Cinnamon Sugar Soft Pretzels — Baked in a muffin pan and made with refrigerated dough to save time, you’re going to LOVE how FAST and EASY these finger-lickin’ sweet pretzel bites are! A simple powdered sugar glaze makes pulling apart this buttery soft pretzel dough coated with cinnamon and sugar just irresistible!
Table of Contents
- Easy Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites
- Ingredients in Cinnamon Sugar Soft Pretzels
- How to Make Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Twists in a Muffin Pan
- Dipping Ideas
- Do I Have to Use Refrigerated Pizza Dough?
- Is a Muffin Pan Necessary for Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Twists?
- Can I Make Mini Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites?
- Storage Instructions
- Flavor Variations to Try
- Tips for the Best Cinnamon Sugar Soft Pretzels
- Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Twists Recipe
- More Easy Pretzel Recipes:
Easy Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites
One of my guilty pleasures when I go to the mall — although that is more and more rare these days when online shopping is just so darn convenient — is to go get a soft warm pretzel. Depending on the mall, that’s likely either an Auntie Anne’s or a Wetzel’s Pretzels.
I can’t resist warm dough doused in cinnamon-sugar with sweet glaze on the side or drizzled over.
Well, lookout mall pretzels because these easy cinnamon sugar pretzel twists are baked in a muffin pan, ready in 25 minutes from start to finish, and use refrigerated dough to save time and energy. Pizza dough from a tube never tasted so perfect!
Pulling apart the soft and chewy, buttery dough, bit-by-bit, as you lick cinnamon sugar from your fingers is where it’s at.
And don’t forget the easy whisk-together powdered sugar based glaze that just takes this easy dessert recipe right over the top.
Whether you want to serve these family favorite muffin pan pretzel twists as an after-school snack, an easy weeknight dessert idea, or for a casual party, everyone goes nuts for these cinnamon sugar pretzels!
Ingredients in Cinnamon Sugar Soft Pretzels
For these fast and easy cinnamon sugar pretzel twists, you only need a handful of very common and easy-to-find fridge and pantry ingredients:
- Pillsbury Refrigerated Classic Pizza Crust Dough
- Unsalted butter, melted
- Granulated sugar
- Light brown sugar
- Confectioners’ sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Milk or half-and-half
Note: Scroll down to the recipe card section of the post for the ingredients with amounts included and for more complete directions.
How to Make Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Twists in a Muffin Pan
Making these cinnamon sugar pretzel twists that are baked in a muffin tin is fast and easy! Follow these straightforward steps and in less than a half hour you’ll be enjoying one.
- Preheat your oven and spray a 12-count muffin pan very well with nonstick cooking spray.
- Unroll the pizza dough (or roll out scratch dough if using) onto your counter or cutting board.
- In a small bowl, mix the butter, sugars, and cinnamon to form a thick paste.
- Spread the paste over half the dough.
- Fold the other half of the dough over it, like folding a piece of paper in half, and sprinkle with additional cinnamon and sugar.
- Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut the dough vertically into 8 pieces.
- Twist each piece into a rope.
- Fold it under itself to make a tie and place the pieces in the muffin pan.
- Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes and while they bake, whisk all the glaze ingredients together.
- Drizzle the baked pretzel twists with glaze as desired and serve immediately!
Rather than using just a simple powdered sugar glaze, dipping the cinnamon sugar soft pretzels in Salted Caramel Sauce, Nutella, or Cookie Butter are all excellent choices!
Do I Have to Use Refrigerated Pizza Dough?
Part of the appeal of this family favorite snack recipe is that it’s fast, easy, and made with refrigerated dough to save time and energy. I’ve found that Pillsbury Refrigerated Classic Pizza Dough is the best dough for the job.
Either crescent roll dough or biscuit dough could potentially work.
However, the downfall is that they’re both flakier and lighter types of dough which is great for say a Chicken Pot Pie with Crescent Roll Crust when you want something light and flaky. Or in something such as Easy Stuffed Cheese Bread Rolls where a soft, biscuit-like texture is the goal.
But in pretzels, you want something a bit heartier, chewier, and with less flakiness which is why I find pizza dough to be the best of the pre-made, store bought, refrigerated dough options.
Finally, I’ve found that the Pillsbury brand works better than store brands, generics, or other name brands. But your mileage may vary.
Can I Use Scratch Dough for Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Twists?
If you don’t live in an area where refrigerated dough is common or easy to find, or you’re just one of those “gotta do it from scratch” people, I’ve got you covered with a few different 100% from-scratch dough options:
- Homemade Soft Pretzels – These are very chewy, hearty, soft pretzels that are easy to make and reminiscent of food court pretzels from say Auntie Anne’s or Wetzels. I’ve never eaten a true German pretzel but these potentially are very close because they’re also made with beer!
