The summer dessert staple turned fancy, schmancy. Strawberry Pretzel Salad Cheesecake is a twist on the popular Strawberry Pretzel Salad made with layers of pretzels, cheesecake and strawberry studded gelatin. Perfectly portioned for showers, picnics and summer barbecues.
Disclaimer: This post was created in partnership with KitchenAid. All opinions are my own, as always.
Hey! Guess what??? It’s Monday again. I’ll stop pointing that out beginning next week but really…how fast does the weekend fly by and how quickly did Mother’s Day just end. Just like that. And I managed to not take out the trash all day long, it was glorious. I still did a million loads of laundry but the family took me out to brunch and then I took myself to the mall. 🙂 That was equally glorious. I hope you all had a great Mother’s Day either with your kids, your own mom or with your fur babies and they all treated you well with tons of good food.
Right now…I’m stuffing my face with one of my favorite desserts ever on the planet….Mini Strawberry Pretzel Salad Cheesecake. It’s a twist on my other favorite dessert Strawberry Pretzel Salad. It’s weird, the name…it’s not really a salad at all and I have no idea why it’s called that….and while I was coming up for the name of this dessert recipe I knew I had to stick with it so you could all find it on Google. And Facebook. And Pinterest. And wherever else you search for recipes. AND if you’ve never had Strawberry Pretzel Salad (my husband cringed when I described it to him) don’t be scared…it’s actually an amazing creation. Some genius somewhere threw together the best of sweet and salty then topped it with strawberry jello. I would like to meet the Einstein that put plan into motion because I have been eating it for like many decades and I never get tired of it.
Mini Strawberry Pretzel Salad Cheesecakes are super easy to make. The pretzel crust comes together in minutes with the help of my KitchenAid Food Processor. I use my food processor for everything, even pizza crust. I pulsed the pretzels a few times to achieve a fine crumb, then I tossed them with a little sugar and butter. You could also use one less bowl by throwing the sugar and butter into the food processor with the crumbs…pulse a few more times, voila. Pretzel crust perfection.
The vanilla bean cheesecake filling is made using my shiny new KitchenAid Professional 600 Series 6 Quart Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer. This mixer is a dream to use and it’s perfect for heavy dense mixes or large batch holiday baking. With 10 speeds, it’s powerful enough for nearly any task or recipe, whether you’re stirring wet and dry ingredients together, kneading bread dough or whipping cream. To make the cheesecake filling, I fitted my mixer with the burnished metal flat beater and whipped up the cream cheese with sugar, eggs, vanilla bean paste and creme fraiche. The light airy mixture stays moist when baked creating a fluffy, creamy cheesecake that is completely amazing just on it’s own. But after it’s cooled completely, I topped it with an easy strawberry gelatin before chilling again. You could also split the ingredients among four 4-inch cheesecake pans or make one large cheesecake with a 9-inch pan.
The result…..these stunningly perfect Mini Strawberry Pretzel Salad Cheesecakes. They are the perfect addition to any spring or summer dessert table. Serve with a few cocktails and maybe a little chocolate on the side. Either way, they will be the hit of any party! I promise you that.
Mini Strawberry Pretzel Salad Cheesecake
For the crust
- 2 cups pretzel crumbs (approximately 4 cups pretzel sticks)
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
For the cheesecake filling
- 4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste (or pure vanilla extract)
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon extract
- 4 ounces creme fraiche (or sour cream)
For the strawberry gelatin
- 2 3-ounce packages strawberry gelatin
- 2 cups boiling water
- 2 cups diced fresh strawberries
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In the bowl of a food processor, add the pretzels and pulse several times until a fine crumb forms. Transfer the pretzel crumbs to a bowl. Stir in the butter and sugar until combined.
- Press 1 heaping tablespoon of pretzel mixture firmly into the bottom of each well of a mini cheesecake pan. Bake for 7 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- While the crust is baking, add the cream cheese and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla and beat to combine. Add the eggs to the cream cheese mixture one at a time beating well after each addition. Stir in the lemon extract and creme fraiche, mixing well to combine thoroughly.
- Turn the oven down to 300 degrees. Fill each well 3/4 of the way full with the cheesecake mixture. Bake the cheesecakes for 12-14 minutes or until the edges are dry but the center is still jiggly. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature. Transfer the cheesecakes to the refrigerator and chill for 1 hour.
- Add the gelatin to the boiling water and stir to dissolve. Allow the gelatin to cool to room temperature. Stir in the strawberries. Spoon the mixture over the cheesecakes until each well is filled to the top. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill for 3 hours or until firm.
- Remove the cheesecakes form the pan by pushing up on the bottom of each well. The cheesecakes will pop out, then carefully transfer to a serving platter.
- Serve chilled with whipped cream if desired.