Low Carb Strawberry “Pretzel” Dessert | THM: S, GF, Keto

I’ve made this low-carb Strawberry Pretzel Dessert twice in five days. My whole family cannot get enough of it, especially my husband – he even licked the kids’plates clean “so it goes to waist and not to waste!” 😀

(Except, this low-carb Trim Healthy Mama version of the classic dessert is waist-friendly, as it’s free from both sugar and gluten!)

My favorite part of the traditional Strawberry Pretzel dessert is the pretzel crust, so I spent the most time trying to get that part juuuuuuust right. Nothing beats the sweet ‘n salty layer combined with the creamy middle, and sweet, Jello-set strawberry topping! 

Using sprouted pretzels might have worked, but they would have made this low-carb Strawberry Pretzel dessert a Crossover, which I wanted to avoid.

Instead, the winning combination ended up being made from melted butter, coarsely chopped pecans, almond flour, sweetener and salt. My kids didn’t even know I hadn’t used pretzels! The crunchy, salty, sweet layer is my favorite part and really makes the whole dessert. 

The creamy middle is made by simply beating a package of softened cream cheese and folding it together with sweetened whipped cream.

While the middle layer sets in the fridge, you can start working on the topping, which is my other favorite part! The naturally colored and flavored “Strawberry Jello” is made using Celestial Raspberry Zinger Tea, sweetener, lemon juice, and unflavored gelatin.  

I used one packet of Knox unflavored gelatin for the recipe to keep it free from special ingredients, but you can also use 1 tablespoon of Trim Healthy Mama’s Just Gelatin or Great Lakes

Both times, I served this low-carb Strawberry Pretzel Dessert on the same day I made it, and the baking dish got cleaned out. Like most desserts made with alternative sweeteners, I still think it tastes best the next day, but you can totally get away with serving it right after the “jello” has set.

Wouldja look at those sweet, creamy, and crunchy layers?!

Oh, so good together.

If you prefer, you could also use raspberries instead of strawberries in this dessert. 

I hope you enjoy the low-carb version of this classic as much as our family does! 

Yield: 9-12 servings

Low Carb Strawberry “Pretzel” Dessert | THM: S

Low Carb Strawberry “Pretzel” Dessert | THM: S

This low-carb Strawberry Pretzel Dessert is a deliciously slimming version of the classic, made without sugar, gluten, or artificial colors and flavors! A THM S with no special ingredients. Sweet 'n salty, creamy 'n crunchy goodness!

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Total Time 4 hours

Ingredients

  • CRUST:
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 tbsp xylitol
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • CREAM CHEESE LAYER:
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup xylitol
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 8oz. pkg. cream cheese softened
  • STRAWBERRY JELLO LAYER:
  • 1 lb fresh strawberries
  • 1 packet or 1 tbsp unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 2 Raspberry Zinger tea bags
  • 1 tbsp xylitol
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt butter, xylitol, and salt together until sweetener and salt are dissolved. Remove from heat. Stir in chopped pecans and almond flour until well combined. Press into an 8X8 baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool completely.
  3. To make the filling, beat whipping cream, xylitol, and vanilla extract together until stiff. In a separate bowl, beat softened cream cheese until light an fluffy. Fold in whipped cream until smooth. Spread over cooled crust. Chill in the fridge while you make the strawberry topping.
  4. Slice strawberries and arrange on top of the cream cheese layer.
  5. To make the Strawberry Jello, sprinkle gelatin over cold water in a bowl. In a second bowl, pour boiling water over xylitol and two Raspberry Zinger tea bags. Stir until sweetener is dissolved and water turns red. Discard tea bags. Immediately pour over softened gelatin and stir for 3 minutes until gelatin is completely dissolved. Stir in lemon juice. Thicken in the fridge for 10 minutes, stirring once after 5 minutes to keep glaze from setting. Pour over strawberries.
  6. Refrigerate for 3 hours until set. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

You may substitute raspberries for strawberries.

