My homemade Brown Sugar Pop-Tarts are perfectly crisp, buttery, and not too sweet. They’re surprisingly simple to make with a few pantry staples. Guaranteed to spark some childhood nostalgia! Recipe includes a how-to video.
The BEST Pop-Tart Flavor: Brown Sugar Cinnamon!
When the pop-tart craving strikes, what flavor do you reach for? Are you a classic strawberry pop-tart kind of person? Chocolate pop-tarts? , For me, it’s the brown sugar pop-tarts every. time. Naturally, I had to come up with a homemade version, and honestly, I am pretty much obsessed with how they turned out!
These brown sugar pop-tarts have a perfectly flavored brown sugar filling; it has just the right accent of cinnamon, isn’t not too sweet (tempering it with a bit of flour helps!) and has the perfect texture. The filling is wrapped in a buttery, crisp, flaky crust (made from my pie dough) and topped off with a smooth and shiny brown sugar glaze. They’re true pop-tart perfection!
There are a lot of steps in this recipe, but it’s far from complicated. I’m going to break down each part and describe it in detail so you won’t have any issues. If you’re still feeling overwhelmed, you can always make the dough in advance so you don’t have to do everything the same day. Trust me though, these pop-tarts are well worth the effort!
What You Need
You’ll be pleased to know that these homemade brown sugar pop-tarts require very basic ingredients you’ll (hopefully) already have on hand. Here are the important ones:
- Unsalted butter. Very cold butter creates the best, flakiest pop-tart crust! I typically freeze mine for 15 minutes before adding it to my food processor to make sure it’s nice and cold.
- Sour cream. You may remember this secret ingredient from my pie crust; it makes a foolproof dough with no guesswork or ice water required. And no, it will not make your crust taste like sour cream!
- Brown sugar. I prefer to use light brown sugar for the filling and dark brown sugar for the glaze. While you could use light brown sugar for both, I preferred the dark brown in the glaze because it gave a better color and flavor. I don’t recommend using all dark brown sugar though; the filling will be overpoweringly sweet and rich if you do.
- Corn syrup. I know some of you cringe when you see this ingredient listed in my recipes, but I want to gently remind you that corn syrup is not the same thing as high fructose corn syrup! I love using corn syrup in the glaze for these brown sugar pop-tarts to make it shiny and firm. Yes, you can leave it out, but your glaze won’t set as nicely or be as pretty!
SAM’S TIP: Make these brown sugar pop-tarts with your kids! They will love cutting with the cookie cutter, portioning the filling, and drizzling the glaze.
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Brown Sugar Pop-Tarts
- Combine the dry ingredients in a food processor, then drop in the cold butter and pulse to cut it in.
- Add the sour cream and pulse until the dough clings together, then transfer it to a lightly floured surface.
- Form the dough into a 1″ thick disc, wrap it in plastic, and chill it for 30-60 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the filling. Combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt, then stir in the vanilla and melted butter until you have a paste-like mixture.
SAM’S TIP: If you don’t have a food processor, use a pastry cutter (or fork/knife) to cut the butter into the flour mixture and stir in the sour cream by hand. It’s a bit more work, but it will still work fine!
- Roll your dough into a large rectangle, cut out your pop-tart shapes (a cookie cutter makes this super easy and makes your cuts nice and uniform, I’ll link to the one I use in the recipe), and place half of them onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Brush the rectangles with egg wash, add the filling, then top with the remaining rectangles.
- Use a fork to crimp the edges of each pop-tart, brush them with egg wash, then poke a few holes in the top for ventilation.
- Bake the pop-tarts on a parchment lined baking sheet, let them cool completely, and top with glaze.
SAM’S TIP: If your dough starts to crack while rolling, take a break and let the dough warm up a little more. This is more likely to happen if you chilled for the dough for 60+ minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
I suppose you could use the filling and icing with puff pastry instead of pie crust. You’d need one batch of my puff pastry or two sheets of store-bought puff pastry to equal the amount of dough in this recipe. Doing this will make something closer to a toaster strudel than a pop-tart though!
I haven’t tried this myself, but I think substituting a 1:1 gluten-free flour in this recipe would work just fine. If you try this, please let me know how it goes in the comments below!
Store your brown sugar pop-tarts in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days. You can also freeze them for several months.
These brown sugar pop-tarts pack nicely in lunchboxes and would make a great back-to-school snack! 🍎
Let’s bake together! I’ll be walking you through all the steps in my written recipe and video below! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube and Facebook
Homemade Brown Sugar Pop-Tart Recipe
Brown Sugar Filling
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon water
Brown Sugar Glaze
- 1 cup powdered sugar (125g)
- 2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar firmly packed (can use light brown if you don’t have dark but the color won’t be as dark)
- 1-2 Tablespoons milk I use whole milk, if using lower-fat milk you may need a bit less
- 1 Tablespoon light corn syrup
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Combine flour, sugar, and salt in the basin of a food processor and pulse to combine.
- Scatter butter pieces over the surface and pulse in 1-second increments until butter is cut into the flour mixture. Pea-sized butter pieces may remain.
- Add sour cream and pulse again just until dough begins to cling together. Turn dough out onto a clean, lightly floured surface and work into a 1” thick disk. Wrap in plastic wrap or wax paper and refrigerate for at least 30-60 minutes. Shortly before you are ready to roll out your dough, prepare the filling and egg wash:
- Stir together brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt until combined.
- Add melted butter and vanilla extract and stir until combined and mixture is paste-like. Set aside.
- Prepare egg wash by whisking together egg and water until well-combined.
- Preheat oven to 400F (205C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Transfer chilled pastry dough to a clean, lightly floured surface and use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll dough into a rectangle that’s between ⅛-¼” thick (0.5cm). Cut into approximately 2 ½”x4” (6x10cm) rectangles (you can use a sharp knife or pizza wheel, but I like to use the cookie cutter I linked to in the equipment section in the recipe card).
- Place one cut-out rectangle on prepared baking sheet and lightly brush with an even coating of egg wash.
- Scoop 1 ½ Tablespoons of filling and drop it into the center of the rectangle. Cover with another rectangle cut-out of pastry dough and use a fork to crimp the edges closed to seal. Brush the surface of the pop-tart with egg wash and use a toothpick or the tip of a sharp knife to poke 6-8 holes through the top layer of dough (to vent the pop-tarts).
- Repeat with remaining dough until you have formed all of your pop-tarts. Space the pastries at least 2” apart on baking sheet, you’ll likely need to bake two trays, keep the second tray in the refrigerator while the first one bakes.
- Transfer to 400F (205C) preheated oven and bake 15-17 minutes, until beginning to turn golden brown. Allow to cool on baking sheet before topping with icing.
Brown Sugar Glaze
- Whisk together powdered sugar, brown sugar (break up any clumps in the brown sugar), 1 Tablespoon of milk, corn syrup, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. Add more milk as needed, a small splash at a time, until icing is smooth and the ribbon of icing that drizzles off the whisk holds its shape for a second or two before dissolving back into the bowl.
- Drizzle icing over pop- tart and allow to harden before serving and enjoying.
GlazeYou can omit the corn syrup but the glaze will not set as firm and will not be as shiny. For the milk, I use whole milk but any type will work, if using a lower-fat milk you will likely need less than is called for.
ToastingI don’t recommend toasting these pop-tarts if you’ve added icing, it will melt off in your toaster! Instead, if you’d like them warm, heat them briefly in the microwave before enjoying.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.