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

283 Comments

  1. started the prep work for these tonight and I’m so excited about serving them tomorrow night! Question- if I were to fill some with jam or jelly, would you still recommend the egg wash?

    1. Yep! The egg wash gives the pop-tarts their beautifully browned, shiny outside. But if you don’t really care about that, you can leave it out. But you will still need it for adhering the top and bottom crust.

  2. I made these using applesauce and butter for the fat part of the crust. Until I tasted them, I had doubts because I could smell the applesauce. They turned out phenomenal. Even my 4 yo kept coming back. He requested strawberry for the nect batch. Any recommendations for the filling?

    1. Hi Alexis. Strawberry jam works– I like to mix it (around 2/3 cup) with a teaspoon of cornstarch that has been mixed with warm water and simmer on the stovetop. this makes the filling thick and set.

  3. Like many others I LOVED the brown sugar cinnamon pop tarts as a kid and my kids love them too. So when I found this I was very excited. I made up the pastry dough and then life got in the way. I finally got back to making them and they turned out GREAT even my husband said to make them again. When I ate one I was actually brought back to another wonderful childhood memory. I remember when my mom used to make pies she would take all the leftover pie crust and make us kids “Cinnamon pies” and it really reminded me of those. My daughter has now requested Lemon and Chocolate pop tarts but some of the other flavors people have suggested sound really good too!

  4. I live in Israel and we don’t have pop tarts here. We always bring back a few boxes after visiting the States. I baked these yesterday and we were all speechless! So much better than store bought! A dream com true… So good!

  5. Made these tonight because my husband loves PPP tarts. I never buy them from the store because of all the preservatives and additives they contain. These where AMAZING!!!! So much better than your traditional Pop tart. Definatly keeping this recipe!

  6. Do you have like a peanut butter filling for another recipe that could be used in these? My husband lost the peanut butter/chocolate frosting pop tarts, or even the chocolate frosted fudge pop tarts. Any idea’s for those?

  7. I wonder if you can add a little meringue powder to the icing to help harden it??? Not sure if it will work with the milk! Maybe I’ll give it a try 🙂

  8. Hello! These are my favorite flavor of pop tarts! Your pictures are wonderful!
    I have an egg allergy, is there something I can use instead? Thank you

  9. Love your recipe!! Can’t wait to make them. There is just one thing in your ingredients list that is NOT natural and that is the vegetable shortening (a.k.a., Crisco). Sadly, that is made of hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils, nothing natural about those. Thanks for the all butter recommendation. My pie crust recipe is always yummy and flaky with just butter! I’ll let you know how it turns out! 🙂

    1. I just discovered a shortening without hydrogenated oils. I have seen it in Target & Kroger in Michigan. I’m sorry, I don’t recall the brand. It’s exciting news for die-hard pie crust makers who say shortening is best. Worth a try!

      1. I just discovered a shortening that uses coconut and palm oil (among others) that I can’t wait to try for recipes calling for shortening (crusts, biscuits, etc…) I use butter for everything but have been interested in trying shortening for a few things but REFUSE to use crisco. Here is the amazon link. I’ve never seen it in stores but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. I’ve never looked for it.

        http://www.amazon.com/Nutiva-Palm-Shortening-Organic-Superfood/dp/B00KRFLH5U/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1425956752&sr=8-1&keywords=coconut+oil+shortening

  10. I made these about 2 weeks ago and my kids ate them up in a couple days. They love them sso i just finished making anoother batch, maybe i’ll get to try one this time.

  11. Hey sally
    Thinking of trying these soon.
    Just wanted to know if I could substitute the shortening with margarine?
    I live in England and they don’t sell shortening in most places.

    1. Do not use margarine in this pastry. Instead, I suggest using a pie crust recipe that uses all butter or margarine. This pop-tart pastry recipe was developed for the use of shortening.

  12. I’m guessing you’re like me and mixed it all together and then realized that was NOT right LOL I just used it as my egg was anyway and made another filling. Turned out tasty =D

  13. Do you freeze before or after putting the glaze on? If you freeze after, how does it hold up to reheating in the oven? THANKS!!

  14. I just made these beauties tonight. I let the dough sit out the night before. I was nervous because the really cold butter didn’t break up as well as the Crisco in the dough so I had big chunks of butter in it. I thought it would ruin the crust but boy was I wrong..

    **Do NOT fear the chunks!**

    I didn’t bother with cutting the crust perfectly. I’m so lazy with such tasks. Lol. Each pastry has it own personality!

    The crust came out so flaky, tender, and buttery! The lack of uniformity in the dough made it so much better… Glad I didn’t go the easy route with a store bought dough!

    All I did different was let the crust brown a bit under the broiler for color. My husband ate 6 of them in one sitting. I think we have a winner! Saving this one for the recipe books! Thank you!

  15. I can’t say anything as far as butter free, but Sally said in a previous comment that water or milk would work fine. You just need it around the edges so the two pieces will stick together.

  16. I just made these. I used a store bought crust because I was being lazy. I was so disappointed. I will make these again using a home made crust. I wish I had done that to begin with.

  17. These look so delicious! Brings back memories of eating these in massive amounts as a teenager. My parents would buy the huge boxes from Costco. My brother and I would always get the cinnamon brown sugar ones first, and the strawberry ones would linger in our house for a long time. Poor younger sibs never stood a chance with us! I look forward to making these!

  18. Hello! I made these yesterday. They were delicious. I have just one problem, though.
    The moment I baked them, the filling hardened, sort of like toffees.
    Is this supposed to happen, and if the answer is no, do you have any suggestion to avoid it?

    Many thanks,
    James

    1. So I made a version of these the other day with left over pie crust I made for some pecan pies.  My filling was a simple mix of butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar.  I mixed it to a paste texture and worked amazing.  Stayed soft inside the tart and had a great taste.  

  19. These are AMAZING! When you first posted this recipe, I thought “Those look good. Maybe I’ll try to make them one day.” After I tried my first ever cinnamon & brown sugar Pop-Tart I thought, “Oh my gosh! These are so good! I just HAVE to try Sally’s recipe now! I bet hers are a 100x better!” So after panicking over the fact that I didn’t have vegetable shortening, waiting weeks until we went grocery shopping, and begging my mom for Crisco….I finally made these. And I made them on a hot, humid day. Also, me and pastry dough don’t get along quite well. Oh and I had barely any parchment paper. So after I sliced awful, unproportioned rectangles, placed them on a buttered baking sheet in hopes that would be okay, and watching the dough melt on the pan…I popped my sorry excuses for pop-tarts in the oven and prayed like crazy they wouldn’t stick to the pan. (Thankfully, they didn’t stick!) When they came out and I tried one, I thought, “Well, they’re not the prettiest of the bunch….but Sally did an awesome job coming up with this recipe!” Then I made my glaze, and for some reason, it came out a lot browner than yours in the picture. I’m guessing my proportions were off, but it was still super tasty! Thanks again for providing me with a perfect recipe! 🙂 

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