Pretzel Frosting Cupcakes from the Cookies & Cups Cookbook!

Pretzel Frosting Cupcakes

I’m so excited to share this recipe with you because it’s from the brand spankin’ new Cookies & Cups Cookbook! My pal Shelly wrote it, and she’s packed it full of the most delicious indulgent dessert recipes I’ve ever seen. And just to balance out all that sweetness, there are some savory recipes in the back of the book, too.

The minute I saw the recipe for ‘Pretzel Frosting’ in the book I knew I’d be making it. It’s so simple but totally genius – ground pretzels are whipped together with buttercream frosting. Now. You know I’m a salty-sweet girl, so I was immediately smitten!

Pretzel Frosting Cupcakes

There are sweet recipes of all kinds inside the book: breakfast, cakes, bars, brownies, cookies, pies, cupcakes – you name it! I especially love how Shelly has a section dedicated to frostings. I may have bookmarked them all!

I made her Egg-Free Vanilla Cupcakes recipe, too, which she notes “is perfect for those with any sort of egg allergy, but honestly it’s just a really great cupcake!” I found that to be very true. It’s a great little all-purpose cupcake.

Pretzel Frosting Cupcakes

I added a little prepared caramel sauce on top of the cupcakes, but Shelly has a great recipe for scratch-made caramel sauce on page 159. The official release date is April 12th, and you can pre-order your copy right here!

I loved both recipes and everything turned out just as Shelly predicted in the book. The frosting recipe is just as you’d imagine, sweet and buttery and the pretzels give it a nice crunchy texture and hit of salt. The vanilla cupcakes are soft and fluffy – just the thing to carry a generous amount of salty-sweet frosting!

The Cookies & Cups Cookbook: 125+ sweet & savory recipes reminding you to Always Eat Dessert First

Pretzel Frosting Cupcakes

Heather Baird
The following two recipes are from The Cookies & Cups Cookbook by Shelly Jaronsky, available April 12, 2016 (Gallery Books).
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24


Egg-Free Vanilla Cupcakes

  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup salted butter at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Pretzel Frosting

  • 1 cup salted butter at room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk or heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup finely ground pretzels



  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line muffin tins with paper liners.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugar on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  • In a separate bowl stir the milk and vanilla together.
  • With the mixer speed on low, add one-third of the flour mixture, followed by half of the milk mixture, beating after each addition. Repeat this step. End with a final addition of the flour mixture. Beat the batter for 1 minute on medium speed, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  • Fill the muffin cups two-thirds full with batter. Bake for 20 minutes or until the centers are set and toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean (my cupcakes baked in about 16 minutes).
  • Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter on medium speed until smooth. Turn the speed to low and add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk, mixing until combined. Turn the speed back up to medium and mix until smooth and creamy, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  • Add the pretzel crumbs and mix until incorporated and smooth.
  • Frost the cooled cupcakes using an offset spatula and drizzle each with prepared caramel sauce (you’ll need about 1/2 cup for all the cupcakes) and top each cupcake with a pretzel twist (24 twists).


Be sure to pulverize the pretzels well. The finer they are the easier they’ll pass through a piping bag, if using. I recommend using a food processor.
Keyword american buttercream, egg-free cake, pretzel frosting
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8 years ago

PRETZEL FROSTING1?!?!?! My salty/sweet dreams came true! This recipe sounds soooo amazing =)

8 years ago

Pretzels + caramel = bliss. I can see why this recipe jumped out at you. Beautifully done, as always

Los Chatos Chefs
Los Chatos Chefs
8 years ago

I just say, Oh my goodness!! I would like to taste it right now!!

8 years ago

This frosting does sound amazing and your presentation is spot on, of course! 🙂

2 years ago

Hi! This looks amazing! I’m wondering, would the pretzels in the frosting get soggy if I made it a few days ahead of time? Or maybe it wouldn’t matter since they’re crushed so small?