Mandarin Orange Pretzel Dessert – This classic dessert features a crunchy pretzel crust, a creamy center, and silky top with mandarin oranges and orange flavored gelatin. Perfect for a summer luncheon!
Paul saw me pull this out of the fridge and sort of crinkled up his nose. “You sure about this one?” Such a critic!
And then he ate THREE servings.
Ya, I’m sure.
This dessert totally reminds me of something you would find at a midwestern luncheon, where it disappears before anything else. And then everyone is calling the hostess the next day for the recipe. The crust is crunchy, middle is creamy, and the top is silky. At first glance, it does sound weird, but it totally works! Plus, because of how rich it is, smaller servings are just fine, making it great for a crowd.
The original calls for strawberries, but we go through those like rolls of toilet paper, thanks to Trevor, and I was actually out. So, I made mine with canned mandarin oranges because I always have those in the house. It was perfect and the kids loved it!
There’s a lot of thumb twiddling in between steps, which is rough for someone impatient like myself, BUT it’s super easy and totally worth the wait. The DOLE Canned Fruit made it even easier because there’s no slicing or chopping needed.
Paul already put in a request for crushed pineapple, which I also have stocked in my pantry. And I just noticed DOLE has canned fruit mango slices! They’re making my summer recipes so trouble-free.
- 2 cups crushed pretzels
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 8 ounces whipped topping, thawed
- 1 box (3 ounce) orange gelatin
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 cup cold water
- 1 can (10 ounce) DOLE Mandarin Oranges, drained
- Preheat oven to 350. Coat a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the pretzels, sugar, and butter. Press evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until mixture is lightly toasted. Set aside to cool completely.
- In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar with a handheld mixer. Fold in the whipped topping until thoroughly combined. Spread evenly over the cooled pretzel layer, making sure it goes completely to the edges. Refrigerate until set, about 30-40 minutes.
- In another medium bowl, whisk together the orange gelatin powder with 1 cup boiling water. Stir until completely dissolved. Then whisk in 1 cup of cold water. Gently mix in the mandarin orange slices.
- Pour mixture over the cooled cream cheese layer.
- Refrigerate until completely chilled and set, at least 3 hours (or overnight). Slice and serve!
Alternatively, you can chill the gelatin mixture so it solidifies slightly, and then spread it evenly over the cream cheese layer, which helps prevent it from leaking through.
Adapted from Sugar Apron