7 Ways to Make Pop-Tarts and Toaster Pastries at Home
Looking to put a little homemade pizzaz into the pastry popping out of your toaster in the morning? Then get in the kitchen and make your own toaster pastries. Two of the most popular pastries peaking out of a toaster or warmed in the microwave are Toaster Strudel and Pop-Tarts. You can make these delicious treats at home, filling your pastry pockets with jams, chocolates, or spreads and drizzling glazes overtop. You don’t even have to make everything from scratch, relying on pre-made doughs instead of making your own pastry. For a sampling of possibilities, here are 7 recipes.
1. Toaster Pastry
Making your own toaster pastries doesn’t have to be complicated. Claire Robinson did it for the Food Network with just six ingredients thanks to a store-bought pastry dough.
- 3/4 cup blueberry or strawberry jam
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water
- 2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Colored sugar or sprinkles, optional
Directions: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. In a small saucepan, bring the jam and cornstarch mixture to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook stirring for 3 to 4 minutes. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.
Lay 1 sheet of pastry on a board and cut it into 4 equal strips. Put a heaping teaspoon of cooled jam in the middle of the upper part of the dough and fold over the bottom part. Seal the edges with a bit of water and crimp with a fork. Arrange the pastries on a parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with the other pastry sheet. Bake until golden about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the pastries from oven and allow them to cool completely.
In a small bowl, add the powdered sugar and whisk in 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice at a time to make a thick icing consistency. Drizzle the icing over the pastries and sprinkle with colored sugar, if desired. Allow the icing to set for about 30 minutes. Enjoy at room temperature.
2. Cinnamon Sugar Toaster Tarts
If you’re committed to 100 percent from scratch Pop-Tarts, you can use King Arthur Flour’s recipe for cinnamon sugar filled toaster tarts. You can even turn the trimmings from the pastry dough into a snack by sprinkling them with the filling mixture and baking them for 13 to 15 minutes, or until they’re golden brown while the Pop-Tarts are chilling.
- 2 cups (8 ½ ounces) King Arthur unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 quarter-pound sticks, 8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pats
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) milk
- ½ cup (3¾ ounces) brown sugar
- 1 to 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon, to taste
- 4 teaspoons unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg, to brush on pastry before filling
Directions: For the dough, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Work in the butter until the mixture holds together when you squeeze it, with pecan-sized lumps of butter still visible. Mix the egg and milk, and add it to the dough, mixing just until everything is cohesive. Divide the dough in half; each half will weigh about 10 ounces. Shape each half into a rough 3 x 5-inch rectangle, smoothing the edges. Roll out immediately; or wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
To make the filling, whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, and flour.
When ready to assemble, if the dough has been chilled, remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to soften and become workable, about 15 to 30 minutes. Place one piece on a lightly floured work surface, and roll it into a rectangle about 1/8-inch thick, large enough that you can trim it to an even 9 x 12. Laying a 9 x 13 pan atop the dough will give you an idea if you’ve rolled it large enough. Trim off the edges; place the scraps on a baking sheet, and set them aside, along with the 9 x 12 inch rectangle of dough.
Roll the second piece of dough just as you did the first. Press the edge of a ruler into the dough you’ve just rolled, to gently score it in thirds lengthwise and widthwise; you’ll see nine 3 x 4 inch rectangles.
Beat the egg, and brush it over the entire surface of the dough. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling into the center of each marked rectangle. Place the second sheet of dough atop the first, using your fingertips to press firmly around each pocket of jam, sealing the dough well on all sides. Press the tines of a fork all around the edge of the rectangle. Cut the dough evenly in between the filling mounds to make nine tarts. Press the cut edges with your fingers to seal, then press with a for to seal again.
Gently place the tarts on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Prick the top of each tart multiple times with a fork; you want to make sure steam can escape, or the tarts will become billowy pillows rather than flat toaster pastries. Refrigerate the tarts (they don’t need to be covered) for 30 minutes, while you preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the tarts form the fridge, and bake them for 25 to 35 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and allow them to cool on the pan.
