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Homemade Pop-Tarts

Homemade Pop-Tarts

When I was a kid, my parents kept our home relatively junk food- and sweets-free. We weren’t allowed to have the “cool” sugary cereals, no fruit rollups, no potato chips, no pop. You get the idea. So naturally, no Pop-Tarts. But all of these rules flew right out the window when we got to sleep over at my grandma’s on Saturday nights. Like most doting grandparents that spoil their grandchildren and give them the things that their parents won’t, this is where we ate the “fun food”. And fun food included Pop-Tarts. They were pretty much a Sunday morning staple for me when I stayed at her house. My favorite flavor was brown sugar cinnamon; I loved to toast it and then spread peanut butter on the non-frosted side. (The more I write and the more peanut butter comes up, the more I think I might need some type of support group.) While many kids love Pop-Tarts, let’s face it – they’re not exactly in the upper echelon of pastry treats. That is, unless you make them at home. And then they become something in another stratosphere. The pastry crust is flaky and buttery, little pieces breaking and fluttering off when you take a bite. Each little pastry pillow is full of sweet strawberry or cinnamon brown sugar (the two flavors I chose), all warm, slightly melted and a perfect companion to the pastry.

Homemade Pop-Tarts

These are just slightly time consuming (they take about an hour to prep and assemble) but are not very difficult. You can make the pastry dough easily by hand and it is simply rolled out and cut. Nothing too advanced like laminating the dough is required and the only equipment you need is a mixing bowl. This would be a great project to involve kids in – they will love creating their very own pop-tart for breakfast! And if you have house guests, imagine how surprised and charmed they would be to wake up to homemade pop-tarts – better than any toaster pastry they’ve ever had, for sure!

You could fancy these up with some glazes if you’d like, but I thought they were perfect as-is. If I were to do anything, I might drizzle a simple powdered sugar and milk glaze over the strawberry ones and brush a brown sugar glaze onto the brown sugar cinnamon ones. Also – no toaster required! These are perfectly crisp and flaky without needing to be popped in the toaster. Whether you make them for kids or adults, you will certainly feel like a kitchen goddess for whipping these up and sharing them!

Homemade Pop-Tarts

One year ago: Better-than-Brownies Chocolate Cookies

Homemade Pop-Tarts

Yield: 9 pop-tarts

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

Ingredients:

For the pastry crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks, or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk

For the cinnamon sugar filling:
½ cup light brown sugar
1½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour

For the strawberry filling:
¾ cup strawberry jam (or whatever flavor you'd like)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water

1 egg, lightly beaten (to brush on pastry)

Directions:

1. Prepare the cinnamon sugar filling by whisking the ingredients together.

2. If using the strawberry filling, prepare by whisking together the cornstarch and water, and then combine with the jam in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and let cool.

3. To make the crust, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Using your fingers or a pastry blender, work in the butter until it is the size of peas and the mixture holds together when you squeeze it. Whisk together the egg and milk and add to the dough. Mix together with a fork until everything is evenly moistened. Knead briefly on a floured surface, if necessary, until the dough comes together.

Homemade Pop-Tarts: Dough with butter cut in

4. Divide the dough in half. (At this point you can wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days.) If you refrigerate the dough, let it come to room temperature for about 15 minutes before rolling out. Roll out one piece of dough to about 1/8-inch thick, in a 9½ by 12½ rectangle. Using a sharp knife, pastry wheel or bench scraper, trim the rectangle to 9x12 inches. Cut the sheet of dough into nine 3x4 rectangles. Using a spatula, transfer the rectangles to a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Brush the lightly beaten egg on each of the rectangles. Spoon a tablespoon of filling into the center of each rectangle, leaving a ½-inch of space around the edges.

Homemade Pop-Tarts: Assembly

5. Roll out and cut the second piece of dough in the exact same manner as you did the first. One at a time, place a second rectangle of dough on top of the nine assembled ones. Using your fingers, press around the seams of the dough to make sure they are sealed. Press the tines of a fork around the edges of the rectangles. Prick the tops of the rectangles in multiple spots to allow steam to escape.

