Strawberry Pretzel Salad
Strawberry pretzel salad meets all your needs to make the perfect refreshing summer dessert! With a salty pretzel crust, sweet and tart cheesecake center, and topped with freshly sliced strawberries covered in strawberry Jell-O, the perfect flavor combinations will satisfy your tastebuds. In addition, this strawberry pretzel salad is made dairy and egg-free and can be gluten-free for everyone to enjoy!
WHAT IS A STRAWBERRY PRETZEL SALAD?
Well, as you can tell, it is not a salad! Instead, it is an old-fashioned southern dessert with a pretzel crust, cream cheese mixed with whipped topping for the center, and topped with fresh strawberries and Jell-O.
But as I do with all recipes, I wanted to make it dairy and egg-free. Unfortunately, I have a tough time finding dairy-free ingredients in my area, so sometimes I have to make do with what I can find!
This strawberry pretzel salad is one of my favorite summertime desserts! This recipe is slightly different than the traditional no-bake recipes. To keep the cream cheese center stable and delicious, I chose to bake it just like I do with my Cheesecake recipe. So be sure to give yourself enough time for the amount of cooling that is required. I prefer to prepare and bake it the night before.
Preparing the Pretzel Crust
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease an 8x8 baking pan.
Crush pretzels using a food processor. Do NOT crush too finely. You want to crush them just enough without being completely crumbs but relatively small pieces. Add the granulated sugar and melted butter to the food processor and blend just until combined. Press into the prepared 8x8 baking pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool while you make your cheesecake center.
Preparing and Baking the Cheesecake Center
Use a mixer to whip the cream cheese for approximately 3 minutes or until smooth. While continuing mixing, slowly add the granulated sugar.
Then add the tapioca flour and continue mixing to combine. Next, add the dairy-free milk, lemon juice, and vanilla extract and continue mixing for another 2 to 3 minutes. The mixture will be very creamy and smooth.
Pour the cheesecake batter into the 8x8 pan over the cooled pretzel crust—Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 to 45 minutes. The sides will be formed and pulled away from the sides of the pan. The center will still be slightly jiggly, but that is fine. Turn the oven off but do not open the door and continue to bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool before refrigerating.
Refrigerate while you prepare the strawberry topping in the following steps.
Preparing the Strawberry Topping
Boil 2 cups of water in a small saucepan on the stove. In a medium bowl, add the boiled water to the strawberry Jell-O mix and mix until dissolved. Allow mixture to sit until cooled to room temperature before pouring over cheesecake. While cooling, slice strawberries into thin slices. Once cooled layer the thinly sliced strawberries on the cheesecake.
Pour the Jell-O mixture over the strawberries and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours or, for best results, overnight.
Strawberry pretzel salad is the best choice for any summer gathering and is the perfect crowd pleaser!
For more summer dessert options, check these out: