Mall Pretzels (with optional cream cheese filling!)

My family loves mall pretzels, but they are so dang expensive! About 10 years ago I decided I wanted to try and make them myself. Out of all of the pretzel recipes I have tried, this is still my favorite. Some recipes say to dip in boiling water but I have found this just makes them totally fall apart and hasn’t made a difference in the texture after baking. I just dip these in hot baking soda water before baking and they still come out chewy but crusty on the outside. They are delicious!

Disney makes cream cheese filled pretzels that I couldn’t get enough of on our Disney cruise we went on several years ago, so I decided to try and make my own cream cheese filling. I have included it in this recipe also.

These are definitely time consuming when rolling them and shaping them into pretzels but I have to say, my kids excitement makes it totally worth it. This recipe makes 16 large pretzels but you can easily half this recipe or make smaller ones and get more pretzels out of it.

First dissolve the yeast, sugar, and salt in the hot water in a stand mixer.

Then, add the flour.

Mix until the dough is soft and pulls away from the bowl.

Let the dough rise until it is doubled in size, about 30-40 minutes.

(Optional) While the dough is rising make the filling. Mix the cream cheese with the powdered sugar until smooth.

Divide the dough into 16 equal portions, then roll out to a 3 ft long rope with your hands. Make an upside down U shape and twist the rope 2 times.

Then fold over and pinch the dough together to make a pretzel shape.

If you are going to fill them, when the dough is in a 3 ft rope, flatten it out with a roller and fill with the cream cheese mixture. I use a ziplock bag with the corner clipped to put the mixture in, then squeeze a line of cream cheese right down the middle of the dough.

Pinch the dough around the mixture.

Dip each pretzel in the baking soda water then put on a silicone or parchment paper lined cookie sheet. If you are using parchment paper, spray the paper with Pam.

Let the pretzels rise for about 20 minutes. Bake at 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown.

Mall Pretzels (with optional cream cheese filling!)


  • 4 1/2 tsp instant yeast (two .25 oz packets)
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 c hot tap water
  • 6 c all purpose flour
  • 2 c bread flour

Filling (optional)

  • 1/2 c powdered sugar
  • 4 oz softened cream cheese

For dipping before baking:

  • 2 c hot tap water
  • 2 T baking soda


In a large mixer dissolve the yeast, brown sugar and salt in 3 cups hot tap water. Add in the flour and mix until soft dough forms and the dough pulls away from the sides, about 8 minutes.  Cover and let rise till doubled, about 30-40 minutes.

If you are going to fill them, while the dough is rising, mix the powdered sugar and cream cheese with a hand held mixer until it is smooth.

When the dough is ready, divide it into 16 equal pieces. Dissolve the baking soda in hot water in a shallow dish large enough to dip a pretzel in. Roll out the first ball of dough with your hands into a 3 ft long rope. Form a U then twist two times and fold over and pinch dough forming a pretzel shape.

If you are doing the filling, after the dough is in a rope, take your roller and flatten out the dough. Using a pastry bag or ziploc bag with the tip cut, squeeze out a strip of the cream cheese mixture in the center of the dough then bring the dough together and pinch around the filling.

Form into a pretzel and dip in the baking soda water, then put onto a silicone lined, or greased cookie sheet. Repeat with each portion of dough. Let them rise for about 20 minutes. Bake at 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Brush hot pretzels with melted butter and top with coarse salt or whatever topping your heart desires. Enjoy!

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