Homemade Pop-Tarts: Finishing touches before baking

6. Refrigerate the pan with the pastries (you don't need to cover them) for about 30 minutes. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool slightly before serving. Store pastries in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.

* Note 1: Each filling recipes makes enough for a whole recipe (9 pop-tarts). If you make to make a few different filling, just scale back the amounts for the fillings.

* Note 2: Some additional filling ideas: Chocolate chips, Nutella, different jam flavors, dulce de leche, etc. The possibilities are endless!

* Note 3: If your kitchen runs on the warm side, you will need to refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes before rolling it out so that the butter doesn't start to melt.

(Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour)

 

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74 Responses to “Homemade Pop-Tarts”

  1. LimeCake on July 22, 2010 at 2:14 am

    That crust looks so golden and delicious. I’ve only eaten storebought pop tarts once in my whole life but I can imagine they’d pale in comparison to these. Yum.

    Reply

  2. Crystal on July 22, 2010 at 2:42 am

    These look amazing! I am seriously drooling as I read… Definitely going on my to-make list. Thanks for a great looking recipe!

    Reply

  3. Paula on July 22, 2010 at 5:08 am

    looks so yummy! I love strawberries!

    have a nice day!
    Paula

    Reply

  4. Cortney on July 22, 2010 at 8:26 am

    YUMM!!

    Reply

  5. Amy on July 22, 2010 at 8:31 am

    I’ve seen these around the blog world, and have been wanting to try them. What a great idea to have each child create their own!
    Thanks for your recipe.

    Reply

  6. Alissa on July 22, 2010 at 8:43 am

    Awesome! I totally want to make these. I might have to try and make them with Blueberry.

    Oh, and then I’d probably have to frost them and put sprinkles on top. LOL

    Reply

  7. Jonica on July 22, 2010 at 8:56 am

    Is there a way to make this dough with half whole wheat flour and half white flour without making it too chewy or dense?

    Reply

    • Natasha Kay on July 24th, 2010 at 12:54 pm

      Jonica, I just made these with half white/half whole wheat flours and it worked out great. I found the dough to be a bit sticky (although not sure if that had anything to do with the w/w flour…) so I just used plenty of flour when rolling out the dough. Tasted just fine!

      Reply

  8. Ad K. on July 22, 2010 at 9:21 am

    OMG! I so want to make peach and apricot ones. These look so yummy – TFS!

    Reply

  9. Angie (Telly's Tasty Tidbits) on July 22, 2010 at 9:26 am

    I’ve been seeing pop tarts popping up all over my reader lately. I l-o-v-e-d pop tarts growing up and these have definitely been on my list since the first time I saw them. I gotta say though, the flakiness of your crust looks amazing. Like a cross between a toaster strudel and pop-tart!

    Reply

  10. Heidi's Recipes on July 22, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Used pop-tarts to get my kids through our recent road trip from TX to MD and back! As a sometimes food, they were a hit! Would love to rustle up a batch of these with my boys, maybe using Nutella as a filling or some of Meemaw’s Strawberry Jam that she sent home with us, hmmmmm. . . . sounds fun and delicious!

    Reply

  11. Sues on July 22, 2010 at 9:31 am

    Nice!! I made these a couple months ago, but yours are sooo much prettier than mine. I think I need to try the strawberry ones :)

    Reply

  12. Jeanne on July 22, 2010 at 10:17 am

    I was never allowed to eat Pop-Tarts as a kid, either. I’d always love to eat them at my friends’ houses though! I’ll have to try making them myself. Your strawberry Pop-Tarts look amazing, but the Nutella filling sounds just as good too!

    Reply

  13. Sherry on July 22, 2010 at 10:44 am

    These have always been on my list to bake. Those are two great flavors to try!

    Reply

  14. torviewtoronto on July 22, 2010 at 10:51 am

    Looks fabulous

    Reply

  15. Kim - Liv Life on July 22, 2010 at 11:12 am

    I have the same comment as Jeanne… my mom would never let me have these, I had them at friend’s houses too. We will have to give these a try as I don’t let my kids have poptarts either!

