Vegan Soft Baked Pretzels

Vegan Soft Baked Pretzels are a fun homemade appetizer or game day snack! Made with under 10 ingredients, they're cute & delicious dipped in mustard.

Vegan Soft Baked Pretzels

Jack here with my second recipe on the Love and Lemons blog. This recipe is one near and dear to my heart – big, doughy, German-style pretzels!

Now, while Germans tend to dip their Laugenbrezel in butter, that’s not how I do it. I dip them in spicy brown mustard. And when we started working with Sir Kensington’s, the first thing I said when I opened up the sample package of Ketchup and Mayonnaise was “Where is the mustard?” Sir Kensington himself has heard my call, and here is the mustard. And its best friend – pretzels.

Vegan Soft Baked Pretzels on a baking sheet Vegan Soft Baked Pretzels and spicy brown mustard

The traditional recipe for Laugenbrezel is nothing short of terrifying. Why? Because they make the dough, twirl it up and dip it in lye. As in, the stuff that soap used to be made of. As in, the stuff you wear rubber gloves and eyewear to handle. We will not be doing that. But one thing we will be doing – and what does NOT terrify me – is making dough.

Dough has become one of my favorite things to work with. Many of you may not know this, but I’m a software engineer by trade, and I like things to be… measured. When I’m cooking with Jeanine, it’s always “a pinch of this, a splash of that.” Also, Jeanine has a fairly well documented problem with waiting in lines. Well, working with dough is full of exact measurements, and waiting for it to rise may as well be waiting in line to her. So I’ve found my “thing” for the blog now, and my thing is dough.

These pretzels are wonderful and simple, because you’re essentially making fairly standard dough, using baking soda and boiling water to smooth out the outside, then baking it. That’s really about it. The hardest part, probably, is twirling the pretzel. My main modifications from Laugenbrezel are to use maple syrup instead of barley malt syrup, oil instead of butter, and baking soda instead of severe burns and lawsuits (lye).

Sir Kensington's Mustard

And of course, serve these wonderful vegan pretzels with your favorite spicy brown mustard. Might we suggest Sir Kensington’s?

5.0 from 10 reviews
Vegan Soft Baked Pretzels
Serves: makes 4-6 pretzels
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • ½ package (1/2 tablespoon) active dry yeast
  • ¾ cup water (1/4 cup for proofing, ½ cup for dough)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda (this is for the boiling water NOT the dough)
  • 6 cups water, in a pot (for boiling)
  • Coarse salt (for sprinkling)
  1. Proof the yeast: Put ¼ cup warm water, maple syrup, and yeast into a small cup and stir until yeast dissolves. If yeast does not foam, try again with another yeast packet.
  2. Make the dough: If you have a mixer with a dough hook, put the flour, salt, oil, proofed yeast mixture, and an additional ½ cup of water (for a total of ¾ cups water) into the mixer. Run on medium low for about 5-6 minutes (until the dough pulls away from the bowl). If you don’t have a dough hook, mix and knead dough ingredients for about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Brush the inside of a large glass bowl with a little bit of oil. Form the dough into a ball and put it in the bowl. Cover and allow the dough to rise for about 40 minutes, or until it has doubled in size.
  4. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
  5. Uncover your dough and punch it down few times. Really let it have it.
  6. Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper on it. Set aside.
  7. Prepare an oiled work surface. Cut the dough into 4 or 6 equal sections (depending on the size you want your pretzels), and roll each out to an approx. 18-24 inches long rope.
  8. Grab the ends of each dough rope to make a U shape, then form into a pretzel shape.
  9. Put 6 cups of water into a pot and dissolve the 2 tablespoons of baking soda into the water and bring to a rolling boil.
  10. Drop pretzels, one at a time, into the pot (get close so it doesn’t splash!). Each should sink a little then rise up. Wait 30 seconds, then lift out using a slotted spoon and place each onto the cookie sheet. While still wet, sprinkle liberally with coarse salt. Take a sharp knife and cut a 4-6 inch slit along the bottom of the pretzel. (This slit will open up during baking).
  11. Bake for about 14 minutes. Watch them like a hawk – when they’re golden brown, they’re done.


