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Salty pretzels covered in caramel and topped with your favorite candies. These loaded caramel dipped pretzels are kid-friendly, perfect for gift-giving and bake sales, and satisfy your salty/sweet tooth!

pretzel rods dipped in caramel and various toppings standing up in glass jars with sprinkles

Pretzels are my favorite snack food, how about you? Pretzel rods, honey wheat pretzels, pretzel sticks, and so on. I have oodles of half eaten bags of pretzels in my pantry. Hence my Bite-Size Peanut Butter Pretzel M&M Cookies.

Another way to use up a bag of pretzels is to throw them on top of brownies along with peanut butter frosting. There’s also the homemade salted caramel, rainbow sprinkle, mini chocolate chip, and crushed Heath bar route which is where I’m taking you today!!

3 pretzel rods dipped in caramel and various toppings standing up in a glass jar with sprinkles

Loaded Caramel Dipped Pretzels are Easy

This seriously fool-proof recipe is king of the sweet/salty snack food category. Gooey homemade caramel enveloping a super salty, crunchy pretzel rod, and garnished with whatever tiny topping your little heart desires. These loaded caramel dipped pretzels couldn’t be easier and are fun to decorate, especially if you want to get the kids involved in the kitchen. They’ll love coating the pretzels with their favorite goodies like M&Ms, chocolate chips, sprinkles, toffee pieces, and more. Plus, kids love food on sticks! It’s the perfect sweet snack.

And don’t they kind of look gourmet? Wrap them, box them up, and gift them during the holidays. They look so cute displayed in mason jars at parties. They’re also a fun (and quick!) treat for a bake sale and I guarantee they’d be the first to go.

Close up picture of M&Ms candy

pretzel rods dipped in caramel with various toppings

pretzel rods dipped in caramel with various toppings

How to Make Salted Caramel

Caramel dipped pretzels uses my reader-favorite homemade salted caramel, a 4 ingredient and 10 minute recipe loved by millions all over the world. It’s the most popular recipe on this website!

There’s no candy thermometer required; simply use your eyes to determine when to add the next ingredient. The caramel itself doesn’t take long to make, only a short 10 minutes. However, you’ll want to to cool down for at least 20 minutes before dunking the pretzels. The caramel thickens as it cools.

3 pretzel rods dipped in caramel and various toppings standing up in a glass jar with sprinkles
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pretzel rods dipped in caramel and various toppings standing up in glass jars with sprinkles

Loaded Caramel Dipped Pretzels

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 18 pretzels 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Salty pretzels covered in caramel and topped with your favorite candies. These loaded caramel dipped pretzels are kid-friendly, perfect for gift-giving and bake sales, and satisfy your salty/sweet tooth!


  • 1 cup homemade salted caramel (the full recipe)
  • 18 large pretzel rods
  • 2 cups assorted toppings (crushed M&Ms, nuts, mini chocolate chips, sprinkles, Heath bar, etc)


  1. Make the salted caramel and allow it to thicken and cool for 20 minutes.
  2. While cooling, get your toppings ready. Place each into separate bowls.
  3. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
  4. Once caramel has cooled, hold each pretzel rod by one end and dip the pretzel into the caramel, swirling it around to get it coated well. Shake of any excess caramel. Immediately sprinkle toppings onto pretzel, twirling the pretzel to get all sides covered. Do this over a plate to catch any extras.
  5. Place pretzels onto prepared baking sheet to allow the caramel to set, about 15 minutes. I rotated them every 2 minutes so they didn’t end up with a completely flat side.
  6. Cover and store leftovers at room temperature for 2-3 days. In hot months, store pretzels in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.


  1. Tip: Avoid rolling the caramel pretzels into the toppings. The warm caramel will melt the toppings and create a huge mess.
  2. Caramel: Interested in regular caramel instead of salted caramel? For regular sweet caramel, simply reduce the salt to 1/2 teaspoon in the salted caramel recipe.

Keywords: caramel dipped pretzels

Photography by Grateful & Co

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. I made these for a couple 4th of July BBQs yesterday, and they were a hit! I used red and blue M&Ms, Almond Joy round candies, almonds, sprinkles, and crumbled Heath bars. They went super fast, and they were fun to make! When I melted all the caramel, the liquid wasn’t deep enough to fully “dunk” the pretzels, so I poured the melted caramel into a glass measuring cup, and used a spatula to help swirl the caramel onto the pretzels. It seemed to work pretty well; do you have any other tips for getting the caramel all around half the pretzel? It was kind of gooey and when it cooled too much, I just popped it in the microwave to warm it up a bit so it was easier to work with. Such a fun recipe, and it’s easy to adapt for each holiday! Thanks for sharing!

