Today, we are taking a little excursion.

We have two destinations: the local mall and my first-ever guest post at the blog Liv Life.

Let’s start with the mall: Forget Macy’s, Old Navy, and Forever 21—we have a more important mission: the food court.

Whenever I enter a mall, the majestic scent of an Auntie Anne’s pretzel is sure to reach me. A single whiff tantalizes me into a state of buttery-carb hypnosis. Inspired by this food-court temptress, I baked golden, fluffy-puffy Soft Whole Wheat Raisin Pretzels.


Smooth on the outside and fabulously fluffy-puffy on the inside, these pretzels are both satisfying and sentimental. The kid in you will love their pop of juicy sweetness from the plump raisins, along with the fun of rolling and shaping the dough; the adult in you will love their subtle bounce of bright orange zest and ease of preparation.

That tantalizing Auntie Anne’s smell is about to waft wondrously through your entire home!

What to Serve with Homemade Pretzels

  • Icing. Take these pretzels to the next level.
  • Peanut Butter. A delicious flavor complement, and it makes these pretzels even more satisfying.
  • Butter. Crowd-pleasing and irresistible.

More Delicious Baked Goods


Forget fuss, my soft whole wheat raisin pretzel recipe is adapted the fit the busy life of an at-home cook. No more dealing with the mall parking lot to enjoy chewy pretzel perfection.



Soft Whole Wheat Raisin Pretzels

5 from 1 vote
Soft, homemade, 100% Whole Wheat Raisin Pretzels, inspired by Auntie Anne's Glazin' Raisin. Golden, healthy, and ready in just over a half hour.

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 13 mins
Total: 38 mins

Servings: 8 pretzels approx., depending on size


  • 1 1/2 cups warm water 100-110 degrees F
  • 1 packet active dry yeast (1/4 ounce or 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons vital gluten*
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 large egg


  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Set aside two baking sheets covered in parchment paper or a silpat mat.
  • Plump the Raisins: Place raisins in a small bowl, then cover with boiling water. Let stand 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • Make the Dough: In a large bowl (or the bowl of stand mixer), combine the warm water, yeast, and sugar. Stir and let sit for 1 minute. The yeast should be foamy. (If it is not, the yeast did not activate properly and this step must be repeated). Stir in the kosher salt and orange zest.
  • With a wooden spoon (or the mixer’s paddle attachment), slowly stir in 1 cup of the white whole wheat flour, then the vital wheat gluten, then the remaining 1 cup of the white whole wheat flour. Stir in plumped raisins.
  • Stir in 1 cup regular whole wheat flour. From here, continue to stir in whole wheat flour, a few tablespoons at a time, until the dough is no longer sticky and bounces back when poked. (I used 8 tablespoons—1/2 cup—additional whole wheat flour total). Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface (or switch to your mixer’s dough hook). Knead for 5 minutes and form into a ball. Lightly coat a large bowl with cooking spray. Place the dough into the bowl, turn to coat, and let dough rise for 10 minutes. Once dough has puffed, lightly flour a knife and cut the dough into 4 equal parts. Then, cut those 4 parts into 2 parts each. No need to be exact about this: use any amount of dough to create whatever size of pretzel you wish.
  • Roll each piece into a rope of even diameter (the longer the rope, the larger your pretzel will be. I rolled mine to be 16 inches.) To form the pretzel, lay the rope horizontally, then pick up each end and draw them upwards as if you were forming a circle, cross the ends, then draw them down to form a pretzel shape. Lightly press the dough ends to hold the shape.
  • In a shallow bowl or pie dish, beat the egg and with 1 teaspoon of water to create an egg wash. Dip each entire pretzel into the egg wash and coat both sides. Place each pretzel on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the oven to broil for 3 minutes to brown pretzel tops. Watch closely to prevent burning. Let cool slightly.

