If there’s one thing from my childhood that I truly miss eating, it’s Pop-Tarts. Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts to be precise. It seemed like there was never a wrong time to enjoy a Pop-Tart be it breakfast, lunch, snack, or dessert. Popping that cinnamony goodness into the toaster until the pastry is just perfectly crisp and golden and the filling warm and gooey – well that was just pure bliss. But, as I started to become more aware of ingredients and nutrition I left my beloved Pop-Tarts behind. That is, until now. I have been wanting to create a Healthier Pop-Tart for so long and this recipe is many many months in the making. So I am exceptionally happy to finally share these Healthier Homemade Pop-Tarts!
What Do They Taste Like?
These Homemade Pop-Tarts taste almost exactly like the original boxed variety but without all the additives and preservatives. My recipe has an almond flour based pastry dough that crisps up to an enticing golden brown while still maintaining a perfect chewy texture. The filling is coconut sugar based, instead of brown sugar to avoid the refined sugars, with a punch of cinnamon to create a wonderfully cozy gooey center when warm. And of course, finished off with a cinnamon spiked frosting (which is actually more of a cinnamon sugar glaze) that amplifies the cinnamony filling so you get delicious pastry and cinnamon sugar in every single bite.
How Are These Pop-Tarts Made?
It is actually fairly simple to make your own toaster pastry and definitely worth the extra effort. This homemade version is not only better-for-you it actually tastes better than the original (in my humble opinion). Here’s an overview of the steps. Also, check out the step-by-step photo below on how to roll out the dough.
- Make the pastry by first mixing together the dry ingredients. Then mash in the maple syrup and coconut oil until it becomes a damp sandy texture. Then, drizzle in ice cold water and fold until a dough forms.
- Separate dough into even 2 discs. Wrap discs in parchment paper and chill in the fridge for 2 hours.
- Roll out one piece of dough into a large 9×10 rectangle.
- Cut a large rectangle of 8×9. Use a ruler for this. And I find a pizza cutter to be the easiest tool for crisp lines.
- Slice the rectangle in half lengthwise so you have two 4×9 strips of pastry.
- Then slice widthwise into thirds. So you will have six 3×4 rectangles. Again check out the picture below to see the slicing method.
- Brush dough with egg wash. This helps the filling stick to the pastry. To make these vegan just brush the dough with your favorite dairy free milk.
- Make filling by just mixing 3 ingredients in a small bowl.
- Add filling to one side of the pastry rectangles, leaving a small border around the edges.
- Cover the filling with other side of pastry.
- Brush top with egg wash or dairy free milk if vegan.
- Seal the edges of the filled pastry with your fingers. Use a fork to close the edges of the pastry and poke a few air holes in the top layer of the pastry.
- Repeat steps with other piece of dough.
- Bake for 21 minutes.
- Make the frosting by mixing 4 ingredients together in a small bowl.
- Frost the Pop-Tarts once they have cooled slightly.
These Pop-Tarts are excellent while warm just after the frosting has set. But, just like the original, these can be stored and toasted for a quick treat on-the-go. Just freeze the finished Pop-Tarts on a tray, and once frozen, store in a freezer safe container or storage bag. To reheat, just toast on lowest setting or microwave briefly until warm!
Let’s Talk About The Frosting
While these can absolutely be enjoyed without the frosting, I find that the frosting really makes these just perfect. The frosting is incredibly easy to make and even easier to spread onto the pastry and it only takes a few minutes to set. The frosting is really more of a sugar glaze and made from powdered sugar, a bit of milk, a hit of cinnamon, and some vanilla extract. I tested the frosting with a variety of different sugars including Lakanto sugar, organic cane sugar, and coconut sugar. The Lakanto is a good option if you want to reduce the amount of overall sugar, but I found the erythritol aftertaste to be a little too pronounced for my liking. Powdered coconut sugar is a good option to keep these strictly refined sugar free. It tasted great but turned the frosting a slightly unappealing brown color. I definitely prefer the organic cane sugar as it tasted most similar to the original without being too processed and the color was just right.
How To Make Your Own Powdered Sugar
I made my own powdered sugar because I don’t use it often and hate committing to a full bag. This is totally not necessary, feel free to use any pre-made powdered sugar you like! If making your own, you can essentially use any type of granular sugar. Just choose the sugar that suits you most. To make your own powdered sugar, simply blend the granulated sugar in a high powered blender or food processor until it becomes a fine powder. This only takes about a minute or so. Just be sure that your machine is super dry beforehand. You will need slightly less granular sugar for the amount of powdered sugar called for in the recipe. For example, I used 6 tablespoons of organic cane sugar to get 1/2 cup (8 tbsps) of powdered cane sugar.
What Ingredients Are Used?
The best part of these Homemade Pop-Tarts is that they taste so similar to the original but without all the junk! They contain no refined flours, sugars, or oils. They are also paleo-friendly meaning they contain no gluten, grain, or dairy! These are also very easily made vegan! Here’s a look at the main ingredients used in this recipe and some substitutes/variations!
- Almond Flour – The base of the pastry dough and makes them gluten and grain free!
- Tapioca Flour – Tapioca flour is used in both the pastry to help thicken and crisp the dough and in the filling which acts as a binder for the cinnamon and coconut sugar.
- Maple Syrup – Adds moisture and the perfect amount of sweetness to the pastry.
- Coconut Oil – Instead of butter or hydrogenated oil, coconut oil helps makes the dough wonderfully chewy while still being crisp! Use refined coconut oil for a no-coconut flavor.