    1. I used a spatula to swirl as well. That seemed to work for me very well! I had to work quickly when the caramel was hot. SO glad you made and enjoyed them Alexis! honey wheat pretzels are my favorite 🙂

  2. I used the honey wheat ones when I made them; people seemed to like them, and since they were shorter than the pretzel rods, they were a little easier to dip in the caramel.

  3. Hi Sally – I love your blog and all your great recipes! I have a couple pf quick questions about the caramel dipped pretzels: how long do they keep, i.e. how far in advance can you make them? Also, do you think humidity would effect whether or not the caramel sets up or not? Thank you so much!

    1. they keep very well! up to 1 week. I made these on a Saturday and they were still great on a Wednesday! I’d say make them ahead of time, maybe 3-4 days max. I suggest not making these on a humid day, unless you have the AC going high. Humidity in the air won’t allow the caramel to sufficiently set up, just as you expected. thank you Emily!

  4. Hi Sally,

    I’m new to your blog and love reading each post. I found your recipe for the caramel candy covered pretzel rods…one word…YUM!
    I made them with my six year old niece and she loved them as much I as did…we started a new tradition of cooking together. I look forward to making some more of your recipes.
    Thank you for your hard work…keep posting. Have a good weekend.

  5. Hey Sally! Quick question for you- I’ve been using the caramel recipe in your cookbook to dip Bavarian pretzels and Oreos in but once it cools it’s extremely tough and kind of hard- would this be a better recipe to use for those items you think?

    1. Hi Maria! Caramel sets at room temperature or when it’s cool (both the cookbook recipe and this one!). Warm it up again so it’s easy to use for dipping. Both recipes are great for dipping!

  6. I made your recipe for loaded caramel pretzel sticks last night. I am wondering what I did wrong, because my caramel never really hardened up. It was very liquidy even after waiting for it to cool after 20 minutes. Even this morning the caramel is just slipping off when I lift them off of the parchment paper. I would love to make these for my sons Graduation party. Please help with suggestions so I can perfect them next time. Thanks so much.

    1. If the caramel was too thin after cooking you might need to cook it for just a minute longer. Take a look at the video so you can get a good visual of what the consistency should look like!

  7. Hi, Sally! This recipe looks great!

    I am going to imitate the Girl Scouts Samoas cookie and am in need of the proper caramel for the topping. It would need to set up on the cookie (not drip off), not be hard/crunchy to bite into, still be soft (yet sturdy), and able to set up when mixed together with toasted coconut.

    Would your recommend I use this recipe, the Caramel for Dipping recipe (in Sally’s Candy Addiction), or your chewy caramel recipe (either the one on your blog or the one in Sally’s Candy Addiction)?

    Thank you for taking the time to read this message! I appreciate it and love every single one of your recipes! Have a great day!

  8. These looks delicious! Can I make a couple of days before an event and store in the refrigerator?

    1. Hi Mary! You can, yes, but I find the caramel gets unpleasantly hard after several days in the refrigerator. So it depends how long you’d like to store them. A couple days is usually fine. Bring to room temperature before serving.

  9. I don’t understand. This recipe says use your homemade salted caramel recipe, but in the comments you say a couple of times that recipe is not thick enough and you used Kraft caramel. Please explain.

    1. Hi Sandy, this is a great question. I actually reworked the recipe in 2018– those questions were from previously. You can follow the recipe as written. Thank you so much for asking!

      1. Thanks for responding so quickly. So your salted caramel recipe DOES work for these pretzels and caramel apples?

  10. I loved making these loaded pretzels and they taste delicious. The caramel has stayed soft after several hours and I’m nervous that they will stick together if I put more than one together in a bag. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Drew, the caramel should set after a few hours at room temperature, but you can pop the pretzels in the refrigerator to help speed up the process. Just be sure to allow them to come to room temperature before enjoying as they can get quite hard.

  11. How do you think it would go if I dipped these in melted chocolate in addition to the caramel?

    1. Sounds delicious, shouldn’t be a problem!