Homemade Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts

If you like pop-tarts, you will love my Homemade Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts. 100% from scratch. The frosting “sets” after an hour making them identical to the originals.

Homemade Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts. 100% from scratch. The frosting "sets" after an hour making them identical to the originals.

Hi! (I’m currently wiping pop-tart crumbs off my keyboard.)

I made a homemade version of my all-time favorite high school snack food. My high school vending machines never had anything interesting (mixed nuts, stale granola bars) but it did supply pop-tarts. In only one flavor. The BEST flavor in the entire world.

Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon – the toaster pastry putting all other toaster pastries to shame. The food of which heaven is made. Unwrapping those silver wrappers is the sound of angels singing. Right?

Homemade Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts. 100% from scratch. The frosting "sets" after an hour making them identical to the originals.

When I was 15, I would eat two brown sugar cinnamon pop-tarts at a time in about 20 seconds, twice a day – not caring for one second about all the processed junk going into my body. Oh, to have a teenager’s metabolism again…

It’s been way too long since I tasted one of life’s greatest pleasures, so I set out to make my own. None of the unrecognizable ingredients, all of the cinnamon goodness. And frosting. So much frosting. And brown sugar!!! Sweet, sweet brown sugar.

Can ya tell I’m a little excited?!

I’m going to be honest. Making pop-tarts at home, 100% from scratch, isn’t the easiest. It’s not impossible, nor should this recipe intimidate you – but you have to take your time, read all of the instructions before beginning, and be patient. There are lots of steps, but I have about 1 billion photos to walk you through it.

I highly suggest reading each step and viewing each photo before beginning.

Homemade Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts are even tastier than the originals. Step-by-step recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Alright pop-tart lovers, here are my Homemade Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts. With pictures of the process and the full recipe written out towards the bottom.

(just keep scrolling, just keep scrolling…)

How to Make Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts from scratch - recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

First step. Homemade pie crust is what you use as the pastry. My homemade pie crust is simple. Nothing fancy or intimidating. My buttery pie crust uses both shortening and butter to obtain optimum flakiness and tenderness. These fats must be COLD.

You also need very cold ice water.

Why the emphasis on temperature here? Keeping your pastry dough as cold as possible prevents the fat from melting. If the butter melts before baking, you lose the flakiness of the pie crust. When the lumps of fat melt in the oven as the pop-tarts bake, their steam helps to separate the crust into multiple flaky layers. Warm fats and water will lend a hard, crunchy crust instead of the nice flaky crust you want for the pop-tarts.

How to Make Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts from scratch - recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

After the two discs of dough have chilled as described in the recipe below, remove one from the fridge and let it come to room temperature for about 15 minutes. This makes rolling out the dough much easier.

Roll disc into a rectangle about 1/8 of an inch thick – about 9×12 inches in total size. Trim off the sides of this rectangle as needed. Cut dough into three even sections, then cut each section into three sections. Does that make any sense?

Use a pizza cutter for ease; it’s the easiest tool to use in this process. You’ll end up with 9 rectangles, each 3×4 inches. These will be the bottoms of your homemade pop-tarts.

How to Make Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts from scratch - recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

Place each rectangle onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Place the baking sheet in the fridge and repeat with the second half of dough.

Always keep the pastry dough chilled as you are working.

Roll 2nd disc out into a rectangle and cut into 9 even rectangles like you did with the first half of the dough. These nine rectangles will be the tops of your homemade pop-tarts. Place the baking sheet into the refrigerator as you make the brown sugar cinnamon filling.

How to Make Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts from scratch - recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

The filling! This is the best little filling to ever come out of my kitchen. I say that because brown sugar is my favorite ingredient to use in baking.

The homemade brown sugar cinnamon pop-tart filling is made with lots of cinnamon, lots of brown sugar, a touch of flour. That’s all, just 3 ingredients.

Mix it up with a fork, or even better– your fingers. Messy recipes are the best recipes.

 How to Make Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts from scratch - recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

Before filling the homemade pop-tarts, you have to brush the bottoms with a little egg wash. This helps the filling “melt” down and stick to the bottom. We’ll also brush the tops of the pop-tarts with the egg wash.

My egg wash = 1 beaten egg, 2 teaspoons milk.

(Thanks for the new pastry brush, Jaclyn!)

How to Make Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts from scratch - recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

A few more steps.

