Brown Sugar & Cinnamon Pop-Tart lovers unite! With a warm, gooey brown sugar center and a flakey pie crust outside, these homemade Pop-Tarts use the BEST copycat recipe out there!
Everyone has a preference when it comes to Pop-Tarts. Most notably, you’re either team Strawberry or Brown Sugar Cinnamon. I, for one, am team brown sugar cinnamon allll the way! And these Homemade Brown Sugar Pop-Tarts are an all-time favorite of mine, and a classic breakfast treat I know we all love!
These take more effort than just unpackaging a typical store-bought Pop-Tart, but they’re SO worth it. There aren’t any overly-processed, hard-to-read ingredients added and you know exactly what’s going into these. Not to mention a warm, gooey brown sugar center and flakey outside will make the extra steps all the more worthwhile!
I know you’re just going to love these!
Ingredients for homemade pop-Tarts:
- All-purpose Flour: Regular white flour.
- Butter: Use very cold butter, NOT softened! I also tested this recipe with Earth Balance Vegan Butter which works well.
- Ice cold water: Cold water will help keep the butter from softening or melting.
- Brown Sugar: Can substitute for coconut sugar.
- Cinnamon: Flavor!
How to Make Homemade Pop-Tarts:
Here’s how to make these Pop-Tarts step-by-step:
Step 1: Make the Dough
To make the dough for these Pop-Tarts, you will add the flour, salt, and sugar to a food processor. Then, add in your cubed, cold butter and pulse until small lumps are present. We do not want to “cream” the butter into the flour!
Why use cold butter? Cold butter makes for a super flaky crust by creating air bubbles in the dough when baked. If your butter is too warm when mixing it with the dough, the crust will harden more and become dry. So make sure your butter is cold for best results!
Transfer the mixture to a bowl, add in the cold water one tablespoon at a time, and carefully mix the butter into the dough with a fork. If you don’t have a food processor, the best technique to use for incorporating the cold butter is to use two knives to cut the butter into the mixture. If you have a handy butter cutter, use that!
The dough should not be dry, but not sticky either. Cracks are fine, as long as the dough is not too crumbly and unable to be formed.
Step 2: Chill and Cut into Rectangles:
I recommend sectioning the dough in half, covering both halves with plastic wrap, and popping in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes so the butter can chill up and the gluten can relax.
Once chilled, remove one half of the dough at a time and roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. The dough should be about 1/4th of an inch thick. Cut the dough longways into strips (I cut my Pop-Tarts to approximately 3×9 inches).
Step 3: Make the Filling
Now for the star of this recipe: the brown sugar cinnamon filling! To make the filling, whisk together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour. Spoon the filling mixture into the center of each dough strip, making sure you leave enough room on the sides to close and seal with a fork.
Step 4: Seal the Pop Tarts and Bake!
To prepare the Pop-Tarts for the oven, fold the dough strips in half and press a fork into the sides to seal and keep the filling from oozing out. Use a toothpick to poke small holes in the tops and bake. Let them cool completely before adding the icing.
The icing is what sets these homemade Pop-Tarts apart from the rest. It’s simply THAT good! It’s also really easy to make and you can customize the sweetness to your personal preference. Usually, I tend to shy away from powdered sugar icings since they are a bit too sugary sweet for my taste, but this recipe adds in a little butter which helps to balance out the sweetness from the powdered sugar.
The trick to getting the smooth, thick consistency is to use HOT water when mixing the ingredients together. This dissolves any lumps that may be present from the powdered sugar. You can add a tablespoon of hot water at a time until you reach a suitable consistency, and then all you need to do is whisk away until smooth!
Don’t forget to let the Pop-Tarts cool completely before spreading the icing on the tops! Otherwise, the icing will melt and seep into the Pop-Tarts which will make them soggy.
Dash a little extra cinnamon and brown sugar on top of the icing and you’re good to go!
Tips and Tricks:
- Use cold butter for best results and a flaky crust.
- To make vegan, use dairy-free/vegan butter. Earth Balance works well.
- To get a perfect Pop-Tart shape, cut the dough longways, fill with brown sugar & cinnamon mixture, and fold in half.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes. This will give the gluten strands some time to relax and make the dough easier to roll out.
How to Store Homemade Pop-Tarts:
I recommend keeping these in an airtight container and in a cool, dry place like a pantry or cupboard. They will keep for approximately 5 days. When you’re ready to eat, simply pop in the microwave for 15 seconds, in a toaster if leaving unfrosted, or enjoy as is!
Homemade Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts
- 3 Cups Flour
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
- 1 1/4 Cup Butter (Cold, cut into cubes)
- 3 Tbsp Water (Ice cold)
- 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
- 2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp All-purpose Flour
- 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp Water (hot)
- 1/2 Tbsp Butter (melted)
- Add in the flour, salt, and sugar to a food processor. Then, add in the cubed cold butter and pulse until small lumps are present. Do not cream the butter!
- Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add the ice water one tablespoon at a time while mixing the dough with a fork. You may not need all of the water depending on your environment. Simply add the water until the dough just comes together, but is not sticky.
- Separate the dough into two equal sections and wrap each section with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the filling by whisking together brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour.
- Once chilled, remove one section of dough from the refrigerator and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out the dough to no more than 1/4th of an inch thick, and cut into long strips (about 3×9 inches). Brush the strips of dough with almond milk. Add a tablespoon of the cinnamon sugar filling to the middle/bottom portion, fold the top down, and seal the edges with a fork (see process pictures in post above).
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the Pop-Tarts in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up, then arrange them on the baking sheet and brush with extra almond milk. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the edges are golden.
- To make the icing, combine the powdered sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, melted butter, and hot water. Add an extra teaspoon of water at a time for a thinner consistency. Mix until smooth.
- Allow the Pop-Tarts to cool completely before topping with icing. Enjoy!
- Always use cold butter for this recipe for best results.
- Store the Pop-Tarts in an airtight container and keep in a cool, dry place for up to 5 days.
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