There is no combo more alluring than salty and sweet. That’s why chocolate covered pretzels are so tempting! This no bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Pie is even more irresistible and will definitely satisfy all of your salty and sweet cravings.
It’s got a salty and just a bit sweet pretzel crust. It’s got a thin layer of peanut butter on the bottom that gives an intense jolt of peanut butter flavor. Then a smooth, fluffy, creamy peanut butter filling. All of this deliciousness is then topped with a velvety smooth chocolate ganache. And then more pretzel pieces on the top for another salty, crunchy bite. I promise you will not regret making this pie! Your guests will thank you.
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Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Pie Ingredients
Here’s what you will need to make this Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Pie:
- Heavy whipping cream
- Chocolate chips - you can use any type, I like using semi-sweet
- Peanut butter (of course!). You need to use “regular” peanut butter to get the right texture (i.e. not natural peanut butter, where the only ingredients are peanut butter and salt).
- Pretzels - any shape you like! The pretzels for the crust are measured by weight to account for variances in the pretzel size and shape. I used sticks, because I like the look of the shards of pretzel garnishing the top. Just avoid using pretzels that are oversized; stick to regular-sized sticks, knots, squares, etc.
- Powdered sugar (for the fillings) and granulated sugar (for the crust; if you use powdered sugar for the crust it makes it too dry. I made this mistake before!)
- Cream cheese
- Pinch of salt
How to Make Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Pie
There’s nothing Earth-shatteringly complicated about making this pie, but it is more involved than the majority of my dessert recipes. So, I put this in the “fun” category; i.e. good for weekends, special occasions, or when you have a bit more time and energy. (But, if you are looking for a few shortcuts, I’ve got you covered: check out the “How to Make Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Pie Easier” section below.)
Here are the step-by-step directions:
Step One: Make the Ganache
(Wait a sec, there is a pre- step: Leave out your butter and cream cheese on the counter for about thirty minutes to soften! This is not totally crucial but will make all the mixing steps much easier.)
Even though the ganache is the last layer, we are making it first so it has time to cool down. Put ¾ cup of the heavy whipping cream into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute. The cream should be steaming and maybe juuuust starting to boil. If you see it starting to bubble up before the 1 minute is over, remove it! Then pour in the chocolate chips and let sit for 2 minutes to give the chocolate time to start melting.
After the 2 minutes are up, give it a good whisk until it’s nice and smooth, then set aside. If the chocolate hasn’t melted into the cream completely even after whisking, you can microwave the ganache again in 15 second increments, stirring in between, until the chocolate has melted.
Step Two: Make the Pretzel Crust
First, take 6 tablespoons from your stick of butter (leaving two), and add to a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave until melted. I did this by cutting the butter into chunks first and microwaving in 15 second increments, checking in between. I use this gradual method now because I have exploded butter all over my microwave more times than I’d like to admit.
Now turn to your pretzels! Measure out four ounces of pretzels by weight. Add them to a food processor and blitz until they are a fine crumb texture with no big chunks. If you don’t have a scale to measure the pretzels, you are looking to end up with about 1 ¼ cups of crumbs.
Add the melted butter and 2 tbsp. granulated sugar to the pretzel crumbs. Pulse until the butter is evenly combined and the pretzels look moistened.
Dump the crumbs into the bottom of a 9 inch pie plate and pat them into place. I like to go up the sides first, and then pat the remaining crumbs evenly across the bottom. Use firm pressure so the crumbs stick together, and make sure the crumbs are evenly distributed.
Place the crust in the fridge to start firming up.
Step Three: Make the Bottom Peanut Butter Layer
When I was developing this recipe, my official recipe taster (my husband) suggested I find a way to add an intense pop of peanut butter flavor somewhere. He said that was his favorite part of peanut butter ice cream - when you get that bite with the big peanut butter swirl running through it. As a peanut butter lover, I knew exactly what he meant! So, I added this base layer to provide that extra bit of powerful peanut butter flavor.
All you need to do is add ½ cup of the peanut butter, the rest of the softened butter, a pinch of salt, and 2 tablespoons of the powdered sugar to a small bowl. Use a fork to mix it all up until it’s smooth and spread onto the bottom of the pretzel crust.