Place 1 heaping Tablespoon of filling onto each rectangle. I used the back of my measuring spoon to spread it around. Leave about a 1/4 inch border around the rectangle. Brush the rectangle “tops” of the pop-tarts with egg wash. Place on top of the filled bottoms, egg wash side down. Poke holes in the tops of each pastry to allow the steam to escape. This helps get your pop-tart pasty nice and flaky. I used a toothpick to poke 8 holes in each.

Seal the edges by crimping with a fork.

Now, place the ready-to-bake pop-tarts in the refrigerator. Let the pop-tarts rest before baking. This firms up the pastry, since it has been out at room temperature for so long at this point. Chill for 20 minutes as your oven preheats. Once chilled, brush tops with egg wash. This egg wash will give your pastry that beautiful golden sheen.

Now it’s time to bake, then frost. A visual of these steps:

Homemade Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts are even tastier than the originals. Step-by-step recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

The frosting is so simple. It’s more of a glaze, less of a frosting.

Just a few ingredients including confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and milk. Whisk until slightly thick, but still a little runny. Use a knife or the back of a spoon to spread on top of each homemade pop-tart.

How to Make Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts from scratch - recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

The pop-tarts are finally ready to eat. 🙂

I told you, this isn’t the easiest of my recipes – but it sure as heck isn’t the most difficult. I really want you to try these! My homemade pop-tarts taste just like the original, but 10x better. I can’t believe I just typed that. But seriously! You don’t get a flaky, slightly crumbly crust with store-bought pop-tarts. You just get… crumbles. You know what I’m taking about? And you get about twice the amount of filling with my homemade version.

The frosting isn’t an exact copycat because there aren’t any preservatives, brown food dyes, or strange things– but it’s absolutely incredible paired with the warm homemade pastry and brown sugar cinnamon filling. The frosting takes about 1 hour to set. We actually loved these homemade pop-tarts the next day. The frosting slightly hardened, making them taste much more like the originals. I think Kevin ate 4 that day.

Back to the subject of metabolisms… umm, can I switch mine with Kevin’s?? I look at a pop-tart and feel heavier. This is why I exercise. To enjoy homemade brown sugar cinnamon pop-tarts. And these.

Homemade Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts are even tastier than the originals. Step-by-step recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Did you make it down this far? Enjoy this recipe, everyone!

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. ♥

Print

Homemade Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 9 pop-tarts
  • Category: Pastries
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

If you like brown sugar cinnamon Pop-Tarts, you will love my homemade frosted brown sugar cinnamon pop-tarts recipe! They taste one million times better and are made completely from scratch with REAL ingredients. I encourage you to read this entire recipe before beginning, as well as viewing the step-by-step photos to help guide you. Plan ahead, the pastry must chill for some time.


Ingredients

Pastry*

  • 2 and 1/2 cups (315g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 6 Tablespoons (90g) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  • 3/4 cup (154g) vegetable shortening, chilled*
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) ice water

Filling*

  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed dark or light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon (8g) all-purpose flour
  • egg wash: 1 large egg mixed with 2 teaspoons milk

