This easy pretzel pie crust recipe is perfect for no bake desserts, cheesecakes and pudding pies! It's a sweet and salty alternative to a traditional graham cracker crust.
Our scratch made pretzel pie crust recipe fits a deep dish pie pan or springform pan. It easily elevates all your favorite chilled pie recipes with a unique and flavorful crunch! Try it in our Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Pie or our No Bake Vanilla Bean Cheesecake!
This pretzel crust recipe is made from just three basic ingredients.
- Pretzels - Feel free to use any shape of pretzel or gluten-free pretzels for this recipe. We used regular pretzel twists but pretzel sticks, snaps or rods will work too.
- Brown Sugar - A small amount of brown sugar lightly sweetens this crust to balance the saltiness. You can also use white granulated sugar.
- Butter - Melted butter helps to bind this crust together. Depending on how humid your kitchen is, you will need 8 - 10 Tablespoons of butter.
How To Make Pretzel Pie Crust
Pretzel pie crust is quick and easy to make. This recipe can be made in any pie plate or pie pan but for easy serving and pretty presentation, we recommend using a non-stick tart pan with a removable bottom.
1. Start by crushing pretzels (or gluten-free pretzels) into fine crumbs. I used a food processor for speed, but you can also crush pretzels in a sealed zip-top bag with a rolling pin. I like to leave a few larger pieces for a crunchy, crumbly texture but a finer crumb will hold together stronger.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the pretzel crumbs, brown sugar and 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) of melted butter. Stir to combine. If too dry, drizzle in an additional 1 - 2 Tablespoons of melted butter.
Pro Tip: The Proper Consistency - The consistency of the crumbs should resemble wet sand and hold firmly together when squeezed. Depending on the brand of pretzels and the humidity, you may need to add a little extra melted butter. Where I live, in a dry climate, this pie crust usually requires 10 Tablespoons of butter.
3. Pour the pretzel crust mixture into your pie shell or springform pan. You can use any pie plate you like, but this recipe fits best in a deep-dish, 9 inch pie pan.
4. Use the sides and bottoms of a drinking glass (or measuring cup) to press the crumbs firmly into the pie plate. The key is to start by pressing the crumbs into the edges of the pie plate first, and then using the remaining crumbs to create an even layered bottom.
At this stage the pie crust can be frozen, refrigerated or blind baked.
- Freezer - For frozen and no bake desserts, I recommend popping the salty pretzel crust in the freezer for a few minutes while you prepare the filling.
- Refrigerator - For cheesecakes and baked pies, I recommend chilling the crust in the refrigerator for a few minutes before adding the pie filling and baking.
- Blind Baking - For an extra crispy crust (or for pies that will be stored overnight in the refrigerator), I recommend blind baking the crust to help keep it crisp.
Optional Blind Baking
This pretzel pie crust does not need to be baked. However, a quick blind bake does help to keep the crust crispy and crumbly. I recommend blind baking if the pie will be stored in the refrigerator for 6 or more hours before serving.
To blind bake this pie crust, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake the pretzel crust for 7 - 10 minutes or until lightly toasted and aromatic. Allow the crust to cool completely on a wire rack at room temperature before adding any fillings.
How To Remove the Tart Pan
This pie crust recipe can be made in any pie plate or tart pan that you like. I like to use a 9"x 2" tart pan with a removable bottom. Removable bottom tart pans make beautiful pies that are easier to slice and serve.
After refrigerating or freezing the pretzel crust in the tart pan, the fluted edge may stick to the crust. Don't worry, it's easy to fix with a little heat. Gently warm the edges of the tart pan with the heat from your hands or a low flame from a gas stove or kitchen torch. You don't need much heat, just enough to soften the butter ever so slightly.
Once a bit of warmth is applied, the outer edge of the pan will slide right off. You can keep the bottom of the tart shell under the pie and place it directly on your serving platter.
This pretzel pie crust is a great option whenever sweet pies could use a crunchy, salty kick! You can substitute this recipe anytime a pie calls for a cookie or graham cracker crust.
- Pudding Pies - Chocolate cream pie, banana cream pie and all of your pudding pie creations are made even better with the salty flavor of pretzel pie crust!
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Pie - Our favorite recipe for this pie crust is our No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie! This original recipe features a layer of tangy peanut butter mixture and a silky topping of chocolate mousse! So good!
- Cheesecakes - Whether it's a no bake dessert (like our vanilla bean cheesecake with mixed berry topping) or a traditional New York style recipe, the tangy cream cheese filling is delicious with this crust!
- Strawberry Pretzel Pie - This Summertime classic is the perfect balance of a strawberry cream filling and salty pretzels!
- Key Lime Pie - I love this pie recipe filled with a lip-puckering lime filling and fresh whipped cream!
- No Bake Pumpkin Pie with Salted Caramel - This holiday favorite uses this pretzel pie crust made with brown butter and a teaspoon of cinnamon!
- Ice Cream Pies - Adding any flavor ice cream to this crust can make for a quick and easy ice cream pie! Try it with our Old Fashioned Vanilla Bean Ice Cream!
Recipes That Use Pretzel Pie Crust
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If you are looking for a traditional pie crust, check out our recipe for Our Favorite Buttery Pie Dough.
Sweet and Salty Pretzel Pie Crust
- 1 Pie Plate (We used a 9 inch deep dish tart shell with a removable bottom.)
- 7 ounces salted pretzels (1¾ Cups pretzel crumbs); regular or gluten-free
- ¼ Cup light brown sugar lightly packed
- 8 - 10 Tablespoons butter melted; as needed
- 1 teaspoon fine kosher salt* optional if using unsalted butter
- In a food processor (or sealed bag with rolling pin) crush the pretzels until a fine crumb forms. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Stir in brown sugar, 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) melted butter and salt (if using).
- The consistency of the pretzel mixture should resemble wet sand and hold firmly together when squeezed. If too dry, drizzle in an additional 1 - 2 Tablespoons of melted butter, as needed. Transfer the crumb mixture to a removable-bottom tart shell.
- With a smooth-edged drinking glass (or measuring cup) press the crumbs into the tart shell. Start by forming the edges of the pie crust and then level the bottom. Freeze, refrigerate or blind bake the crust while preparing the filling.
- Optional Blind Bake: For an extra crispy crust, preheat the oven to 375° Fahrenheit (190° celsius). Bake the pretzel pie crust for 7 - 10 minutes until lightly toasted and aromatic. Allow the crust to cool completely before adding any pie filling.
* A Note About Salt
Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on The Sage Apron are developed using Diamond Crystal Kosher salt. It is a great all-purpose salt for cooking and baking. If using table salt, reduce quantities by about half.