Gentle Sweet can be used in place of xylitol in half the amount, or Super Sweet in a quarter of the amount.

45 thoughts on “Low Carb Strawberry “Pretzel” Dessert | THM: S, GF, Keto”

  1. So I’m allergic to almond. Is there a reason you use almond flour, instead of wheat flour (no gluten perhaps?). What would you suggest I used instead? Rice flour perhaps? (I’m new to all this, but easing into it)

    • My daughter is allergic to nuts so i plan to use nut free granola for the crust. I use oat flour in place of wheat for most recipes as we eat mostly gluten free.

    • You can’t use a traditional flour like wheat because grains (including rice) all contain high amounts of carb. Because they want to keep this a low carb dessert, she is avoiding that. If you can’t use almonds, you might try coconut flour, or ground flax seed.

  2. i dont have xytilol due to it being so poisonous to dogs. Is swerve an acceptable substitute? Love this dessert so would love to find a low carb version! Tks!

    • I am not sure if you have tried yet, but I made this with Swerve and it turned out great! I would say it took setting overnight for the Swerve to fully dissolve in the creamy filling but it is still very good.

  3. This was DELICIOUS!!!
    (I may have had a piece for morning snack, afternoon snack, and dessert…They were small! I cut it into 16 pieces!)
    My hubby couldn’t believe it was already gone. 😉
    Our kids all enjoyed it. some liked the top and middle, some the middle and bottom. LOL!

    Brilliant idea to use salty pecans to mimic pretzels!

  4. I made this dessert this afternoon, and it was so good! My mom even liked it. That says a lot! It totally cured my craving for strawberry pretzel salad. Thank you so much!! I’ll definitely be making this again.

  5. I doubled the recipe to make a 9×13 pan for our (large) family dinner as part of the family is THM or grain-free. It was wonderful. I think I would triple the gelatin portion next time as, even with the extra strawberries, that portion was “thinner” than I’d like. Thanks for the fabulous recipe!

    • This is setting up in the fridge tonight for Bible Study tomorrow! Only thing I felt was a little off was the gelatin layer. I may make another batch to pour on top of first layer to beef it up. Thank you!!!

  6. Could I substitute sour cream for cream cheese? We can’t have cream cheese and I have read that sour cream is a substitute for it. Thanks

  7. I made this also – altho – Did I miss something about how much water for the “jello” – I used 1/4 c cold, then 1/4 hot as recipe says and it was extremely thick, I ended up adding additional (1/2 c plus) hot water to be able to pour over and it did jell could have used more, almost was like liquid gummie bears 🙂 on top
    PS – I always love your recipes tho :{)

    • I am also wondering about the “jello” layer. It didn’t seem like enough water. It was super gelled after 10 minutes in the fridge even stirring halfway and was difficult to spread on top of the strawberries. And there didn’t seem to be enough. Are the water measurements off?

    • Can you please address the comments on the gelatin layer? I made the gelatin twice thinking I’d done it wrong. It doesn’t come out like the photo at all. Are your liquid amounts off? It doesn’t make that thick of a layer and it is so terribly thick. Gummy bears would be accurate.

  8. This question wasn’t answered, but can I substitute THM baking blend instead of almond flour? Do I just use a little less? There is coconut flour in it.

  9. Does it have to be raspberry zinger tea? Or can I use the black cherry ones? I have the tea variety but we finished the raspberry ones first.

    • I was also thinking any red fruity tea would work to flavor and color the gelatin. My jello amount too was so scant, it didn’t even cover all the berries. Next time I am going to make much more in terms of the liquid portion.

  10. my gelatin layer was too thick as well:/ Adding water helped but it was still really thick! I use the THM just gelatin. Does that make a difference after all?

    • I just noticed that 1 packet of gelatin is a little over 2 tsp not 1 tbsp. I am wondering if that is the issue. I am going to lessen the amount of gelatin.

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