This recipe is built up of some research of multiple recipes, but is mostly based on this recipe from Saveur.

This post is sponsored by Sir Kensington’s. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that keep us cooking!


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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. yummy in my tummy!!!! these look so nice and doughy!!! yay for jack the resident dough expert!!!

  2. These look incredible. It’s been years since I’ve had a soft pretzel, but this looks pretty straightforward so I might just give it a go.

  3. You nailed it with these, Jack. They look amazing! My boys would devour these in no time.

  4. Yum! my tummy is rumbling at just the thought that these could be on my kitchen counter. Jack you are dough making genius.

    • jeanine

      oh please, I’m sure you can shape them much better (his are a mess!). Luckily, they’re forgiving – once you bake them they take shape just fine 🙂

  5. These look like so much fun to make. It’s probably just too early in the morning for me, but I’m not sure I understand where you’re cutting the 4-6 inch slit. Along the bottom half of the pretzel’s top?

  6. Sara from

    *droooooling all over the laptop* *heavy breathing* haha WOW these look absolutely divine !! They are perfect, no eggs, no cream, just everything that i love and that tastes good.
    Definitely bookmarked for any future gatherings !
    Thank you a thousand times for this recipe.

  7. Leah from

    Pretzels are one of my favorites – these look great!!! We used to stop by Auntie Anne’s every time we went to the mall when I was little. I’m sure these are just a slight bit healthier 🙂

  8. I am terrified of the lye situation, so I’m glad these look amazing and DON’T use that crazy stuff!

  9. Aly from

    These turned out perfectly! I live at 10,200 feet and was worried how they would turn out but to my surprise after not changing a thing in the recipe they turned out. I love your recipes, it’s evident you’ve tried all your recipes and perfected them before posting. I appreciate that. There are so many blogs out there who you wonder if they’ve even tried the recipe they’ve posted. Anyway, thank you!

    • Jack

      That’s wonderful to hear! And yes, I decided to try the recipe a couple of times before I got it right 🙂

  10. abigail from

    these look amazing!

    how long do you think they last ?

    • Jack

      About an hour before I ate all of them 🙂

      Jeanine had some that lasted a couple days – she just reheated them in the oven, but they’re best eaten immediately out of the oven.

  11. Amy from

    Oh I love Sir Kensington’s! You always have beautiful photos… will have to try this out!

  12. Rachel from

    These look perfect! I’ve been searching for a recipe that didn’t use barley malt syrup. Can’t wait to try these!

  13. Pang from

    I vaguely remember that Jack’s 1st post is banana dip in chocolate (or something like that), right? I remember telling myself, if my hubby could see that post, maybe (just maybe), he would have wanted to “contribute” to my blog as well. No luck just yet. 🙂

    I do love the recipe, and how you give us a lovely alternative. These are so mouthwatering 🙂

  14. I haven’t had a soft pretzel since I became vegan a couple of months ago. I’m going through withdrawal. 😉 These look delicious!

  15. These are too cute to start with, but more importantly they look like something I can make—–and I never thought in a million years I could make soft pretzels. Yahoo!

  16. cher

    Hi there,

    Do you think I can make these with oat flour (grinded from rolled oats) instead of all purpose plain flour?

    • jeanine

      Hi Cher,

      It wouldn’t be the same – so I’m not sure, it would definitely take some experimenting.

  17. Pretzels are literally the key to my heart. Although the ones I’ve had were from the concession stand at football/basketball games and had that preservative laden “cheese” 🙂 I must add that as Jack has posted his second recipe you’ve got to change the “about” page that says he’s only written one post. 🙂

    • jeanine

      ha! good catch, will do 🙂

  18. Ashley from

    Well you do dough well! These are the cutest, chubbiest, fluffiest pretzels I have ever seen. I can’t imagine how soft and chewy they are on the inside!