    Reply

  16. Shelly on July 22, 2010 at 11:38 am

    No junk food at my house growing up either. As a result, I’ve been known to have a box stashed in my desk at work! These will be made at my house this weekend. Brown sugar and cinnamon was my favorite too!

    Reply

  17. Tiffany on July 22, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Mmmmm I’m drooling, this looks amazing!!

    Reply

  18. michele on July 22, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    These look so good and easy to make. I want to try these babies out!

    Reply

  19. Magic of Spice on July 22, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    These look so warm and the crust looks flaky and perfect. Very nice:)

    Reply

  20. Thomas Andrew on July 22, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    I’d eat these over store-bought pop-tarts any day !

    Reply

  21. Cook in a Bar on July 22, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    Looks delish! There’s a new restaurant here in DC, Ted’s Bulletin, that is serving house-made Pop Tarts with their own strawberry jam. They are pretty popular, but I must say, yours look better!

    Reply

  22. Maria on July 22, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    I’ve seen these popping up everywhere, I should try them! Fun recipe!

    Reply

  23. Erin @ CelticHeart Designs on July 22, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Those look so much better then the junk in the store! yum!

    Reply

  24. Erin on July 22, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    These look more like toaster strudels, which I love.

    I might try making them with a strawberry and cream cheese filling… Yum

    Reply

  25. Eliana on July 22, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    WOW – these do put the store bought ones to shame. They look incredible.

    Reply

  26. Winelady Cooks on July 22, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    I just couldn’t pass up another YUMMM! comment on this post. I’ve never had pop tarts (actually they were not around way back when), but these look absolutely terrific. I will have to try this recipe.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  27. Flavia on July 22, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    Hi Michelle, I just recently discovered your blog and am enjoying it very much! Your home made “Pop Tarts” look wonderful! I’m definitely going to try making these soon. Thanks for sharing a great recipe.

    Reply

  28. fotographiafoodie on July 22, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    I made these once, but they didn’t look as flaky and good as yours. I’ll have to try this recipe!

    Reply

  29. Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum on July 22, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    How fun! I would love to do this on a lazy morning with kids (…if I had them). Maybe my husband would humor me… :)

    Reply

  30. chris on July 22, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    No-fun treat home here, as well! ;) But, I snuck them in whenever I could! Love these. So flaky! Would like to try these with some of the fruit I got today!

    Reply

  31. Kerstin on July 22, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    What a fun treat! We never had poptarts growing up either – I think I didn’t have my first one until college. These look 100x better and addicting!

    Reply

  32. Jean on July 22, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    Gee, you couldn’t have made these more appealing if you tried. I want one now! :-)

    Reply

  33. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction on July 22, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    Pop tarts were never in my house when I was a kid, but I remember pleading with my mom to buy some for us. Now, I’m so glad she didn’t! I have made homemade ones before, though, which is really fun. I might have to make some again soon!

    Reply

  34. Katrina on July 22, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    Those look delicious. I’ve wanted to make these for a long time. Love how crispy your crust looks!

    Reply

  35. Rachel @ Working Out Wellness on July 23, 2010 at 8:18 am

    What an awesome idea! And just think of all the preservatives you’re keeping out of your body by making this from scratch. I’m sure the parents would be proud.

    Reply

  36. the urban baker on July 23, 2010 at 10:46 am

    I have attempted pop tarts, twice. my dough was different. I am going to attempt yours, they look scrumptious!

    Reply

  37. Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes) on July 23, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    I’ve always wanted to try pop-tarts. Another thing to do when some good fruits come in season!

    Reply

  38. Heather on July 24, 2010 at 10:04 am

    These looks super yummy! My little girls would love these….as well as the hubby! I can’t wait to try them!

    Reply

  39. Natasha Kay on July 24, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    I made these this morning and they were quite yummy. I used half white/half wholewheat flour and next time, would add another tbsp of sugar because the pastry dough wasn’t very sweet (although it did taste just like the real thing with the amount of sugar you have in this recipe now).

