When I was a kid, I loved Pop-Tarts. My mom rarely bought them for us because of how unhealthy they are, but when I saw those babies in the pantry, I was pretty excited! My favorite was always strawberry, which is why I decided to make that version of these myself. I’m no health nut, but that might be because I don’t buy a lot of pre-packaged foods. The only things of that nature that I stock my pantry with on a regular basis are low-fat popcorn, rice cakes, pretzels, the occasional tortilla chips, and every once in a while, I’ll buy ice cream. I definitely get my calories in other ways, but it’s always through food that I’ve made myself. I just never feel satisfied after eating something out of a bag or a box, unless I’ve been out to the bar, of course, but everything tastes good then. Store-bought Pop-Tarts have so many ingredients it would make your head spin. Just a few of those ingredients are sugar, vegetable oil, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, niacinamide, tons of sodium, gelatin, and more! There are over 50 ingredients in a Pop-Tart, if you can believe it. These Pop-Tarts, however, only have 9 ingredients, which includes the frosting and the sprinkles. They can be made even more additive-free if you make your own jam, but that might have to be saved for another day. It’s pretty shocking to think a beloved childhood treat could possibly contain so many ingredients, especially so many that are so bad for you. Making your own homemade Pop-Tarts obviously isn’t essential, but it’s really fun to see a rustic version of that classic snack made right in your own kitchen with your own two hands.
I wanted to make something kind of special for dessert a few weeks ago, and I remembered that I had seen other food bloggers making their own homemade Pop-Tarts. They looked so cute and fun to make, so I figured I’d give it a try. What a good decision maker I turned out to be! The crust for these Pop-Tarts is infinitely better than the boxed version. It’s so flaky and buttery that it just melts in your mouth, and there is way more jam in these homemade treats than in the store bought ones. The frosting hardens nicely and adds a bit of a crunch to the to die for pastry crust. Your kitchen will smell absolutely amazing when you’re baking these, too. My husband and I were going crazy waiting for these to cool! I would like to play around with the dough a bit and see if I can find something that is a bit more like the original Pop-Tart, but for now, these are fantastic. And talk about impressive! If you show up with these in hand, your friends and family will be sure to beg you for more.
Cube the butter and the shortening (just a quick tip – I had a reader ask if there was another ingredient to use other than shortening because they found it to be unsavory, but not to worry! Crisco shortening is not made from animal products, it’s made from vegetable oil!) and add them to the flour and the salt. Add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough forms a ball. I only used 2 tablespoons of water. Separate the dough into 2 balls.
Roll the dough out on a floured surface and cut into strips with a pizza cutter, about 3 inches wide and 5 or 6 inches long. Place a teaspoon of jam (do NOT overfill these) in the middle of the lower part of the dough and fold over the top part. Close up the pastry with a fork on all sides and place on a greased baking sheet.
Bake at 425 degrees F for 8-10 minutes, until golden. Set the baking tray on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely (don’t try to remove the Pop-Tarts from the baking sheet while they’re still warm).
When cooled completely, combine the powdered sugar with the milk with a whisk until smooth and the consistency of syrup. I put mine in the fridge for about an hour to speed up the frosting’s hardening process.
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour (plus more for rolling out the dough)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup shortening, cubed
- ¼ cup butter, cubed and at room temperature (I mean it – if it’s cold, it won’t cut into the flour the right way)
- 2-3 tablespoons cold water
- 2-3 tablespoons of jam (any flavor is fine)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons of milk
- sprinkles (any kind will do)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Combine the flour and the salt in a large mixing bowl, then add in the cubed butter and shortening. Mix everything together with clean hands until the dough is crumbly. Add in the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture forms a ball. I used a bit less than 2 tablespoons. If your dough gets too wet, add in a bit more flour to compensate.
- Separate the dough into two balls. Roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a square, to about ⅛ inch thickness (mine was a bit thinner than that). Cut out long strips about 3 inches wide and 5 inches long. You might have to collect up scraps of unused dough and roll it out again to use up all of the dough.
- Take one pie crust rectangle and place 1 teaspoon of jam on top (do NOT use more than this, seriously). Fold the top part of the dough over on to the bottom part (see the above photos). Use a form to crimp the corners of the dough shut. Repeat with the rest of dough. Place the Pop-Tarts on a lined and greased baking sheet (I covered my baking sheet in tinfoil and sprayed it with non-stick spray) and bake for 8-10 minutes, until golden and set.
- Remove the Pop-Tarts from the oven and place the entire baking sheet on a cooling rack; don’t try to remove them from the baking sheet until they’re completely cooled. When they’re cool, place the powdered sugar in a medium sized bowl. Whisk in about ½ tablespoon of milk at a time, until the icing is a thick consistency, like syrup. Use a spoon to pour the icing over the Pop-Tarts (you can also use a knife or a spatula). Sprinkle the sprinkles over the wet frosting and allow to set (I put mine in the fridge for about an hour to speed this process up. Enjoy! Makes 5-6 Pop-Tarts. Stores well in an air-tight container in the fridge for a week.