- Coconut Sugar – Used in the filling and tastes very similar to traditional brown sugar without being overly processed or refined.
- Egg – To help the filling stick and add color to the exterior of the pastry when baked. If vegan, brush the pastry with your favorite non-dairy milk!
- Cinnamon – Of course we need lots of cinnamon for these cinnamon packed Pop-Tarts!
- Powdered Cane Sugar of Choice – Use any powdered sugar you like. Make your own powdered sugar using coconut sugar to keep this refined sugar free. Use Lakanto powdered sugar to reduce the sugar content. Or make your own powdered organic cane sugar. (See the section above on how to make your own.)
- Milk – Use any dairy/non-dairy milk to create the frosting!
- Vanilla – To add an extra touch of flavor to the frosting.
These Healthier Homemade Pop-Tarts are so incredibly tasty and definitely worth making at home. They pack all the fun flavor of the original without all the extra junk. Prep these in advance and toast ’em up for a quick, delicious, and healthier treat on-the-go. These Homemade Pop-Tarts make me certain now, more than ever, that there’s really never a wrong time to enjoy a toaster pastry.
paleo friendly (gluten/grain/dairy free), vegan-option
If you make this recipe, share your experience with others by leaving a review or rating down below. And I’d LOVE to see your creation! Please tag me on Instagram @freshlydafna and use #freshlydafna.
Healthier Homemade Cinnamon Pop-Tarts
These Homemade Pop-Tarts are even better than the original. They taste almost exactly like the boxed variety but without all the junk!
paleo-friendly (gluten/grain/dairy free), vegan option
- 2 cups almond flour (240 grams)
- 1/2 cup tapioca flour (60 grams)
- 1 tsp baking powder (4 grams)
- 1/2 tsp salt (1 gram)
- 4 tbsp maple syrup (85 grams)
- 4 tbsp coconut oil (55 grams) room temperature. if liquid, chill in fridge a few minutes until solid.
- 2-3 tbsp ice water (28-42 grams)
Cinnamon Sugar Filling
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar (72 grams)
- 1 tbsp cinnamon (5 grams)
- 1 tbsp tapioca flour (7 grams)
- egg wash: 1 egg beaten with 2 tsp milk of choice if vegan just use milk of choice
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar of choice (see notes)
- 2 tsp milk of choice
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp vanilla
In a large bowl mix together the almond flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, and sea salt with a large fork until well combined.
Add the maple syrup and coconut oil to the bowl and using the fork, mash everything together until the largest pieces of coconut oil are the size of small peas and the mixture has the texture of damp sand.
Drizzle in 2 tablespoons of ice water and gently stir the dough with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until a soft dough form. Add additional water in small splashes if necessary to form a dough.
Separate the dough into two even discs. Wrap discs tightly in parchment paper and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
When ready to bake heat, oven to 350 degrees and prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper. Roll out one piece of dough into a large 9x10 rectangle. See original post for step-by-step photos of cutting and assembling the Pop-Tarts.
Cut a large rectangle of 8x9 inches. Using a ruler is helpful and I find a pizza cutter to be the easiest tool for crisp straight lines.
Slice the rectangle lengthwise so you have two 4x9 strips of pastry.
Then slice widthwise into thirds making six 3x4 rectangles.
Brush all six pieces of dough with egg wash. If vegan just brush the dough with your dairy free milk of choice.
Make the filling by mixing the coconut sugar, cinnamon, and tapioca flour together in a small bowl until well incorporated.
Heap half the filling onto the three pieces of the pastry dough leaving a 1/2 inch border around the edges.
Cover the filling with other side of pastry. If moving the pastry dough around is difficult it is helpful to place the dough back in the fridge for a few minutes to help re-firm the dough and allow for easier handling. Brush the top with egg wash or dairy free milk if vegan.
Seal the edges of the filled pastry by pressing down slightly with your fingers. Then, use a fork to close the edges of the pastry. Again this is easier for the dough is cold. Poke a few air holes in the top layer of the pastry using the fork or a toothpick.
Repeat rolling and filling steps with other pastry disc.
Bake for 19-21 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown all over and just browning at the edges. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
Make the frosting by mixing together the powdered sugar, milk, cinnamon and vanilla in a small bowl until an even mixture forms.
Once Pop-Tarts have cooled slightly spoon a bit of frosting on the top of the pastry and create a rectangle of frosting. Let the frosting set a few minutes and once firm, enjoy!
Helpful Kitchen Tools (affiliate links): silicon spatula, kitchen scale, pizza cutter, pastry brush
Assembly Tips: The dough will be easiest to work with when it's cold. I like to roll out the dough on a large cutting board, this makes it easiest to transport to and from the fridge if the dough starts to get too warm to work with.
Storage: Just like the original, these can be stored and toasted for a quick treat on-the-go. Just freeze the finished Pop-Tarts on a tray, and once frozen, store in a freezer safe container or storage bag. When ready to eat, just toast on lowest setting or microwave until warm!
Homemade Powdered Sugar: To make your own powdered sugar simply blend any granulated sugar in a high powered blender or food processor until it becomes a fine powder. This only takes about a minute or so. Just be sure that your machine is super dry beforehand. You will need slightly less granular sugar for the amount of powdered sugar in the recipe. I used 6 tablespoon of organic cane sugar to get 1/2 cup of powdered cane sugar.
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