- Soft Buttery One Hour Pretzels – Very similar to the above in that they are soft and chewy, but they are a bit fluffier and not quite as chewy. They’re buttery, fast, easy, and do-able in one hour. Also very similar to Auntie Anne’s or Wetzels.
- One-Hour Chocolate Or Cinnamon-Sugar Pretzel Bites – Just like the pretzel bites at the mall, except these are better! One version is chocolate from being dipped in cocoa powder and the other is cinnamon-sugar. You’ll be fighting over who gets the last pretzel bite!
- One-Hour Soft Buttery Breadsticks – The recipe is quite similar to the One Hour Pretzel recipe (above) but uses a bit less flour and uses all-purpose rather than bread flour, to yield a fluffier and softer result, which isn’t quite as chewy since AP flour will never give you the chewy factor than bread flour will because it has less overall gluten, and the more gluten = the more chewiness.
Bottom line: Pick you favorite scratch dough recipe based on my descriptions although if it were me, I would opt for Option 2 or Option 3 (keep in strips and don’t slice into bites) based on taste, text, ease, and quickness!
Is a Muffin Pan Necessary for Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Twists?
The recipe, as written, makes 8 pretzel twists. Since it’s unlikely you have an 8-count muffin pan, bake them in a standard 12-count muffin pan.
You don’t need a “jumbo” or oversized muffin pan, just a regular depth and size is fine.
I do suggest baking them in a muffin pan because the cavities of the pan will help contain the dough so it doesn’t spread all over which is what will happen if you bake these on a sheet pan.
You could I suppose, but you won’t end up with cute, muffin-shaped pretzel twists and instead will have something much more spread out, flat, and not as pretty.
Can I Make Mini Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites?
For those who have the patience to roll 16 strips or so, and bake them in a mini muffin pan, this should work fine.
I haven’t tested it (no patience) so I can’t say for how long they’ll need to bake. However, my guess is not long at all, maybe 6 to 8 minutes, give or take, depending on your pan. But of course keep an eye on them.
Also, don’t use the tiniest of tiny mini muffin pans. You need a bit of depth with the cavities to get the dough squished in otherwise it’ll just expand all over the surface of the pan during baking.
Being that this recipe only make 8 cinnamon sugar pretzel twist muffins, having leftovers shouldn’t be a big problem.
Especially because these pretzel muffins are so addictively good with that cinnamon sugar and the glaze.
They’re best when eaten warm and fresh, although extras will keep airtight at room temp for up to 4 days.
Flavor Variations to Try
In case you’re not a sweets person, or you’re craving something a little more savory, you can skip the glazed cinnamon-and-sugar routine and make one of these variations instead:
- Buttery Herb – Mix together the same amount of melted butter with the herbs of your choice. Dried basil, dried cilantro, rosemary, or your favorite herbs will work great. Use about 3 to 4 teaspoons total, or as desired.
- Parmesan and Herb – Same concept as above, use the same amount of butter and herbs, but also sprinkle the inside of the dough generously with finely grated Parmesan cheese before slicing into 8 pieces and twisting them.
- Garlic Butter – You guessed it – add finely minced garlic to the butter mixture before spreading it on. This is a situation where prepared garlic in a squeeze bottle or jar will come in handy and likely give a better result.
- (Spicy) Taco – Use your favorite taco seasoning, mixed with the butter, and if you want a bit of heat, add a pinch of cayenne pepper too or dried red chili flakes.
The flavor combos are endless based on what you enjoy and have on hand because soft and chewy warm dough with melted butter inside “goes” with just about everything!
Tips for the Best Cinnamon Sugar Soft Pretzels
Refrigerated Dough – As I discussed above, using Pillsbury Refrigerated Classic Pizza Dough is my favorite because not only is it a great time-saving shortcut, but I like the texture the best when compared to say crescent roll or biscuit dough. Ialso like the Pillsbury brand after experimenting with some other brands and store brands.
Scratch Dough – For those wanting a scratch dough to make the cinnamon and sugar pretzels, I gave three options for that including:
- Homemade Soft Pretzels
- Soft Buttery One Hour Pretzels
- One-Hour Chocolate Or Cinnamon-Sugar Pretzel Bites
- One-Hour Soft Buttery Breadsticks
Make sure to read the above section so you can make a more informed decision about the various doughs, if you want to make your own dough.
From there, follow this recipe, making sure to roll out your scratch dough to about 1/4-inch thick and approximately an 8×12-inch rectangle, and then fill it with the buttery cinnamon-sugar paste mixture, slice into strips, place in muffin pans and bake as needed.
Scratch dough may need a few extra minutes in the oven to bake, but keep an eye on it.
