Homemade Soft Pretzels {Auntie Anne’s Copycat}

February 17, 2019  ·  Published August 14, 2012

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Perfect Homemade Soft Pretzels! This Copycat Auntie Anne’s Pretzels Recipe is a must try recipe! You get a chewy yet fluffy, deliciously tender, beautifully golden brown homemade pretzel that will have you savoring every last flavorful, salty little bite.

Overhead image of seven soft pretzels on a dark baking sheet.

Copycat Auntie Anne’s Pretzel Recipe

Mall pretzels that you can now enjoy in the comfort of your home for a fraction of the price with countless dipping sauce option! They are the perfect party food or snack to impress guests with and they really are easier to make than you’d think.

Making homemade pretzels is a similar process to making a bread or rolling dough, but instead you shape it into a pretzel versus a loaf or roll. The pretzel shaping is actually fun once you get the hang of it.

These homemade soft pretzels are one of those crave-worthy foods that may take a bit of time and some patience, but the end result is so worth it. It’s a great recipe for a weekend “learn how to” baking project then from there it may become a monthly tradition!

Photography credit: Jenn Davis from Two Cups Flour.

Image showing how to make soft pretzels. Shaping dough into pretzel shapes and they're placed on a parchment paper lined baking sheet to bake.

Homemade Soft Pretzel Ingredients

For this homemade pretzel dough recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Milk (I like to use 2% here)
  • Active dry yeast
  • Brown sugar
  • Butter
  • All-purpose flour
  • Fine salt and coarse salt
  • Baking soda

Why is There so Much Baking Soda?

The seemingly excessive amount of baking soda here actually isn’t used as rising agent, rather it gives the homemade pretzels a crisp, nicely browned exterior.

Two pretzels on parchment paper lined baking sheet showing what they should look like after baking with a golden brown color.

How to Make Soft Pretzels at Home

  • Warm milk and stir in yeast, let rest pour into stand mixer. Mix in brown sugar, butter, 1 cup flour, fine salt.
  • Add remaining flour and knead using hook attachment on stand mixer. Cover and let rise until doubled.
  • Preheat oven and prepare baking sheets.
  • Punch dough down and divide into 12 pieces. Cover.
  • Working with one piece at a time roll into a thin rope about 32 – 36 inches then form into a pretzel shape.
  • In a shallow bowl whisk together baking soda and water then immerse pretzel into water mixture then transfer to prepared baking sheet.
  • Sprinkle with coarse salt to taste and repeat process with remaining dough.
  • Bake in oven until golden brown then brush with melted butter.

Image of a pile of soft pretzels.

Can I Make Them into Pretzel Bites?

Yes! If you’d rather make them bite-sized, follow the same prep method but rather roll into ropes then cut into 1-inch pieces instead of shaping into pretzels.

What Are the Best Pretzel Dipping Sauces?

Pretzels on cooling rack.

Tips for the Best Homemade Soft Pretzels

  • The easiest way to divide into 12 pieces is to divide the dough in half, then divide the halves into halves then those and into thirds.
  • I found working on a non-floured to very lightly floured surface worked best. I began with a lightly floured surface and realized it was much harder to get more stretch, plus it was much faster to roll them out when working on a less-no flour surface.
  • Serve these homemade pretzels warm. I’ve included instructions on how to reheat pretzels below!

How to Reheat Pretzels

How ever you dunk your homemade pretzels, I recommend you eat them warm — they just aren’t the same cold. Can’t you just see that moment now, where you pull your own batch from the oven and tear off piece by piece and dip it into a rich sauce and you savor every last crumb of it? Heaven!

Here’s how to reheat pretzels:

  • Microwave: The quickest method is to reheat on a plate in a microwave for 10 – 15 seconds.
  • Oven or Toaster Oven: preheat to 400 degrees F. Wrap pretzel in foil and heat until warmed through, about 3 minutes.

Dipping pretzel into mustard dipping sauce.

Other Delicious Pretzel Recipes to Try:

Pile of soft homemade auntie anne's style pretzels.
4.93 from 27 votes

Homemade Soft Pretzels (Copycat Auntie Anne's Pretzel Recipe)

This Auntie Anne's Pretzels copycat recipe is one you are going to want to try. You get a chewy yet fluffy, perfectly tender, beautifully golden brown pretzel that will have you savoring every last flavorful, salty little bite.
Servings: 12 Servings
Prep45 minutes
Cook15 minutes
Rising time1 hour
Ready in: 2 hours


