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5 from 10 votes

Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels

These homemade cinnamon sugar pretzels are a sweet twist on a classic recipe. Made with yeast, boiled in a baking soda bath and then baked. After baking, brush on melted butter and roll in cinnamon sugar.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time25 mins
Resting Time1 hr 5 mins
Total Time2 hrs 30 mins
Course: Appetizer, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 pretzels
Calories: 302kcal


For the pretzel dough

  • 4 1/2 cups (562 g) all-purpose flour divided
  • 2 Tablespoons (28 g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (7 g) instant yeast
  • 1 cup (240 g) whole milk
  • 1/2 cup (120 mL) water
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

For the baking soda bath

  • 8 cups (1,920 mL) water
  • 1/4 cup (60 g) baking soda

For the egg wash

  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 Tablespoon water

For the coating

  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 1 cup (197 g) granulated white sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon


To make the pretzel dough

  • In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, combine 2 cups (250 g) flour, brown sugar, salt, and yeast. I keep my yeast separate from the salt, as salt can kill the yeast.
  • In a small saucepan, heat milk, water, and butter over medium heat until butter is melted and instant-read thermometer reads 120-130oF (54oC).
  • Add warm milk mixture to the flour mixture, and beat at medium speed until combined.
  • Reduce mixer speed to low and add 2 1/4 cups (281 grams) flour beating until just combined. Scrape down the bowl as needed
  • Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at low speed until a soft, somewhat sticky dough forms, about 5 to 6 minutes. Stop and scrape down the dough hook as needed.
  • Add up to remaining 1/4 cup (31 g) flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the dough is too sticky. I found I didn't need it.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a round.
  • Lightly oil a medium bowl. Place the dough in and turn once to coat. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75-78oF) until doubled in size.

Shape the pretzels

  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, and lightly dust with flour (I like to use a cookie sheet so I can move the pretzels closer to my stovetop after they are done rolling!). Set aside.
  • On a very lightly floured surface, divide dough into 12 portions (mine were about 78 g each). Shape each into a ball.
  • Roll each portion into a 20-inch rope, tapering ends. I keep the other portions of dough covered while I work on rolling one out with plastic wrap or a towel. I roll each portion out several inches, then stop, and then work on rolling out the next portion.
  • Shape each rope into a "U" shape. Criss cross the ends, about 3 inches down. Then twist the ends again. Then bring the twisted ends down to the bottom of the "U' and place the ends on the dough. Pinch the ends to seal. If the ends aren't sticking, lightly brush the dough with water to seal the ends to the pretzel.
  • Place each pretzel onto the prepared baking sheet. Cover the pretzels and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75oF/24oC) for about 20 minutes.

Boil the pretzels

  • Preheat the oven to 375oF (190oC). Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a large stockpot (about 4-quarts) boil 8 cups water and baking soda to a gentle boil.
  • Carefully drop 2 pretzels into the boiling water (top side down) and cook for 30 seconds. Carefully flip over and continue to cook for an additional 30 seconds. Remove the pretzels carefully using a spider strainer, and let the excess water drain off. Place each pretzel onto a baking sheet. (once I have a baking sheet of the first 6 pretzels I get them egg washed and bake them off before starting on the second batch).

Bake and coat the pretzels

  • In a small mixing bowl, make the egg wash by whisking together the egg yolk and water. Brush egg wash onto the top of each pretzel.
  • Bake in the center of the oven, until deep golden brown, for about 14 to 16 minutes. Let cool on pans for 5 minutes.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon.
  • Brush each pretzel with melted butter (I recommend only doing the tops as the I found the bottoms would tend to get soggy as they sat).
  • Dip each pretzel into the cinnamon sugar mixture. Toss until covered. Shake off excess and place onto baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pretzels. You can eat these warm or cold (but warm is best!)


  • Make ahead:
    • Baked: These cinnamon sugar pretzels should be good for up to 2 days, covered at room temperature. I do find that the pretzels can absorb some of the cinnamon sugar mixture and may get a bit sticky on the bottom. You can always dust with more cinnamon/sugar before serving if this is the case.
    • Unbaked: Once the pretzels are shaped you can wrap up the cookie sheet and let rise overnight and then boil and bake the next day.
  • Boiling step: You can skip the boiling step. But be aware the boiling in baking soda step is what gives the pretzels their distinct flavor and chew.
  • Freezing:  These will be good frozen for up to 3 months. But do not brush with butter and roll in cinnamon sugar until after they are thawed at room temperature, otherwise they become soggy.
  • Yeast: I used Red Star platinum instant yeast. If you use active dry yeast the rising times will take longer.
  • Room Temperature Is Key! - How cold or warm your kitchen will always play a role in how fast your dough rises. Ideally dough should rise in a warm environment, about 75-78oF. If your kitchen is cold like mine I like to move my dough to warmer spot. The top of your fridge is a good spot. Or in your oven with the light on but the oven is OFF for the FIRST RISE ONLY.
  • Rolling Out The Pretzels - You have to roll each portion of dough out to about a 20 inch rope. The gluten in the dough will prevent you from accomplishing this all at once. I like to roll each portion out a few inches, then I let it rest and move onto the next one, and then circle back to the beginning to repeat. If you don't the dough will fight you and keep shrinking back taking even longer to roll them out.
  • Don't Use Too Much Flour! - Too much flour will result in dry, tough pretzels. It's best to WEIGH your flour, rather than use cups. If you don't have a kitchen scale yet, then be sure to spoon and level your flour into your cup. You most likely won't use all of your flour. I like to err on the side of a slightly sticky than too dry and adding too much. Also be careful when dusting your countertops, a little goes a long way.
  • Keep The Dough Covered As You Roll Them Out - Because it will take several minutes to roll out each dough into the long rope and you will be stopping and starting with each portion I like to keep the other portions I'm not working on covered so they don't dry out. I either cover with lightly greased plastic wrap or the same towel I used to cover my bowl of dough when it was rising.
  • Set A Timer When Boiling - You don't want to boil each pretzel for too long. Each pretzel should boil for 30 seconds on each side. I set myself a timer so I know when to flip them and take them out of the water.
  • Boil Only A Few At A Time - You don't want to overcrowd the pot otherwise it can be hard to flip them over. I boiled 2 at a time. I would boil 3 pretzels at the most, no more.


Calories: 302kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 1287mg | Potassium: 107mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 172IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 2mg