Salted Caramel Pretzel Blondies

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Salted Caramel Pretzel Blondies – Salty-and-sweet, soft and crunchy. If you enjoy contrasting flavors and textures, these easy blondies are just for you.

Salted Caramel Pretzel Blondies averiecooks.com

Salty and sweet, soft and crunchy. A jackpot of contrasting flavors and textures.

And since I’m a caramel fanatic, these are my sweet, sticky heaven.

In case you haven’t noticed, salted caramel is pretty trendy right now, and the salty-and-sweet craze shows no signs of weakening. So I hopped on the trendy train and made these in five minutes. They’re so easy.

From a time and energy invested perspective, this recipe has an exceedingly high return on investment. One bowl, no mixer, no dough to chill, nothing to knead, and just minutes after starting, the pan is going into the oven. I wish all recipes were like this.

Salted Caramel Pretzel Blondies averiecooks.com

Make them by melting a stick of butter, stir in brown sugar, an egg, vanilla, flour, and then fold in two cups of pretzels. I crush them slightly in my hand with a gentle squeeze before folding them in. Some are more crushed than others, but I didn’t want them to look too uniform. Rustic is nice.

Transfer the batter to a lined 8-by-8-inch pan and then drizzle about one-third cup salted caramel sauce over the top in a zigzag pattern. I used Trader Joe’s Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce but any thick, dense, good-quality caramel sauce will do. Don’t use a thin, lackluster ice cream sundae topping, many of which aren’t even real caramel sauce.

Trader Joe's Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce

Making your own (Dark Rum) Caramel Sauce is also an option option.

Or, rather than making Seven Minute Microwave Caramels, undercook the mixture by a couple minutes and rather than 7-minute caramels, you’ll have 5-minute caramel sauce.

Salted Caramel Pretzel Blondies averiecooks.com

Bake the blondies for about 30 minutes. If you’re an oven door-watcher, you’ll notice the caramel bubbles up at points during the baking process, creating big bubble-gum style bubbles. It was like Hubba-Bubba in the pan.

After removing the pan from the oven, drizzle a bit more caramel sauce over the blondies. This covers up the little bubbles that formed on the caramel sauce that occurred while baking, provides more caramel flavor intensity, and adds the element of both baked-in and freshly drizzled caramel sauce. I told you I’m a caramel fanatic.

Salted Caramel Pretzel Blondies averiecooks.com

Allow the bars to cool and for the freshly drizzled caramel to soak in for at least one hour before slicing them so you don’t have a hot, buttery, mess on your hands. Literally.

They’re dense, not at all cakey, and so buttery and rich. Brown sugar is used exclusively, which keeps them so soft and moist. The brown sugar caramelizes while baking, adding even more caramel flavor depth.

Salted Caramel Pretzel Blondies averiecooks.com

The bars are pure comfort food and make you feel at peace while devouring one. The butter, the caramelized brown sugar, and the caramel sauce are so soothing. You just want to close your eyes while you bite in to savor all those luscious flavors and different textures.

The little bits of pretzels add crunch and texture and if I didn’t know better, I would swear they were cashews.

Salted Caramel Pretzel Blondies averiecooks.com

I asked my husband if he liked the cashews I put in the bars and he said, “Yes, they’re great. Normally you don’t put nuts in things though.” Right, and I don’t.

And I didn’t add cashews to this recipe, but while baking, the pretzels morphed into cashew-like bits and these could have easily been called Salted Carmel Cashew Blondies.

Salted Caramel Pretzel Blondies averiecooks.com

It’s good that this is a small batch recipe, making just 9 squares, or we’d be in trouble. My husband told me these are some of the best bars I’ve ever made. He does say that about once a month, and I don’t always take him seriously, but these were a hit with my family.

Salted caramel and salty-and-sweet may be trendy, but they’re trends I sure appreciate.

Salted Caramel Pretzel Blondies averiecooks.com

Salted Caramel Pretzel Blondies - Soft, crunchy, chewy, salty-and-sweet. Something for everyone in these easy blondies! Recipe at averiecooks.com

Salted Caramel Pretzel Blondies - Salty-and-sweet, soft and crunchy. If you enjoy contrasting flavors and textures, these easy blondies are just for you.

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Yield: 9

Salted Caramel Pretzel Blondies

Salted Caramel Pretzel Blondies

Salty-and-sweet, soft and crunchy. If you enjoy contrasting flavors and textures, these easy blondies are just for you. The batter comes together in 5 minutes by hand and in one bowl. Bits of pretzels are baked in and add crunch and texture to bars that are otherwise smooth, rich, dense and so moist. Salted caramel sauce is used both before and after baking, creating bars that are oozing with buttery, sticky, caramely goodness and are perfect for any caramel fanatic.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter, about 1 minute. To the melted butter (allow it to cool slightly so you don't scramble the egg), add the egg, brown sugar, vanilla, and whisk vigorously to combine. Add the flour and stir until just combined, taking care not to over-mix or the blondies will be tough. Fold in the pretzels (I crush them in the palm of my hand by squeezing them). Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing it lightly with a spatula or offset knife. Drizzle about 1/3 cup caramel sauce over the pan in a zig-zag pattern. Bake for about 28 to 32 minutes, or until center is just set. Watch the actual blondies/dough, not the caramel sauce, because it won't fully set. A toothpick should come out mostly clean if you can find a patch of dough to test without hitting a pretzel or caramel sauce. Don't overbake; these are meant to be gooey and firm up as they cool.
  2. Immediately after removing pan from oven, drizzle about 1/4 cup caramel sauce over the top in a zig-zag pattern, following the original zig-zag pattern if possible. Optionally, sprinkle with coarse salt to play up the salty-and-sweet contrast. Allow blondies to cool completely in pan and for caramel sauce to soak in somewhat before slicing and serving, at least one hour. Blondies may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  3. To keep gluten-free, use your favorite gluten-free flour blend, taking care that all other ingredients used are acceptable for your dietary needs.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

9

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 292Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 313mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 1gSugar: 25gProtein: 4g

Related Recipes:

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Browned Butter Caramel and Butterscotch Bars

Coconut White Chocolate Chip Blondies – A dense, rich, almost fudge-like blondie that has notes of caramel, and incorporates coconut, white, and semi-sweet chocolate. Easy, fast, and ready in under 30 minutes

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Do you like salty-and-sweet desserts? Caramel or salted caramel?

Tell me all about your favorite recipes and links welcome.

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Comments

  1. I made these for my husband’s birthday, and this recipe exceeded our high expectations. So good same day, and excellent after being in the refrigerator! Thank you for sharing 😊

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad it exceeded your high expectations! Happy bday to him, too!

  2. I did not make the salted caramel pretzel blondies yet but they look amazing! The pictures all look like there are pretzels on top of the caramel but i don’t see this in the recipe. Did i miss something?

  3. Everything looks so good! I’m trying out the salted caramel pretzel bars as I’m writing this. I made the batter, exactly as you said, the only thing was I wanted to try it with coconut flour instead of all purpose. . So I did everything as you had it, as soon as I added the flour it didn’t look quite like a batter but more like sand, I would say is the best I van describe that. ..well they are in the oven now. We shall see! ! Thanks for the recipes! :)

    1. You can’t substitute coconut flour for AP flour in any kind of baking as a 1:1 swap! The two aren’t interchangeable because yes, coconut flour is extremely absorbent and everything turns to that wet sand consistency. You can do a mixture of coconut/AP flour but you need to really play with ratios and lots of baking experimentation. Good luck!

  4. Could you add chocolate to these or would it be too sweet? I love your Salted Caramel Chocolate Pecan bars, but I don’t have pecans, and I do have pretzels… wondering if I can add them to this recipe? :)

    1. You could add chocolate to these as long as it’s darker (I wouldn’t use milk). Or you can just make the the Salted Caramel Chocolate Pecan bars and use pretzels rather than pecans. Or make these and add chocolate. Or sort of make a hybrid of the two :)

  5. Any recommendations on a good egg substitute for vegans? Would Earth Balance work instead of unsalted butter? The recipe looks delish but I’m always a little hesitant when I’m attempting to veganize a recipe. I’ve had a few failed attempts veganizing other recipes so any help is most appreciated.