  • 2 cups (470ml) milk (I used 2%)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp active dry yeast (2 packets)
  • 6 Tbsp (75g) packed light-brown sugar
  • 4 Tbsp (56g) butter, at room temperature
  • 4 1/2 cups (635g) all-purpose flour, plus an up to an additional 1/2 cup as needed
  • 2 tsp fine salt
  • 1/3 cup baking soda
  • 3 cups (710ml) warm water
  • coarse salt , to taste
  • 6 Tbsp (56g) butter , melted
  • Dipping sauce for serving , optional*


  • Warm milk in a microwave safe bowl in microwave (or alternately over stove top in a small saucepan) until temperature of milk reaches 110 degrees, about 1 1/2 - 2 minutes on HIGH power.
  • Pour milk along with yeast into the bowl of an electric stand mixer and whisk together until yeast has dissolved, let rest 5 minutes. Add brown sugar, 4 tbsp softened butter, 1 cup flour and 2 tsp fine sea salt to milk mixture and using the whisk attachment, stir until blended.
  • Switch attachment to a dough hook, add remaining 3 1/2 cups flour and kneaded mixture on medium low speed until elastic.
  • Mix in up to an additional 1/2 cup flour, as needed, until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow dough to rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line two baking sheets with Silpats or parchment paper (alternately you could grease them). Punch dough down several times to release any air pockets.
  • Divide dough into 12 equal pieces* and cover loosely with plastic wrap.
  • Roll each piece out into a long, thin rope about 32 - 36 inches long**. Form dough rope into a pretzel shape.
  • In a shallow bowl, whisk together baking soda and warm water then fully immerse pretzel into water mixture, lift and allow excess water to drip off***.
  • Place on prepared baking sheet, reshape as needed and sprinkle to taste with coarse salt. Repeat this process with remaining dough.
  • Bake pretzels in preheated oven 7 - 11 minutes until golden brown (note that you will likely only be able to cook 6 at a time among the two baking sheets) Remove from oven and brush top and bottom of pretzels with melted butter.
  • Serve warm with optional dipping sauce. Reheat in microwave or in a warm oven once they've cooled, if desired.


  • *The easiest way to divide into 12 pieces is to divide the dough in half, then divide the halves into halves then those and into thirds.
  • ** I found working on a non-floured to very very lightly floured surface worked best, I began with a lightly floured surface and realized it was much harder to get more stretch, plus it was much faster to roll them out when working on a less-no flour surface.
  • ***I ended up shaping most of them into the pretzel shape once placing on the cookie sheet rather then doing it twice, I would just fold the rope into halves several times then immerse in water mixture then shape them on cookie sheet.
  • Recipe source: adapted from Food Network 
Nutrition Facts
Homemade Soft Pretzels (Copycat Auntie Anne's Pretzel Recipe)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 302 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 28mg9%
Sodium 1409mg61%
Potassium 127mg4%
Carbohydrates 44g15%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 335IU7%
Vitamin C 0.1mg0%
Calcium 64mg6%
Iron 2.3mg13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.
Recipe originally shared Aug. 2012. Photos updated Feb. 2019.

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  • Alicia

    You should remove the measurements from your actual instructions. The amount is given in the ingredients, I don’t need them repeated in the instructions. It leads to confusion when scaling the recipe.

  • Ella

    So should the butter be unsalted butter or salted butter? I figure that will make a pretty significant difference in the flavor. I always keep unsalted butter in the house but figured that recipes probably mean salted. If you happen to see this could you let me know? Thank you very much for posting up this recipe and I look forward to trying out out!

  • Lyndsay

    Thank you for this recipe! These turned out so tasty! I’m very picky when it comes to soft pretzels, but these had a perfect flavor and consistency. I had to add more flour than specified, but it’s easy to judge how much to use based on how the dough sticks. I froze half a batch, and they thawed/reheated very well too. I highly recommend this recipe!

  • Christa D

    Excellent recipe, Jaclyn! These turned out perfect and taste exactly the same as store bought!! Adding this to my recipe book. Thank you so much!

  • Anonymous

    Tried but before and they were amazing. I’m doing them again and would like to know if these freeze well? Any recommendations for re-warming?

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      I would thaw first then wrap in foil and bake at 400 for 3 minutes or microwave for about 15 seconds.
      I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed them!

  • Kristy

    Wow wow wow. Made these for the first time today, and they were amazing! I halved the recipe since there are only 2 of us, and it worked out perfectly. Thank you for such a great recipe!

  • dion

    had to use WAY more flour than your recipe called for. the dough was way too sticky with only 5 cups of flour

  • Jacqueline Wallace

    These were fantastic. Super easy and family ate em up in minutes. 9 minutes was plenty of time in my oven, any longer and the bottoms would be too brown. Will be making these every weekend, I’ll just have to double the recipe! Thank you!!!