    I used both fillers but for the jam, spread some cold cream cheese on to the top piece of dough (don’t glob it because it won’t melt and spread out like the jam will). So yummy! Found the brown sugar filling to be too dry and would probably add some cold butter to the mix next time.

    Thanks for posting these!

    Reply

  40. Lisa { AuthenticSuburbanGourmet } on July 25, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    My husband LOVES pop tarts. I will have to make these for him. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  41. Stephanie on July 25, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Well I need these last night in the wee hours of the morning when it was finally cool enough to think about baking.I used some strawberry jam from our CSA. Due to my complete and utter inability to roll any sort of dough out, I managed to make 1 monster pop-tart and 4 half-sized ones. They were delicious though, very buttery and sweet. I think I should have refrigerated them halfway through rolling out the dough though, because they were not very flaky. I think all the heat melted the butter faster than I expected.

    Reply

  42. Jessie -- The Messie Kitchen on July 25, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    I’ve seen these a few times now but they still never fail to amaze me!!!

    Reply

  43. Shelly on July 26, 2010 at 11:40 am

    I made these on Sunday and they turned out perfect! I prefer the brown sugar and cinnamon to the jam, but we didn’t have good jam in the house. I also tried peanut butter and Nutella and those were superb! Next time I’ll follow the previous commenters advice and spread it versus glop it on. The dough was a bit fragile, but that’s the challenge of pastry, right?! I think my kids will be requesting these all the time now.

    Reply

  44. jenn on July 26, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    homemade poptarts, are you kidding me??
    I’m going to make these and see if my boyfriend proposes.

    Reply

  45. Jen @ How To: Simplify on July 26, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    I have always wanted to make homemade pop-tarts. What a great recipe!

    Reply

  46. bridget {bake at 350} on July 26, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    These look fantastic!!!

    My parents were the same way…they actually bought BRAN BUDS cereal! I remember my friend Kelly’s mom let them eat Pop Tarts AND Count Chocula…spending the night at HER house was the BEST!

    Reply

  47. Maggy@ThreeManyCooks on July 27, 2010 at 9:43 am

    I loved pop-tarts when I was a kid! Love this grown-up version :)

    Reply

  48. Joy on July 28, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    Has anyone tried freezing these & re-heating them in the toaster?

    Reply

  49. PRH on July 30, 2010 at 8:41 am

    You have inspired me!
    I’ve never tried peanut butter on my brown sugar and cinnamon poptarts (my fave)! That was delicious! Best, easiest, fastest, recipe to make poptarts taste more than just dry ever!
    I’ll have to try the other recipe too. ;)

    Reply

  50. sharon on July 30, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    How can I make these with “cajeta” fillling? Cajeta is a little bit thicker than condensed milk. What should I add to the cajeta so it won’t just run over the pop tarts? Thanks.

    Reply

    • sharon on July 31st, 2010 at 1:31 am

      By the way, cajeta is a common and delicious Mexican sweet. Goat or cow milk is cooked very slowly with sugar to create a beautifully complex, thick syrup, much like caramel.

      Reply

  51. Vickie on August 18, 2010 at 11:18 am

    Hmm, wondering if you could use puff pastry in a pinch? bet ya can.
    It’s great to hear all the fun comments about staying at “grandparents” house and getting to eat “fun stuff”, my grandkids LOVE to eat Lucky Charms at my house-no matter what else is there or made they want Lucky Charms-didn’t realize I was creating memories as I was stuffing them full of sugar.

    Reply

    • Michelle on August 25th, 2010 at 11:15 pm

      Hi Vickie, You could definitely use puff pastry in a pinch!

      And yes, you are definitely creating fond memories for your grandkids :) Enjoy!

      Reply

  52. Bakermom3 on December 4, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    I just made this recipe but I used strawberry cake filling and another with ham and cheese for my family and they are so in love! They think I’m the greatest! HeeHee…so I wanted to send you a THANK YOU for showing me how to make these pop tarts.

    Reply

    • Michelle on December 6th, 2010 at 11:53 pm

      You are welcome! And I love the savory version with ham and cheese! Will definitely have to give that a try!

