These Copycat PopTarts Are Better Than The Real Thing

Chances are, at some point or another, you've had a hectic morning. Whether you have kids to get ready for school, or you've accidentally overslept, those frantic mornings definitely happen. And when they do, there's no way breakfast is being made before you rush out the door.

It's not uncommon to reach for something quick like Pop-Tarts in the morning. After all, they're perfectly portable and utterly delicious. But what if we told you making your own Pop-Tarts from scratch was totally doable?

We know, Pop-Tarts have that wonderfully classic crust and sweet filling. How could we possibly mimic that? But with this homemade copycat Pop-Tarts recipe, you absolutely can. With just five ingredients, you can put together a deliciously flaky dough to then stuff with your favorite Pop-Tarts filling. Just as there's plenty of flavor options for that classic blue box, this recipe is customizable to suit any of your (or your kid's) Pop-Tarts flavor preferences.

Gather the ingredients for copycat Pop-Tarts

Certainly, pulling a pair of Pop-Tarts out of their packaging makes for a quick and easy breakfast or snack. But making a batch of your own Pop-Tarts at home from scratch will only require just a few more minutes and a handful of simple ingredients. Trust us, it's worth it.

To make your own copycat Pop-Tarts at home, start by gathering the ingredients for this recipe. You'll need 1 3/4 cups flour, 2 teaspoons sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 stick unsalted cold butter, and eight tablespoons of cold milk for the dough. Be sure when you use your butter, it's straight out of the fridge and very cold. Using softened butter won't help to build the luscious pastry for this recipe as well.

For the filling, you'll need one can of cherry pie filling. For the icing for these Pop-Tarts, you'll need powdered sugar and milk, along with vanilla or almond extract if desired.

Can you use other fillings for these copycat Pop-Tarts?

At this point, the number of options for Pop-Tart flavors on grocery store shelves are plentiful. From strawberry, cherry, and blueberry to round out the fruit options, to favorites like brown sugar and cinnamon and s'mores, there's truly a Pop-Tart flavor to suit every occasion, flavor preference, or time of day.

Now, with this copycat Pop-Tart recipe, you can do the same. There's really no limit on flavor ideas when it comes to this recipe. 

For this specific version of this copycat recipe, we utilized a simple canned cherry pie filling, but there are great options to switch it up. Using a strawberry or raspberry jam provides a lovely fruit filling. Adding marshmallow fluff and chocolate would create a delicious dessert option, or combine brown sugar and cinnamon to mimic another classic flavor. This recipe is versatile enough to adapt to any flavor option you could possibly dream of.

Make the dough for these copycat Pop-Tarts

Once all of your ingredients are gathered, it's time to make the dough for your copycat Pop-Tarts. Start by adding the flour, sugar, and salt to a food processor. Cut the stick of cold butter into chunks, and then add it to the food processor. Pulse until the mixture forms a soft crumb.

Transfer the flour and butter crumb mixture into a bowl. Add in the cold water and mix to combine with a large fork. Continue mixing until a soft dough forms. Once your dough is ready, knead it in your hands to form a ball, and then wrap it in plastic wrap. Put the dough in the fridge to chill for one hour.

If you don't have a food processor for this step, you can add all of the ingredients to a bowl and break up the butter with a fork or pastry blender.

Roll and cut the dough for these copycat Pop-Tarts

It's important to allow the Pop-Tart dough to fully chill for at least one hour. There's no need to worry if you allow it to chill for longer. Chilling the dough lets it rest, allowing the gluten in the dough to settle. At the same time, it allows the fat in the butter to re-solidify, ultimately offering a better dough when baking. 

Once the dough is properly chilled, it's ready to roll out. Prepare a flat surface such as a countertop with plenty of flour to prevent the dough from sticking. Flour a rolling pin, and then roll out the dough until it's about 1/4-inch thick.

Use a pastry cutter, a pizza cutter, or a knife to cut an even number of rectangles out of the dough. We cut eight rectangles, each 5-inches by 3 1/2-inches, for this recipe. Transfer half of the dough rectangles to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or sprayed with cooking spray.

Fill and bake these copycat Pop-Tarts

Once your dough is cut, your Pop-Tarts are ready for the best part—the filling!

With your first set of dough rectangles on a prepared baking sheet, scoop the cherry pie filling into the middle of the piece of dough. Be sure not to get the filling too close to the edge of the dough. Putting it too close to the edge will cause the filling to seep out of the dough while baking, creating a sticky mess. 

Once the rectangles have filling, top each with the remaining cut dough pieces. Pinch around the outer edges of each of your Pop-Tarts, and use the prongs at the end of a fork to finish pinching. Poke the top of each Pop-Tart with the fork to create small holes for venting. Next, whisk together one egg yolk and one tablespoon of water. Brush the top of each piece of dough with the egg wash. Bake the Pop-Tarts at 350 degrees for 20 minutes until lightly golden. Remove the Pop-Tarts from the oven to cool. 