3. Chocolate Pop-Tarts
You’re only 2 ingredients away from warm, gooey Pop-Tarts thanks to Babble. If you have a few different chocolate bars, you can experiment with the chocolate fillings, too. Fill one Pop-Tart with dark chocolate with sea salt, another with a dark chocolate and caramel bar, or try milk chocolate.
- 2 prepared pie crusts
- 2 dark chocolate bars
Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Break the chocolate into 2-square pieces. Place three pieces of chocolate on one half of the pie crust. Place the second half of pie crust over the top of the chocolate. Use a pizza cutter or crimped-edge knife to slice around the chocolate, leaving a 1/4-inch space around each edge of the chocolate. Crimp the edges with a fork and transfer to a baking sheet.
Bake Pop-Tarts in for 9-11 minutes, or just until the edges are golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack. Melt the extra pieces of chocolate in a small Ziploc bag, snip off the corner of the bag, and drizzle over the Pop-Tarts. Serve hot or cold.
4. Double Chocolate Pop-Tarts
That might only begin to whet your appetite when it comes to chocolate flavored toaster pastries. For an even richer chocolate experience, try Chow‘s recipe for double chocolate Pop-Tarts. Using non-fat milk is not advised for either the pastry or the glaze.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 2 sticks (8 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 large egg yolks
- ¼ cup milk
- 3 ounces semisweet chocolate, very finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and at room temperature
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- Pinch fine salt
- Flour, for rolling the dough
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon water
- ¾ cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 4 teaspoons milk, plus more as needed
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions: For the dough, whisk the flour, cocoa, sugar, and salt in a large bowl until combined. Add the butter and toss with your fingers until well coated in the flour mixture. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut or rub the butter into the dry ingredients until reduced to pea-size pieces.
Whisk the egg yolks and milk in a small bowl until combined. Add the egg-milk mixture to the flour mixture and mix with your hands until large clumps form. Turn the mixture out onto a work surface and knead briefly, smearing the butter into the dough with the heel of your palm until the dough completely comes together, about 1 minute. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions and shape into 2 (6 x 5-inch) rectangles. Wrap each tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Meanwhile, make the filling. Place the chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl; set aside. Combine the cream, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is just at a simmer, about 4 minutes. Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate and butter and let sit until melted, about 4 minutes. Gently stir until smooth. Refrigerate until stiffened but still spreadable, about 15 minutes. Remove from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature until you’re ready to assemble the tarts.
When ready to assemble, heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Lightly dust a work surface with flour and roll 1 dough portion out into a rough 12 x 10-inch rectangle, rotating the dough and reflouring the surface and rolling pin often to prevent the dough from sticking. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, trim the dough to a 10½ x 9-inch rectangle. Cut that into 6 equal rectangles (each about 3½ inches wide by 4½ inches tall.) Using a flat spatula, transfer the rectangles to the prepared baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches of space between each. Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator.
Whisk the egg and water in a small bowl until evenly combined; set aside. Roll out the second dough portion to the same dimensions as the first, trim, and cut into 6 rectangles. Using a fork, prick the dough all over. Remove the baking sheet from the refrigerator and brush a thin coating of the egg wash over each dough rectangle. Spoon 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of the chocolate filling onto each rectangle. Spread the filling into an even layer, leaving a ¾-inch border. Place the pricked rectangles on top of the chocolate-covered rectangles.Press on the edges to adhere, and push down gently on the filling to slightly flatten. Using a fork dipped in flour, crimp the edges of the tarts. Bake until puffed and flaky, about 23 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before glazing.
For the glaze, place all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until evenly combined. Gradually add more milk if the glaze appears to thick. Set the wire rack with the tarts on it over a baking sheet. Using a spoon, drizzle about 1 tablespoon of the glaze over each pastry. Let set before eating, about 15 minutes.
5. Toaster Pastry Fillings
Now that you have an idea of how you can make toaster pastries either entirely from scratch, or with the help of frozen dough, select which style suits your needs and consult Michael Symon for the fillings. Give your toaster pastries a dose of fresh fruit, with either of the options Symon demonstrated on ABC’s The Chew will have you putting fresh fruit in your toaster pastries. He made Pop-Tarts two ways — one had a strawberry filling and the other a chocolate hazelnut and banana middle. Each was topped with a simple glaze.
