If you love cinnamon sugar coated pretzels then this sweet and salty cinnamon pie with a pretzel crust is for you! A velvety cinnamon cream filling is nestled in a crunchy pretzel pie crust. This easy fall pie is the perfect Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving dessert as you can prep it in advance and enjoy it chilled or at room temperature with your favorite pie topping.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- If you love cinnamon pretzels, this pie is for you
- Perfect way to use leftover, stale pretzels
- Quick and easy recipe, using staple ingredients
- Pretzels – This recipe is perfect for leftover, stale pretzels. Alternatively, you can use packaged snack pretzels but be aware that they might be a lot saltier than stale pretzels.
- Butter – Melted salted or unsalted butter both work well for this pie base.
- Cream cheese – Softened full-fat or reduced-fat cream cheese can be used for this recipe.
- Sugar – Brown sugar adds a rich sweetness to the base and filling.
- Eggs – Room temperature, medium-sized eggs are needed for this recipe. Choose farm-fresh eggs if you can.
- Flour – All-purpose flour binds the filling ingredients together.
- Cinnamon – Ground cinnamon and cinnamon quill extract
- Vanilla – Vanilla extract adds richness and warmth to the filling. You can use fresh vanilla beans or essence if needed.
What is cinnamon pie?
Cinnamon pie is made with a custard base, similar to pumpkin pie, and it’s infused with a generous amount of ground cinnamon and cinnamon extract. Its comforting flavors make it a popular dessert, especially during the fall and winter seasons when warm, aromatic spices are particularly appealing.
How to make a cinnamon tart with pretzel crust
Pretzel pie crust
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease a 9-inch pie dish.
- Crush stale pretzels into fine crumbs using a food processor or by hand.
- In a bowl, combine pretzel crumbs, melted butter, and brown sugar, adjusting sweetness to taste.
- Press the mixture evenly into the dish and bake for 8-10 minutes until lightly golden and set.
Cinnamon pie filling
- In a large bowl, beat softened cream cheese until smooth.
- Add brown sugar, ground cinnamon, flour, salt, and eggs, blending into a smooth batter.
- Gently fold in cinnamon and vanilla extract.
- Pour the filling into the prepared pretzel crust.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes; the edges should set while the center has a slight jiggle.
- Cool on a wire rack; the pie will continue to set.
- Crush pretzels finely: For a smoother texture and easy-to-cut crust, ensure the pretzels are crushed into fine crumbs.
- Pre-bake the crust: This brief baking step helps set the crust, preventing it from becoming too soggy once the filling is added. Bake the crust until it’s lightly golden and firm to the touch.
- Balance the flavor: When making the cinnamon filling, balance the amount of ground cinnamon and extracts. If you prefer a more intense cinnamon flavor, you can adjust the amount of ground cinnamon or add a touch more cinnamon extract for a robust taste.
Serve at room temperature or chilled with a dollop of spiced whipped cream or mascarpone cream for some extra indulgence. Add 1 tsp of cinnamon quill extract to 1 cup of cream before whipping to add some extra spice.
Alternatively, you can serve this fall-inspired pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or simply a dusting of icing sugar and extra cinnamon.
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Pre-bake the pie crust thoroughly to prevent it from becoming too soggy once the filling is added. Bake the crust until it’s lightly golden and firm to the touch.
Place the cinnamon pie in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. For longer storage, freeze the pie by placing it in an airtight container; it can be frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw frozen cinnamon pie in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 15-20 minutes or until warmed through.
Cinnamon Pie With Pretzel Crust
- 2 cups pretzel crumbs
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 3 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp cinnamon extract
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp salt
Pretzel Pie Crust
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9-inch pie dish and set it aside.
- Place the stale pretzels in a food processor or a resealable plastic bag. If using a bag, seal it tightly and use a rolling pin or a heavy object to crush the pretzels into fine crumbs. Alternatively, you can crush them by hand, but a food processor or blender provides a more uniform texture.2 cups pretzel crumbs
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the pretzel crumbs, melted butter, and brown sugar. Stir until the mixture is well combined and the pretzel crumbs are evenly coated with the butter and sugar. You can adjust the amount of brown sugar to your taste; if you prefer it sweeter, you can add a bit more.2 tbsp brown sugar, 1/2 cup melted butter
- Transfer the pretzel mixture into a pie dish, tart pan, or a round baking dish. Use the back of a spoon or your fingers to press the mixture firmly and evenly onto the bottom and up the sides of the dish, forming the crust. Make sure it's compacted well to hold its shape.
- Place the crust in the preheated oven and bake for about 8-10 minutes or until it's slightly golden and set. Keep a close eye on it to prevent over-baking.
Cinnamon Pie Filling
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened cream cheese with an electric whisk until it becomes smooth and creamy. You can soften the cream cheese by taking it out of the refrigerator 1 hour before you make the filling or by gently warming it carefully in a microwave in short bursts.8 oz cream cheese
- Add the brown sugar, ground cinnamon, flour, salt, and eggs to the cream cheese and thoroughly combine everything into a smooth batter.3/4 cup brown sugar, 2 eggs, 2 tbsp all-purpose flour, 3 tbsp ground cinnamon, 1/8 tsp salt
- Gently fold in the cinnamon and vanilla extracts.2 tsp cinnamon extract, 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pour the cinnamon pie filling into the prepared pretzel crust, spreading it evenly.
- Place the pie dish in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes. The edges of the pie should be set, but the center can still have a slight jiggle when gently shaken.
- Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool completely on a wire rack. As it cools, it will continue to set. Enjoy at room temperature or chilled with whipped cream.