These Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites are an Auntie Anne’s Copycat and are just like the ones you smell in the mall! They’re pillowy soft and fun to make.
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Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites (Auntie Anne’s Copycat) ingredients:
- brown sugar
- canola oil
- baking soda
What makes a pretzel a pretzel and not just bread?
The difference between a pretzel and regular bread is the baking soda bath that the dough gets quickly boiled in before the baking process. Something scientific happens that I don’t quite fully understand but I won’t question the delicious results!
How to make Auntie Anne’s Pretzel bites?
The first step in making theses cinnamon sugar pretzel bites is to make the dough. It’s an easy yeast dough that only takes 1 hour to rise. I know some people get nervous working with yeast but if you follow the instructions below in the recipe card, it should turn out perfectly for you.
You want to allow the stand mixer to do the work for you and knead the dough and adjust the flour/water ratio as needed. You may also want to scrape down the sides of the mixer with a spatula every few minutes to make sure everything gets mixed together thoroughly.
How to know when your dough is kneaded enough:
You want the dough to pull away from the bowl on it’s own. If your dough seems dry and won’t come together, you can add a tablespoon or 2 of water at a time to allow it to pull together. If your dough seems too wet, you can add a tablespoon or 2 of flour until the dough comes together into a ball. You won’t mess it up as long as you get that smooth ball after about 10 minutes of kneading in the machine.
Once your dough has formed into a ball, it’s ready to rise. Grease a bowl with either softened butter or oil and place the dough inside and cover it with either a clean towel or plastic wrap. We are in Florida in the summer right now so I covered mine and let it sit on the warm porch for an hour. You can also just place your bowl in the oven with only the light on for some warmth. After an hour, your dough will have doubled in size and it’s ready to use.
You’ll want to separate the dough into smaller pieces so it’s easier to work with so you can easily roll each piece into your pretzel ropes. It doesn’t matter how long you make your rope since they will get cut into bite-sized pieces but you’ll want to make the rope about 1 inch thick.
Next comes the part that will turn these little dough bites into pretzels. It’s the baking soda bath. It’s easy and just takes a few seconds. You’ll boil a pot of water, add the baking soda, then dip the pretzel bites in for just 30 second bath. Then you can remove them and add them to your baking sheet.
Now your little bites are ready to bake for just 15 minutes. If you want them to have a more golden look to them, you can keep a close eye on them and broil for the last 1-2 minutes.
The next part is the best part in my opinion….the cinnamon sugar! You’ll want to do this about 5 minutes after they come out of the oven so they’re still warm but won’t burn through your zip-top bag. After they’ve cooled just slightly, add them to the bag and then pour in the melted butter and toss to coat all of the pretzel bites.
After the butter, comes the cinnamon sugar mixture. It also gets poured in bag then shaken to coat.
I know I said the best part was adding in the butter and cinnamon sugar but I lied…the best part is eating these little cinnamon sugar pretzel bites after you’ve been smelling them! It’s a recipe that’ll have your family emerging from their rooms after being lured out by the scent of these. They smell just like the Auntie Anne’s mall pretzels!
Other recipes you’ll love:
- Overnight Cinnamon Rolls – with heavy cream
- Cinnamon Crunch Banana Bread
- Easy Rosemary Focaccia Bread
- Easy Dutch Oven Bread
Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites (Auntie Anne's Copycat)
- stand mixer
- 1 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
- 1 package of rapid rise yeast
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
Baking Soda Boil
- 5-6 cups water
- ⅓ cup baking soda
Cinnamon Sugar Coating
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Add the warm water, yeast, brown sugar, canola oil, and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk together with a fork just to combine.
- Add the flour to the bowl and mix on medium/low speed for 10 minutes. The dough should form a smooth ball. (See notes)
- Grease a large bowl with butter or oil then add the dough and allow to rise for 1 hour.
- While the dough is rising, you can pre-heat your oven to 400° and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon mats. (You can also set your 6 cups of water to boil towards the end of the rise time as well)
- After the dough has risen, you can place it on your clean countertop. Divide it into smaller pieces (about 6 or 8) so it's easier to work with.
- Take each piece of dough and roll it on the counter while stretching so you have about an 18" long piece. Cut the long piece into 1-2 inch bite-sized pieces.
Baking Soda Bath
- Bring the 6 cups of water to a boil then add in the baking soda. Lower to a simmer.
- In small batches, add the dough pieces to the simmering water for 30 seconds then remove with a slotted spoon and place on the prepared baking sheets. Leave at least 1 inch in between each piece.
- Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes. if you are using more than one pan, be sure to swap the oven racks half way through.
Cinnamon Sugar Topping
- Allow the pretzel pieces to cool for about 5-7 minutes then add them to a zip-top bag.
- Pour the melted butter over the pretzels, close the bag, and shake to coat all of the pretzel bites.
- In a small bowl, mix together the cinnamon and sugar then open the bag and add it to the pretzels. Seal the bag and shake again. Serve warm!
- Store in an airtight container for about 3-4 days.