  19. anna

    Ahh…usually I love your blog, but since I’m German I’m a bit shocked about the mustard 🙂
    Quick tip, you can use baking soda (1 cup hot water mixed with 2 tbsp. baking soda, spread a bit of it on every pretzel) instead of lye. It’s not absolutely the same, but not as dangerous 🙂

  20. Stephanie

    I just made these and I have to say I love the recipe. They are very easy and the dough texture is amazing! I look forward to more.

    • Jack

      Fantastic! Keep letting us know when our stuff comes out well 🙂

  21. Alison

    The recipe is absolutely perfect! I’ve tried pretzels a couple times and they’ve never come out as well as these, thanks so much!!!

    • Jack

      I’m so happy they worked out for you!

  22. rebecca from

    Literally drooling! these look delicious, and vegan too. Plus I am a mustrad freak, I could eat that mustard by the spoonful..

  23. christine

    hi. can i substitute the all purpose flour with a gluten free one? thanks (:

    • Jack

      I’m not sure if you can or can’t. The texture of a soft pretzel depends fairly heavily on the glutenous nature of flour, and some gluten free flours are better at approximating this than others.

      Let me know if you’re able to get any to work and which ones do, but I’m afraid we can’t give you any real tips one way or the other on this.

      • Ned

        Jack is right, I tried to substitute for 1-to-1 gluten free flour and it didn’t work 🙁
        But oh man do the gluten-full ones from the recipe look tasty from those pictures!!

  24. Loup from

    Great recipe. Can you tell me what you think of my website.

  25. Mo

    Made these last night. I am a HUGE mustard fan, so any excuse to eat it and I’m game! The recipe was easy to follow and although my pretzels turned out a little funkier than yours, they were delicious!

  26. Ines

    Hi, I made these this morning and everything worked so well! 😀 Usually it doesn’t, but your recipe really is great! I used whole wheat and even that worked and well, just: Thank you so much for posting this 😀

    • jeanine

      Hi Ines, so glad you liked them! Thanks for the tip about whole wheat flour!

  27. Justine

    These are out of this world I just want to eat the whole tray. I had every intention of smearing on some nice wholegrain mustard, but dear god straight out of the oven these were so beautiful plain. Also super easy. WIll definitely be making again, am thinking of doubling the next batch and doing half salty half sweet with cinnamon and a bit of sugar.

    • jeanine

      so glad you liked them! mmm… cinnamon sugar would be so delicious 🙂

  28. Anna H

    I love you for this recipe.
    I’ve been looking for something like this for my daughters packed lunch. And now I’ve found it.
    They are perfect. So easy and so tastefull.
    Thank you!

    • jeanine

      so glad you liked them!

  29. Selina

    Hi, these look great! Do you think I could substitute the maple syrup for honey?

    • Jack

      I don’t really see a problem with that. As long as you have a mostly-sugar syrup it should be ok. Most traditional recipes call for barley malt syrup, I just know that most people don’t have that.

  30. Oh i will definitely be trying this. I have been looking for good pretzel recipes and this looks like this is my stop 🙂

  31. Hilary

    These are amazing! I made them yesterday and they are so so good! I was super surprised that they worked for me but they were super easy! Thanks so much they are delicious!

    • jeanine

      Yay, I’m so glad you liked them!

  32. Stefanie from

    Wow! Thank’s for sharing this recipe! I’m excited to see how they taste different from the German Prezels!
    Many greetings from the home of pretzels (or “Brezn” as we call them)
    Munich, Bavaria, Germany

  33. Florin

    2 table spoons baking soda? Is that an error? Sounds like a lot for this little dough…Anyway, I’m trying it now with 2 tea spoons baking soda and I’ll let you know how they turn out…great receipe and pictures! Thanks for posting!