Twisting the Dough – This isn’t an exact science. Twist your ropes of dough how you think they look good, are secure, and fit nicely into your muffin pan. You can evaluate how they bake up, and for future batches, make adjustments in your twisting technique, if necessary.
Baking the Pretzel Twists – This is a very hot oven and even 1 minute matters so keep a very close eye on the dough in the final minutes of baking so they don’t accidentally get too dark or burn.
Bake on the center oven rack, rotating the pan once midway through baking for optimal results.
Confectioners’ Sugar – I suggest sifting your powdered sugar if it’s at all lumpy. It’s hard to smooth out lumps after you’ve added the milk and no one wants a lumpy glaze.
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Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Twists
- one 13.8-ounce can refrigerated pizza dough*, or similar dough, or see Notes for scratch options
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar + 1 tablespoon
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon + 1 teaspoon
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted if lumpy
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 to 2 tablespoons milk or half-and-half, as necessary
- Pretzel Twists - Preheat oven to 425F and spray a 12-count muffin pan very well with cooking spray. Tip - You're only going to use 8 of the 12 cavities so spray only that many. You can stagger them around the pan; set aside.
- Untoll the refrigerated pizza dough onto your clean countertop or large cutting board. If using scratch dough, roll it out to 1/4-inch thick, about 8x12-inches in size; set aside.
- To a small bowl, add the melted butter, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, all the light brown sugar, 2 tablespoons cinnamon, and stir to combine until a thick paste forms. Note - You are reserving the final tablespoon of of granulated sugar and final teaspoon of cinnamon; set aside.
- Spread this paste mixture over half the dough.
- Fold the "bald" dough down over the paste, like you're folding a piece of paper in half.
- To a small bowl, add the remaining 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and stir to combine to form cinnamon-sugar and evenly sprinkle this over the visible surface of the folded dough.
- Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut vertical slices of dough, divided into 8 pieces equally, meaning each strip should be about 1-inch wide. Tip - I don't recommend making more or less than 8 strips of dough (which will change the yield of the recipe) because strips this size fit very well into the muffin pan and will bake as directed.
- Twist each piece of dough and fold it under itself to make a tie or knot and place each twist of dough into the prepared pan. Tip - This isn't an exact science. Twist it how you think it looks good, is secure, and fits nicely into your muffin pan. You can evaluate how they bake up, and for future batches, make adjustments in your twisting technique, if necessary.
- Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly golden browned. Tips - This is a very hot oven and even 1 minute matters so keep a very close eye on the dough in the final minutes of baking. Bake on the center oven rack, rotating the pan once midway through baking for optimal results. Note that scratch dough may need a few more minutes to bake then refrigerated store bought dough.
- Allow the pretzel twists to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. While they cool, whisk the glaze together.
- Glaze - To a small bowl, add the confectioners' sugar, vanilla extra, and drizzle in the milk 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is achiveved.
- Evenly drizzle the glaze over the tops of the pretzel twists, or as desired. Pretzel twists are best served warm and fresh but will keep airtight at room temp for up to 4 days.
- Homemade Soft Pretzels - Very chewy, hearty, soft pretzels that are easy to make and reminiscent of food court pretzels from say Auntie Anne's or Wetzels. I've never eaten a true German pretzel but these potentially are very close because they're also made with beer!
- Soft Buttery One Hour Pretzels - Very similar to the above in that they are soft and chewy, but they are a bit fluffier and not quite as chewy. They're buttery, fast, easy, and do-able in one hour. Also very similar to Auntie Anne's or Wetzels.
- One-Hour Chocolate Or Cinnamon-Sugar Pretzel Bites - Just like the pretzel bites at the mall, except these are better! One version is chocolate from being dipped in cocoa powder and the other is cinnamon-sugar. You'll be fighting over who gets the last pretzel bite!
- One-Hour Soft Buttery Breadsticks - The recipe is quite similar to the One Hour Pretzel recipe (above) but uses a bit less flour and uses all-purpose rather than bread flour, to yield a fluffier and softer result, which isn't quite as chewy since AP flour will never give you the chewy factor than bread flour will because it has less overall gluten, and the more gluten = the more chewiness.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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More Easy Pretzel Recipes:
Homemade Soft Pretzels — These jumbo pretzels are soft, chewy, and just like the IRRESISTIBLE ones at your local mall’s food court! Skip the mall and make these at home in ONE HOUR with this EASY to follow recipe and step-by-step photos! Whether you want to sprinkle them with coarse salt or cinnamon-sugar, these carby delights will be an automatic family FAVORITE!
Soft Buttery One Hour Pretzels — Make these in an hour and save yourself a trip to the food court and save money, too! So good, soft, buttery tasting, and so easy!
One-Hour Chocolate and Cinnamon-Sugar Soft Pretzel Bites — Make your own soft & chewy pretzel bites in an hour! You won’t believe how easy it is!