“I’m going to make Pop Tarts,” Julie announced. I wasn’t a fan. But before we were through, we had terrific pop tarts-pop tarts that even adults would love. My favorites? Boston Cream Pie Pop Tarts, Chubby Cherry with Cream Cheese Frosting Pop Tarts, and Cherry Chocolate Pop Tarts with Black Forest Sprinkles.
They are easy and quick to make. We’ll give you the recipes and tell you how to make them.
There are three components to these pop tarts: the pastry (crust), the filling, and the frosting. You can use pie crust mix for the shell or make a chocolate pastry shell. You can use cinnamon sugar, pastry fillings, or pie fillings. You can frost them any way you like. You can mix and match these components to make a thousand pop tarts. We’ll show you how with the recipes and methods below.
Cinnamon Vanilla Sugar Pop Tarts
Julie started with cinnamon vanilla sugar pop tarts. They were very simple and very much like the ones that I remember my kids eating.
Here’s how she did it:
- Mix the pie dough. She used a just-add-water-mix. It makes a great crust and it’s foolproof. Just add the water and mix withyour paddle attachment for a minute. (Julie used 3 1/3 cups pie crust mix and 1/2 cup cold water to make ten tarts.)
- Roll out the pie dough. Roll it as thin as you do for pie crusts.
- Cut out the shapes. Julie rummaged through the cupboard looking for a utensil or plastic container about 3 x 5 inches to use as a cutter. Anything will do.
- Load the dough. She used cinnamon vanilla sugar. She mixed 1/3 cup brown sugar with 1/3 cup cinnamon vanilla sugar and one tablespoon flour to make enough filling for ten tarts. You could also use cinnamon sugar instead of cinnamon vanilla sugar. Put a couple tablespoons on half the rectangles and spread the filling to within 1/2 inch of the edges.
- Cover with a top crust, seal, and bake. With a pastry brush, dampen the edges on the bottom crust–the water will help hold the two crusts together. Place the remaining pieces over the filling and align the edges. Crimp the edges with the times of a fork. Bake at 350 degrees for about ten minutes or until the tarts barely start to brown. Remove to a rack to cool.
Frost the tarts. Mix 3/4 cup powdered sugar with two teaspoons meringue powder, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, and four teaspoons milk. Adjust with more milk or powdered sugar to get the right consistency, if required. Frost your tarts. (The meringue powder creates a shell on the frosting so that it does not mar as easily.)
Pop Tarts Made with Pastry Filling
Here’s where I got interested. The pastries got really good.
Julie made these tarts exactly as above except that she loaded each tart with a squeeze of pastry filling, 2 or 3 tablespoons.
She left out the cinnamon in the frosting and substituted coordinating flavors for the vanilla. She used raspberry flavor with the raspberry filling, wild berry flavor withblueberry filling, lemon with lemon filling, and so forth. (You can buy flavors like this from The Prepared Pantry.) She added a drop or two of color to each frosting.
Cherry Chocolate Pop Tarts with Black Forest Sprinkles
Yes, these are as good as the sound-really good. Julie made them with Chubby Cherry Topping and Filling. (You can also make them with canned pie filling but the Chubby Cherry is better.)
Here is the recipe for the chocolate pastry crust:
- With the paddle attachment of your stand-type mixer, mix the pie crust mix with the granulated sugar and cocoa until combined.
- Add the cold water and mix just until a dough ball is formed.
To assemble your chocolate pop tarts proceed as above using a couple spoonfuls of cherry filling for each pop tart.
To make the chocolate frosting, mix 3/4 cup powdered sugar with two teaspoons meringue powder, 2 tablespoons dark cocoa, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, and four teaspoons milk. Adjust with more milk or powdered sugar to get the right consistency if required. Frost your tarts. (The meringue powder creates a shell on the frosting so that it does not mar as easily.)
While the frosting is still wet, sprinkle with Black Forest Decorating Bark.
Boston Cream Pie Pop Tarts
I love Boston cream pie, a combination of yellow cake, Bavarian cream, and thick dark chocolate. My favorite cupcakes are Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes.
To make Boston Cream Pie Pop Tarts, Julie simply made pop tarts with a pie crust, fill with Bavarian cream, and top with a dark, fudgy frosting.
To make the chocolate frosting, mix 3/4 cup powdered sugar with two teaspoons meringue powder, 2 tablespoons dark cocoa, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, and four teaspoons milk. Adjust with more milk or powdered sugar to get the right consistency if required. Frost your tarts.
Chubby Cherry Cream Cheese Frosted Pop Tarts
This is luscious-and straightforward. Make the pastries with a pie crust mix, use Chubby Cherry filling or another filling, and make a cream cheese frosting. The recipe for the cream cheese frosting follows:
3 ounces cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whip the cream cheese until soft. Add the vanilla. Add the powdered sugar and enough milk, a little at a time, to make a soft frosting.
About the Ingredients in this Article
- Pie crust mix. You can make your pie crust mix from scratch but it sure is easier with a just-add-water pie crust mix. And it’s foolproof. We use the same mix used in professional bakeries but packaged for consumers.
- Pastry fillings. These are premade and in squeezable pouches. Squeeze out what you need, where you need it. Again, these are professional fillings used by many bakeries for donuts, cupcakes, and pastries.
- Cinnamon vanilla sugar.This is a mixture of cinnamon, granulated sugar, and dry vanilla. The dry vanilla is made by spray drying vanilla extract.
- Chubby Cherry Topping and Filling. Use this filling on top of everything from ice cream to brownies. It has more cherries in it than the pie fillings you buy in the stores and is brighter and more flavorful.
Dennis Weaver is the founder of The Prepared Pantry. He is the author of How to Be a Better Baker, a 250 page book about the art and science of baking. You can download a free copy of How to Be a Better Baker here.