No Bake M&M Peanut Butter Pretzel Pie

A crispy pretzel crust, whipped peanut butter pie filling, a layer of chocolate ganache, and crunchy M&M’s combine into the perfect (almost) No Bake M&M’s Peanut Butter Pretzel Pie.

overhead view of a peanut butte pretzel pie covered in concentric circles of m&ms.

As you can probably imagine, I bake a lot.  All the recipes I share on here are tweaked and tested until they’re juuuuust right.  This means that I often wind up making the same thing many times.  In turn, this means that I share my treats with a lot of people.

I bring desserts into work and share with my coworkers in the lab.  I drop off slices of pie and cake to our neighbors.  And of course, every time someone invites us over for dinner, I come bearing one of the many desserts that wind up on here.

I love bringing sweet treats to friends, and even more so when we have a funny story to tell.  We recently had dinner with a childhood friend of my husband’s and his lovely wife, at their new home.  

I provided a few dessert options that I was planning on baking to share here, and they chose this M&M peanut butter pretzel pie.

And thus, I wound up bringing a Christmas-themed peanut butter pie, with one slice pre-cut and a forkful removed (because… pictures) to fellow Jewish friends.  And we all had a good laugh.

This is how you know if you’re in my inner circle of friends: I’m willing to show up to your house with a dessert with a piece missing, because I had to photograph it.  #foodbloggerproblems

And you know what? No one cared, because it was completely delicious!

side view of a deep dish peanut butter pretzel pie showing the pretzel crust and m&m topping,

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Pretzels: Any shape works here, as they’ll be crushed up to make the crust. To keep this pie gluten-free, use gluten-free pretzels.
  • Brown Sugar
  • Butter: Coconut oil can be used instead of the butter.
  • Peanut Butter: Commercial (homogenized) peanut butter tends to work better than natural peanut butter. I prefer the texture of smooth peanut butter in the filling, but crunchy also works. The peanut butter can be substituted with almond butter or cashew butter. If your peanut butter does not contain salt, be sure to add a pinch of salt to the peanut butter mousse layer.
  • Confectioners’ Sugar
  • Heavy Cream
  • Chocolate: Use chopped chocolate of your preference – milk, semi-sweet, or dark (dark is my favorite!) A chopped baking bar works better than melting chocolate chips, which contain additional stabilizers and do not melt as smoothly.
  • M&Ms: Plain M&Ms are my go-to, but feel free to switch up to caramel or peanut butter M&Ms (or Reese’s Pieces) for a different twist.
layer of crushed m&ms on a crispy pretzel crust.

Many Layers for the Best Texture

First off, I realize this title is a mouthful.  But there’s a lot going on here!  Layers.  So many layers!  We have:

  • a crunchy pretzel crust (so good)
  • crushed M&Ms
  • a deep-dish layer of creamy peanut butter mouse-like filling
  • more chopped M&Ms
  • chocolate ganache
  • even more M&Ms

Phew!  That’s a lot of layers (and a lot of M&Ms)!  And every single one is delicious.

My favorite thing about this pretzel peanut butter pie, besides how easy it is, are all the different textures!  I’m usually not a big fan of no bake peanut butter pies because they’re just soft and smooth.  Soft crust, soft filling, maybe some soft whipped cream on top.

But this version of a peanut butter pie has so many textures!  There’s a crunchy, salty crust.  There’s the sweet, smooth, whipped peanut butter filling, sandwiched between two layers of chopped M&M’S® (more crunch!).  Then there’s the chocolate ganache layer, with that slightly chewy, dense and heavy texture.  And finally – whole M&Ms.

Each bite is smooth, crunchy, and chewy – I love it!

peanut butter mousse filling in a pretzel crust covered with crushed m&ms.

How to Make M&M Peanut Butter Pretzel Pie

Okay, first up, let’s address the elephant in the room.  I call this a “no bake” pie, buuuut… you do have to turn on your oven for a few minutes.  I know, I know.

The pretzel crust requires a quick pop into the oven to crisp up and hold together.  Believe me, it’s worth it – the salty, crunch pretzels pair perfectly with the sweet peanut butter filling, chocolate ganache, and M&Ms.

I know, I know. Do you really have to turn on the oven to bake the pretzel crust? Can’t you just mix the melted butter and pretzels together? My favorite subject, kitchen chemistry, helps explain why this is so important!

Kitchen Chemistry

Starch gelatinization is a process that occurs when starch (from the pretzels) is heated in the presence of water. During baking, as the crust heats up, the starch granules in the pretzels absorb moisture from the water in the butter. This absorption causes the granules to swell, soften, and eventually burst, releasing the starch molecules which form a network that solidifies as the crust cools. The gelatinization of starch is what transforms the pretzel mixture from a crumbly pile that easily falls apart into a cohesive, crispy crust.

I went ahead and sprinkled some crushed M&Ms on top of the pretzel crust because… why not?  Who doesn’t like a little extra bite of chocolate in their pie?

Then, we have a thick layer of peanut butter deliciousness — peanut butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and heavy cream, all whipped together until light and fluffy.  Top that layer with additional chopped M&Ms, followed by silky smooth (and oh-so-decadent) chocolate ganache, and then the best part – cover the top with M&Ms!

