Strawberry Pretzel Jell-O

The fourth of July is tomorrow! I made you something red, white, and …. Pretzel. Hey, close enough. I feel like in my old age, the fourth has become another one of those holidays like New Years or Halloween where I feel like I should have plans. I just feel kind of lazy when it actually comes to making and following through on those plans. Maybe it is because the stress of making plans outweighs the amount of fun you have on that holiday. I might be the only one that feels that way though.

When I was younger, I loved the Fourth! My brothers and I would play in the pool all day. Nick would create a huge wave pool (he was the best wave maker) and Zack and I would climb aboard a raft and dare to make it through the rapids Nick had made. It was very treacherous and usually didn’t go on for very long because my dad would get mad that half the water from the pool would spill over the sides.

After pool time was over we would hustle to eat whatever my dad had grilled and whatever amazing side dishes my mom had slaved away on in the hot house. One of my favorite foods ever that made appearances only in the summer was my Mom’s pretzel Jell-O. I would only eat one portion to make sure that there were leftovers for me for the next few days.

After dinner, we would fit in one last swim before the sun went down. Then, we would get ready for the fireworks. Lucky for us we were able to sit in our front yard and watch a big fireworks show that went one a few blocks away. My parents would clean up and then meet us outside later. My brothers and I would lay on blankets at the very edge of the grass in the front yard and “Ooooo” and “Aaaahh” at the show.

When the show was over, I would try and sneak one more piece of Jell-O before bed. If I didn’t get away with that, I would for sure eat a piece for breakfast the next day. This is the perfect combination of sweet and salty with a cream cheese layer in between. It will be the hit of your festive Fourth get together.

Strawberry Pretzel Jell-O

Course Dessert
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Total Time 42 minutes
Servings 10 -12
Author Sarcastic Cooking


  • For the 1st Layer:
  • 2 2/3 Cups Coarsely Ground Pretzels
  • 1 1/2 Sticks Unsalted Butter melted
  • 2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
  • For the 2nd Layer:
  • 1 Package of Dream Whip made according to the box directions
  • 8 Ounces Cream Cheese softened
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • For the 3rd Layer:
  • 6 Ounces Strawberry Jell-O
  • 2 Cups Boiling Water
  • 3 Cups Thawed Frozen Strawberries


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Mix pretzels, butter, and sugar together in a medium mixing bowl. Pat into a 9x13 baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Take out and cool. If you cool in the refrigerator it will come to temperature faster.
  2. Using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer, beat together cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Fold the dream whip into the cream cheese until the mixture is smooth. Spread cream cheese/whip cream over cooled crust in one even layer.
  3. Add the boiling water to a large heat-proof bowl. Dissolve Jell-O in hot water then add in the frozen strawberries. Mix and place in the refrigerator to congeal a bit. Let the Jell-O sit in the refrigerator for about twenty minutes, just until the top starts to congeal and the rest is cool but still syrup-like. Pour over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate overnight for best results.


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  • Granola and White Chocolate Covered Pretzels
    October 25, 2013 at 10:01 am

    […] a bigger advocate for the sweet and salty combination than me. My favorite dessert of all time, Strawberry Pretzel Jell-O, is the perfect example of sweet and salty. It is another bullet point on the ever changing list of […]

  • Jennie @themessybakerblog
    July 8, 2013 at 9:57 am

    We did absolutely nothing on the Fourth. I’d rather stay home and relax. This looks so good. I love the pretzel crust!

  • Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen
    July 6, 2013 at 9:51 am

    I’ve seen variations of the strawberry + pretzel dessert for years, and I still have never tried it! I love the sweet and salty combo though, so I’m sure it’s amazing! Happy belated 4th of July 🙂

  • Sarah | The Sugar Hit
    July 4, 2013 at 12:35 am

    This looks like exactly the kind of awesome food I imagined american kids eating while I was stuck in Australia eating pavlova and vegemite. And I was RIGHT!

  • Ashley Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine)
    July 3, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Looove the salty/sweet combo here!

  • Julia
    July 3, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Ohhhh the layers!! These bars look so good! I have fond memories of the 4th from when I was a kid too…grilling and family time and fireworks is hard to beat! My nieces and nephews would go wild over these so I’m sending the link to my sister-in-law 🙂 Have a happy 4th!

    • Stefanie
      July 3, 2013 at 12:03 pm

      Thanks Julia!

  • Ashleigh
    July 3, 2013 at 10:23 am

    At first when I read pretzels and jello I thought of the jello from Christmas Vacation with the cat food…bad visual! This sounds tasty! What is dream whip? Is it found by the Jello?

    We are staying home tomorrow, too! I wanna be lazy, catch up on my DVR and dring margs.

    • Stefanie
      July 3, 2013 at 10:27 am

      Your 4th plans sound fantastic! Dream Whip is found by the Jell-O. You can also substitute 2 cups of whipped cream if you can’t find the Dream Whip.

  • Susan
    July 3, 2013 at 9:52 am

    You’ve peaked my curiosity! Never heard of this before but now I kind of want to try it. Jello “salads” always frightened me, but maybe not this one. Also your childhood fourths sounded like mine, except that pool whirlpool happened at my cousins house. All I had as a kid was the sprinkler system.

  • jaime @ laviejaime
    July 3, 2013 at 8:31 am

    i had this at a friends easter party / lunch and at first was skeptical but SO delicious!

  • Kayle (The Cooking Actress)
    July 3, 2013 at 8:28 am

    My memories are so similar to yours! My Aunt or mom would always have the strawberry pretzel jello dessert at 4th of July too!

  • KP
    July 3, 2013 at 8:22 am

    No Stefanie…you are NOT alone!!! I’ve been feeling that same guilt at not wanting to initiate any plans for tomorrow! Been going through the “what’s wrong with me?” because of it too! Thanks for validating that I am NOT alone! And this recipe looks like something my kiddo’s would love…might have to give it a whirl!