Sophisticated Cherry Pop Tarts

  • Life was so easy when I was a little kid.  Life was scheduled and orderly.  School was made bearable with a handful of recess breaks and plenty of friends.  It was nice to always have your laundry washed, folded and even put away by your mother.  And breakfast was always sweet and delicious.  My mom always had a full spread ready.  Be it muffins, eggs or warm porridge, it was all prepared and ready to go.

    Then you inevitably grow up and move out of the house.  Breakfast becomes a cup of coffee and whatever you can find at a moment’s reach.  These sophisticated cherry pop tarts are my answer to the morning madness, the rush to get out of the house and on to work, errands, and life.

    They aren’t really like the traditional pop tarts you’d warm up in the toaster as a child, or the flaky toaster strudel you get to pipe your own frosting on.  These sophisticated cherry pop tarts are a mixture of both.

    The dough for these pop tarts are crumbly, rich, and full of flavor.  They aren’t flaky like a pie crust, but more substantial and holds up very well.  The dough is easy to work with and can be re-rolled over and over.  I tend to have hot hands and I get pretty frustrated working with pie dough.  This dough is quite forgiving and can easily be cut into whatever shape you desire.   Perhaps little pop tarts on a stick, round hand pies, or cute hearts?

    I loved pop tarts as a child.  Brown sugar cinnamon was my favorite flavor.  Instead of toasting them, I would put them in the freezer and eat them cold with ice cream.  A little strange and excessive, I know.   I don’t buy pop tarts anymore.  The ingredients listed on the box scare me.

    Although my version of pop tarts aren’t like the real thing, I prefer knowing what I’m consuming.  As a kid, eating pop tarts for breakfast was the norm.  Now, I find them a little bit too sweet.  To make my pop tarts a tad healthier, I used dried tart cherries for the filling.  The slightly tart filling tastes amazing on its own.  I spread the leftovers on toast and crackers because its so addicting and I just couldn’t let it go to waste.

    I’ll be bringing these goodies to my mom this weekend.   It’s funny how the tables have turned.  While she still offers to do my laundry whenever I visit, now I get to bring her breakfast and try to make her life simpler.

    Sophisticated Cherry Pop Tarts, adapted from Fried Chicken and Champagne 
    makes 12- 3x5inch pop tarts


    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 cups pastry flour
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
    • 1 large egg
    • 6 Tbsp whole milk
    • 1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract

    Cherry Filling

    • 2 1/2 cup dried tart cherries
    • 3/4 cup water
    • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
    • 1/2 Tbsp orange zest
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour

    Egg wash

    • 1 large egg
    • 1 Tbsp water
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1 Tbsp heavy cream


    • 1 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 3 Tbsp milk

    1. To make the dough, whisk together flour, pastry flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar, and brown sugar.  Add the egg and mix until just combined.

    2.  In a separate bowl, whisk together milk and vanilla.  Add half of the dry mixture to the creamed butter.  With the mixer running, slowly add the milk mixture.  Add the remaining dry mixture and mix until just incorporated.

    3.  Turn dough out.  Divide into two and wrap in plastic wrap.  Chill for at least 1 hour.

    4.  Meanwhile, make the cherry filling.  In a saucepan, heat cherries, water, brown sugar, orange zest, and flour over medium heat.  Stir to combine until sugar melts.  Let simmer for 10 minutes until syrup has thickened.  Transfer to food processor and pulse until mixture resembles jam.  Let cool to room temperature before filing the pop tarts.

    5.  Prepare the egg wash by whisking egg, water, salt and cream together.  Set aside.

    6.  Once the dough has chilled,  take out one dough and roll out  to about 1/4 inch on a lightly floured surface.  Cut dough into rectangles about 3x5inch in size.  Repeat with second dough.  You can lump scraps to together and roll it out again. You will end up with about 24 rectangles (12 tops and 12 bottoms).

    7.  Spoon about 1 1/2 tablespoon of cherry filling into the center of 12 rectangles.  This will become the bottom piece.  Spread filling leaving a clean frame around the filling for sealing the edges of the tart.  Lightly brush egg wash along the clean frame.  Place a top piece over the bottom piece.  Line up the edges of the top and bottom piece, then press the edges to seal.  Be careful not to overfill the pop tarts and keep the edges clean and lined up.

    8.  Place pop tarts onto a parchment lined sheet tray.  Freeze pop tarts for at least 1 hour.

    9.  Preheat oven to 345 degrees F.  Brush tops of pop tarts with egg wash.  Bake for 10 minutes, rotate pan, and continue baking for another 10 minutes until pop tarts are golden brown.  Cool to room temperature before glazing.

    10.  To make the glaze, combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until smooth.  Drizzle glaze over cooled pop tarts.  Enjoy!

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    Peter Block

    what’s not to like!


    Um. This is amazing. All they need are some faker red sprinkles. I can’t get tart dried cherries Inthemiddleofnowhere, but can’t wait to go to the Big City to pick some up.

      the little epicurean

      Thank you, Melissa! I thought about adding the red sprinkles and dying the glaze but I was all out. Can’t wait for you to make these :)


    Beautiiiful! I would love to have some of these with a bit of Nutella inside, or even some PB&J combo.

      the little epicurean

      Thanks, Sarah! Nutella filled pop tarts?! Yum, that sounds dreamy. I’d love to have that for breakfast!

    Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes

    oooh I love this – homemade pop tarts and yours are stunning!

    Such a fun recipe, Back to Nature makes a less scary version of Pop Tarts that I buy for Justin – however these of course look way better :)

      the little epicurean

      Thank you! I’ve tried Nature’s Path organic toaster pastries. The frosted strawberries ones are pretty tasty!


    These are fantastic!!! WOW, so gorgeous and your pictures?! Just phenomenal!

    Tara @ AnythingButPickles!

    The cinnamon ones were my favorites too as a kiddo:) Haven’t had one in about 15 years though…after not only looking at the ingredients but that dreaded calorie count too! Yours look heavenly and I’m guessing my own kiddos will devour them. Pinned this for my must try list for sure!!!

    Laura Dembowski

    I love making homemade pop tarts. I have to make another batch soon, as I haven’t made them in awhile. Yours look amazing and very professional. You can also use fresh fruit as the filling, which is just amazing.

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