown sugar over a clean tray or baking sheet, and pour the rest of the sugar into a large plate.

  7. Using your fist, punch the dough down and knead it smooth again.

  8. Divide the dough into 16 equal portions and toss into the sugar on the baking sheet or tray, making sure that each portion is evenly coated. Set the sugared dough pieces to one side.

  9. Now take a piece of sugared dough and roll it back and forth on a clean (unfloured) work surface to create a long, thin tube shape measuring about 12-inches (30 cm) long.

  10. Dredge the tube through the sugar on the plate, making sure it is thoroughly covered, fold it in half and then roll it back and forth until it forms a tube measuring about the same length as before.

  11. Toss the tube in the sugar on the baking sheet or tray and set aside. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough. The dough pieces should 'sweat' in the sugar; this means that a small part of the sugar will begin to appear damp.

  12. Grease a clean baking sheet (or cover it with greaseproof or parchment paper). Twist the tubes into long, small, pretzel shapes, tucking the ends underneath the dough. Place the pretzels on the baking sheet.

  13. To make magere mannen, press the pretzels slightly inwards to create a longer, narrower shape, and then flatten with the palms of your hands.

  14. Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place until the pretzels have doubled in size.

  15. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 390 F/200 C.

  16. Bake the krakelingen for about 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown, but keep an eye on them. They can easily burn once the sugar begins to caramelize.

  17. Remove the pretzels from the oven and allow them to rest on the baking sheet for a few minutes before cooling on a wire cooling rack.

  18. Serve and enjoy!


  • You will need a stand mixer, a spatula, a floured surface or a silicone baking mat, two or three baking sheets and/or a tray and a large plate; greaseproof or parchment paper; plastic wrap and a wire cooling rack
  • Basterdsuiker is a typical Dutch product. It is manufactured by adding invert sugar and other ingredients to fine white refined sugar. This mixture helps to achieve certain textural structures and keeps baked goods moist. There are three varieties, white, brown and dark brown, called witte basterdsuiker, (licht)bruine basterdsuiker or gele basterdsuiker and donkerbruine basterdsuiker. It is widely available from Dutch supermarkets and some Dutch grocery webshops. We've had good results substituting basterdsuiker with pure cane sugar, brown sugar or demerara.
  • Sugared pretzels will keep for almost a week when stored in an airtight container.

Recipe Variation

  • Replace the pure cane sugar with brown sugar or demerara sugar, if you like.