    • Jack

      The baking soda does not go into the batter for the dough, it goes into the water as a substitute for lye.

      So if you’re putting any baking soda into the dough, you’re putting in too much 🙂

      • Florin

        Yeah, I just figured it out 😉 Oh, well, I have to read all the instructions next time. I’m making bagels weekly, and the recipe is similar (I use 1 tbsp organic barley malt syrup for those instead of the maple syrup). And that’s why I looked at the ingredient list and just speed read the rest. My fault, sorry for the confusion!

    • Florin

      Nevermind, the baking soda goes into the boiling water 🙂

  34. Tosin from

    Amazing recipe, amazing typography, amazing design. Really really love your site.

  35. Kelly C

    These look amazing! I found this recipe amid a search for vegan pretzel rolls to use for BBQ jackfruit sandwiches. If I wanted to make them into rolls/buns, do you think I could just shape the dough into balls instead of pretzels without disturbing the texture and density?

  36. Kelly C

    These look amazing! I found this recipe amid a search for vegan pretzel rolls to use for BBQ jackfruit sandwiches. If I wanted to make them into rolls/buns, do you think I could just shape the dough into balls instead of pretzels without disturbing the texture and density?

  37. Mary

    Thanks so much for this recipe. I’m having a vegan Oktoberfest party at my home and want to make these. I was wondering how they freeze? It would take some stress out of the party if I could start making these well in advance. If so, can you recommend the best way to store in the freezer and thaw? Thanks so much!! Yay!!

    • Jack

      Hmm, I honestly can’t say we’ve ever tried. I pretty much eat all of them instantly. 🙂

      Since they have a nice pretzel shell, I would think that just making sure that they don’t get moist in the freezer and reheating in a low-heat oven would do the trick? Let me know how it works out.

  38. Erin

    These are making me fat but very happy. Thanks, simple recipe with ridiculously delicious results.

  39. Melissa

    Made these for my son’s kindergarten class for St Patricks Day… Doubled the recipe, dyed them green and twisted them into a small shamrock-ish shape. The class LOVED them. Making them again today for us to hoard and enjoy! Thanks for the great recipe!

  40. Ella

    These look amazing! Do you think I could sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on them instead of salt?

  41. Gratia

    Hi Love and lemons, I made this recipe today and I’ve been wondering why my dough didn’t rise as much as when I make loaf bread recipe. I proofed my yeast correctly and I used luke warm water to be mixed with the flour, I didn’t even use metal utensil and I added salt into the flour before combine with the yeast mixture. I made my dough twice because I was so curious then I got the same result. They also have an odd bitter taste after I baked them. I am clueless now, any suggestion? Thank you

  42. Clorinda


    Can I use this recipe to make pretzel rolls?

    Thank you,

  43. Bismeen Jameer

    hello nice food…we have a catering company in india kerala we are providing good quality foods..

  44. Oliver

    Sorry to bother! I dont see where you put in the mapple sirup!:( Also,could you please write in grams the recepie?!:)

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      it goes in in step #1, while proofing the yeast. I’m so sorry, I’m sure you can google for a metric recipe converter – I’ll keep that in mind for future baking!