I went for concentric circles of holiday-colored M&M’S® (so perfect for all the upcoming Christmas parties!), but the world (errr… top of the pie?) is your oyster.  I’m definitely going to be making this peanut butter pie again utilizing all the colors in a regular bag of M&M’S® – stripes? circles? chevron? The possibilities are endless!

one slice of pretzel peanut butter pie removed showing the smooth creamy mousse texture.
  • Food Processor: A food processor is my favorite way to crush the pretzels, ensuring all the crumbs are a small, even size.
  • Mixing Bowl: This set of mixing bowls is both dishwasher and microwave safe and contains multiple sizes for the different steps in this recipe.
  • Springform Pan: Use a 9″ metal springform pan to make this peanut butter pretzel pie.
  • Stand Mixer: Either a hand or stand mixer works to make the peanut butter mousse layer, but this stand mixer has been going for 15+ years and is the ultimate workhorse in my kitchen.
  • Offset Spatula: A long offset spatula is helpful for smoothing the layers of peanut butter mousse and chocolate ganache.
a slice of pretzel peanut butter pie with one bite on a fork sitting on the plate

Tips and Tricks for the Best M&M Peanut Butter Pretzel Pie

  1. Finely Crushed Pretzels: For the crust, ensure your pretzels are finely crushed. This creates a more uniform and stable base. A food processor can do this job efficiently.
  2. Even Crust Pressing: Use the back of a measuring cup or spoon to evenly press the pretzel crust mixture along the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan.
  3. Chill the Whipping Cream: For the peanut butter filling, make sure your heavy cream is cold before whipping it. This helps achieve a stiffer peak and a fluffier texture.
  4. Fold Gently: When combining the whipped cream with the peanut butter mixture, fold gently to maintain the airiness of the whipped cream.
  5. Slice with a Warm Knife: For clean slices, dip your knife in hot water and wipe it dry before cutting. This trick makes slicing through the layers much easier.
  6. Storage: The pie can be stored wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap followed by foil and frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

More No-Bake Dessert Recipes:

No Bake M&M’S® Pretzel Peanut Butter Pie: crispy pretzel crust, smooth whipped peanut butter filling, rich chocolate ganache, and crunchy M&Ms combine into the perfect easy pie. Perfect for holiday entertaining! #bunsenburnerbakery #peanutbutterpie #pie #pretzelcrust #christmas

No Bake M&M Peanut Butter Pretzel Pie Pie

Yield: Serves 12
Prep Time: 1 hour
Chilling Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 5 hours

A crispy pretzel crust, whipped peanut butter pie filling, a layer of chocolate ganache, and crunchy M&Ms combine into the perfect peanut butter pie.


For the Crust:

  • 2 cups (200 grams) finely crushed pretzels
  • 1/4 cup (53 grams) packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, melted

For the Peanut Butter Mousse Filling

  • 1 3/4 cups (472 grams) creamy peanut butter
  • 8 ounces (227 grams) ) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup (113 grams) confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup (227 grams) heavy cream

For the Ganache:

  • 1 cup (170 grams) chopped high quality semi-sweet or dark chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) heavy cream

For Decorating

  • 1 (11.4 ounce) bag M&Ms, divided


  1. Start by preparing the peanut butter crust. Combine the pretzels, brown sugar, and butter in a mixing bowl. Press the mixture firmly along the bottom and sides of a lightly greased 9″ springform pan. Bake at 350 °F for 12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and cool completely before filling.
  2. To make the pie filling, start by whisking the heavy cream with a mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, 5 to 8 minutes. Scrape the whipped cream into a bowl. Add the peanut butter, cream cheese, and confectioners' sugar back into the mixing bowl. Beat together until fully combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the whipped cream by hand until the pie filling is fluffy and light, and no streaks of whipped cream remain.
  3. To make the chocolate ganache, add the chopped chocolate, peanut butter, and heavy cream to a small, microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 1 minute at 50% power, then remove from the microwave and stir. Repeat until the chocolate is melted and stir until the ganache is smooth. Move the ganache into the refrigerator for 10 minutes, or until thickened and room temperature.
  4. Remove 1 cup of the M&Ms from the bag and place them in a quart-sized zip top bag. Pound the M&Ms with a rolling pin or mallet, until crushed into smaller pieces.
  5. To assemble the pie, start by sprinkling half of the crushed M&Ms along the bottom of the pretzel crust. Spread the peanut butter pie filling across the top of the crust, using an offset spatula or knife to smooth down the top. Sprinkle the remaining crushed M&M’s on top of the peanut butter layer. Spread the ganache on top of this, making sure to fully spread to the crust. Decorate the top of the pie with the remaining whole M&M’s.
  6. Refrigerate the entire pie for at least 4 hours (preferably overnight) to set. Serve cold.


  1. Start with finely crushed pretzels for the crust to form a crunchy, stable crust.
  2. Carefully fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture - maintaining the air in the whipped cream is crucial for a light and fluffy peanut butter mousse layer.
  3. For clean slices while serving, dip the knife into hot water and wipe it dry before cutting.
  4. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap or a freezer-safe bag before storing.

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No Bake M&M’S® Pretzel Peanut Butter Pie: crispy pretzel crust, smooth whipped peanut butter filling, rich chocolate ganache, and crunchy M&Ms combine into the perfect easy pie. Perfect for holiday entertaining!