Homemade Strawberry Pop Tarts Recipe - Handle the Heat (2024)

Tessa’s Recipe Rundown

Taste: So much better than the shockingly sweet yet bland taste of store-bought pop tarts.
Texture: The dough for these pop tarts is made with cold butter so the tarts are flaky, buttery, and slightly crisp at the edges.
Ease: Rolling out the dough and forming the pop tarts takes a little time, but it could actually be a fun activity to do with kids!
Pros: So much better than store-bought pop tarts and completely customizable. Perfect after-school treat too!
Cons: None.
Would I make this again? Yes, and there are so many possible variations.

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Homemade Strawberry Pop Tarts are like biting into sweet childhood nostalgia.

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Despite finding store-bought Pop Tarts way too sweet in adulthood, I still find myself craving Pop Tarts every once in a while. There’s something to be said about a portable treat that simply includes a sweet filling, wrapped in buttery pastry and topped with a smooth icing.

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Homemade Pop Tarts require some assembly (and therefore patience), but the fun part is in the fact that you can fill them with whatever you like.

I chose strawberry jam filling for these Copycat Homemade Strawberry Pop Tarts, but you could use anything your family likes for both the filling and the topping.

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Whether you’re enjoying these for breakfast or as an after-school dessert, these Strawberry Pop Tarts are sure to be a hit. Enjoy with a glass of cold milk!

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Sprinkle of Science

How to Make Homemade Strawberry Pop Tarts

What are Pop Tarts?

Pop Tarts are sweet pastries, made from two rectangular pastry crusts, sandwiched together and filled with a wide assortment of sweet fillings, and typically finished with a sweet icing glaze on top. They are known for being a favorite quick, sweet breakfast treat. Pop Tarts are a typical childhood favorite, and can be found in any American supermarket. They are available in some other countries in supermarkets or specialty stores, too.

Store-Bought vs. Homemade Pop Tarts

If you’re used to the store-bought ones, then you are in for a TREAT with homemade. They taste so much more flavorful and balanced. The crust is so much flakier and you can really get generous with that icing on top! Just take a look:

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Tips for Homemade Pop Tart Pastry

  • Keep Pastry Ingredients Cold: Just like most typical pie or pastry dough recipes, temperature is important here. Keeping the butter and water nice and cold prevents the butter from melting, and ensures your dough is nice and flaky once baked.
  • Don’t Overmix the Pastry: As with any pastry, be careful not to overmix or overhandle, so your pastry doesn’t end up rubbery!
  • Measure Your Flour Correctly: Use a digital kitchen scale, or the spoon and level method. If you add too much flour, you may end up with rubbery pastry that doesn’t get a crisp and flaky texture in the oven. Learn more about measuring ingredients correctly here.
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Why is There Honey in The Pastry Dough?

The little bit of honey in the dough improves its strength, helps the pastry retain moisture as it bakes, and gives the finished product a richer color and fuller flavor. It also assists in preventing staling, meaning your Pop Tarts will stay delicious and fresh longer! Don’t worry if you don’t have any honey in the pantry, you can safely leave it out and your Pop Tarts will still be delicious.

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Can I Reheat These Strawberry Pop Tarts in a Toaster?

We haven’t tried that, but I wouldn’t recommend it! Real Pop-Tarts contain a bunch of artificial ingredients that are designed to keep intact and not melt their way into your toaster; these homemade ones don’t contain those same ingredients. The glaze would definitely make a big mess and probably ruin your toaster! If you wish to eat these Pop Tarts warm, I would recommend reheating them for a few minutes in a hot oven, and then serving a little of the glaze on the side, if you wish (glazing hot pop tarts will cause the glaze to soak right into the pastry, making the pastry soggy).

Do I Have to Use Corn Syrup in the Glaze?

The Pop Tart glaze contains just a little corn syrup, which helps the glaze set up nicely and dry on top of the Pop Tart, so it’s not wet to the touch. Corn syrup gets a bad reputation, and sure, it’s not exactly a health food, but it’s really just an invert sugar (meaning that it’s a sugar that’s liquid at room temperature). I think people confuse the corn syrup we use for baking with the commercial variant, high fructose corn syrup, which can be found in processed foods. They’re not the same thing, and the basic baking variety can actually do some really cool things in baked goods. If you prefer to skip it, just note that the glaze will stay pretty wet and won’t dry or harden fully, so you won’t be able to store the Pop Tarts stacked on top of each other without the glaze getting messed up.

PS: Did you know that agave syrup contains more fructose than high fructose corn syrup? (not that it’s used in this recipe, but interesting nonetheless)

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Can I Use Any Other Type of Jam in Homemade Pop Tarts?

Yes, you can use any type of jam or preserves you like to fill these Pop Tarts! Everything else can stay the same, but just swap out the same quantity of jam filling for any other flavor you prefer. Remember when filling these Pop Tarts that less is more, or you’ll have little jam explosions occur as they bake.

Can Homemade Pop Tarts be Made Ahead of Time?

You can make the pastry dough up to a day in advance – just store it in the fridge, wrapped well in plastic wrap. Alternatively, you can fully assemble the Pop Tarts, cover them well with plastic wrap, and store in the fridge for up to one day before baking.

