Sneak Preview: Try this fun pop tart recipe with a whole grain and oatmeal crust. Fill it with a brown sugar-cinnamon and raisin filling or one of the other variations listed. Don’t miss the ingenious hack for rolling out the crust.
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Flaky dough containing oatmeal and some whole wheat flour surrounds a sweet filling of your choice. These pop tarts can be frozen ahead and baked fresh for breakfast.
If you’re thinking “too much trouble,” —don’t go away just yet.
If you are dough-challenged… never fear! I have devised an easy method for making these deliciously flaky and tasty pop-tarts with you in mind.
Seven Reasons Why You Will Have Fun with This Recipe
- You can vary ingredients according to your tastes.
- You control the portion size.
- Unsurpassed freshness
- Can be frozen for baking when needed
- Suitable for breakfast or dessert
- Oatmeal and whole wheat add flavor and protein.
- Not just for kids
Happy Bakers Speak Up
“I have to say that I absolutely love these, and so does my 2-year-old! I had to give up store-bought poptarts b/c they aren’t vegetarian, so I was thrilled to find this recipe! I did make a couple of minor changes to use what I had on hand (1 cup whole wheat pastry flour instead of the white whole wheat and oatmeal). Thank you so much for sharing!”–KATE
What Makes These Pop-Tarts Irresistible?
Most homemade pop-tart recipes have more fat than my conscience or waistline can tolerate. But it cannot be avoided entirely. Pop-tarts are, after all, just pie crust with a little filling.
However, I created a crust incorporating oatmeal and whole wheat flour. I used part white whole wheat flour because of its mild flavor and better behavior in pastry. Regular whole wheat tasted too much like cardboard. The oatmeal lends a wonderful nutty flavor.
You could also substitute whole wheat pastry flour for white whole wheat flour.
Instead of the usual brown sugar filling, try all-fruit preserves.
The recipe calls for shortening (stick form stored in the freezer is SO convenient) because it makes a flakier product than all butter. If you are averse to shortening, you can substitute the same amount of butter with good results. Be sure to freeze the tarts before baking, or they will become melty and greasy.
Do I Need Special Equipment?
The only special equipment you need is two zippered gallon-size plastic bags and parchment paper. See the pictures below.
Pop tarts are a special treat and/or fun project for your kids, grandkids, or class. Consider letting them help.
Three Pop-Tart Filling Variations
- Brown sugar-cinnamon filling seems to be a favorite, so I included the directions in the recipe below.
- Try thick jelly or preserves–but expect it to leak a bit during baking.
- Check out the picture below for an awesome filling using a slice of cold cream cheese and a spoonful of blueberry preserves or lemon curd. You might call them “Cheesecake Pop-Tarts.” Not sure if your kids will like them, but adults go crazy for them.
How To Make the Oatmeal and Whole Wheat Crust in a Food Processor
You don’t have to have a food processor, but it makes for much faster mixing. If making the dough by hand, I recommend you use oat flour instead of oatmeal. Mix dough the same way you would a traditional pie crust.
In another small bowl, whisk together buttermilk and egg. Pour over the flour mixture and pulse 5-7 times. Remove the lid and blade. Use your hands or a spatula to press the dough together. All crumbs should come together into a ball.
📌Kitchen secret📌 for an Easy Way To Roll Out the Crust
- Divide the dough in half and place each in a gallon-size zippered plastic bag.
- Place the dough ball at the center of the bag. Begin to roll out the dough inside the plastic bag. Roll dough evenly to all four corners.
- Open the bag and re-close it to remove air or wrinkles. Flip the bag and roll on the reverse side to help with wrinkles. Try to roll it as evenly as possible.
- Holding the bag up to a window or light will show you where the dough may be too thin or thick. Place the flat dough in the freezer.
- Repeat the process with the second dough ball.
- Trim the edge of the dough-filled bag on every side using kitchen scissors.
- Use kitchen shears to cut off the tiniest strip on all four sides.
- Use a pizza cutter or scissors to cut the squares with the plastic still intact.
- When squares are frozen hard, take them from the freezer. Remove plastic from 12 squares and divide between 2 cookie sheets covered with parchment paper.
- Place a spoonful of filling in the middle of each square.
- Remove plastic from the remaining 12 squares. and place one on top of each square with filling. If the dough becomes unmanageable, return it to the freezer until hard. Seal squares with a fork.
- At this point, you can bake or freeze them. If freezing, place tarts in the freezer on a cookie sheet unwrapped until frozen hard. Cut paper around each pop tart and place it into a plastic container or bag with the paper still attached.