- 2 pounds Strawberries (hulled)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Zest and juice from 1 lemon (about ¼ cup juice)
- 3 cups white sugar (plus more if the berries aren’t sweet)
- 2 teaspoons salt
Chocolate Hazelnut Banana
- 2 ripe bananas (cut in half crosswise)
- 1 cup chocolate hazelnut spread
- 1 tablespoon flaky sea salt
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Directions: For the strawberry filling, pulse the strawberries in a food processor until the size of peas. Whisk the cornstarch with the lemon juice. In a heavy bottomed pot, add the strawberries, sugar, lemon zest, cornstarch mixture, and salt. Cook the strawberries over medium-high heat for about 45 minutes, stirring frequently, until the jam is bright red and the consistency is thick. Let cool before using.
To make the chocolate hazelnut and banana filling, first cut the bananas crosswise and then into lengthwise slices about 1/4-inch thick (they may need to be trimmed lengthwise to fit in the tart.) Put the chocolate spread into a piping bag (or zip-top bag) and pipe about 1-2 tablespoons of the chocolate on to each base rectangle. Sprinkle with a large pinch of flaky salt. Press 2 banana pieces on top of the chocolate and then top with another rectangle of dough. Press down firmly, sealing the dough on all sides. Use a fork to crimp the edges.
Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and water to make the glaze. Drizzle over the tarts, are serve.
6. Goat Cheese and Strawberry Pop-Tarts
Go gourmet with Saveur‘s slightly more grown up way of making Pop-Tarts. The addition of goat cheese means that these Pop-Tarts won’t be nearly as sweet as your childhood versions, but are saved from being completely savory thanks to a fresh strawberry glaze and the jam.
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 16 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
- 3 ounces goat cheese, softened
- ⅓ cup strawberry jam
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- ¼ cup finely chopped strawberries
Directions: Pulse flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor. Add butter and continue to pulse until the mixture resembles coarse sand. With the motor running, add 6 tablespoons cold water and process until dough comes together, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Divide dough in half and form into disks; wrap disks separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. On a lightly floured surface, roll 1 disk of dough into a 9 inch square. Cut into six 3 x 4½ rectangles; transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spread each rectangle with about 1 tablespoon goat cheese and top with 1 tablespoon jam, leaving a ½-inch border; set aside. Repeat rolling and cutting with remaining disk of dough and lightly prick dough with a fork. Brush edges of dough around cheese and jam with beaten egg and top with pricked dough rectangles. Using the tines of a fork, press edges to seal. Bake until puffed and golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer tarts to a baking sheet with a wire rack; let cool completely.
Whisk confectioners’ sugar, strawberries and 2 tablespoons water until smooth. Drizzle over tops of Pop-Tarts and let sit until glaze is completely set.
7. Apple Cinnamon Filling
Another way to add real fruit to your toaster tarts is with Spark Recipe‘s apple cinnamon filling and glaze. Again, you can choose between making your own puff pastry, or buying it in the store.
- 2 medium apples, such as Pink Lady or Gala
- 7 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
- 1½ teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 pinches fine salt
Directions: Using a vegetable peeler or paring knife, peel the apples and discard the peel. Core the apples, then cut them into ¼-inch-thick slices and again into ¼-inch pieces. Combine all the ingredients in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved and the apple juices begin to release, about 5 minutes. Continue cooking until the apples just begin to soften, about 3 minutes more. Remove the pan from heat.
When filling, transfer 2 tablespoons of the cooled apple juices to a medium bowl and set aside for the glaze; set the remaining juices aside. Brush a thin coating of the egg wash over each dough rectangle. Spoon about 1 heaping tablespoon of the apple filling onto each rectangle and spread it into an even layer, leaving a ¾-inch border. Top each rectangle with 1 1/2 teaspoons of the remaining apple juices. Top apple coated rectangles with a plain pastry rectangle. Let cool completely after baking before drizzling glaze overtop.