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Raspberry Pretzel Crunch Cake - inspired by our family's raspberry pretzel salad, this cake is filled with raspberry cake layers, cream cheese frosting and a raspberry pretzel crunch filling. #cakebycourtney #cake #raspberrypretzelcrunchcake #raspberrypretzelsalad
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4.6 from 15 votes

Raspberry Pretzel Crunch Cake

Raspberry cake layers with a whipped cream cheese frosting and a pretzel crunch filling.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Cake
Keyword: Intermediate, Raspberry Pretzel Crunch Cake
Servings: 12



  • 3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • 4 tbsp. raspberry Jell-O
  • 1/2 cup (113 g) unsalted butter
  • 3 egg whites at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. (4.2 g) vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (170 g) cake flour
  • 3 tsp. (12 g) baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. (2.5 g) salt
  • 1/2 cup (120 g) buttermilk at room temperature


  • 4 tbsp raspberry Jell-O
  • 1/4 cup (122 g) milk


  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (346 g) heavy whipping cream

FOR THE PRETZEL CRUNCH (adapted from Milk Bar)

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 (62.5 g) cup milk powder
  • 1/4 cup (30 g) crushed pretzels you want these finely crushed, I used a food processor
  • 2 tbsp (16.9 g) cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp (25 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 g) salt
  • 4 tbsp (56.5 g) unsalted butter melted
  • 1/4 cup (31.25 g) milk powder
  • 1/4 cup crushed freeze dried raspberries
  • 3 oz white chocolate



  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 9"x13" baking pan with nonstick spray, line the bottom with parchment paper and spray again. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the cake flour, baking powder and salt.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, sugar, and Jell-O. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the egg whites, in a few additions, beating well and scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition. Add the vanilla and stir to combine. Beat for 2 minutes on medium-high speed.
  • With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Mix on low, just until flour is combined.
  • Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs on it.
  • Let cool completely before using.


  • In a microwave safe bowl, heat the milk for about 30 seconds.
  • Stir in the Jell-O powder until dissolved.


  • In a cold metal bowl, whisk the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  • In a medium size mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese and sugar until smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Fold the heavy whipping cream into the cream cheese mixture.
  • Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.


  • Heat the oven to 250 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a medium sized bowl, combine 1/2 cup milk powder, pretzel crumbs, cornstarch, sugar and salt. Toss with your hands to mix. Add the melted butter and toss, using a spatula or spoon, until the mixture starts to come together and form small clusters.
  • Spread the clusters on a parchment lined sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes. The crumbs should be sandy at that point. Cool the crumbs completely.
  • Crumble any clusters that are larger than 1/2 inch in diameter, and put the crumbs back in the medium bowl. Add the 1/4 cup milk powder and toss together until it is evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
  • Pour the white chocolate over the crumbs and toss until your clusters are covered. Add the freeze dried raspberries and toss to distribute. Continue tossing them every five minutes until the white chocolate hardens and the clusters are no longer sticky. The crumbs will keep in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer for up to 1 month.


  • Put a piece of parchment or a silpat on the counter. Invert the raspberry cake onto it and peel off the parchment from the bottom side of the cake. Use a 6-inch cake ring to stamp out 2 circles in each corner from the cake. With the remaining space, use the cake ring to stamp out two half circles.
  • Clean the cake ring and place it in the center of a sheet pan lined with clean parchment or silpat. Use 1 strip of acetate to line the inside of the cake ring. (This is essential, as it is going to support the cake as you layer all the amazing elements.)
  • Place one of the half circles in the cake ring and push up against the acetate. Place the other half circle in the cake ring and push up against the other side of the acetate. You'll have a gap between the two half circles. That's ok! Fill the gap with scraps from the cake. No one will see this layer and it will be covered with fillings, so don't stress about how it looks.
  • Once the cake layer is filled, use a pastry brush to generously soak the cake layer.
  • Spread 1/2 cup of the cream cheese filling over the cake layer using the back of a spoon.
  • Sprinkle about 1/2 cup of the pretzel crunch and gently tap into place.
  • Carefully spread another 1/2 cup of the cream cheese filling over the pretzels. This helps to secure the cake to the filling. (You'll notice I didn't do this - total mistake - and my cake layers didn't stick to my pretzel filling).
  • Repeat these steps with the next two layers.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve.