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Homemade Pop Tarts (Pocket Pastries)

Okay, y’all. . .I’ve got a great recipe for you today. These Homemade Pop-Tarts are easy and fun, the perfect project to work on with the kids in your life. There’s so versatile, too!

Can I Make Pop Tarts from Scratch?

Homemade Pop Tarts from Out of the Box Baking.com

This was the question I asked myself as I thought about my Mama’s yummy pie crust recipe. I’ve used it to make cobblers, pies, and even Pecan Pie Cookies. But, could I use it to make a childhood favorite. . .pop tarts?

I don’t know about you, but when I get an idea I have to give it a try. If I fail. . .oh well. If I succeed? Well, as a baker, a success in the kitchen produces a new-to-me recipe that I can pass on to all of you. That’s a win for all of us!

Thank goodness, this one turned out to be a winner. And I’ll be honest: I almost felt like a cheater for using canned pie filling, but who cares? I had reams of it in my pantry and needed to put some of it to good use.

I’ll tell you more about the process of making these yummy pocket pastries later on but let’s start by looking at the ingredients.

Homemade Pop Tarts Ingredients

You will find a full printable recipe card at the bottom of this post but here’s a quick peek at what you’ll need. These are simple ingredients you probably have in your pantry.

For the Pop Tarts

Homemade Pop Tarts from Out of the Box Baking.com
  • all purpose flour
  • Crisco shortening
  • cup ice cold water
  • granulated sugar
  • salt
  • pie filling (your choice)
  • milk or heavy cream
  • sanding sugar (optional, for sprinkling)

For the icing

Homemade Pop Tarts from Out of the Box Baking.com
  • powdered sugar
  • heavy cream
  • vanilla extract
  • food gel coloring (optional)
  • sprinkles (optional)

How to Make Homemade Pop Tarts

As I mentioned above, these came together so easily. I can’t wait to bake them with my grandkids. We’re going to have so much fun coming up with different filling and toppings.

Start by preheating your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Prepare a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.

Prepare a workspace. You’ll need a piece of wax paper, flour for dusting, a sharp knife or rectangular cutter, and rolling pin. (You might choose to use a pizza cutter in place of a knife or cookie cutter.)

Homemade Pop Tarts from Out of the Box Baking.com

Make the Dough

Place flour, salt, and sugar into a medium bowl. Cut in the shortening using a blending fork (or your hands) until you have a pea-like consistency. If you like, you can use a mixer or food processor for this process but it’s really not necessary.

Homemade Pop Tarts from Out of the Box Baking.com

Add the cold water, a little at a time, until pie dough comes together. (I used 1/3 cup for mine but sometimes I end up using the full half cup.)

Homemade Pop Tarts from Out of the Box Baking.com

Cover with plastic wrap (or place in ziplock bag) and refrigerate dough. (This is a great time to prep your work station if you haven’t already.)

Homemade Pop Tarts from Out of the Box Baking.com

Place chilled pastry dough on lightly floured surface.

Homemade Pop Tarts from Out of the Box Baking.com

Roll dough out until thin.

Cut into rectangles the size of pop tarts. I was fortunate to have a large rectangular cookie cutter, perfect for this job. If you don’t have one you might want to make a paper template because you’ll want every rectangle the same size.

Homemade Pop Tarts from Out of the Box Baking.com

This recipe should make at least 6 pop tarts but you probably won’t be able to cut out all of the rectangles at once. I did a couple at a time.

After you cut out a large rectangle, place a heaping tablespoon of filling in the center.

Homemade Pop Tarts from Out of the Box Baking.com

Place another rectangle on top.

Gently press down the edges then use the tines of a fork to crimp the edges.

Make a slight crescent-shaped cut in the top crust.

Homemade Pop Tarts from Out of the Box Baking.com

Continue making rectangles until you’ve used up your dough.

Place filled pop tarts on parchment lined baking tray.

Homemade Pop Tarts from Out of the Box Baking.com

Add a light milk wash to the top of the pop tarts using a pastry brush. (Alternatively, you can use an egg wash.)

Homemade Pop Tarts from Out of the Box Baking.com

Add a sprinkling or sanding sugar (or raw sugar) on the ones you don’t plan to frost.

Place in preheated (400 degree) oven and bake for 22-25 minutes or until golden brown. (Start checking them at the fifteen-minute mark. Oven times may vary depending on the type of cookie sheet you use.)

Homemade Pop Tarts from Out of the Box Baking.com

Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool.

Make Your Icing

While pop tarts are baking and cooling, make your icing.

Combine powdered sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla in a small bowl and stir until there are no lumps.

Homemade Pop Tarts from Out of the Box Baking.com

If you prefer you can add a dot of food coloring. I went with light pink since I happened to be making cherry pop tarts.

Homemade Pop Tarts from Out of the Box Baking.com

Once pop tarts are cool enough to handle, you can ice them.

Immediately add sprinkles. (Optional)

Homemade Pop Tarts from Out of the Box Baking.com

Store in an airtight container for up to 2 – 3 days.

What to Expect from These Pop Tarts

I can sum them up in one word: Wow!

No kidding, y’all. Just. . .wow! They’re crisp, they’re sweet, they’re loaded with those tart, creamy cherries. They’re just wonderful, inside and out.

Homemade Pop Tarts from Out of the Box Baking.com

The addition of the icing on top? Well, it’s just lovely. And the crunch of that sugar against the flaky pastry crust? It’s sheer perfection.

This is truly the finest pop tart I’ve ever eaten in my life. I couldn’t help but think that my Mama would place her stamp of approval on this recipe, especially since it starts with her yummy pie crust.

