Pop-Tarts · GF (1 dozen Pop-Tart sized pastries )
Yeah. I went to culinary school. I trained in classic French technique. I can temper chocolate, laminate dough, pipe rows of perfect macarons, and make breads with my own wild-caught yeast. But my highest achievement? Homemade Pop-Tarts.
So understand me. I have no illusions of grandeur here. I didn’t want to make a better Pop-Tart, I just wanted to make a Pop-Tart, fit for the cover of my own make believe Pop-Tart Box.
10 ounces all purpose flour (see note below for my gluten free flour blend)
1 tsp kosher salt
8 ounces cold butter, cubed (use shortening for vegan)
6 ounces corn syrup
1 batch of the Pop-Tart filling of your choice (jam will not work!)
12 ounces powdered sugar
2 egg whites (use corn syrup for vegan)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1 batch of homemade rainbow sprinkles, or store bought
Making the Tart Dough
If you would like to make these gluten free, use 8 ounce rice flour, 1 ounce kinako, and 1 ounce buckwheat flour. This blend works perfectly and they taste like pure Pop Tart perfection.
Cut the butter into the flour, along with the salt, until reduced to pea sized lumps. You can use a hand/stand mixer or a food processor, or just do it with your fingers. Then add the corn syrup all at once and mix/blitz/stir until it forms a ball. Dust your hands with a little flour, scoop out the dough, and knead lightly until smooth.
Flatten the dough into a squarish shape, wrap in plastic, and chill 30 minutes or as long as you like. Even so long as three days.
Rolling out the dough
Okay, listen up. Roll the dough to 1/4”. This is important. Because each Pop-Tart will ultimately have 4 “layers” (pastry + filling + pastry + icing), you need to pay close attention to the thickness of each. So, when rolling out the dough, make sure to actually measure the thickness. If you don’t, between those layers, you could easily end up with a 1” thick Pop-Tart; frankly that sounds gross.
Take the chilled squarish lump of dough and set it onto a surface dusted in sifted powdered sugar. Roll the dough evenly both left-and-right and up-and-down, but don’t roll diagonally! This will preserve the squarish shape and minimize re-rolling. Lift and move the dough periodically to make certain it hasn’t stuck, dusting underneath as needed.
Once the dough has reached 1/4” thickness and an overall square shape, use a ruler to cut it into however-many 3 1/8” wide strips. Then, cut each strip every 4 inches. Yes. A real Pop-Tart measures exactly 3 1/8” by 4”.
Use a ruler so you can impress your friends with your mad Pop-Tart skills. Sloppy, irregularly shaped Pop-Tarts won’t impress anyone.
Gather the scraps, knead them very lightly into a smooth ball, re-roll and cut another round of rectangles. Altogether, the dough will withstand 3 rounds of rolling in your quest for 24 pieces. The dough is ultra forgiving.
Store the rectangles on a parchment or wax paper lined cookie sheet, covered in plastic, in the refrigerator until needed.
Making the Pop-Tarts
Preheat the oven to 350°
Have the Pop-Tart filling ready. You can either use a pastry bag and pipe the filling directly onto the Pop-Tarts, or you can roll the paste out between two sheets of plastic wrap and cut it to size. I’ve described both methods in detail here.
Once 12 dough pieces have their fruit filling, top them with the remaining dough pieces. Smooth the dough over the fruit filling and gently press out any air bubbles. The rounded end of a bench knife or the handle of a wooden spoon, makes a great tool for sealing the edges smoothly.
You don’t have to press very hard, the dough pieces will naturally bake together. The most important part is to simply press out any air between the filling and the pastry.
Just to reiterate, and for some this may be difficult: do not use a fork to crimp the edges! I mean geeze, have you ever seen a Pop-Tart before? They totally do not have crimped edges. Don’t ruin this, you’ve come so far!
Once you’ve smoothly sealed the edges of the Pop-Tart, carefully dock each one with a fork, about eight times (two rows of four). Pricking them lightly with a fork creates small steam vents to prevent them from puffing up in the oven.
Transfer the Pop-Tarts to a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, until lightly browned all over. You don’t want them “golden brown” by any means, real Pop-Tarts look downright anemic.
Occasionally, a Pop-Tart or two will spread somewhat irregularly during baking. While they’re still warm from the oven, you can trim the edges again quite easily with a bench scraper or knife.
Frosting the Pop-Tarts
Use a clean towel or dry pastry brush to dust off each Pop-Tart, removing any stray crumbs.