Put the crust back in the fridge while prepping the remaining steps.
Step Four: Make the Fluffy Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Filling
Now we're ready to get down to business and make the main filling - the peanut butter cream cheese layer. So fluffy, sweet and delicious! Here’s how to make it:
First, beat the rest of the heavy whipping cream on high until you have stiff peaks. You can use hand beaters or a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Stiff peaks mean the cream stands up firmly and doesn’t flop over when you take the whisk out of the bowl, like this:
If you are using hand beaters, just set the bowl aside. If you’re using a stand mixer, you will need to transfer the whipped cream into another bowl, because we need to use the stand mixer again for the next step. (Or, are you one of those lucky people who has a spare bowl for your stand mixer? I’m jealous!) If you need to use your same stand mixer bowl again, don’t worry about cleaning the bowl out, it’s fine if there is some whipped cream residue.
Now, beat the remaining 1 cup peanut butter, the cream cheese, and remaining 1 cup powdered sugar on high until the mixture is a bit fluffy and is evenly incorporated. If you are using the stand mixer, I had best results using the paddle attachment. And I recommend scraping the bowl down at least once to get any powdered sugar that got stuck on the bottom.
How to Fold the Whipped Cream into the Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Filling
The next step involves combining the whipped cream and the cream cheese filling, with the ultimate goal of not deflating the whipped cream. It’s not complicated but takes a small bit of finesse. The first part is really easy though - just take about ⅓ of the whipped cream and put it into the cream cheese bowl. Stir it in with a rubber spatula, wooden spoon or whisk. Yes that’s it! You don’t even have to be gentle. This first step is simply to lighten the cream cheese base so it’s easier to fold the rest in.
Now add the remaining whipped cream, and here’s where you need to be gentle. Using a rubber spatula, you are going to fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese filling. I like to do this by running the rubber spatula around the edges and bottom of the bowl, then lifting the spatula up to fold the cream in on itself, then dividing the filling down the middle with the spatula.
Keep repeating this motion until the whipped cream is combined. If there are a few streaks remaining, that’s fine, and actually better than overmixing and deflating the whipped cream. Here is what the filling looks like when all of the whipped cream is incorporated:
Step Five: Assemble the Rest of the Pie
Now that you have your beautiful and fluffy peanut butter cream cheese filling, add it right on top of the first peanut butter layer.
Smooth it out evenly using the rubber spatula.
Next comes the ganache. Give the bottom of the bowl a feel - is it just about room temperature? If not, pop it in the freezer for a minute or two. You just want it to not be too hot or it will start to wilt the filling you just worked so hard on making fluffy!
When it’s at room temp or just very slightly above, pour on top of the filling. Spread it out so it covers the top of the pie evenly. Stick the finished pie in the fridge and keep it there for at least three hours. Trust me, you want it firm so it will cut in beautiful slices! You can also keep in in the fridge for up to two days before serving. Just cover it loosely once the ganache is set to make sure it stays fresh.
How to Serve Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Pie
When you are ready to serve the pie, take it out of the fridge for about 15 minutes. This will give the pie some time to soften up so it will cut easier. The ganache will also soften, making it easier for the pretzel garnish to stick. (While you can add the pretzel garnish right after pouring the ganache, they will absorb some moisture from the ganache, so after the pie sets, the pretzels will lose some of their crunch.)
After it’s sat out for around 15 minutes, you are ready to garnish! Top the pie however you want - crush the pretzels, add them in a pretty pattern, whatever floats your boat. To get the pretzels to adhere better, gently press or stick them into the softened ganache. I used about 1 cup of pretzels to garnish mine.
How to Make Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Pie Easier
Ok, I promised a few cheats to make this pie easier, and here they are!
The biggest time saver would be to use Cool Whip in the cream cheese peanut butter filling instead of making your own whipped cream. If you want to do this, use two and a half cups of Cool Whip to substitute for the home-made whipped cream. Follow the same steps for folding it into the peanut butter cream cheese mixture.
The next thing you could do to save time would be to nix the ganache top layer. The pie has enough filling to look “full” without it and no one would be the wiser! However, it wouldn’t be chocolate peanut butter pretzel pie without the chocolate! So, if you still want a chocolate element, drizzle on some store-bought chocolate sauce. You could even add some mini chocolate chips or chocolate shavings to intensify the chocolate flavor.
