Strawberry Pretzel Dessert Bars are a classic spring and summertime dessert. This make ahead and semi-from scratch treat consists of a salty almond pretzel crust, sweetened whipped cream cheese filling and topped with a strawberry gelatin. This recipe will serve 16.

Front view of strawberry Pretzel Dessert Bars on white plate.

You might know these as strawberry pretzel dessert.

Maybe strawberry pretzel salad (<—this one confuses me) or by holy deliciousness in a pan.

No matter which name you call these by, there’s just something so magical about a salty pretzel crust layered with creamy whipped center and sweet strawberry jello topping that is tantalizing for the taste buds. Relative easy to make, I prefer to make the strawberry pretzel dessert bars in advance to ensure the jello topping has time to properly set.

If you go searching online for this recipe, you’ll find pretty much the same recipe: 2 cups crushed pretzels, 1 pkg cream cheese, whipped cream topping… etc. I took that standard and kicked it up a notch by adding ground almonds to the pretzel crust, used homemade (unsweetened) whipped cream and added vanilla extract to the filling. Just a few minor tweaks to make this dessert extra.

looking top down on a strawberry pretzel dessert bar with whipped cream.

And nothing is more prettier than all those layers.

strawberry pretzel dessert bar ingredients

To Make This Strawberry Pretzel Bars You Will Need:

  • crushed pretzels
  • ground or finely chopped balanced almonds
  • melted unsalted butter
  • sugar
  • heavy whipping cream
  • cream cheese
  • strawberry Jell-O mix
  • frozen sweetened sliced strawberries

clear bowl of pretzel crumbs, ground almonds and sugar.

In a mixing bowl add; 2 cups crushed pretzels, 1/2 cup finely chopped or ground blanched almonds and 3 tablespoons sugar. Mix to combine.

pouring butter into the pretzel and almond mixture.

Pour in 3/4 cup melted unsalted butter to the crumb mixture.

pretzel and almond mixed.

Stir well to incorporate the butter into the pretzel almond mixture.

pretzel almond crust in white baking dish.

Transfer the crumb mixture to you 9 x 13 baking dish.

crust mixture pressed into white pan with gold measuring cup

Use the bottom of a glass or measuring cup to press the crumb evenly into the pan. Then and bake for 10 minutes in your preheated 350° oven. Once baked, let this crust cool completely.

clear mixing bowl with unsweetened whipped cream.

Then pour 1 cup heavy whipping cream into a mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat until stiff peaks form.

clear mixing bowl with creamed whipped cream, sugar and vanilla extract.

In a larger mixing bowl, add the softened cream cheese, 3/4 cup sugar and a splash of vanilla. Blend until smooth.

unsweetened whipped cream is added to the bowl with the cream cheese mixture.

Add the unsweetened whipped cream to the bowl with the sweetened cream cheese.

whipped cream is being folded into cream cheese mixture with rubber spatula.

And gently fold using big sweeps until no streaks remain.

bowl of whipped cream cheese mixture.

Like so.

Add this mixture to you cooled crust.

Once the crust has cooled, spread the whipped cream mixture over top of the crust, corner to corner to seal the crust in. This is important so the jello topping doesn’t break through and sog the crust.

Chill for 1 hour.

boiling water being added to a bowl of strawberry jell-o mix.

Pour the strawberry Jell-O mix into a heat safe bowl. Bring 2 cups water to a boil and carefully pour it into the bowl with the Jell-O.

stir the jell-o mixture until dissolved.

Stir until completely dissolved.

add thawed sliced strawberries to jell-o mixture

To that, add the thawed strawberries and stir to combine. Place the bowl of strawberry jello mixture in your fridge to chill for 1 hour or until thickened but not completely set. I usually time this with the crust so they both are ready at the same time.

chilled strawberry jell-o mixture.

So pretty!

strawberry jell-o mixture poured over top of chilled cream cheese mixture.

Once thick, pour the strawberry Jell-O mixture over top of the chilled whipped cream cheese mixture and refrigerated 6 hours or overnight.

strawberry pretzel dessert bars chilled until set.