Glaze

  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar (90g), sifted
  • 1 Tablespoon (15ml) milk, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. For the pastry: This is the same recipe as my homemade pie crust. See step-by-step photos if you need visuals for making the pastry. I usually make the pastry the night before. First, mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Add cold unsalted butter and shortening. Using a pastry cutter or two forks, cut the butter and shortening until the mixture resembles coarse meal (pea-sized crumbles with a few larger bits of fat is OK). Measure 1/2 cup of water in a glass. Add ice. Stir it around. Slowly drizzle in the very cold water 1 Tablespoon at a time, stirring with a large spatula after every Tablespoon of water that you add. Do not add any more water than you need to. Stop adding water when the dough begins to clump.
  2. Roll out the dough on a floured work surface. The dough should come together easily and should not feel overly sticky. Form the dough into a ball. Divide in half. Flatten each half into 1-inch thick discs using your hands. Wrap each tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months).
  3. Assemble the pop-tarts: Remove 1 chilled dough disc from the refrigerator and allow it to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. This will help make the dough easier to roll and work with. Keep the other disc in the refrigerator. After 15 minutes, place disc onto a lightly floured work surface, and roll it into a rectangle about 1/8 inch thick and 9×12 inches in size. Trim the sides as needed. Always be gentle with your pastry dough. You don’t want it to tear. Cut each piece of dough into thirds and each third into thirds again. You will end up with 9 rectangles, each measuring 3×4 inches. Use a ruler to help make this process easier and more accurate.
  4. Place each of the 9 rectangles onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. The pop-tarts will not spread in the oven much, so you may place them relatively near one another. Place the baking sheet in the fridge. Roll 2nd disc out into a rectangle and cut into 9 even rectangles like you did with the first half of the dough. These nine rectangles will be the tops of your homemade pop-tarts. Place the baking sheet into the refrigerator as you make the brown sugar cinnamon filling.
  5. Make the filling: Mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour together in a small bowl. Set aside. Remove 1 baking sheet of rectangles from the refrigerator. Brush egg wash over the entire surface of each rectangle. These will be the bottoms of your pop-tarts and the egg wash will help glue the lid on. Place a heaping Tablespoon of the prepared brown sugar filling into the center of each rectangle, spread it around, leaving around 1/4 inch of space on the edges. Brush the second baking sheet of rectangles with egg wash, then place each rectangle on top of the filling-topped rectangles – egg wash side down. Use your fingertips to press firmly around the pocket of filling, sealing the dough well on all sides.
  6. Poke holes in the tops of each filled pastry to allow the steam to escape. This helps get your pop-tart pastry nice and flaky. I used a toothpick to poke 8 holes in each. Seal the edges by crimping with a fork, to prevent the sides from opening as the pop-tarts bake. Refrigerate the filled pop-tarts uncovered for at least 20 minutes and up to 1 hour. This chilling let the pop-tarts rest before baking. It also firms up the pastry, since it has been out at room temperature for so long at this point.
  7. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Once unbaked pop-tarts have chilled for 20 minutes, remove from the refrigerator and brush the tops with the remaining egg wash. This egg wash will give your pastry that beautiful golden sheen. Bake for about 22-28 minutes or until they’re golden brown, rotating the pan halfway through baking. Let the baked pop-tarts cool on the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before glazing.
  8. Make the glaze: whisk all of the glaze ingredients together in a medium bowl until it reaches a spreading consistency. You want a thick glaze, but not too thick that it is hard to spread. Add another teaspoon or two of milk if needed. Use a spoon or knife to glaze each pop-tart. The glaze will slightly harden in about an hour, if you prefer to wait that long.
  9. Store pop-tarts in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for 6 days. To reheat, bake in a 350°F (177°C) oven for 10 minutes.

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: Baked and unglazed pop-tarts freeze well, up to 3 months. Thaw and reheat as directed in step 9. I am unsure about reheating in a toaster.
  2. Special Tools: Glass Mixing Bowls, Pastry Cutter, Rolling Pin, Silpat Baking Mat, Baking Sheet, Pizza Cutter, and Pastry Brush
  3. Pastry: I’m sure store-bought pastry would be fine, but this homemade version creates that unique flaky, slightly crunchy yet tender texture you know and love from regular pop-tarts. I prefer shortening in my pie crust and pastry dough recipe for the best texture. Feel free to use your own favorite pie crust recipe that uses all butter if you prefer. Butter can not be replaced for shortening in this particular pastry recipe.
  4. Filling: Get creative! Use your favorite fillings instead of brown sugar cinnamon. Like jam, Nutella, etc.
  5. Adapted from King Arthur Flour.

Keywords: homemade brown sugar pop tarts, brown sugar cinnamon pop tarts

288 Comments

  1. I was always a big fan of the chocolate fudge poptarts, but these homemade ones look SO much better! These look like they would be my new favorite flavor! I also love the step-by-step pictures and instructions. Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  2. I made them yesterday, Sally. I was going to give the shortening a try but it didn’t smell good so I figure it went rancid. So I went with Smitten Kitchen’s pop tart pastry recipe and then followed your instructions and used your filling and glaze.

    SO GOOD!!! The pastry is flaky, the filling is delcious, and I think the glaze makes the whole thing perfect. I will have to work on making sure they’re all the same size when I cut them out next time. For the tops, I was going back and forth measuring the exact size of the bottom piece so the top would fit right. Silly! Maybe I can find a cookie cutter that is the perfect size.

    I also forgot to use the egg wash on the inside of the top crust but it seemed to be fine without it. Actually, I don’t think they could’ve been any better. Yum! Anyway, thanks for another fantastic recipe!

  3. Pop-Tarts were an unexpected causality of our vegetarian diet. I’m not sure why they use gelatin in everything, but it gave us good reason to avoid something that we would normally eat too much of AND NOW WE CAN. Thank you!

