Tropical Pretzel Pie is an ultra light, refreshing dessert made from tropical flavors like mango, pineapple, mandarine orange, and banana. The fruit is mixed into a lemon gelatin and frozen whipped topping that is airy and fluffy. The pretzel crust adds a nice crunchy texture to the deliciously cool pie, plus that pinch of salt. Lastly, there’s a sprinkle of toasted coconut to complete the tropical theme.
When you want a dessert, but you don’t want anything heavy to weigh you down, this pie is perfect. The gelatin and frozen whipped topping create a super light filling on top of a pretzel crust. It’s fluffy and airy, definitely not a gut-bomb.
Then you can fold in whatever tropical fruit you want. Today I used mango, pineapple, mandarin orange, and banana. As the topper, I toasted some coconut and sprinkled it over the top.
All these flavors worked so well together, but again, the surprising thing was how light it was. It was a pleasant surprise, because on that particular day it was 105° and I really didn’t want anything rich or heavy, but I definitely wanted a little treat. This pie was perfect.
Making a Tropical Pretzel Pie
Starting with the pretzel crust.
The first thing I want to say about making a pretzel crust is that the crumbs must be small. Using my food processor, which I use all the time, it didn’t reduce the size of the crumbs as small as I wish it had. I found this out the hard way, of course.
I took the crumbs out of the food processor and thought they should probably be a little smaller, but I just went with it. Shouldn’t have.
When the crumbs are too big, the butter can’t hold everything together and the crust falls apart. Check out the pictures…these crumbs are too big.
Next time I’ll still use the food processor, but then I’ll put the crumbs into a sealed bag and use a rolling pin to finish them off.
Anyway, mix the crumbs, sugar, and melted butter together, then press into your pie plate. I used a 9.5-inch plate, which was perfect.
Bake the crust in a preheated oven set at 350° for 10 minutes and cool on a wire rack. After about 30 minutes, place it in the refrigerator to cool completely before adding the filling.
Making the filler.
This is the super light fluffy part. It’s a mixture of gelatin and frozen whipped topping.
I used lemon gelatin, but I’m sure lime or orange would be just as good. If your fruit includes strawberries, a strawberry gelatin would be nice, too.
In a medium to large bowl, add the dry gelatin to the boiling water while whisking constantly. Whisk until the gelatin is dissolved, then grab a 1-cup measuring cup. Pour in 1/2 cup of cold water, then add enough ice cubes that the water level says 1 cup.
Add this to the gelatin and stir.
Whisk in the frozen whipped topping and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. This allows the gelatin time to set up, which stops the fruit from dropping to the bottom, plus it won’t overflow when you pour it into the crust.
Picking your tropical fruit.
You need 2 cups of fruit total for this recipe, so keeping that in mind, you can mix and match fruits. I went with a 1/2 cup each of pineapple, mango, mandarin orange, and banana.
Afterwards I wished I had thought to use sliced kiwi. That would have tasted delicious, plus the pretty green would have stood out. Next time.
How about some papaya or guava…star fruit? I bet they’d all be good in this pie.
And, you know…they don’t have to be tropical. Peaches, strawberries, blueberries, they’d all be delish in this pie.
Measuring the fruit.
If you only want 2 fruit in the pie, add 1 cup of each for a total of 2 cups. Another option is to make it, for example, banana heavy with 1 cup bananas, then 1/2 cup each of 2 other fruit.
It’s important that the fruit be drained before you add it to the gelatin mixture.
I also wanted to add that the next time I use mango, I’ll buy the small snack-sized containers of mango, the kind you might use in a sack lunch. They’re already cubed into the perfect size.
I bought canned mango; it was more than I needed, and I had to cut them up. Am I sounding lazy now, or what?
Once the gelatin has set up enough, fold in the fruit and place the bowl back into the refrigerator while you toast the coconut.
Of course, the coconut is optional, but some of you might love coconut. If that’s the case, add some into the pie as well. I love coconut and the sprinkle on top was right on course with the tropical theme going on here.
With the crust completely cooled, add the filling into the crust, then sprinkle on the toasted coconut, and then…you guess it…back into the refrigerator. The gelatin needs a few hours to completely set up, I give it about 4 hours, but prefer overnight.
Maybe I should have named this my Hurry Up and Wait Pie.
For more dessert recipes, like cakes, cookies, cupcakes, and my favorite – desserts that fit into a 13 x 9″ baking dish, visit my Desserts section.
Tropical Pretzel Pie
- 3 cups pretzel crumbs, (10 oz. bag of twists)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 2/3 cup boiling water
- 3 oz. lemon gelatin
- 1/2 cup cold water
- ice cubes
- 8 oz. frozen whipped topping
- 1/2 cup pineapple chunks, drained
- 1/2 cup mango chunks, drained
- 1/2 cup mandarine oranges, drained
- 1 banana, peeled and sliced into coins
- 1/4 cup sweetened coconut flakes, toasted
- Preheat oven to 350°. Using food processor, a blender, or a rolling pin with pretzels in a bag, reduce pretzels to crumbs. Pour into medium bowl. Make sure crumbs are small - you may need to use rolling pin even after the food processor.
- Add sugar and melted butter, stir thoroughly. Press into bottom and up sides of 9" or 10" pie plate. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack, then set in refrigerator to chill.
- Pour boiling water into medium bowl and whisk in dry gelatin until dissolved. About 2 minutes.
- Add enough ice cubes to cold water to measure 1 cup, then add to the gelatin and continue stirring.
- Whisk in the frozen whipped topping until thoroughly blended. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to thicken up.
- Drain and measure out the fruit, slice the banana. Fold fruit into the gelatin mixture and refrigerate another 15 minutes while you toast the coconut.
- Place coconut on foil-lined tray under the broiler or in a toaster oven to toast the flakes. Remove from heat when they've turned a medium golden brown.
- While coconut is cooling, pour filling into chilled pie crust. Top with cooled coconut. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Enjoy!
Tropical Pretzel Pie
I’d love to hear what fruit you used in your pie, and please feel free to rate the recipe below. Also, follow me on Pinterest where you can post a picture of your Tropical Pretzel Pie and let us all know what you think of the recipe.
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