Also, just know that these Pop Tarts are just as delicious (if not more so) on the second day as they are right after baking!

How Long Do Homemade Pop Tarts Keep?

Store Homemade Pop Tarts in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. They will keep a day or two past that, but they won’t be as flaky and delicious past three days.

Can You Freeze Homemade Pop Tarts?

  • Unbaked, assembled pop tarts can be frozen on a baking tray until solid, then transferred to a ziptop bag or airtight container for up to a month. Thaw in the fridge for an hour or so before baking, cooling and glazing.
  • You can also freeze baked, cooled and unglazed pop tarts in an airtight container or ziptop bag for up to a month. Simply thaw at room temperature for an hour, then reheat in the oven for a few minutes or until crisp again, then cool, glaze and serve. Just note that the crispness of the pastry is definitely lost somewhat using this method, but they will still taste good!
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More Copycat Recipes You’ll Love:

  • Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts
  • Cosmic Brownies
  • Oatmeal Cream Pies
  • Homemade Oreo Cookies
  • Homemade Fudge Rounds
  • Brown Butter Rice Crispy Treats
  • Krispy Kreme Copycat Glazed Doughnuts
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How to Make

Homemade Strawberry Pop Tarts

By: Tessa Arias

Yield: 12 pop tarts

Prep Time: 45 minutes mins

Inactive Time: 1 hour hr 30 minutes mins

Cook Time: 25 minutes mins

Total Time: 2 hours hrs 40 minutes mins

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Homemade Strawberry Pop Tarts have a sweet, flaky pastry filled with strawberry jam, all iced with a simple vanilla glaze and topped with sprinkles. This copycat recipe is SO much better than the sickly sweet store-bought version!

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 2 ¼ cups (290 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon (65 grams) granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (227 grams) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • ¼ cup + 3 tablespoons (100 grams) cold water
  • ½ teaspoon honey

For the filling:

  • Strawberry Preserves

For the egg wash:

  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons water

For the glaze:

  • 1 ½ cups (188 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup (about 22g)
  • Sprinkles (optional)

Instructions

Make the dough:

  • Adjust the oven rack to the center position and preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two baking trays with parchment and set aside.

  • In a food processor or large mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Pulse lightly, or mix with a whisk, to combine. Add the cubed butter all at once and pulse for 10-20 seconds, or if mixing by hand, cut the butter into the dry mixture with a pastry cutter for 5-6 minutes, or until the mixture looks sandy and no large clumps remain. Be careful not to overmix as the butter will get too warm.

  • Pour in the cold water and honey in a steady stream while pulsing the dough mixture in the food processor, or if mixing by hand, pour cold water and honey into the dough mixture and mix until the mixture comes together and a dough ball has formed. Check the dough to make sure that there are no visible flour or sugar patches, but don’t overmix.

  • Remove the dough from the food processor or bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Fold the dough 2-3 times and shape into a 1-inch thick, 7-inch diameter circle. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

  • Once the dough has cooled and rested, flour your work surface to roll out the dough. Roll the dough into a rectangle, about 3 feet in length, 8 inches in width, and about ⅛ of an inch thick. Using a pastry cutter, pizza cutter, knife or bench scraper, cut the dough into rectangles 3 inches wide x 4 inches in height. You should be able to cut between 18-20 rectangles depending on how thick the dough has been rolled.

  • Lift 8 of the cut rectangles off your work surface with a spatula or bench scraper and place them onto one of the prepared baking sheets. These will be the bottoms of your pop tarts. Brush the dough lightly with water, ensuring that the edges get wet; otherwise the top and bottom dough won’t stick together completely when crimped and the filling will leak out. Fill each center with 1 heaping teaspoon of strawberry preserves, leaving about ¼-inch border from filling to the edge of the dough. Cover each filled pastry with a second dough rectangle and crimp the edges together with a fork. Repeat process with any remaining cut rectangles onto second prepared baking sheet.

Make the egg wash:

  • In a small bowl, mix together the egg and water.

  • Brush each filled rectangle with egg wash and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and the pastry is fully baked. Let cool completely before glazing, about 30-45 minutes.

Make the glaze:

  • While the pop tarts are baking, in a small bowl, whisk together the sifted powdered sugar, vanilla, milk, and corn syrup, mixing until smooth. The glaze should be thick, but not too thick to spread.

  • Use a spoon or offset spatula to glaze each cooled Pop Tart. Top with sprinkles of your choice.

  • Leave to set for 30 minutes to 1 hour before eating, or at least 3 hours (or until they are dry to the touch – this will depend on your kitchen environment) before stacking on top of each other, to prevent the glaze from getting messed up and smearing, or sticking to the bottom of the Pop Tart placed on top of it.

Show us!If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a picture and share it on Instagram with #handletheheat so we can all see!

Recipe Notes

Optional: After crimping the edges, you can trim the edges of each Pop Tart with a sharp knife or pizza cutter for a super-straight, perfect finish!

This post was originally published in 2013 and has been updated with new photos and recipe improvements. Photos by Joanie Simon.

Homemade Strawberry Pop Tarts Recipe - Handle the Heat (2024)
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