      Reply

  53. Rachel on March 20, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    I’ve got these in the oven right now- but mine look no where as neat as yours do. I need more practice rolling out dough I guess!

    Reply

  54. jenny eats nutella from a spoon on April 6, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    This looks divine, thank you for the recipe

    Reply

  55. Tarane Pearson on July 20, 2011 at 1:39 am

    I just made these. They came out Great. And were delicious.!

    Reply

  56. Ileana Keltz on July 21, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    I grew up eating pop tarts. I loved them as a kid, and I’m ashamed to admit that I ate them well into my 20′s and 30′s. I love to bake, and HOMEMADE is the rule of thumb at our house, so these are definitely going to be on my to bake list! Thanks for posting this. I didn’t realize there were so many people out there who grew up deprived of pop tarts.

    Reply

  57. Barefoot Pregnant And In The Kitchen on July 24, 2011 at 8:39 am

    This makes me so happy I can’t wait to make them… I’m going blueberry picking today and think that we will make a homemade blueberry jam and make this recipe with the boys this week. They recently just discovered pop tarts… thanks to a dear friend. I however refuse to buy any process foods like that. So every trip to the grocery store the past 2 weeks has had me with 2 whining boys who wanted a box of pop tarts…

    Reply

  58. Alysha@ShesOnTheRun.com on August 6, 2011 at 9:25 am

    Awesome post! I’m making homemade pop tarts today and doing a bit of research. I wish I could cut the rectangles as perfectly as you–dough is pretty tricky for me.

    Alysha

    Reply

  59. Kelly C on November 15, 2011 at 11:12 am

    I made these this weekend and they were wonderful. The pastry was so forgiving. I had a few pieces I tore when I made the top part and it cooked up quite nicely anyway. The pastry is wonderful and flaky. I think I will use it for a pie next week.

    Reply

  60. Jessica on January 22, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    My husband wanted some “homemade” pop-tarts. We used this recipe on the 3rd batch and so far it’s the best flavor! I still have a problem with the them “bursting” in the oven even with pricking the top.

    Reply

  61. Maria on February 19, 2012 at 10:21 am

    I made these as a Sunday morning treat for my family! They were just as delicious and flaky as I ad hoped! Thanks or sharing!

    Reply

  62. C on May 3, 2012 at 10:33 am

    hi urgent question here!

    is it possible to do up to the assembly step (with the crimping edges and all) and refrigerate it, say with cling wrap, then bake the following day?

    Thanks :)

    Reply

  63. D Wesley on May 5, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    How does the brown sugar-cinnamon filling get that gel like consistency? It says it is made of sugar, cinnamon, and flour, but the picture shows a goopy texture. Did you add milk or water?

    Please reply to: ds_wesley28 (at) hotmail dot com

    Reply

    • Michelle on May 6th, 2013 at 12:52 pm

      The brown sugar-cinnamon ones don’t have a gel-like consistency; the only ones that had photographs of the interior were the strawberry. I didn’t add milk or water; only the ingredients you see listed in the recipe above.

      Reply

  64. Jessica on August 31, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    I’d love to make a big batch soon, I have four kids and usually quadruple recipes to always have extra for another day. My question is could I freeze these after baking so all that hard work lasts for more than an afternoon?!

    Reply

    • Michelle on September 5th, 2013 at 3:52 pm

      Yes, absolutely!

      Reply

  65. Charlotte on December 30, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    These looked sooo good, but when I tried to bake them, the butter seemed to melt right out of them, making them look kind of soggy. I’m going to try baking them some more..I hope they will turn out to look like your’s! I wonder what I did wrong…?

    Reply

    • Michelle on December 30th, 2013 at 10:07 pm

      Hi Charlotte, Did you refrigerate the pan before baking? Making sure they are totally chilled before baking. That should help the butter not to melt, but rather create little steam pockets of pastry.

      Reply

  66. Jess on February 14, 2014 at 9:36 am

    I just made these for valentine’s day. I used a heart cookie cutter and made them heart shaped. They turned out perfect! Thank you for the recipe.

    Reply

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