  45. Emma Berry

    I just made these pretzels yesterday and they were AMAZING!! These tasted almost exactly like soft pretzels from the mall. I even dipped one in brown sugar and it tasted identical. I think overall my family enjoyed my previous non-vegan pretzels more because they were sweeter and more buttery (they didn’t taste anything like mall pretzels), but these disappeared within 5 minutes. Even my dad, who calls vegan food “vegetable food” and thinks any vegan recipe includes broccoli and sweet potatoes, loved them. A great way to fight the stereotype! For the most part, I followed the recipe. I made the yeast mixture twice because I didn’t know what I was doing. The only difference was how long I heated the water for in the microwave – 15 seconds worked great, 30 seconds didn’t foam at all. Be sure to give it some time though; at first, we thought we messed up because there were yeast chunks and no foam, but after a few minutes the foam was almost overflowing. We added all the right proportions of ingredients to our mixer but the dough was SUPER sticky, so I just threw it in a bowl anyway. I let it sit out for like 2 hours instead of 40 minutes, and it was fine. Still super sticky though, so we added more flour and it worked well. Our pretzels didn’t sink to the bottom of the pot of water, but just floated, so I flipped them halfway through. I tried to put a slit in the bottom like the recipe said, but it was a bit of a challenge and I really don’t know that it made a difference. Also, I baked them for about 11 minutes at 375 and they were golden brown on top, so make sure you check them if you do 14 minutes at 450! I also brushed them with vegetable oil once they came out of the oven because I was worried they would be a little dry, and it worked out great. Next time I make them, I’ll definitely double the recipe because it’s just a lot of work and dishes to only eat 5 pretzels. But I’m so glad I tried it!! I was on the fence because I’m not big on experimenting but was very thankful I did! It’s a very foolproof recipe because we had no idea what we were doing and they managed to turn out great! Plus if you mess up, it’s not a huge waste because no animals were harmed! Can’t wait to make them again!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Emma, I’m so glad your family enjoyed these! Thank you for your thoughtful, detailed tips!

  46. Ben

    I use this recipe to make mini pretzel bites so I can at least try to help myself from overeating. Used a tablespoon and a half of Bragg’s Organic SPRINKLE and they taste amazing. Going to experiment with par-baking then freezing!

  47. Brennen from

    Thank you so much for this awesome recipe. It is truly a family favorite in our house. I can’t even count how many times we have made them. My Husband is ALWAYS asking for them. They are just so good and easy, too!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Brennen – I’m so happy to hear that!! Thank you for coming back to let us know, Jack will be especially happy to hear since he worked so hard on this one 🙂

  48. Maya

    I just made them and they’re soooo good! Soft on the inside and kind of crunchy on the outside 😍😍😍 love it! We made them with wholewheat flour and filled them with cream cheese and it still worked perfectly

  49. Elizabeth

    I tried making these and they look beautiful, but they taste horrible. They are so sour it’s disgusting. I was so dissapointed, I think the recipe calls for too much soda. I don’t know.

    • Elizabeth

      I am literally such an idiot!! 😂😂😂 I put the soda in the dough! Wow, I never mess up recipes like this. I’m going to try again because I really wanted pretzels!

      • Jeanine Donofrio

        oh no! I’m going to make that part of the instructions more clear 🙁

  50. Adriana Luciani

    OMG JUST MADE THESE. THEY ARE PERFECT!!! Love vegan food!!!

  51. Team Goodman

    Perfect pretzel recipe. Thank you. I only had quick yeast and this worked very well (not that I have basis of comparison other that the fact these tasted delicious). I had every intention of varying up some flavours and dipping a few in some raw chocolate sauce…um, but we ate them ALL within minutes of them appearing all fluffy and bronzed fresh from the oven. Doh! Time to double, triple, quadruple the batch! thank you again. Team Goodman x

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      ha ha, so glad you loved these!

  52. I LOVE PRETZELS! I made these this week, when I got home LATE from work, and I did not care how tired I was. This was therapy for me!! I love cooking. They were AMAZING! I am going to do a double batch right now to take with me on a trip.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Gloria – I’m so thrilled that you loved making (and eating) these!! Thanks for coming back to let me know!!

  53. Kit from

    LOVE this recipe!

    I’ve made them dozens of times since discovering it and each batch is just as soft & delicious as the last! Easy as could be with wonderful results! Thanks a bunch

  54. Sherrie

    Worked perfectly, added a tad more water. We shaped them into hearts for Valentine’s Day. Delicious

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      aww, cute! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  55. Elena

    These are amazing!! I didn’t have maple syrup so I used corn syrup. I should have made a double batch…the fam ate them before I could even get them on a plate! Thanks for a great recipe!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.