You know those recipes that you pull out when you are in the mood to bake…apron and all? When you really want to spend time in the kitchen, mixing the ingredients, feeling the dough mold between your fingers? Well, this is one of those recipes. What it isn’t is a recipe to make when you’ve promised the kids homemade pop tarts and they are sitting eagerly at the kitchen table waiting for you to crank them out. Just sayin’…

This idea was sent to me by a friend and as soon as I read the email I was excited to try it.

Homemade Pop tarts

by Smitten Kitchen


2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (this is my addition, you can use all-purpose flour instead)

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter (or Earth Balance butter), cut into pats

1 large egg or Ener-G egg replacement equivalent

2 tablespoons milk

Whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Work in the butter with your fingers or in a food processor until you have pea-sized lumps that are still visible and the dough holds together when you squeeze it. If using a food processor transfer to a bowl and whisk in egg/egg replacement and milk together and stir them into the dough, just until everything is mixed well and dough is cohesive.

Divide the dough in half, shape each into a rectangle. You can roll out immediately or wrap in plastic and put in fridge for up to 2 days. I suggest refrigerating for some period of time, the dough gets hard to work with when it gets warm.


You can use any kind of filling for these pop tarts, depending on the taste you are after. Cinnamon sugar or Nutella would be delicious. I opted for some of the strawberry jam we have from our strawberry picking last summer, but any jam will do.

1 tablespoon water

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1cup jam

Mix the jam, cornstarch and water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer, stirring for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

After the dough has been chilled remove it from the fridge and allow it to sit until it is easy to work with. Place one of the rectangles of dough on a floured surface and roll dough out to about 1/8″ thickness. You can then cut them into rectangle shapes (to be authentic for poptarts) or like me, just use a round cookie cutter to make small circles. Repeat with second piece of dough.

Place a heaping tablespoon of filling into the center of each rectangle (or circle), keeping a bare perimeter around the edges. Place the second piece of dough atop the first, using your fingertips to press firmly around the pocket of filling to seal. Press the times of a fork all around the edges. Repeat with remaining tarts.

Gently place the tarts on a lightly greased or parchment lined baking sheet. Prick the top of each tart with a fork multiple times; you want to make sure steam can escape. Refrigerate the tarts uncovered for 30 minutes.

Remove the tarts from the fridge after your 30 minutes are up and bake them at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a light golden brown. Cool in pan.

Cute aren’t they? I also baked the scraps of dough after sprinkling them with a little sugar, a trick I remembered from when my mom would bake pies. They are especially good warm, right out of the oven.

So while I enjoyed making these cute, little pop tarts they will not take the place of our Saturday morning pancakes, but they will be the recipe that I go for when I’m in the mood for baking…apron and all.

2 Responses to Pop tarts

  1. Jill says:

    These sure do look yummy. How much cornstarch do you add to the filling?

    • Alison says:

      Jill–it’s 1 cup jam with 1 tablespoon water and 1 tablespoon cornstarch. I edited the recipe so it’s correct now. 😉

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