Combine all of the icing ingredients in a bowl and mix until a smooth paste forms. Put some of the icing into a piping bag fitted with a small, plain tip. Pipe a boarder of icing around the perimeter of each tart, leaving about a 1/4” margin.
Thin the remaining icing, a tablespoon of water at a time, until it reaches a pourable consistency. Pour a tablespoon of icing onto each tart and use the tip of a metal spatula to help it reach all of the corners. Pop-Tarts only have a thin smear of icing on top, so easy does it.
Let the icing dry for about 3 minutes or so before adding the sprinkles. Homemade or store bought, the sprinkles tend to bleed if they go on too soon.
The Pop-Tarts now need to dry, excruciatingly, overnight. They taste waaaaay too fresh the first day, and the icing will still be sort of damp and moist inside, which isantithetical to the Pop-Tart experience. After 12 hours of air-time, you’ll have unbelievable Pop-Tart perfection.
I know curiosity will get the better of you and you’ll try a freshly iced Pop-Tart even though I warned you. But then, a few days later, you’ll have another one, and you’ll say to yourself, “Holy Crap. That kid from BraveTart sure knows her Pop-Tarts, this is incredible!”
And, on that note: These Pop-Tarts last forever. I’d say they last at least two weeks. They become tastier over time. It’s a mysterious process I’ve never witnessed in any pastry before, but like real Pop-Tarts, aging on the shelf a few weeks really ups their game. (The gluten free version is especially friendly to aging. Even more delicious after a few days!)
You can re-warm these in a toaster, but for only 10 seconds or so on the lowest setting. Too long in the toaster renders them strangely limp. Consider yourself warned.
Jan 27, 2011 · 6:57 PM
What a great idea. Definitely one to try and of course the flavour possibilities are endless!
· Alice · www.alice-ciaoamoreciao.blogspot.com
Jan 29, 2011 · 12:16 PM
Total blasphemy! You could, but the result would not be very Pop Tarty. The crust recipe I have is very cookie like, which is what makes these Pop Tarts so spot on. Pie crust would make these like very, very dry turnovers? My predictable answer: don’t do it! For just a little more effort you could have Pop Tart perfection.
Jan 31, 2011 · 10:54 AM
The more stale the Pop Tart, the more stable for toasting, I have found. Which actually works out well, since they become more delicious over time. But, as everyone’s toaster differs, I am afraid to advise people to just toast with abandon. I think as long as you vigilantly watch over them while toasting, you won’t have any worries.
I hope you try them!
Feb 04, 2011 · 4:14 AM
can I eat pop tart without toasting it?
· Dens · www.idewmesh.com
Feb 04, 2011 · 8:44 AM
Definitely! They are super tasty even at room temp!
Feb 05, 2011 · 2:15 AM
absolutely love this. i used to eat PopTarts pre-2000’s..so this will be a real treat! i found bravetart from notmartha, which i went to from bakerella (i just got the cakepop book). You are on my link list forever as of now! Thank You!
PS— how much corn syrup for the vegan icing??
· alice the menace · onetrueearth.blogspot.com
Feb 06, 2011 · 12:35 AM
So glad you found me! Hurray. Yeah, real Pop Tarts are pretty iffy, I’m glad to have made up a replacement. To make the vegan icing, use about 4 ounces of corn syrup, and then thin with water until it reaches the consistency you’d like.
Feb 06, 2011 · 10:24 AM
AMAZING! i have always wanted to bake these. Sometimes the simplest things are hard to master. I am that way with fruit pies.
· astheroshe · astheroshe-accro.blogspot.com/
Feb 19, 2011 · 2:47 PM
Hi Jenni! Jam doesn’t work because of its high moisture content, it has enough water to boil and so it bubbles out of the crust. Also, even thoughts tasty, it isn’t pop tart-y enough for me. The jam version tastes like a toaster strudel.
I buy freeze dried fruit at Whole Foods. They carry a brand called “just tomatoes” or you can buy it from their website www.justtomatoes.com. They are nut and gluten free. I use their “just strawberries” for my Pop Tarts. But several other of the filling recipes don’t call for freeze dried fruit, so alternately you could give one of those a try. I hope that info helps!
Feb 19, 2011 · 9:06 PM
Thanks! I’ve looked at the site, and unfortunately it would be $30 to ship to Canada (and that was a small package) Thanks for the information though, and I will try one of the other ones! (You do know that you NEED to make a S’mores one, right? lol. As a kid, I figured “Well, heck, Pop Tarts aren’t exactly healthy anyway, so I’m I going to have a non-nutritional breakfast I may as well go all out!”