Make the icing to dress up these copycat Pop-Tarts

Now, when it comes to the icing for these copycat Pop-Tarts, you could certainly forgo this step. These little pastry pockets are still delicious on their own. However, icing and sprinkles really do make everything better. Plus, the icing to top these homemade Pop-Tarts comes together in just minutes, so there's really no reason to skip this step. 

To make the icing, add half of the powdered sugar into a bowl and whisk to eliminate any clumps. Add in milk and the remaining powdered sugar, and continue whisking until a thick glaze forms. Whisk well to avoid any additional clumps in the icing.

This icing is certainly fine on its own as a topping without anything else added, but you can add more flavor if desired. We chose to add in one teaspoon of pure vanilla extract. Adding almond extract gives the icing great flavor to pair with the cherry filled Pop-Tarts. Add in a few drops of food coloring as well, if you'd like to make your copycat Pop-Tarts literally pop with color! 

Ice and decorate these copycat Pop-Tarts

Once your icing is ready, it's time to decorate your homemade Pop-Tarts. Be sure your copycat Pop-Tarts are completely cooled before applying the icing so it doesn't melt off of the pastry.

To avoid any mess, it's best to place the Pop-Tarts on a cooling rack, with the baking sheet you already used underneath. That way, it will catch any of the drips from the icing. 

Use a flat spatula or a dull knife and spread the icing on the top of each of the Pop-Tarts. Choose your favorite sprinkles to add on top. Certainly you can add sanding sugar to mimic original Pop-Tarts, but adding rainbow jimmies or any other sprinkles you love will do. Sprinkle your Pop-Tarts right after you've added the icing to be sure they stick. Then, set your iced Pop-Tarts back on the baking sheet or the cooling rack to allow the icing to set for a few minutes before enjoying.

These Copycat PopTarts Are Better Than The Real Thing
4.7 from 3 ratings
Pop-Tarts have that classic crust and sweet filling. How could we possibly mimic that? But with this homemade copycat Pop-Tarts recipe, you absolutely can.
Prep Time
1.33
hours
Cook Time
20
minutes
Servings
4
Pop-Tarts
Copycat Poptarts
Total time: 1.67 hours
Ingredients
  • 1 ¾ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cold
  • 8 tablespoons cold milk (plus 4 tablespoons for icing)
  • 1 can cherry pie filling
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Directions
  1. Add the flour, sugar, and salt to a food processor. Cut the stick of cold butter into chunks, and then add it to the food processor. Pulse until the mixture forms a soft crumb.
  2. Transfer the flour and butter crumb mixture into a bowl. Add in the cold milk and mix to combine with a large fork. Continue mixing until a soft dough forms.
  3. Once your dough is ready, knead it in your hands to form a ball, and then wrap it in plastic wrap. Put the dough in the fridge to chill for one hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Once the dough is chilled, it's ready to roll out. Prep a flat surface such as a countertop with plenty of flour to prevent the dough from sticking. Flour a rolling pin, and then roll out the dough until it's about ¼-inch thick.
  5. Use a pastry cutter, a pizza cutter, or a knife to cut an even number of rectangles out of the dough. You may need to re-roll the dough. Once cut, transfer half of the dough rectangles to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or sprayed with cooking spray.
  6. With your first set of dough rectangles on a baking sheet, scoop the cherry pie filling into the middle. Be sure not to get the filling too close to the edge of the dough. Once each rectangle has filling, top each with the remaining cut dough pieces. Pinch the outer edges of each Pop-Tart, and use the prongs at the end of a fork to finish pinching. Poke the top of each Pop-Tart with the end of the fork to form small holes for venting.
  7. Whisk together one egg yolk and one tablespoon of water. Brush the top of each piece of dough with the egg wash. Bake the Pop-Tarts at 350 degrees for 20 minutes until lightly golden. Remove the Pop-Tarts from the oven to cool.
  8. Make the icing by adding the powdered sugar to a bowl and whisk. Add in the milk and the remaining powdered sugar and continue whisking until a thick glaze forms. Whisk well to avoid any clumps in the icing. Stir in vanilla extract and food coloring if desired.
  9. Once the Pop-Tarts are fully cooled, spread the icing on top of each. Decorate with sprinkles and allow the icing to finish setting.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 846
Total Fat 25.4 g
Saturated Fat 15.5 g
Trans Fat 0.9 g
Cholesterol 100.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 146.8 g
Dietary Fiber 2.4 g
Total Sugars 62.6 g
Sodium 628.2 mg
Protein 7.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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