    1. This isn’t a recipe I would choose to veganize since there are so many elements that aren’t vegan and you’d have to really go out of your way to make them vegan, i.e. the pretzels, the caramel, etc.

      If you’re looking for vegan desserts, I have them – lots of cakes and muffins especially – and those are often easier to veganize even if there’s say 1 egg, you can use a flax egg. Of if there’s 1/2 cup melted butter, you can use 1/2 oil in most cases. Things like that but this isn’t one I would necessarily recommend trying to veganize unless you’re a more experienced baker.

      Poke around here https://www.averiecooks.com/category/bread and https://www.averiecooks.com/category/dessert/cake

  6. I’m on a caramel kick right now. And it’s summer…. bad timing for swim suit season. I’ll have to make these soon. Just made a trip to TJ’s and bought the caramel sauce (because it was calling my name). I may add mini chocolate chips.

    1. They’d be great with mini choc chips and I always have at least 2 of those jars of TJs caramel on hand for ’emergencies’ :) Hope you enjoy the bars!

      1. 2 jars on hand? No way could I have 2 jars around. I love this stuff too much. :)

  7. Wow! These look wonderful. The salty and sweet combo is definitely a favorite of mine! Love it, pinned! :)

  8. I loooveee pretzels combined with sweet stuff. And I also love blondies, so these souond like a homerun!

  9. We don’t have a TJ’s in Austin yet, but I made these last week with caramel made from microwaved sweetened condensed milk and they were delicious!

    1. So glad to hear you loved these and that you made due with another version for caramel sauce – way to go! Thanks for coming back to tell me you made these!

  10. My SIL loves salted caramel (as do I), so I knew these would be a perfect addition to the baby shower luncheon I was hosting for her. I followed your recipe to a T, and they turned out perfectly! My weekend was a busy one of travelling, so as I was making these at 1 in the morning, I was entirely thankful that they were a one bowl recipe!

    The only thing that I did differently, is that I knew that I was going to cut them into 16 smaller bars, so I placed 16 small pretzels in rows and columns on the blondies after I took them out of the oven. I SLIGHTLY pressed them into the completed blondie, and then I drizzed the rest of the salted caramel sauce on them.

    They were a HUGE hit, and unfortunately, I was didn’t have any leftovers. =) Many people asked me for the recipe. These are definitely a fast and easy dessert I plan to make often. Thank you!!!

    1. So glad they were a huge hit and that people were asking for the recipe! That’s wonderful! And 16 bars with 16 small pretzels in the middle of each square, cute idea! Thanks for LMK you tried these!

  11. I tried this recipe and I don’t think I can ever make it again!! I couldn’t stay out of them and they are waayyy too addictive!

  12. Those pretzel blondies look wonderful. I am going to add them to my list of things to make for church snack and other events. Thanks for sharing.

  13. hi there~
    i was wondering do you think this receipe could be doubled and made in a 9×13 pan? or would that ruin the baking process for them to turn our correctly? i am making them for a large party, and using 8×8 pans i will need to make at least 6 or 8 batches. i did make one 8×8 batch. had to use dulce de leche as we don’t have a trader joe’s here in colorado (yet) and it was much thicker than i expected. but i got RAVE reviews from my friends. i can’t wait to try some of your other receipes! thanks

    1. That Mrs. Richards or Mrs. Richardson’s? ice cream topping/caramel sauce (sold right next to the Smucker’s in most grocery stores) – that stuff will work for you too and it’s not crazy expensive. You could sprinkle some coarse salt over it, to taste, based on what you like…in case you want to try that rather than dulce de leche.

      And I totally think you could double the recipe and bake in a 9×13. If you try either the Mrs. R’s or the 9×13 pan, LMK how it works!