One final thought: I bake a lot of sweet treats. A lot. But I can honestly say that this is one of my favorites I’ve made. . .ever. And that’s no exaggeration.

Variations on this Recipe

Homemade Pop Tarts from Out of the Box Baking.com

This pop tart recipe is so versatile! You can change up the inside and the outside. (Rainbow sprinkles, anyone?)

Obviously the primary changes for this one will involve the filling. Tart flavors can vary, based on what you have on hand. Here are some other canned pie fillings you might choose:

  • apple
  • blueberry
  • blackberry
  • strawberry

You could also choose from these options:

  • pumpkin puree (with fall spices)
  • mashed sweet potatoes (with cinnamon and nutmeg)
  • peanut butter
  • Nutella (hazelnut spread)
  • brown sugar cinnamon filling with cinnamon glaze
  • Strawberry jam or preserves
  • raspberry jam or preserves
  • Lemon curd (with lemon glaze, sprinkled with toasted coconut)

Savory options (Hint: If you go savory, skip the sugar and the icing.)

  • BBQ chicken
  • Pepperoni and mozzarella with a splash of pizza sauce

If you want to use cold butter in place of shortening you can, of course. But shortening does lend itself to a lighter, flakier crust. You can choose salted or unsalted butter in your pie crust dough. . .your choice.

If you’re not in the mood to make a homemade crust you can always use store bought roll-out pie crust or even puff pastry.

No matter how you mix them up, you’ll be so glad you did! This is one of those easy recipes you’ll make again and again, and you’ll definitely enjoy its versatility. You’re going to love making these easy homemade pop tarts!

Other Pies and Cobblers from Out of the Box Baking

Homemade Pop Tarts from Out of the Box Baking.com

If you like these little pocket pies you’re sure to love our other pies and cobblers. You can use my favorite pie crust recipe (Mama’s recipe, found in these pop tarts) with every single pie or cobbler.

Here are a few fan favorites.

Easy Coconut Cream Pie: In this post I’m going to show you how to make my very favorite pie of all time: Coconut Cream Pie. It’s lush, rich, sweet, and loaded with coconutty goodness! Perfect for special occasions or any day of the week!

Easy Blackberry Pie with Decorative Pie Crust: If you’re looking for a luscious pie with both fantastic flavor and a memorable look, you’ve come to the right place! This blackberry pie is delicious and beautiful. 

Fudgy Pecan Pie: In this post I’m going to share a luscious pecan pie recipe that incorporates an extra ingredient sure to make you swoon. . .chocolate!

Old-Fashioned Cobbler with Homemade Pie Crust: If you’re looking for a luscious cobbler with that crisp homemade crust you grew up eating, you’ve come to the right place. This easy recipe calls for canned pie filling but a crust so flaky and delicious you’ll swear you’re sitting around grandma’s table eating it.


That’s it for this post, friends! Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope you enjoy the recipe for these delicious homemade pop tarts!

Homemade Pop Tarts

Homemade Pop Tarts

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Okay, y'all. . .I've got a great recipe for you today. These Homemade Pop-Tarts are easy and fun, the perfect project to work on with the kids in your life. There's so versatile, too!

Ingredients

  • Homemade Pop Tarts Ingredients
  • For the Pop Tarts
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup Crisco shortening
  • 1/3 cup ice cold water
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup pie filling (your choice)
  • 2 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons sanding sugar (optional, for sprinkling)
  • For the icing
  • 1 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • food gel coloring (optional)
  • sprinkles (optional)

Instructions

How to Make Homemade Pop Tarts
As I mentioned above, these came together so easily. I can't wait to bake them with my grandkids. We're going to have so much fun coming up with different filling and toppings.
Start by preheating your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Prepare a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
Prepare a workspace. You'll need a piece of wax paper, flour for dusting, a sharp knife or rectangular cutter, and rolling pin.


Make the Dough
Place flour, salt, and sugar into a medium bowl. Cut in the shortening using a blending fork (or your hands) until you have a pea-like consistency. If you like, you can use a mixer for this process but it's really not necessary.
Add the cold water, a little at a time, until dough comes together. (I used 1/3 cup for mine but sometimes I end up using the full half cup.)
Refrigerate dough. (This is a great time to prep your work station if you haven't already.)
Place chilled dough on floured wax paper and roll out until thin. Cut into rectangles the size of pop tarts. I was fortunate to have a large rectangular cookie cutter, perfect for this job. If you don't have one you might want to make a paper template because you'll want every rectangle the same size.
This recipe should make at least 6 pop tarts but you probably won't be able to cut out all of the rectangles at once. I did a couple at a time.
After you cut out the rectangles, place a heaping tablespoon of filling onto half of them.
Use the rest of the rectangles to make the tops.
Gently press down the edges then use the tines of a fork to crimp the edges.
Make a slight crescent-shaped cut in the top crust.
Add a light milk wash to the top of the pop tarts.
Add a sprinkling or sanding sugar (or raw sugar) on the ones you don't plan to frost.
Place filled pop tarts on parchment lined baking sheet.
Place in preheated (400 degree) oven and bake for 22-25 minutes or until golden brown. (Start checking them at the fifteen-minute mark. Oven times may vary depending on the type of cookie sheet you use.)
Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool.

Make the Icing
While pop tarts are baking and cooling, make your icing.
Combine powdered sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla in a small bowl and stir until there are no lumps.
If you prefer you can add a dot of food coloring. I went with light pink since I happened to be making cherry pop tarts.
Once pop tarts are cool enough to handle, you can ice them.
Immediately add sprinkles. (Optional)

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