Crazy for Crust

Sep 26

Cake Mix Soft Pretzels

These Cake Mix Soft Pretzels start with a cake mix – so they taste like funfetti!

Cake Mix Soft Pretzels - a homemade soft pretzel made with a cake mix! | | #funfetti #pretzel

I have a housekeeper that comes once every 4 weeks. It’s one indulgence I allow myself, and I pay it from my earnings. I kind of consider it a business expense (hello, sprinkles all over the floor!) and wish the IRS would see it the same way.

In other words, I hate cleaning. And given the choice clean or blog, I’ll choose blog. Or, really, anything else that doesn’t involve cleaning.

So every 4 weeks this lady calls me and tells me she’s coming the next day, which causes a flurry of activity because we have to clean before she gets here. (I know – weird, right?)

You’d think I’d know when 4 weeks was. But I don’t. Every single time she calls me I’m all, “It’s been 4 weeks already? REALLY?”

And then I realize I may not have done much cleaning since the last time she was here. Because, in my head, it’s only been a week…or two.

So, the housekeeper is here today. I’m so glad I vacuumed the house yesterday. But really, I had no choice – there were sprinkles all over the floor from making these Cake Mix Soft Pretzels.

I’m not a clean baker, my friends. Not in the slightest. {In my defense, sprinkles are like cocoa powder and powdered sugar, am I right? You look at them and they go everywhere?}

Cake Mix Soft Pretzels - a homemade soft pretzel made with a cake mix! | | #funfetti #pretzel

So, last weekend at the Duncan Hines Test Kitchen, Chef Joe (the guy that is the magic behind the scenes) was talking about food trends. One of them was the soft pretzel. I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen them all over the place lately. Sally is the queen of soft pretzels, and Ashton just posted these Pumpkin Pretzel Bites the other day.

Chef Joe did some amazing things with cake mix and it got me to thinking: could I make a cake mix pretzel? And guess what? You can!

Have you ever seen cake mix cinnamon rolls? My friend Christi makes them all the time. A yeasted dough is a yeasted dough, so I thought I’d adapt the method a little and make a soft pretzel.

And guess what? It worked!

Cake Mix Soft Pretzels - a homemade soft pretzel made with a cake mix! | | #funfetti #pretzel

Some notes about the recipe:

  • It doesn’t use a whole cake mix. You can double it and use the whole box, but you’ll get 24 pretzels. That’s a lot. Use the partial mix and save it for later. I’ve got more recipes coming. :)
  • I like to boil my pretzels. Baked is fine, but boiling just gives them that little extra pretzel texture and chewiness. It’s not hard to do, it only takes a few minutes, and the end product is totally worth it. But you can skip that part, if you must.
  • Forming pretzels takes practice. This dough is a little thicker than dough I’ve made traditional soft pretzels so they turned out a little puffier. But that’s okay, they’re still amazing. I’ve made pretzels before, so I’m getting better at the twisting, but if this is your first time know it’s normal to end up with oddly shaped ones before you get the technique down.
  • The flavor is not a traditional salted pretzel flavor. It’s cake mix – so it tastes like cake.

These taste like cake and pretzels got married. They have the texture and chewiness of a sweet soft pretzel, with the sweetness and hint of cake flavor. I love the combination – and I cannot wait to make them in more flavors.

{Hello red velvet, I’m looking at you!}

Cake Mix Soft Pretzels - a homemade soft pretzel made with a cake mix! | | #funfetti #pretzel

Cake Mix Soft Pretzels…totally worth the need to vacuum. :)

Cake Batter Soft Pretzels

Yield: 12 pretzels

Cake Batter Soft Pretzels


  • 1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 3/4 cup yellow cake mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 3/4 cups flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • Water
  • 1 egg
  • Sprinkles


