Cinnamon Brown Sugar Pop-Tarts
So, I was recently binge-watching the Gourmet Makes series on Bon Appétit’s YouTube channel. After watching the episode where Claire made gourmet Pop-Tarts I became obsessed with the idea of making vegan pop-tarts. So, here we are.
P.S. Raise your hand if you’re also obsessed with Bon Appétit’s YouTube channel. It’s kind of the freaking best.
Now, I’ve made these multiple times now with varying degrees of success. I knew I wanted to use my vegan pie crust recipe for the pastry. That worked super well on the first go-around. But, the filling was another story. I wanted to make cinnamon brown sugar pop-tarts, because, in my humble opinion, they’re the superior pop-tart flavor. Feel free to fight me on this if you want.
However, on my first attempt I literally just tried to put some cinnamon and brown sugar in the center of the pastry and ended up with a bizarrely chewy pop-tart. The brown sugar basically turned to chewy caramel. Everyone actually seemed to really like it that way, but my partner and I were not sold.
Moving forward I decided to try to imitate a sort of cinnamon roll filling by incorporating softened butter for texture, cornstarch for thickening, and some applesauce for moisture. This created a more gooey filling, which we ended up loving.
Now, onto the recipe. If you make these be sure to take a pic and tag me on Instagram @Bitchy_Baker <3
Cinnamon Brown Sugar Pop-Tarts
Yield: 10 Pastries
Time: 45 Minutes Prep Time + 1 Hour Chill Time + 30 Minutes Bake Time
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
12 tablespoons vegan butter, frozen and cut into ½ inch cubes (see note)
5-8 tablespoons ice cold water
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons apple butter or applesauce
2 tablespoons softened vegan butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For Brushing: About 1/3 cup non-dairy milk
1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1.) Make Pastry: Add the flour, sugar, and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a couple of times to combine dry ingredients. Add in the chunks of cold butter and pulse the food processor a few times, just until the butter is the size of peas. Don’t pulse it too finely as it will continue to be worked once you add the liquid. Begin to add in the ice cold water, add about 4 tablespoons to start, then pulse the food processor to just begin working it in. Add in more water, a tablespoon at a time until the dough just forms into a ball, pulsing between each addition. Wrap the dough in some plastic wrap or place in a Ziploc bag. Chill the dough in a refrigerator for at least one hour before moving onto the next step.
2.) Make Filling: Combine all of the filling ingredients in a bowl until combined. Set aside until ready to use.
3.) Roll and Cut the Pastry: Using a rolling pin, roll the pastry out into a large rectangle. The dough should just under 1/8 inch in thickness. Carefully cut out rectangles that are about 3 x 4 inches in size. You should get about 20 rectangles in total, enough for 10 pop-tarts.
4.) Assemble the Pop-Tarts: To assemble, lightly brush a rectangle of dough with some non-dairy milk. Place about 1 tablespoon of filling into the center of the rectangle. Spread the filling, leaving about a centimeter border around the edge. Place another dough rectangle on top, lining up the edges and pressing down lightly around the border to seal. Use a fork to crimp all the way around the edge of the pop-tart. Trim the edges slightly to straighten them up, if desired. Use the fork to pierce the top of the pop-tart a few times, making sure you pierce down into the filling, this will allow steam to escape to the pop-tarts so they don’t split and ooze during baking. Brush the top of the pop-tart with some additional non-dairy milk. Place onto a parchment-lined baking tray. Repeat these steps with the remaining dough and filling.
5.) Bake: Bake the pop-tarts on a center rack of a preheated oven at 375 F for 25-30 minutes, or until they’re golden brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
6.) Make the Icing: Combine all icing ingredients together, starting with just 1 tablespoon of non-dairy milk. Adjust consistency with a bit more non-dairy milk, as needed to reach a thick but spreadable consistency.
7.) Ice the Pop-Tarts: Spread a bit of the icing over the tops of each pop-tart. Allow to set for about 15 minutes. Serve and enjoy!
1.) Use a stick-style vegan butter, not the spreadable kind. Spreadable vegan butters have a much higher water-content and are too soft for making flaky pastry.
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