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. Auntie Anne’s pretzels just taunt me like crazy! I already have to run through Target because of the tasty tasty popcorn smell and then as soon as I get into the actual mall, I’m acosted by the smell of those pretzels… The pictures of these pretzels look so much more tasty though!

    1. There is just no hiding from the scent of those pretzels, no matter where you are in the mall! Too funny about Target–it’s the truth. Thanks for your comment Kelly. I’m glad you like the look of these pretzels! Our batch didn’t last long.

  2. I love making pretzels, yeast bread, love raisins, love wheaty breads…pretty much everything here is awesome!

    1. Thanks so much Averie! I had way too much fun rolling and shaping the dough. Not quiet as much fun as I did EATING the pretzels, but it was an enjoyable process all around :-)

  3. Erin, thank you for a wonderful guest post!! Though, Liv is still bugging me to get baking. I think we have a project this weekend!

  4. Pretzels are sooo good and I know exactly which ones you’re talking about! They’re so irresistible! Yours looks so great homemade!! :)

    1. Thanks so much Julie. Soft pretzels are one of my all-time weaknesses, and I have zero intention of trying to overcome it!

  5. Such a cute blog! I have not made homemade pretzels before, it looks like it needs to be in my future!

    1. Thanks so much Lindsey! I’m so glad you found my site and decided to say hi. These pretzels are glorious, golden, and so easy! I think you’d love them.

  6. I’m sure yours are better than the mall version, being homemade with real ingredients. Yum.

    p.s. Your blog title caught my attention…I’m a law student myself…reading when I’m not eating you might say :)

    1. Hi Joyti! Yes, so you must understand a little of what life is like around here. So happy you said hi!
      And I can’t lie to you: I’m happily addicted to these whole wheat pretzels, and knowing what’s in them provides a little peace of mind while I’m wolfing them down :)

  7. Oh yum!
    Raisin pretzels are the BEST!!! I love them with that gooey icing although it is not to healthy of a topping : )5 stars

    1. ME TOO! Auntie Anne’s Glazin Raisin inspired this recipe. I loved it so much without the icing though, I ended up leaving it off. Sounds like a good reason to make them a second time :-)

  8. Hi Erin! I’m loving your recipes, and now that I’m spending lots of quality time feeding baby Charlie I’m finding myself wandering back here even more frequently for ideas! So, question. When do you add vital gluten to a recipe and when do you not need to?? I usually try to sub whole wheat flour into my recipes and have found that sometimes it works fine, other times eh… Not so well. Tips?! Take care!

    1. Megan, hello!! So happy you asked this question (and a big hello/hug to you, Charlie, and Nick).

      Vital gluten is a fabulous tool when you are looking to bake yeast breads with whole wheat flour. While hearty and delicious, whole wheat flour is much heavier than its white counter-parts. Vital gluten adds additonal protein, which in bread science translates to a much fluffier, lighter, and more tender final product. As a rule of thumb, when swapping out whole wheat flour for white, add 1 tablespoon of vital gluten for every 1 cup of whole wheat flour. Vital gluten is quite affordable and can be found at many grocery stores (and definitely at Whole Foods). I like Bob’s Red Mill brand. Also, allowing the bread to rise longer (an extra half hour to hour) when it is made with whole wheat flour definitely helps many recipes. Overnight in the fridge is even better and will give your bread a more intense flavor.

      Vital gluten will not, however, help you as much with quick breads or muffins. In this case, instead of adding vital gluten, try using a lighter version of whole wheat flour, like whole wheat white flour or whole wheat pastry flour (both available at most grocery stores). Using these two types, I’m able to create good quick breads that are 100% whole wheat. If you don’t feel like keeping that many varieties of flour in your pantry, you can also go half and half standard whole wheat flour/white flour.

      Whew! Hope that is helpful. I feel like I just wrote a small novel :-) Also, stay tuned for my post this coming Monday–I’ll be writing all about whole wheat bread. Yay carbs!