Strawberry Pretzel Dessert Cups

Crunchy pretzel crust, creamy cheesecake filling and fresh fruit join forces in this easy, no-bake recipe for Strawberry Pretzel Dessert Cups.

The pairing of pretzels and berries in dessert form most commonly pops up on the inter webs as “strawberry pretzel salad.” The concoction includes a crushed pretzel, strawberry Jell-O filling and store-bought whipped topping. I’m not sure how “salad” made it’s way into the nomenclature, but it sure beats greens, in my book!

I’ve reimagined this traditional favorite into a fully homemade treat with all of the classic elements of the original… and then some.

We’ve got a crushed pretzel base, a tangy no-bake cheesecake filling (to replace the Jell-O), diced fresh strawberries and a hearty dollop of my not-so-secret ingredient homemade whipped cream.

Strawberry Pretzel Dessert Cups hit all the right flavor notes, but beyond the perfect balance of tangy cheesecake and sweet berries, they also can be prepared in advance and assembled right before serving.

Keep each component separate, with the crushed pretzels stored at room temp in an airtight container and the cheesecake filling, strawberries and whipped cream all stored separately in airtight containers in the fridge.

Grab your serving glasses (or bowls) of choice then layer the pretzels, cheesecake, berries and whipped cream for a dessert that does double-duty as eye-catching table top décor!


▢4 cups pretzels
▢3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
▢2 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, at room temp
▢3 Tablespoons cream
▢2 teaspoons lemon zest
▢2 Tablespoons lemon juice
▢1/4 cup white sugar
▢2 teaspoons vanilla extract
▢2 cups chopped strawberries
▢Homemade or store-bought whipped cream, for topping


Add the pretzels to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add the pretzels to a medium bowl then stir in the melted butter until the mixture is well-combined. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using a handheld mixer), beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar and vanilla extract and beat until smooth and creamy.

Divide the pretzel mixture among serving cups, reserving a portion to sprinkle atop the cups as garnish.

Spoon the cream cheese mixture on top of the pretzels. (Alternately, transfer it to a piping bag or plastic bag, snip off the tip and pipe the mixture into the cups.)

Spoon the chopped strawberries atop the cream cheese mixture.

Spoon the whipped cream atop the strawberries then garnish with the reserved pretzel crumbs. Serve.