Peanut Butter Pretzel Dessert is a sweet, salty, layered dessert with a pretzel crust, a creamy peanut butter layer, chocolate pudding, and whipped topping. Then, chopped pretzels and melted peanut butter are added for garnish and even more crunch and flavor! For another decadent and indulgent layered treat, check out my Peanut Butter Oreo Dessert, too!

Pan of Peanut Butter Pretzel Dessert with a couple of pieces removed on a wooden table from overhead.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Crust: A pretzel crust is the base layer of the dessert, giving each bite its saltiness. For the best results, use a food processor to crush the pretzels into a fine crumb. (Any kind of salted pretzels will work.) Ensure the crumbs are completely coated in the melted butter. If you do not want a pretzel crust, an Oreo cookie, graham cracker, or shortbread crust would all be delicious.

Peanut Butter: Although I used creamy peanut butter, you could use the crunchy variety for more texture. Melt some more peanut butter to drizzle over the top of the dessert. If preferred, you could try the dessert with a different kind of nut butter like cashew or almond butter.

Pudding: Look for a 5.9-ounce box of instant chocolate pudding mix. Mix it with whole milk and spread it on top of the peanut butter layer.

Whipped Topping: You will need 2, 8-ounce tubs of whipped topping, like cool whip, for this dessert. One tub of whipped topping is folded into the peanut butter layer; the second is used as the topping.

Toppings: Have extra crushed pretzels and more peanut butter for garnish.

Pieces of Peanut Butter Pretzel Dessert on white plates on wooden table.

Can I Use A Different Kind Of Pudding?

Absolutely! I love the combination of chocolate and peanut butter, but this would be a fun dessert to try other flavors. Try it with vanilla pudding, butterscotch, or even peanut butter pudding if you really love peanut butter!

Can I Make Peanut Butter Pretzel Dessert Ahead Of Time?

Yes! Because this dessert does need at least 2 hours to chill before serving, it is the perfect dessert to get made a day in advance. Just be aware that the longer it is stored, the more chance the pretzel crust will lose some of its crunchiness.

Piece of Peanut Butter Pretzel Dessert on a white plate very close up to see the layers in the dessert.

How To Store Peanut Butter Pretzel Dessert

Store peanut butter pretzel dessert in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 2-3 days (although it’s best to serve within a day or two). If not serving right after it has chilled, wait until serving to add the crushed pretzels and melted peanut butter on top. I do not recommend freezing this dessert.

Pan of Peanut Butter Pretzel Dessert on a wooden table from overhead.

Peanut Butter Pretzel Dessert

Prep Time 30 minutes
Chilling Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Peanut Butter Pretzel Dessert is a sweet and salty layered dessert with a pretzel crust, a creamy peanut butter layer, chocolate pudding, and whipped topping. Then, chopped pretzels and melted peanut butter are added for garnish and even more crunch and flavor!


Pretzel Crust

Peanut Butter Layer

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup (128 g) creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup (125 g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1 container (8 ounces) whipped topping

Chocolate Layer

  • 1 box (5.9 ounces) chocolate instant pudding mix
  • 3 cups (735 g) whole milk


  • 1 container (8 ounces) whipped topping
  • pretzels, chopped for garnish
  • peanut butter, melted for garnish


  • Preheat oven to 375°F and spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.

Pretzel Crust

  • Add the pretzels to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse or process until the pretzels are crushed to a fine crumb.
  • To a medium bowl, add pretzel crumbs, butter, and sugar. Mix until combined. Pour into the bottom of the prepared baking dish and press into an even layer. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven to cool completely.

Peanut Butter Layer

  • In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer until smooth. Add peanut butter and confectioners' sugar. Mix until fully combined.
  • Add the whipped topping. Mix until fully incorporated. Spread on top of the cooled pretzel crust.

Chocolate Layer

  • In another medium bowl, add instant pudding and milk. Using a hand mixer, beat on medium speed for 2 minutes or until smooth. Carefully spread on top of the peanut butter layer.


  • Top with whipped topping and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours.
  • When ready to serve, garnish with chopped pretzels and melted peanut butter. Serve immediately.


Did you make this recipe?

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What the Test Kitchen had to say about this recipe:


This is a perfect make-ahead dessert for when you are short on time. Salty and sweet fans will love this one!


This was interesting in texture with the creamy toppings over the pretzel crust. But, it grew on me after a few bites; I liked the saltiness from the crust and ended up going back for more bites!


It's not overly sweet and well balanced with the salt. I think anything with chocolate and peanut butter is a winning dessert!


I really like this. It's not super sweet and I love the contrast of the salty pretzel crust.


This was a lovely dessert and reminded me of a Butterfinger bar! Not too sweet, but well balanced!

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

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