  1. Add yeast to warm water and stir gently. Let sit for a few minutes. Meanwhile, add cake mix and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attached. Stir to combine. Slowly pour the water into the mixer while it’s running on “Stir.” Turn it to “2” and let it run until most of the flour is mixed in, then turn it to “4” until the dough comes together. It will pull easily away from the sides of the bowl.
  2. Note: you can do this without a stand mixer, but I haven’t. Stir the ingredients together in a large bowl until you can’t stir anymore, then use your hands to knead the dough until it comes together.
  3. Place the dough in a bowl sprayed with cooking spray. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let sit for 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead just a few times to form a ball. Cut into 12 equal pieces.
  6. Place a pot of water on the stove to boil (about 10 cups).
  7. Form your pretzels by rolling each piece of dough into a long rope, about 15” long. Bring the two ends up, cross them and wrap them, and bring the ends down to the bottom, forming the pretzel shape.
  8. When water boils, add 1 tablespoon baking soda to the water. Working in batches (2-4 to a batch, depending on your pan size) carefully place the pretzels in the boiling water. They will sink to the bottom. When they float, just a few seconds, pull them out using a slotted spoon. Drain well and set them on a cookie sheet covered with a silpat baking mat or well greased.
  9. Once all pretzels are boiled, whisk your egg in a small bowl. Use your fingers to spread a small amount of egg on each pretzel. Sprinkle each with about 1 teaspoon of sprinkles. The egg acts as the glue.
  10. Bake for 11-15 minutes, until golden brown. Cool slightly before removing from cookie sheets.


You can certainly forego boiling the pretzels, but they'll have more of the chewy pretzel taste if you boil them.

Recipe adapted from Cake Mix Cinnamon Rolls at Love from the Oven.

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This post may be linked to: Chef in TrainingLil’ LunaBuns In My OvenChic-and-CraftyI’m Lovin’ it FridaysStrut your Stuff Saturday, Weekend PotluckWeekend Wrap Up PartySundae Scoop Link Partyand all of these too!

57 Responses to “Cake Mix Soft Pretzels”

  1. Karly posted on September 26, 2013 at 2:54 pm (#)

    Um, yeah. This is totally genius.

    Also, I have a housekeeper too and always do the clean before she arrives thing. I also do my very best to get the heck out of the house before she arrives, because I’m too ashamed of the grossness to look her in the eye. I mean, I should not have to speak to the lady who cleans the bathroom of my teenage son. It’s too humiliating.


    • Dorothy Kern replied on September 26th, 2013 at 7:43 pm

      Yeah, we’re always here. And it’s so super awkward! I can feel their judgy eyes on me, ha!


  2. Christi @ Love From The Oven posted on September 26, 2013 at 3:27 pm (#)

    Shut the front door. This is like everything right in the world, in one bite. Can you hear me clapping???


    • Dorothy Kern replied on September 26th, 2013 at 7:44 pm

      Aw, thanks Christi!!!


  3. sally @ sallys baking addiction posted on September 26, 2013 at 4:56 pm (#)

    I sure do love my soft pretzels. But the queen? You are so sweet Dorothy. Thank you! I heard last weekend was so much fun. :) Wish I could’ve been there! LOVE all the sprinkles here!


  4. Mary Frances @ The Sweet {Tooth} Life posted on September 26, 2013 at 4:58 pm (#)

    Funfetti soft pretzels. Day = made.
    (Sorry, this deserves caps … so pinning this!)


    • Dorothy Kern replied on September 26th, 2013 at 7:46 pm

      Aw, thanks Mary Frances! They are pretty amazing. :)


  5. Averie @ Averie Cooks posted on September 26, 2013 at 5:27 pm (#)

    Probably the most genius, novel and new way I’ve seen cake mix put to use lately! WOW! I remember Christi’s rolls, but taking it to pretzels, how fun. So creative and love that you used Funfetti mix! Pinned!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on September 26th, 2013 at 7:46 pm

      Thanks Averie!! :) You’re sweet and thanks for the pin!


  6. Faith @ Pixie Dust Kitchen posted on September 26, 2013 at 5:30 pm (#)

    These look amazing- I’m beginning to love the connivence and versatility of cake mixes, and I love that these marry two of the best things.
    And yeah… I understand the sprinkles problem. Sprinkles are the glitter of baking. They get everywhere. All the time.


    • Dorothy Kern replied on September 26th, 2013 at 7:47 pm

      That’s what I love about them – the versatility! :)


  7. Kristin posted on September 26, 2013 at 5:44 pm (#)

    I made pretzels for the first time a few months ago. It was so much easier than expected! These look so yummy.


  8. Lisa @ Wine & Glue posted on September 26, 2013 at 6:22 pm (#)

    You just blew the crap out of my mind. You are a genius! Like seriously! This is why I could never be a strictly dessert blogger. Everyone would see right through me. You are so talented!! Also, one of the reasons I haven’t hired a cleaning lady is because of the prep cleaning I’d have to do each time, lol!!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on September 26th, 2013 at 7:47 pm

      OH STOP IT. :) You’re an amazing baker!


  9. Nancy P.@thebittersideofsweet posted on September 26, 2013 at 6:47 pm (#)

    This absolutely just blows my mind! It is going to take some time for me to wrap my head around this one. I just can’t believe it! Pretzels from cake mix, who would of ever of thought??


    • Dorothy Kern replied on September 26th, 2013 at 7:47 pm

      I kind of can’t believe it either!! :)


  10. Tieghan posted on September 26, 2013 at 7:30 pm (#)

    So genius!! I love soft pretzels so much! I mad caramel apples one a couple weeks ago, so good! But these? These are just amazing! So creative and so awesome!!

    Oh and I am such a messy baker. Things EVERYWHERE!


  11. Jennifer C. posted on September 26, 2013 at 8:01 pm (#)

    I just died and went to heaven. I never leave comments but I just had to because you managed to take my two absolute favorite foods and combine them, plus there are sprinkles! I just made your funfetti scones and they were delicious so I can’t wait to try these!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on September 27th, 2013 at 5:14 pm

      Aw, thanks Jennifer!! These are pretty amazing – I ate way too many!


  12. Carrie @ Frugal Foodie Mama posted on September 27, 2013 at 5:05 am (#)

    Okay… so this recipe is so cool! I have never made homemade pretzels before, but I love how easy this one is. :) And I of course love the sprinkles, lol!


  13. Tahnycooks posted on September 27, 2013 at 6:06 am (#)

    “And the blue ribbon goes to Crazy for Crust for the BEST PRETZEL EVER!!!”


  14. tanya posted on September 27, 2013 at 6:31 am (#)

    You’ve outdone yourself with this recipe! Seriously Dorothy. I think this the most unique, delicious pretzel I’ve ever seen….this coming from a fellow messy baker! I think I even get sugar in my hair.


    • Dorothy Kern replied on September 27th, 2013 at 5:13 pm

      ME TOO!! :) Thanks Tanya!


  15. Jaclyn posted on September 27, 2013 at 7:18 am (#)

    These look so delicious! I’d have a hard time sharing!


  16. Tonia@thegunnysack posted on September 27, 2013 at 7:39 am (#)

    Okay, those are amazing! What a delicious idea!


  17. Ashton posted on September 27, 2013 at 8:29 am (#)

    I bet you’re wishing I was working on OBC instead of commenting on your blog, aren’tcha? I will, I will! But I just wanted to stop by and say these look amazing!! I’m in love! And I’m totally working Chris to let me hire someone to come clean our dinky little house once a month. Totally a business expense… 😉


  18. Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie posted on September 27, 2013 at 8:58 am (#)

    You just blew my mind. This HAS to be in my belly asap.


  19. Nicole @ Young, Broke and Hungry posted on September 27, 2013 at 11:48 am (#)

    Ok, this recipe just blew my mind!