  14. Loved the pretzel blondies! Ate most of the pan myself – i’m so weak :-} I liked how the crunch of the pretzels were like nuts. How did you get the pretzels on the top – did you reserve some to pat on top of the dough – cause mine were all incorporated. I used your recipe to make the caramel sauce, and seriously, that is just way too easy, too! Do you know why it might have separated into a clear liquid on the bottom and caramel on the top? Anyway, great site and great recipes!

    1. did you reserve some to pat on top of the dough = yes a couple pieces I laid loosely on top for the photogenic factor :)

      used your recipe to make the caramel sauce – good! (I have 2 recipes for it)

      Do you know why it might have separated into a clear liquid on the bottom and caramel on the top? – no, which recipe did you use and I may be able to help you more. I linked to 2 within the recipe section of the post. LMK!

  15. I love these, Averie. Of course, you already know that cuz you saw my blog post, but I totally forgot to leave a comment here. They are Beeeeeautiful!

    1. Thanks Lindsay! Feel free to drop in the link here in the comments to your post b/c that way if people want a vegan version, they’ll know it’s possible!

  16. I’ll have to add that caramel sauce to my list of things to buy the next time I’m near a Trader Joes.

  17. Wow, these look amazing! I am also a big fan of the salted caramel craze, and it’s not big in Australia, so I’ve missed it! I honestly think I have to make these tonight…yes that’s it I’m headed to the store! Thanks :)

  18. These blondies look insanely addicting – I really hope the salted caramel trend never, ever, ends! (The jar of caramel sauce wouldn’t last very long around me!) :D

  19. Oh, how I adore sweet and salty!! I’ve been eating GF pretzels lately and was thinking about dipping them in PB&J, but caramel sounds better. I made blondies for Dustin the other day; these outdo them by a mile! YUMMMMMM :D

    1. Oh and these are very easy to make GF. Use an general GF flour for the dough (and b/c it’s dense and in a pan, i.e. not cookies) whatever you use will be fine. And then with the GF pretzels, you’re set! Easy and GF!

  20. I’m literally drooling. Every single things about these is screaming “SALLY! Make me now.” I have a feeling you made these with me in mind, no? ;) Just kidding. But you know I love my sweet and salty Averie! And blondies. What a killer combination. And you know I love nuts in my baked goods (our only difference!) and the pretzels aka “cashews” sound like heaven to me. Geez girl, you are on a roll this week!

    1. These ARE so you! The whole time I was making them, I was thinking Sally would love these! I actually liked them tons (despite the pretzels turning into cashews..lol) and Scott LOVED them!

  21. I can absolutely get on board with the sweet-and-salty trend, too, and these look PERFECT. They also give me a nice excuse to buy pretzels, which I usually don’t allow myself to indulge in. ;) Blondes do it best!

    1. I don’t even know how you read blogs on all your cleanses or post-cleanses! But yes, if your biggest indulgence is pretzels, I think you’re safe and can buy some :)

  22. Salted caramel is one trend I will never get tired of. And I LOVE that they make only 9 bars, because that is always my big problem with dessert recipes–they make too much!

  23. Oh my goodness, this is such a gorgeous creation! My mouth is watering right now looking at this perfect blend of flavors.

  24. I can’t look at your blog without my mouth watering– thanks for the wonderful pinterest worthy recipes and great pictures of the goodies you make!

  25. Referring to your comment about how the pretzels end up tasting like cashews…Do you imagine that one could actually substitute roasted salted cashews for the pretzels?…Or would it mangle your exquisite recipe?!…I love pretzels…but unfortunately my hubby is NOT a fan…yet he loves salted caramel and salty cashews!…Thanks for any insight!

  26. Wow! These look so good! Love the salty and sweet combo, so I definitely need to make these soon!!

  27. Wow, these look so good. I’m a sucker for bars and salty and sweet just do it for me :)

  28. Salted caramel is my ultimate weakness! And I actually have a bag of pretzels just waiting to be used up!

  29. So excited to try making these!!! Do you think I could try subbing browned butter for the melted butter? I can’t imagine browned butter being bad in anything, but I’m just wondering if it complicate them too much. I was also considering using browned butter in your Cranberry Bliss Bars (which I love).

