Copycat Auntie Anne’s Soft Pretzels

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Tired of paying crazy high prizes for soft pretzels in the mall?   Make your own soft and delicious Copycat Auntie Anne’s Soft Pretzels at home!

Five golden brown soft pretzels.

I love soft pretzels.   Whenever I was a kid my brother and I would grab a box of frozen soft pretzels from the freezer and make two.

After they were cooked we would put cheese on top of them and cook them a little bit longer.  This was one of our favorite snacks when we were home alone as kids.

Now as an adult I still love soft pretzels.  I’ve made several versions at home including Alton Brown’s Soft Pretzels and Sourdough Pretzels.    Sometimes I even get a little fancy and make Jalapeno Cheddar Soft Pretzels.

What is a soft pretzel?

A soft pretzel is a type of baked bread product where the dough is twisted into a knot-like shape.  The dough is made from flour, water, yeast, sugar, and salt. The sough is place in a mixture of boiling water and baking soda to give it a golden brown color before baking.   Pretzels are generally topped off with salt.

Pin image:   A cutting board with pretzels ingredients on it, text title, a plate with a soft pretzel on it.

One of my favorite soft pretzels is from Auntie Anne’s.   I don’t really like the price of these pretzels but I sure do like the taste.  I also like all of the different flavors they have.   Surprisingly we have one of these shops at our mall so sometimes when I have a craving I run to the mall and grab one.

So when I saw a recipe for Copycat Auntie Anne’s pretzels I couldn’t wait to make them.  I figured I could whip up a batch, see how they taste, and then if they were close I could make different seasonings to put on top.  I was so excited to make them that I did it the day after I found the recipe.


  • warm milk (using cow’s milk is best for this-plant based milk won’t work as well)
  • dry active yeast (this is what is used to make the dough rise-make sure yours is fresh)
  • brown sugar (this gives the pretzels a hint of sweetness)
  • melted butter (I always use salted because pretzels should have some salt to them)
  • all purpose flour (you can use half whole wheat and half all purpose if you prefer)
  • salt (regular table salt works best in this recipe)
  • baking soda (this will help the pretzels turn golden brown)
  • warm water (to make a water bath to dip the pretzels in)

A bowl of pretzel dough rising.

To make the pretzels I combined the warm milk and yeast together in a bowl.  It’s important that your milk temperature be between 100-115 degrees Fahrenheit to help activate the yeast.

Why do I have to heat the milk?

Dry active yeast is typically granulated and needs to be rehydrated before using. To activate it, you usually dissolve it in a warm liquid that is between 100°F to 110°F.  This creates an ideal environment for the yeast to “bloom” or become active. Once the yeast is activated it ferments and produces carbon dioxide gas, which helps leaven the dough by causing it to rise.

Once the yeast is activated add in the brown sugar and melted butter.  Then add in the flour a bit at a time until a dough forms.  Stir in the salt then knead the dough for several minutes.

Five ropes of pretzel dough.

The first issue I ran into was that the dough was super sticky.   There was no way I’d be able to roll it into a pretzel with how sticky it was.  I ended up adding an additional cup of flour which helped and this is noted on the recipe card.

Once the dough was a desirable texture I covered it and let it rise for one hour.  It’s best to cover your bowl with plastic wrap and not a dish towel for maximum rising.

Once the dough rises preheat the oven.  These pretzels are not boiled but dipped into a mixture of water and baking soda before they are baked.   Make the water solution and set aside.

A baking pan with five uncooked pretzels on it.

Divide the dough into pieces and roll into long ropes.   Twist into a pretzel shape, dunk into the water bath, and place on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle with coarse salt.  Bake until golden brown.

The pretzels were really tasty but while they were reminiscent of Auntie Anne’s pretzels they weren’t the same.   The outside were firm while the inside was soft and chewy.

A hand holding a golden brown soft pretzel.

So while we totally enjoyed these soft pretzels they were not a substitute for the original.  However, they are really good so I do make these over and over again as a snack in our house.

If you’ve tried my Copycat Auntie Anne’s Soft Pretzels or any other recipe on  Hezzi-D’s Recipe Box please take a minute to rate the recipe and leave a comment letting me know how you liked it. I love hearing from you! You can FOLLOW ME on:





If you like soft pretzels you'll love making your own homemade ones!

Copycat Auntie Anne's Soft Pretzels

If you like soft pretzels give these delicious and soft pretzels a shot!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 1 dozen
Author: Hezzi-D


  • 1 c. warm milk
  • 1 packet yeast
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 3 1/3 c. flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 c. warm water
  • coarse salt
  • 2 Tablespoons butter


  • In a large bowl combine the warm milk and yeast. Stir and let sit for 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes add in the brown sugar and melted butter and mix well.
  • Add the flour a half cup at a time, stirring after each addition, until a soft dough forms. Stir in the salt.
  • Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead for 6-8 minutes.
  • Place dough in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour. Dough should double in size.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Mix the water and baking soda together in a medium bowl.
  • Punch the dough down and divide it into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a 12-18 inch rope. Shape into a pretzel, dip in the soda water, and place on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt.
  • Bake in the oven for 9-11 minutes. Remove from oven, brush with melted butter, and bake for an additional 4-5 minutes or until golden brown.


Recipe adapted from Cooking Classy

Pin Image:  Text title, five golden brown soft pretzels on a tray.


  1. I’m a HUGE fan of Auntie Ann’s! Recently, one of our Walmart stores replaced their McDonald’s with Auntie Ann’s! Hoping they ALL do!
    Used to be able to buy their kit at Walmart and it was much cheaper than buying the kit from AA itself. Haven’t checked lately because I’ve been buying the pretzels in the bread section that Walmart now offers. Bake a few minutes and YUM! It’s $2.50 for 2. Not Auntie Ann’s but they’re really good. I fix them in my air fryer and they’re even better!

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