I am telling you that you can make delicious Homemade Pop Tarts! And I have 3 different flavors for you to try: frosted strawberry, brown sugar cinnamon, and cinnamon apple pie. There is no long list of weird ingredients, no box mix, only a couple of simple pantry staples. The best part is that these pop tarts are not only gluten-free, but vegan (dairy-free and egg-free) as well. How about that!
It is astonishing what you can do with a simple pie crust. Have you seen our Apple Crisp Pie or our Baked Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake or our super easy Vegan Custard Tart? We also have a delicious chocolate pie crust turned into a decadent Peach Galette. Not to mention this yummy not only gluten-free, but OIL-FREE from scratch Gingerbread Pie Crust.
Are pop tarts vegan and gluten-free?
As far as I know only 3 flavors are vegan: unfrosted strawberry, unfrosted blueberry and unfrosted brown sugar cinnamon. However, they have so many ingredient I wish they weren’t there like high fructose corn syrup, palm oil or whether the food coloring of red 40 or yellow 6 is. I usually prefer to know what I am eating.
But more importantly none of them are gluten-free. Don’t sweat it though I got you covered with my delicious homemade not only vegan but gluten-free as well Pop Tarts. No weird ingredients you cannot pronounce or don’t know where to buy.
Ingredients for homemade pop tarts
So I have this Flaky Gluten-free Vegan Pie Crust I usually use to make sweet and savory pies and cheesecakes, but little did I know first that it is perfect to turn it into Pop Tart. If you don’t need gluten-free, just make your favorite pie crust with all purpose flour. However, here are the ingredients for our nutritious, gluten-free pie crust:
This recipe does have vegan butter in it, hence it will be flakier but not oil-free if that part is important to you. But this dough is easy-to-make, easy-to-roll, easy-to-handle with only 5 ingredients, and no weird ingredients like xanthan gum or psyllium husk or pricey store-bought GF flour mix. So what do you need then?
- buckwheat flour
- rice flour / oat flour
- tapioca starch
- cane sugar
- butter (vegan or dairy-free)
How to make Gluten-free pop tart dough
First, add all dry ingredients to the food processor (buckwheat flour, rice flour, cane sugar and tapioca starch). Pulse once to combine. Then, add the cold dairy-free butter in cubes and pulse/mix until you have a crumble-like texture. The last step, is to add cold water 1 Tbsp at a time. It depends on whether you have whole grain buckwheat or not, white or brown rice flour or which starch you are using, the liquid amount may vary.
Rolling out the dough
Visit my Flaky Gluten-free Vegan Pie Crust post for my top tips to roll out the dough and answers to all your questions may it be about troubleshooting or substitutions. What you absolutely need to know is the following:
- Separate the dough in half. One for the bottom and one for the top.
- Chill the dough in the fridge for 15-20 minutes. It helps with binding the ingredients. So chill it for a bit even if you feel that the dough is easy to handle.
- Roll out one ball on a non-stick parchment paper or baking sheet directly. That way you don’t need to transfer it anywhere. I usually use rice flour for dusting as it has a grainy texture and the dough is just sliding so easily on it.
- I use rolling mat with measurements (similar to this one*) to roll out the other ball for the top layer. If you find that the dough sticks to the rolling pin dust it with rice flour or cover the dough with a cling foil or saran wrap and roll it like that.
- Never go thinner than ¼-inch (0,5 cm). Try to roll it in a shape of a large square or rectangle so it is easier to cut. No worries you can collect the excess dough, re-shape it and roll it out again to make more pop tarts.
- Don’t be afraid to patch it up! If you tear it somewhere or you get a hole, just patch it with a little bit of dough. Smooth it with your fingers, roll over it and it will still be perfect at the end.
Cutting, filling and baking
You have your dough all rolled out now! Let’s cut! Use a sharp knife and cut out 2.5 x 4 inch (6 x 9 cm) rectangles. Or if you want to be creative, take any large cookie cutter, and make as many pairs as you like. You can do squares, hearts, circles or make it festive by choosing a themed cookie cutter like Halloween, Christmas etc. If you need to transfer the cut-outs from your rolling mat to your baking sheet use a slotted turner* and gently lift them up.
Place your filling in the middle of the cut-out (photo #1). Cover it with another cut-out and use your hands to gently push the edges together (photo #2). Then use a fork to really seal it (photo #3). Poke a couple of holes to let the filling breath a bit (photo #4). The pop tarts may pop despite the holes, but I guess that is why they are called pop tarts. Bake them in a pre-heated oven on 350 Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) for 20-25 minutes until they become crispy and get very light brown edges.
Vegan pop tart fillings
I tried and tested this recipe with 3 different fillings. All of them were absolutely delicious!
