Homemade Pop-Tarts

published Sep 14, 2021
Homemade Pop-Tarts Recipe

This favorite childhood treat is even better homemade.

Makes9

Prep50 minutes to 1 hour

Cook33 minutes to 37 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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Homemade Pop Tarts with pink icing and pastel rainbow sprinkles on a cooling rack
Credit: Kelli Foster

Anytime a box of foil-wrapped Pop-Tarts made their way into our house when I was growing up, it was the ultimate treat. Sure, these days I could toss them into the grocery cart anytime I please, but I have a much better way to get my fill: I make my own.

This version will quickly remind you of the breakfast pastry you grew up with, but it’s better than anything you’ll buy at the supermarket. It starts with an easy-to-make dough that’s crisp and buttery, is filled with an ample amount of jammy strawberry, and, of course, is topped with the oh-so-sweet slick of icing. Here’s how to make your own strawberry Pop-Tarts at home. 

What Pastry Are Pop-Tarts Made from?

The best homemade Pop-Tarts are made with a basic pie dough. It has a crisp, flaky bite with a buttery, barely sweet taste that leaves plenty of room for the jammy filling and icing on top. We also love pie dough because it stays intact and doesn’t crumble or fall apart when you bite into the pastry. Plus, it gets blitzed together with a handful of baking basics that are likely already in the pantry.

Credit: Kelli Foster

The Best Filling for Homemade Pop-Tarts

There is nothing better than a sweet, jammy strawberry filling for homemade Pop-Tarts. It’s one of the most (if not the absolute most) popular flavors of the store-bought version, and there is simply no denying its deliciousness. 

Here, a generous layer of fruity jam is nestled between two layers of buttery pie dough. We have a trick that keeps the filling thick enough so it won’t ooze out of the pastry when you take a bite, plus it keeps for days without the crust getting soggy.

To make the best strawberry Pop-Tarts at home, you’ll need the following three things:

You’ll whisk cornstarch and water together in a small saucepan, then stir in the jam. After bringing the mixture to a boil, you’ll simmer it just for a couple minutes to activate the cornstarch. Working in some cornstarch thickens the jam a little more and is the trick that prevents it from seeping out the Pop-Tarts when you take a bite.

How to Make Homemade Pop-Tarts

  1. Make the dough. Start by blitzing together a simple pie dough in the food processor. 
  2. Chill the dough. Divide the dough in half, shape into a 1-inch-thick rectangle, wrap in plastic, and chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours. You can also get a head-start by making the dough a day in advance.
  3. Make the filling. Whisk together the cornstarch, water, and jam in a saucepan, then bring to a boil and simmer. Cool completely.  
  4. Assemble Pop-Tarts. Roll and cut the dough. Top with strawberry filling. Close the Pop-Tarts and seal the edges well.
  5. Bake Pop-Tarts. Bake the Pop-Tarts until lightly golden all over. Cool completely.
  6. Ice Pop-Tarts. Mix together a simple icing with powdered sugar, milk, and strawberry jam. If desired, top with sprinkles.

Homemade Pop-Tarts Recipe

This favorite childhood treat is even better homemade.

Prep time 50 minutes to 1 hour

Cook time 33 minutes to 37 minutes

Makes 9

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the pastry:

  • 2 1/2 cups

    all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon

    granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 2 sticks

    (8 ounces) cold unsalted butter

  • 1/2 cup

    ice water, plus more as needed

For the filling:

  • 1 tablespoon

    cornstarch

  • 1 tablespoon

    warm water

  • 3/4 cup

    strawberry jam

  • Pinch kosher salt

  • 1

    large egg

For the topping:

  • 1 cup

    powdered sugar

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons

    whole or 2% milk

  • 1 tablespoon

    strawberry jam

  • Sprinkles (optional)

Instructions

Prepare the dough.

  1. Place 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. (Alternatively, use a large bowl and pastry cutter or fork.) Pulse a few times to combine. Cut 2 sticks cold unsalted butter into 1/2-inch cubes and scatter over the flour mixture. Pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal, 10 to 12 pulses. Add 1/2 cup ice water and pulse until the dough forms a cohesive mass, 10 to 18 pulses. If the dough is too dry and does not come together, pulse in an additional tablespoon ice water.

  2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide the dough in half. Pat each into a 1-inch-thick rectangle. Wrap each piece of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 2 days. Meanwhile, prepare the filling.

Make the filling:

  1. Place 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 tablespoon warm water in a small saucepan, and whisk until the cornstarch is dissolved. Whisk in 3/4 cup strawberry jam and a pinch kosher salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes (the mixture will thicken significantly). Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until completely cooled, about 1 hour.

Assemble the Pop-Tarts:

  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Slide the parchment onto a work surface and lightly dust with flour. Unwrap one piece of dough and place on the parchment. Roll into a rectangle slightly larger than 9x12-inches, about 1/8-inch thick. Trim the sides as needed.

  2. Cut the dough into 9 (3x4-inch) rectangles (make 2 cuts across and 2 cuts down). Slide the parchment and dough back on to the baking sheet. Separate the rectangles so they’re about 1 inch apart. (The dough will not expand as it bakes, so if there’s less space that’s OK.)

  3. Stir the jam filling to loosen. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the jam filling into the center of each rectangle. Use the back of a spoon to spread in an even layer, leaving a 1/4-inch border around the edges. Refrigerate while you roll out and cut the second piece of dough into 9 more rectangles.

  4. Lightly beat 1 large egg in a small bowl with a fork. Remove the baking sheet from the refrigerator. Brush the beaten egg over the borders of each rectangle around the filling. Top with the 9 rectangles of dough. Crimp the edges with a fork to completely seal. Prick the top of each one several times with a fork to allow steam to escape. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350ºF.

  5. Bake until lightly golden-brown all over, 28 to 32 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the icing.

Make the icing:

  1. Place 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 1/2 tablespoons milk, and 1 tablespoon strawberry jam in a medium bowl. Whisk until smooth. Spoon and spread over the cooled Pop-Tarts and if desired, top with sprinkles.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The dough can be prepared up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated.

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.