Feb 20, 2011 · 1:44 AM
$30?! Wow, that stinks! The cranberry ones are what I made most often until I figured out the trick with dried strawberries, so if you’re craving a fruity flavor, that’s my fave!
I’ve never had a s’mores pop tart, but every time I poll people to find out their favorite flavor, everyone says “S’mores!” I really had better figure out that recipe! It seems to be universally loved. Hmmm…
Feb 22, 2011 · 7:49 PM
My pleasure! I just finished perfecting vegan sprinkles so you can have the complete Pop Tart experience! Will post soon. Lemme know if you ever make a batch, or if Jamie does!
Apr 22, 2011 · 7:40 PM
Just found you…gotta have a cinnamon frosted version. Any ideas?
· md white · mariadicapriowhite.blogspot.com/
Apr 22, 2011 · 10:32 PM
Everyone wants cinnamon! Haha, I’ve never had it or tried it, but I suspect that a brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon filling (like you’d put into sweet rolls) may do just the trick.
Oct 02, 2011 · 8:12 PM
@Kathy, thank you for your comment. I’m afraid you’re mistaken. Buckwheat, in spite of its name, is not a wheat product. The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center classifies buckwheat as safe for all those adhering to a gluten free diet. Hope that information helps!
Oct 03, 2011 · 11:39 AM
@pile of cat, haha. Good luck!
Dec 05, 2011 · 4:06 PM
@citrine, it’ll hold up if the toaster is on its lowest setting. Just be sure to keep an eye on it while toasting!
Dec 12, 2011 · 10:31 PM
@Holly, okay, Pop Blobs is my new favorite word! They can spread a bit in the oven (especially if it’s too hot), but when they’re still warm you can trim them with a knife or a pizza cutter. But at least they tasted perfect! I’m glad your brother approves!
Jan 02, 2012 · 2:59 PM
I made these last weekend, and my dough was a sticky disaster! What did I do wrong?
· Sweater Meat · www.uglyfoodtastesbetter.com
Jan 02, 2012 · 6:23 PM
@Sweater Meat, oh noes! Well, for the dough to be that incredibly sticky (cos it’s really not, promise!) something had to have gone wrong. After checking out your site and story (they turned out really cute anyway, congrats!), it seems that somewhere along the way the ingredient ratios got jacked up. Especially when doubling a recipe and converting to volume, there’s a lot of math that can go wrong somewhere. I have, all too many times, doubled a recipe only to forget to double one key ingredient and screw the whole thing up…
If I had to guess, I’d say that the dough either didn’t get enough flour (a double batch would have been roughly 4 3/4 cups of flour, does that jive with what you did?) or had too much corn syrup (a double batch would have only needed one cup of corn syrup). I’m sorry to hear it didn’t turn out as easily for you as it might have, but I hope you’ll give it another shot sometime!
Jan 03, 2012 · 4:25 PM
Aaaahhh Math is SO not my strong suit. I literally doubled Whisk Kid’s conversions, so i used 4 cups of flour and 1 1/2 cups of corn syrup. THAT explains a lot. What exactly constitutes “doubling” a recipe? And yes, I think I definitely need another shot now that I know what I did wrong! Thanks! : )
· SweaterMeat · uglyfoodtastesbetter.com
Jan 03, 2012 · 6:02 PM
@SweaterMeat, yeah, I just went to check out Kaitlin’s version and she uses a lot more corn syrup than I do (I hadn’t really analyzed her recipe before; I just knew her Pop Tarts looked great, so I didn’t think about it). Corn syrup weighs 12 ounces to a cup, so 6 ounces of corn syrup would be a half cup; she calls for 3/4; which I would imagine is too much…
Jan 04, 2012 · 6:42 PM
· SweaterMeat · uglyfoodtastesbetter.com
Jan 04, 2012 · 6:53 PM
@SweaterMeat, my pleasure. If you ever tackle ‘em again, let me know. Best of luck!
Mar 12, 2012 · 1:00 PM
@Lisa, I’m afraid not. Honey changes the flavor and agave/simple syrup have too much water content and make the dough too wet. Plain corn syrup often gets a bad rap from its evil cousin High Fructose corn syrup, but they shouldn't be confused. Sometimes there's just no substitute for a neutral flavored invert sugar in the kitchen. I know you may wish to use other sweeteners for unrelated reasons, but many right now are shunning corn syrup needlessly, so I sometimes feel the need to elaborate on why I use it. Cheers!