  4. I would certainly feel less guilty feeding this version to my kiddos who are addicted to the store-bought version. Question, we have an egg allergy and for the filling I’m sure I can just make a flax egg, but do you have any other recommendations in lieu of an egg-wash on top and bottom. I understand you haven’t tested other options, just checking if you had a suggestion! Thanks!

  5. Did you freeze/shred the butter like you suggested in your scone recipe? Just curious. These are my family’s fav so I’m going out and getting shortening today…I can’t wait!!

    1. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. For the pop-tarts you see, I simply grabbed butter from the fridge and cut into cubes. You may freeze/shred if you’d like.

  6. Hooray! I have always loved the idea of brown sugar pop tarts, but the taste creeps me out (and I’m not anti-pop tart–I could eat my weight in the strawberry kind). This beautiful version looks like it might yield a more spicy and brown sugar-redolent result. Thank you!

  7. I made these tonight and used all butter since I didn’t have shortening. They are amazing and my husband will be the happiest man alive when he gets home from work tomorrow morning!

  8. I made 3 batches of these over the weekend. Brown sugar, strawberry and s’more. Used preserves for the strawberry and used 5 chocolate discs ( merckens) with marshmallow fluff on top. On the top crust after cooled, I made standard powdered sugar icing and after I spread a small amount on the top (I.e. a “little glue” ), I sprinkled them with finely crushed graham crackers..

  9. Love these! They taste phenomenal! One thing I did different was add a quarter cup of white and brown sugar and a dash of vanilla to the dough to make these taste awesome through every bite!

  10. Man, brown sugar cinnamon pop tarts were my FAVE back in the day! My sister and I used to microwave them, spread some butter on top, and then cut them into strips to eat.

    We were… um… creative children?

    Anyway, your photography is wonderfully vibrant and exciting, as usual. Love love love and I can’t wait to give these a try!

  11. You don’t need brown dye for the frosting; the vanilla extract will color it! I guess you use clear vanilla and that’s why yours is white. Am I right? Honestly, though, I like the look of white frosting. 😀

      1. Ha, yea I just asked the same question about the color of the frosting. Mine is tan, very tan. The white with specs looks so much more appetizing.

      2. Avra its the cinnamon. Your cinnamon must be extremely finely ground. I made another batch of frosting with everything except the cinnamon and it was a nice a nice off white. I’m guessing Sally ground her own course cinnamon. Just guessing here.

  12. These were fantastic!! I was nervous when they came out of the oven and looked so plain, I didn’t think they’d taste as good as yours looked, but once I got the glaze on there… so good!! I made these as an anniversary celebration tomorrow with my husband (3 months :D) but I had to sneak a taste at one to “make sure they came out okay” 😉 Which of course they did! Thanks for sharing!

  13. A pop-tart lover and a Dory fan? I think we could be best friends! I just discovered your blog and will add you to my list of favorites. Thanks.

  14. Oh My!!! Going to make these VERY soon, as in TOMORROW!!! I am also going to give them a try with “PUMPKIN FILLING AND MAPLE CINNAMON GLAZE” . It is “PUMPKIN EVERYTHING SEASON” you know!!! Thanks, for sharing this recipe !

  15. I am excited to attempt these this weekend!!! Every time I use your recipes my boyfriend always says he’s going to marry me. haha can’t wait to give this a whirl! I will let you know how it goes. Thanks for all the pictures too, i feel that helps a lot!

  16. Wow! As cinnamon pop tars were a childhood favorite of mine, I had to try this recipe. I did, and dang! They are incredible! Almost too good, though, honestly. I need to find a dumbed-down version to replicate the chalky crust; these are like eating magnificent little pies! Thanks for sharing!

  17. I laughed when I read your comment, “Messy recipes are the best” – because they are! I look forward to messing up the kitchen with this one.

  18. Hi Sally,
    I looked at some of your recipes and I found them amazing I hope that you will continue posting interesting recipes that are easy to follow and bake!!
    Also I would like to try your mint- chocolate brownie, I found them beautiful!!

  19. YAY! my son has food allergies and cinnamon brown sugar pop tarts were always one of our go to’s but lately he has been reacting with stomach pain to them and im guessing its an additive that is added…. so we took them off our list a couple months ago 🙁 he misses them terribly! I am so excited to be able to try these for him! one question…. im wondering if they can be frozen? or any suggestions for keeping them stored? Thank you for sharing this recipe
    joy

  20. I made these tonight and I think I’ve died and gone to heaven… absolutely fantastic and about 1000 times better than a pop tart! I can’t wait for my kids to get up for breakfast LOL

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