    1. Browned butter would be AMAZING in these! I didn’t call for it because sometimes that scares people off from making a recipe (they think they’re going to burn it or something) but it would be fabulous in these! Go for it!

      In the Cran Bliss Bars…I would probably use melted just b/c I really want the delicate flavors of white choc and cranberry to shine rather than the nuttiness of the butter, but it’s a judgment call and you can’t go wrong either way.

      Please LMK what you end up making!

    1. Thanks, Jaclyn! I wish we could taste-test each other’s desserts. You have so many things I want to try!

  30. Mmm I usually don’t love blondies because they’re typically cakey, but these look so dense and fudgy and yummy! Caramel and pretzels together are my weakness, so clearly I need to try these. How convenient I just bought a jar of that caramel sauce! :) Pinned!

    1. Cakey comes from leavening agents, IMO. Either baking soda/powder and I use neither so they stay dense and ‘fudgdy’ like a brownie would!

  31. Oooh. Rustic AND hubba bubba in the pan! These look so delicious. I love how Scotts tells you so frequently that “these are the best bars you’ve ever made.” That is so great. Salty and sweet is such a delicious combo. I love how easy these are, too. Definitely going to try these out!

  32. Seriously, I could drink that salted caramel straight from the jar. My mouth is watering – these blondies are made for me. And I’m totally an oven watcher. And an oven peeker, even worse!

    1. And as a blogger, you want to make sure that if there’s something weird that happens, that you can document it. I’ve had plenty of cakes and breads do crazy things in the oven that you’d never expect but (usually) turn out just fine in the end.

  33. Mm you had me at the first line! Sweet, salty, crunchy, soft!! These bars look gorgeous and I love the salted caramel baked in and drizzled on top!!

  34. These look amazing Averie! Love the addition of pretzels and you can never go wrong with caramel sauce! Can’t wait to try them :)

  35. I love blondies and caramel and pretzels so these are screaming my name. I’m also super curious to see the big caramel bubbles in the oven :)

  36. The whole salted anything idea always seemed weird to me … until I finally tried it a few months ago. Oh goodness gracious am I hooked haha These sound amazing … and I love Trader Joe’s fleur de sel caramel sauce… and now I wish I had some (and these bars) right now!

  37. Oh.my.heaven. these look utterly delicious! I am definitely making these, and will have to check out your caramel recipes too!

  38. This is probably THE BEST way to improve upon Blondies! Salted Caramel & Pretzels! Salty. Sweet. Heaven. xo

  39. These look fantastic, and I would never guess that the recipe would contain so few ingredients! Sweet and salty desserts get me every time! ;)

  40. Averie, I’d push over my own grandmother right now to get to a pan of these. Ohmahgaw they look so good. I love the salty sweet combo. I made a layer of pretzel-potato-chip-caramel for a chocolate cake a few months ago and I could’ve eaten a giant bowlful of just the salty sweet caramel mixture. It’s a party in the mouth, that’s for sure. I can’t wait to try these bars.

    1. Your pretzel-potato-chip-caramel sounds great! And on cake no less. Normally I see the salty-sweet with bars or cookies sometimes but cake sounds so unique and fab!

  41. How did you know that I have a ginormous bag of pretzels that I wasn’t sure what to do with? These look FABULOUS. They will be happening in my kitchen this week!

    1. Don’t wait for the weekend! They take literally 5 mins to whip up! Unless you have an event or something :)

  42. Woah. Woah. WOAH. These are SERIOUSLY after my own heart. I’m really crushing on all things sweet and salty in one bite these days, and I also love the combination of soft and crunchy at the same time. Fantastic dessert bars, Averie!

    P.S. Top Secret Confession: Blondies are way preferred over brownies in my household!

    P.P.S. I can’t WAIT to see the new design that Lindsay mentioned the other day!!!