Mar 12, 2012 · 3:48 PM
I didn’t know the ingredients were so simple! Thanks for sharing I can’t WAIT to try and make some myself ~
· Daisy@Nevertoosweet · nevertoosweetforme.com
Mar 14, 2012 · 10:49 AM
@Pat, in an airtight container of some sort, whether a Tupperware or a bag. I’ve even had them just under a glass dome on a cake stand. If you’ve frosted them, you may want to put a little sheet of wax or parchment paper between the layers to prevent them from getting scuffed or crumbed up.
Mar 22, 2012 · 2:45 PM
Any further consideration for s’more version?
My boyfriend was insanely jealous that I ate some recently and baking cookies in apology wasn’t really an equal trade-off…
· Lauren · rampionrampagegifts.etsy.com
Mar 23, 2012 · 11:04 AM
@Lauren, I’ll put it on my to-do list!!
Apr 24, 2012 · 4:09 PM
@BillEBear, talk about a specialized piece of equipment, wow. I never even knew such a thing existed!
May 13, 2012 · 12:08 PM
So…I gave it a try! I could not for te life of me get them all uniform! While tasty, they were not pretty! Lololololol I didn’t try low sugar yet, but I did find some sugar free simple syrup that I at give a try. Really tasty! And I did impress some of my friends on
May 14, 2012 · 10:27 AM
@Tasha, so glad your friends were impressed! Good luck with the low-sugar version if you tackle it in the future.
Jun 04, 2012 · 11:55 PM
I tried making these tonight and the dough tastes awesome – as does the filling however, I cannot roll out/ shape them well at all. Every time I roll the dough to the correct thickness it seems to turn to mush…it begins sticking to everything and when I try to lift it with a metal pastry spatula it crumples… do you have any advice on how to remedy the situation? I put the dough back in the refrigerator to try again in the morning.
Jun 05, 2012 · 12:25 AM
Hey Kristen, just a couple of quick questions: which filling are you making? Are you rolling the dough between two pieces of water brushed plastic wrap? Did you refrigerate/freeze the filling before trying to lift up the pieces with the spatula? Sorry to be the Spanish Inquisition, just wanting to know where you’re coming from before making a diagnosis.
Jun 06, 2012 · 11:41 AM
Hi! I wasn’t having issues with the filling yet… (I made the strawberry though). I didn;t realize I was rolling between two pieces of water brushed plastic wrap… maybe that is my issue… I did refrigerate though… I think that answered your questions. Thanks for your help!
Jun 06, 2012 · 6:55 PM
@Kristen, oh! I misread your comment, I thought you were saying the filling however was causing you trouble. No, no, the dough isn’t rolled out between plastic. It’s rolled out like a normal dough, on a dusted counter top, just like in the photo.
So nw that I know where you’re coming from, let me ask a few questions. Did you use a scale? Did you chill the dough for at least 30 minutes before rolling?
Jun 07, 2012 · 10:45 AM
@Kristen, oooooh, crap. I see the problem! Looks like a typo or miscalculation on the other recipe. I’ve emailed Kaitlin and the error’s been fixed, but in the mean time, you can salvage your dough by kneading in more flour about a 1/4 of a cup at a time until the dough feels smooth and dry. It should look and feel a lot like a sugar cookie dough. Just be sure to let the dough chill again after that so the gluten can relax. Apologies for the trouble, I hope this puts you on the right track!
Jun 30, 2012 · 12:04 PM
LOVE your attention to detail and pickiness. The poptarts I know came in the boxes like your photos, more like biscuits and definitely not pastry! Will be bookmarking to give these a try soon
· Jen · bakearama.wordpress.com
Jun 30, 2012 · 8:40 PM
@Jen, haha, you can’t screw around with Pop-Tarts!! Hope yours turn out nicely, happy baking!
Jul 26, 2012 · 2:23 PM
Thank-you for existing!!!!!! I love American sweets and treats which are difficult to find when your in the rainy land of Britain. Your are so lucky to have decent flavours, unlike the pathetic bluberry and strawberry types which we get suckered with in our supermarkets. I love the cookies and cream ones, and I was wondering if I subsituted 1/4 cup of the flour for cocoa powder, would it make a suitable chcoalte ‘Pop-Tart’? I could then fill them with a layer of Marshmallow Fluff. Also are they suitable for freezing after they are cooked and glazed? only to be defrosted and toasted in smaller batches? Apologies for the long message, I’m just a little excited to make a whole range of them.
Aug 07, 2012 · 5:24 PM
@keesler, if you roll them more thickly (to mimic the thickness of a “full” Pop-Tart) they’ll probably bake in about the same time. Really, your eye is your best bet. When they’re pale golden, they’re done. Good luck!