Finally, you could also simplify the first peanut butter layer. Rather than mixing it with butter and sugar, just spread on the peanut butter as-is, or just mixed with the sugar. Trust me, peanut butter is so delicious on its own, it will still taste amazing!
Tools You May Need to Make Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Pie
And before you go, here are the kitchen gadgets and tools I used to make and serve this pie. I love all of these and highly recommend them! (Just a heads up, these are affiliate links).
- OXO Softworks Pie Server: this has a serrated edge to help you cut through the crust cleanly!
- OXO Good Grips 2 Cup Adjustable Measuring Cup: this is perfect for measuring sticky stuff like peanut butter. It has a plunger to push out the peanut butter without making a mess. And, it's clear so you can see if there are any air pockets when you are measuring!
- Cuisinart 14 Cup Food Processor: the best food processor I have ever owned, hands down!
I hope you love the Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Pie as much as I do! And if you are looking for more easy, no bake desserts, check out my recipes for Easy Cannoli Cake (using store-bought pound cake), and No Bake Mocha Oreo Dessert!
If you’ve tried this recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Pie, please let me know what you thought about it in the comments down below, I would love to hear from you! You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to see more delicious recipes from Nibble and Dine!Print
A gorgeous three layered no bake pie. A salt and sweet chocolate peanut butter treat!
- 4 oz. pretzels, any type, plus additional for garnish
- 1 stick (8 tbsp.) softened unsalted butter, divided
- 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 2 c. heavy whipping cream, divided
- ¾ c. chocolate chips, any type
- 1 ½ c. creamy (not natural) peanut butter, divided
- 1 c. plus 2 tbsp. powdered sugar, divided
- Pinch of salt
- 8 oz. softened cream cheese
- Make the ganache: place ¾ c. heavy whipping cream into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute, or until cream is steaming. Remove from microwave and add in the chocolate chips. Let sit for 2 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Set aside.
- Make the crust: Melt 6 tbsp. of the butter in the microwave, setting aside the remaining 2 tbsp. Finely grind the 4 oz. pretzels in a food processor. Add in the 2 tbsp. granulated sugar and melted butter, pulse until thoroughly combined. Dump the pretzel crumbs into a 9 inch pie pan. Firmly pat the crumbs into place on the sides and bottom of the pie pan; the crumbs should be tightly compacted and evenly distributed, with no cracks or bare spots. Place the crust into the fridge while preparing the next step.
- Make the peanut butter bottom layer: In a small bowl, mix ½ c. peanut butter, the remaining 2 tbsp. softened butter, 2 tbsp. powdered sugar and pinch of salt with a fork until smooth. Spread into the bottom of the prepared pie crust using a rubber spatula. Place the crust back into the fridge.
- Using hand beaters or a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the remaining 1 ¼ c. heavy whipping cream on high speed until stiff peaks form. If using a stand mixer, remove the whipped cream to another bowl so you can use the stand mixer bowl again for the next step (no need to clean the bowl).
- In a separate bowl (or the empty bowl of your stand mixer), add the cream cheese, remaining 1 c. peanut butter and remaining 1 c. powdered sugar. Using hand beaters or the paddle attachment on the stand mixer, beat on high until ingredients are evenly combined and slightly fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape the bowl down once during beating to make sure all the ingredients are smooth and evenly combined.
- Stir about ⅓ of the whipped cream into the peanut butter cream cheese mixture until evenly incorporated. Then add the remaining whipped cream and gently fold it into the mixture using a rubber spatula.
- Scrape the peanut butter cream cheese filling into the pie plate, on top of the bottom peanut butter layer. Smooth out into an even layer using the rubber spatula.
- Retrieve the ganache and check the temperature. It should be at room temperature or close to room temperature. If not, place in the freezer for a minute or two. When at room temperature, pour over the top of the pie and smooth out to evenly cover the top.
- Refrigerate the pie for a minimum of three hours or up to two days before serving. Loosely cover once the ganache has firmed up to keep the pie fresh. When ready to serve, let the pie sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, then gently press additional pretzels into the top of the pie to garnish.
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