    1. You would LOVE these! They are music to your ears, knowing what you tend to gravitate toward!

  43. Ummmm, this might be my favorite thing you’ve ever made. I am in so much love. Sweet & salty is my very favorite, plus the crunchy and soft textures working together? Uggghhh, I want to eat these until I’m in a total sugar coma, then eat more.

    1. They’re not even that sweet..I mean, yes, of course they are but a piece of bday cake with frosting is way sweeter so no worries about a sugar coma :)

  44. I love the sweet and salty combo, I hope the trend doesn’t die! These remind me of a chocolate peanute butter pretzel bar that I made a few weeks ago! Can’t wait to try this recipe

    1. The bars sounds great and I love the crumb cake you just made. Crumb cakes are another fave of mine!

  45. Seriously drooling over these bars… that combo of salted caramel and pretzels is perfection!

  46. These look fabulous! Chewy, salty, sweet, and crunchy…who could ask for anything more?

  47. I hear one bowl and I am already running to the kitchen. Not having a dishwasher makes you appreciate recipes with little clean up. And these blondies have the sweet and salty going on that I cant resist!

    1. I do have a dishwasher but don’t ever wash my stand mixer stuff or any of my nice kitchen equipment in the DW b/c it just degrades it so much faster so I hand wash so I like one-bowl recipes too :)

  48. I can see why they’d be a hit with your family. They’d be a hit with anyone’s family!

  49. Those caramel puddles on top are to die for (and the shots of the inside of the bar are just as mouth watering)! I make my own salted caramel mochas and love most anything sweet and salty. I found another good flavor combo at TJ’s–their cookie butter filled dark chocolate bar. That would be easy to make at home (and even better with your cookie butter)!

    1. I purposefully don’t buy their cookie butter filled dark chocolate bar…I could make it but really, just too tempting :) And these bars were so fun to shoot. Some recipes I hate very picture I take; but with these, all that caramel was just so fun to play with!

  50. Holy cow – these have my name all over them. I love love caramel and pretzels! One year my sister and I actually managed to get caramel melted enough to dip pretzel sticks in then coated in chocolate. In hindsight, putting them on a baking tray would have been easier, less messy.

  51. OH my goodness. Salty and sweet I can’t ask for anything more such a sucker for pretzels and caramel!

  52. I love a good sweet and salty treat and salted caramel gets me every time. These are RIGHT up my alley!

  53. Waiting for these too cool prior to cutting sounds like the most intense self-control exercise of all time! I may need to do a little “quality testing” before I slice the whole pan ;-) Thanks for the tip on the TJ’s caramel sauce. It’s always good to know what good store-ready products are out there when you are in a rush.

    1. Their sauce is amazing and it’s a great value, too. Some of these fancy caramel sauces are sooo pricey for a tiny jar but theirs is a win on all accounts.

  54. I’m still undecided about salty and sweet desserts. I know they’re trendy, but my taste buds can’t seem to wrap their head around it yet! A 5 minute recipe is soooo tempting though, I love an easy treat! That’s really cool that the pretzels came out tasting like nuts.

    1. And you could always just skip the pretzels if you wanted to and replace with anything from toffee bits to choc chips to nothing.

  55. Salted-Caramel-Pretzel-Blondies…?! Heaven help me! I would destroy these babies!

  56. 5 minutes of prep time?! Count me in! These sound like the perfect blondie.

  57. I have been enjoying sweet and salty combinations for years, and I’m so, so glad it’s now becoming socially acceptable and commonplace. These look amazing, the caramel looks so gooey!

  58. You don’t have to convince me. I discovered a salted caramels in San Francisco (I know, late) and today I had a salted caramel ice creams. More you give me, more happy I’ll be :)

    1. salted caramels in San Francisco <--- sounds like a great trip - just that right there, automatically a wonderful time :)

  59. I have been looking at salted caramel recipes for months but still haven’t gotten around to try any. Your salted caramel pretzel blondies looks like a good place to start! They look delicious!

    1. Well if you try them, please LMK! I know what it’s like to search and re-search for recipes. And do it some more before deciding.