Aug 10, 2012 · 5:50 PM
Hi Grace, oh wow. I had no idea corn syrup was not in the UK! But yes, you should be able to substitute golden syrup would any trouble. Happy baking!
Aug 14, 2012 · 11:57 AM
You are my new best friend! I have a very bright, little boy who has high functioning autism. He is also gluten intolerant, we recently learned. For the last two years, poptarts have been more than just a morning staple around my house, it is a huge and vital part to my son’s breakfast routine. Thank you, thank you for taking all this time to reproduce something like this. You don’t know how important it is to my family. I might go crazy figuring out how to make gluten free poptarts, but if I succeed, we will have both supplied something (maybe this sounds ridiculous) so important to my son. Thanks again!
Aug 14, 2012 · 11:16 PM
Yippee, Yippeeskippy! I am so incredibly touched to help your family in this way. I remember when I was a kid, my morning rituals were of huge importance; I know that rituals are even more crucial with autism. I hope you have great success making this recipe at home, don’t hesitate to email me if you have any questions. Happy baking!
Aug 28, 2012 · 8:22 AM
Haha, Sara, that’s great to hear! Happy baking!
Nov 13, 2012 · 10:15 PM
OMG!!!!! Perfect – I am so glad I found this. I live in Australia and my kids and I love Poptarts but they are expensive so have been scouring the web for something that resembles the store bought ones. I didn’t have any of the stuff you listed for the fillings so I just used Sultanas, Brown Sugar and some Cinnamon – stayed dry and was a perfect filling.
Once again THANKYOU!!!!!!
Nov 14, 2012 · 6:20 PM
Hi Nerida! Oh wow, your filling sounds incredible! I’m glad they scratched the Pop-Tart itch, hurray!
Nov 25, 2012 · 8:30 PM
Hi sewbusy! I’m afraid I can’t, I don’t even own any cup measures. You may have heard things like “one cup is eight ounces” but that is not true. Different ingredients have different densities and mass, so a cup of flour weighs much less than a cup of corn syrup, for example. If you’d like to know more about why I choose to write my recipes by weight, please check out this post.
Nov 30, 2012 · 8:38 AM
you say “jam won’t work (as a filling)” i believe you on that but would like to know “why” it won’t work??
· anickh · anickh.blogspot.com
Dec 01, 2012 · 8:03 PM
Hi anickh! The reason is because the jam has a high moisture content, which means it will boil as it bakes, which will screw up the crust and come bubbling out the sides. The fruit filling I use is almost bone dry, which solves the problem nicely .
Mar 05, 2013 · 12:49 PM
Dear Stella, This recipe looks worth the effort! I make my own all-purpose gluten free flour blend (I have many food allergies and intolerances which surfaced over the last 2 years so I hesitate to use flours I haven’t used before.) I am wondering if you think I could just use my flour blend and add a little xanthan (or guar) gum in place of your standard flour recipe? The flour blend is made of arrowroot, potato starch, sorghum and brown rice if that helps. Thank you! M-
Mar 05, 2013 · 3:14 PM
Hi M. O’M! It sounds like you’ve got a pretty sweet blend! Not sure whether or not you’d truly need the xanthan gum in this one, but if you’ve got it I doubt it would hurt the situation. If you give it a shot, let me know how it works out for you so other GF bakers can have another option too. Cheers!
Mar 23, 2013 · 11:40 AM
Hi Brandy! I’ve never tried making these with whole wheat flour, but I assume you’d have to cut back on the amount just a touch, as whole wheat flour tends to be more absorbent than all purpose. Let me know if you try it!
Apr 14, 2013 · 9:55 AM
I made these pop tarts last night. I am not a novice baker by any means but these just blew me away. I just happened to have freeze dried raspberries, pineapple and strawberries on hand as well as other dried fruit.
I was astounded…simply ASTOUNDED at how awesome these turned out. I mean..OMG..if this was the only outcome after all the time spent in culinary school it would be worth it. You are the only one who posted a true pop tart recipe and not a “jam tart” and you truley conquered the pop tart revolution by replicating the true pop tart flavor but also kicking up a notch into a class of it’s own. Thankyou thankyou!
Apr 14, 2013 · 10:06 PM
Hey Teresa! Awwww, thank you so much! It took me forever to figure out how to make a Pop-Tart so dry, but some people think it’s too big of a hassle. So glad to know someone else appreciates this sort of psychotic obsession with texture!