  20. Lindsay @ Life, Love and Sugar posted on September 27, 2013 at 12:21 pm (#)

    Could you be any more brilliant?!?! These are AWESOME!! I want one of them, and I want the housekeeper. So jealous. :)


    • Dorothy Kern replied on September 27th, 2013 at 5:12 pm

      Believe me, it’s needed. I am the WORST housekeeper!


  21. Heather @ French Press posted on September 27, 2013 at 4:23 pm (#)

    Dorothy – this is amazing! and they are so pretty :) I clean before my cleaning gets here too :) and I HATE to clean


  22. Elizabeth @ Confessions of a Baking Queen posted on September 27, 2013 at 8:45 pm (#)

    This is amazing, I almost got a pretzel at the mall the other day but resisted! Looks like I can just make them from home- this is amazing!! LOVE LOVE LOVE! And my parents are coming home after a month of being gone so naturally we are hiring a cleaner and I keep on at my sisters clean up the cleaner will be here!! LOL it’s just one of those things you do that doesn’t make sense lol!!


  23. Erin | The Emerging Foodie posted on September 28, 2013 at 8:42 am (#)

    Oh my yum. This is such a genius idea!!


  24. Jocelyn @BruCrew Life posted on September 29, 2013 at 11:33 am (#)

    Mind. Blown. This is so crazy awesome!!! What a fun and exciting twist to using a cake mix…you are a genius! :-)


  25. Candace Perkins posted on September 29, 2013 at 6:43 pm (#)

    I’m so excited to try this recipe!! I’m wanting to make these for a baby shower in two weeks and was wondering how well they keep like over night? If I make them the afternoon before the shower will they taste as good the next day? Will they get hard? Should I put them in a covered dish or ziplock bag? Thanks so much…I want to share these amazing pretzels with everyone, but I want them to get the most pleasure out of eating them :)


    • Dorothy Kern replied on September 29th, 2013 at 7:48 pm

      I had mine on the counter in a ziploc bag for 2 days, and then I froze the rest! They’ll keep fine over night. They may “weep” a little, but you can just pat them dry, or add more sprinkles (it won’t affect the taste, I think it’s just from being a yeasted bread). Enjoy!!


  26. Amy posted on September 30, 2013 at 3:00 pm (#)

    Oh. My. Goodness. Dorothy, you are brilliant!! To put cake and pretzels together… That’s something most people would never do. And yes, totally worth all of the sprinkles covering the counters and floors! (Flour seems to do that at my house too… Not just the cocoa powder!)


  27. Ashley @ Kitchen Meets Girl posted on September 30, 2013 at 8:50 pm (#)

    I’m in love with these, just so you know.


  28. Aly posted on October 18, 2013 at 10:16 pm (#)

    Okay, I tried the cake batter soft pretzels. They were horrendous. I don’t know anyone could find these appealing. I followed the recipe to a tee and they even came out looking good. However, they were just a watered down sweet bread. I even made a glaze of powdered sugar, butter, milk, and vanilla to dip them in but they were still inedible.


    • Dorothy Kern replied on October 20th, 2013 at 4:00 pm

      I’m sorry you didn’t like them Aly! They definitely aren’t pretzel like – more of a sweet cake-like bread, as I mentioned. So sorry you didn’t enjoy them!


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  30. Elaine @ Cooking to Perfection posted on November 21, 2013 at 7:38 am (#)

    This is such an awesome idea, Dorothy! Definitely plan on making these this weekend. :)


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  32. Mark Winnie posted on January 16, 2014 at 10:39 pm (#)

    Do you think these will work with a brownie mix ?


    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 17th, 2014 at 6:45 am

      I’ve never tried it (it’s on my list). I say give it a try! Make sure you don’t use the whole box of mix; that’s a double batch. And I’m not sure how much flour to use, so start with about 1 cup and work up from there until your dough comes together and isn’t too sticky! Let me know if it works!


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