This festive sweet treat tastes like summer and is perfect for gatherings, however can be easily halved and made smaller.

cut the strawberry pretzel dessert bars into squares.

Cut and serve! This recipe will feed 16 but can easily be cut in half to make a smaller batch.

close up of strawberry pretzel dessert bar.

I top ours with sweetened whipped cream, fresh strawberry slices and mint for a pop of color.

gold spoon cutting into dessert bar.

This is my dream dessert. Salty pretzel crust, light and creamy cheesecake-esque middle with a sweet strawberry topping.

Prepare yourself to fall in love.

the perfect bite of strawberry pretzel dessert bar

For More Summer Cookout Favorites Click Here!

top down photo of dessert bar.

Enjoy! And if you give these Strawberry Pretzel Bars a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!

front view of strawberry pretzel dessert bars with bite missing to see visible layers.

Strawberry Pretzel Dessert Bars
Yield: Serves 16

Strawberry Pretzel Dessert Bars

Strawberry Pretzel Bars are a classic spring and summertime dessert. This make ahead and semi-from scratch treat consists of a salty almond pretzel crust, sweetened whipped cream cheese filling and topped with a strawberry gelatin.

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes

Ingredients

FOR THE CRUST:

  • 2 cups crushed pretzels
  • 1/2 cup ground blanched almonds*
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup melted unsalted butter

FOR THE FILLING:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • splash of vanilla extract

FOR THE TOPPING:

  • 1 (6 ounce) packages strawberry Jell-O mix
  • 2 cup boiling water
  • 2 (16 ounces each) frozen sweetened sliced strawberries, thawed**

SERVE WITH:

  • sweetened whipped cream
  • fresh strawberry slices
  • mint for garnish

Instructions

TO MAKE THE CRUST:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350° and grab your 9 x 13 baking dish.
  2. Add pretzels to a large re-sealable bag, use a rolling pin or meat tenderizer to finely crush. Add it to a mixing bowl with the ground almonds and sugar. Stir to combine before pouring in the melted butter.
  3. Stir well before adding the baking dish. Press the crumb mixture evenly into the pan using the flat side of a drinking glass or measuring cup. Bake for 10 minutes (rotate half way through) and then remove and let cool completely.

TO MAKE THE FILLING:

  1. In a mixing bowl, add the heavy whipping cream and use a hand mixer (or stand mixer) beating until stiff peaks form.
  2. Then, in a seaparate larger mixing bowl, add sugar, softened cream cheese and a splash of vanilla. Blend until smooth.
  3. Add the unsweetened whipped cream to the bowl with the cream cheese and use a rubber spatula to gently fold the cream into the cheese mixture by using big sweeps until combined and no streaks remain.
  4. Once the crust has cooled, spread the whipped cream mixture over top of the crust, corner to corner to seal the crust in. This is important so the jello topping doesn't break through and sog the crust. Chill for 1 hour.

TO MAKE THE TOPPING:

  1. Pour the strawberry Jell-O mix into a heat safe bowl. Bring 2 cups water to a boil and carefully pour it into the bowl with the Jell-O. Stir until completely dissolved.
  2. To that, add the thawed strawberries and stir to combine. Place the bowl of strawberry jello mixture in your fridge to chill for 1 hour or until thickened but not completely set.
  3. Once thick, pour the strawberry Jell-O mixture over top of the chilled whipped cream cheese mixture and refrigerated 6 hours or overnight.

Notes

* I add almonds to a mini food processor and pulse until finely chopped/ground. Then measure 1/2 cup. If you have a nut allergy, simply omit this ingredient from the recipe.

** The morning you're preparing to make this, set out the frozen sweetened sliced strawberries on the counter to thaw. This can take about 2 to 3 hours on the counter. However, follow package directions to safely thaw the strawberries.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1 square

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 243Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 118mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 1gSugar: 15gProtein: 2g

All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on SimplyScratch.com should only be used as a general guideline.