Jam or fruit preserve
If you cut pop tarts in the size of 2.5 x 4 inch (6 x 9 cm) rectangles, you can add 2 tsp tops of your favorite jam. May it be strawberry, blueberry, sour cherry, peach. Whatever you have on hand. A quick note though: When you make vegan pop tarts with jam filling, make sure not to over-fill them. Due to their sugar content and to the high temperature in the oven, the jam will be boiling and will pop the tarts open if you add too much. Poking holes on the top helps, but not necessarily. They will still be delicious though.
Brown sugar cinnamon
Take a small bowl and mix together cane sugar and cinnamon. If you cut pop tarts in the size of 2.5 x 4 inch (6 x 9 cm) rectangles, you need ½ tsp cane sugar and ⅛ tsp cinnamon to fill one. This is the easiest filling to make for sure. No risk of over-boiling or popping like with jams and preserves.
Cinnamon apple pie
Wash and peel the apples. I use an apple corer and slicer* to finish fast. Then grate the apple pieces, add cinnamon and cane sugar. Mix it a bit and fill your pop tarts. If you cut pop tarts in the size of 2.5 x 4 inch (6 x 9 cm) rectangles, you need approx. 1 Tbsp grated apple, ¼ tsp cane sugar and ⅛ tsp cinnamon to fill one.
Frosting aka glaze
Some people like them frosted, some like them unfrosted. The easiest glaze you can make that is both vegan and gluten-free makes up of powdered sugar (confectionary sugar) and water.
Take a small bowl. Sift the sugar through a sieve to avoid any hard lumps. Add water (or dairy-free milk to get it really white). Mix it with a whisk. Drizzle it or pipe it on your pop tarts. You can further decorate them with sprinkles.
This Homemade Pop Tarts recipe is dairy-free and egg-free. It is also suitable for vegan, vegetarian, nut-free, soy-free and gluten-free diets.
⇒ If you need an Easy 7-day VEGAN MEAL PLAN, click to download our free e-book with a shopping list.
More vegan gluten-free dessert recipes
You can browse through our Vegan and Gluten-free Dessert Recipes or check out
- Gluten-free Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
- Juicy Caramel Apple Crisp Pie
- Gluten-free Plum Crumble
- Vegan Gluten-free Chocolate Cake
- Super Fudgy Vegan Gluten-free Brownies
Homemade Pop Tarts (Vegan Gluten-free)
Optional fillings (see notes for instructions)
- Strawberry jam
- Apple (grated)
- Cane sugar or coconut sugar
- 1 cup Powdered sugar (confectionary sugar)
- 1 Tbsp Water or dairy-free milk
Mixing the dough
- Add all dry ingredients to the food processor (buckwheat flour, rice flour, cane sugar and tapioca starch). Pulse once to combine.
- Add the cold dairy-free butter in cubes and pulse/mix until you have a crumble-like texture.
- Add cold water 1 Tbsp at a time. The dough is perfect if 1) you can easily form a ball without any crumbles; 2) it is soft to the touch, but does not stick to your fingers and 3) you can easily scrape the dough out of the container without any trace.
- Chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
Rolling the dough
- Take a non-stick parchment paper or a rolling mat. Place to dough in the middle and cover it with a cling foil or saran wrap. Roll the dough out not thinner than 0.5 inch in between them. Try to aim for a rectangle or square shape. It doesn't matter if the edges are rough. If you tear it somewhere or you get a hole, just patch it with a little bit of dough. Smooth it with your fingers, roll over it, and it will still be perfect at the end.
- If you ready with the rolling, peel off the top cling foil. Use a sharp knife and cut out 2.5 x 4 inch (6 x 9 cm) rectangles. Or if you want to be creative, take any large cookie cutter, and make as many pairs as you like. Use a slotted turner to gently transfer the cut-outs to a sheet pan with parchment paper or to a non-stick baking sheet.
Cutting, filling and baking
- Pre-heat oven to 350 Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).
- Place your filling in the middle of the cut-out. Cover it with another cut-out and use your hands to gently push the edges together. Then use a fork to really seal it Poke a couple of holes to let the filling breath a bit. (For filling instructions, see notes.)
- Bake them for 20-25 minutes until they become crispy and get very light brown edges.
- Drizzle the glaze over the pop tarts and decorate them with sprinkles if you want.
- Even more tips in the post above the recipe card!
- Make sure you use cold butter and not room temperature.
- Add the butter to the food processor at last in 1×1 inch cubes so that it doesn’t stick to the sides.
- Use a silicone / non-stick parchment paper. If you don’t have one, sprinkle it with a little bit of rice flour before rolling.
- If the dough sticks to your rolling pin, use a cling foil or another silicone / non-stick parchment paper on top.
- You can leave the dough in the fridge overnight and roll out the next day. No problem.
- Cane sugar can be substituted for any dry sugar like coconut sugar. Liquid sugar like maple syrup will make the dough too wet to roll out, so might need to add more flour to get to the same consistency.