- When ready to bake, place pop-tart with attached parchment paper on a cookie sheet and bake immediately.
Bake in the oven preheated to 425˚F for 15-20 minutes. If you plan to toast later, bake only until very lightly browned. Otherwise, bake until golden brown. Frost if desired when cooled.
Parting Thoughts: Thanks to Smitten Kitchen for giving me a starting point regarding the brown sugar cinnamon filling. Raisins are optional. Dates would be awesome, too. Chopping them finely will fool most raisin haters and keep your tarts from being lumpy.
Also, thanks to Dorie Greenspan for giving me the idea to roll out sticky dough inside a plastic bag. I use the same method with my Pink Shortbread Cookies.
Help at Your Fingertips: For questions or suggestions, email Paula at saladinajar.com. If you need help, I’m happy to troubleshoot via email (faster than leaving a comment). Attach pictures and as many details as possible for the best advice.
A Healthier Pop Tart Recipe with a Whole Grain and Oatmeal Crust
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- ⅓ cup (73 g) brown sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon raisins optional
- ½ cup (45 g) quick-cooking oats not instant or old-fashioned
- ½ cup (60 g) white whole wheat flour milder and better for pastry than regular whole wheat
- 1 cup (120 g) unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ⅓ cup (68 g) cold or frozen shortening if you are averse to shortening, butter may be substituted. However, pop-tarts should be frozen before baking.
- 2 tablespoons (28 g) cold butter chopped
- 1 large (50 g) egg
- ⅓ cup (76 g) buttermilk or plain fat-free yogurt
- ½ cup (60 g) powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 1 tablespoon coffee or milk
- Add all ingredients for filling: 1/3 cup (73 g) brown sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons (1 ½ teaspoons) unbleached, all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons (1 ½ teaspoons) cinnamon, 1 tablespoon raisins to a food processor bowl and process for 1 minute or until raisins are chopped fairly small. Pour into a small bowl and set aside.
- Combine 1/2 cup (45 g) quick-cooking oats, 1/2 cup (60 g) white whole wheat flour and 1 cup (120 g) unbleached, all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon sugar in the bowl of a food processor and process for 15-20 seconds. Add 1/3 cup (68 g) cold or frozen shortening and 2 tablespoons (28 g) cold butter and pulse 12-15 times. The mixture should be coarse. Don’t go too far with this. You should have small but visible fat lumps throughout.
- In another small bowl, whisk together 1 large (50 g) egg and 1/3 cup (76 g) buttermilk or plain fat-free yogurt. Pour over the flour mixture and pulse 5-7 times. Remove the lid and blade. Use hands or a spatula to press the dough together. All crumbs should come together into a ball.
- Divide dough in half and place each into a separate gallon-size zippered plastic bag. Place the dough ball at the center of the bag.
- Begin to roll out with dough remaining in the plastic bag. Roll dough evenly to all four corners. Open the bag and re-close to remove air or wrinkles. Flip bag and roll on the reverse side to help with wrinkles. Try to roll it as evenly as possible. Holding the bag up to a window or light will show you where the dough may be too thin or thick. Place flat dough (still in the bag) in the freezer. Repeat process with second dough ball.
- When frozen hard, remove one bag of dough from the freezer. Let warm 2 minutes, + or -. The dough should not be so hard it breaks, but also not soft.
- Use kitchen shears to trim all 4 edges of the zippered bag. Use a pizza cutter or knife to lightly mark cutting lines for 12 equal rectangular pieces. Without removing from the bag, cut apart with kitchen shears.
- Proceed in this order: Cut bag in half. Cut each of those halves in half length-wise so you now have 4 long strips. Cut each of the 4 long strips into 3 equal lengths.
- Place squares in the freezer and repeat with the second bag. Place those squares back into the freezer for a few minutes until completely hard.
- When the crust squares are frozen hard, remove them from the freezer. Remove plastic from 12 squares and divide between 2 cookie sheets that have been covered with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- Place a spoonful of filling in the middle of each square. Remove plastic from the remaining 12 squares. and place one on top of each square with filling. If at any point, the dough becomes unmanageable, return it to the freezer until hard. Seal squares with a fork.
- At this point, you can bake them or freeze them. If freezing, place tarts in the freezer on a cookie sheet unwrapped until frozen hard. Cut paper around each pop tart and place it in a plastic container or a bag with the paper still attached.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 425˚F (220˚C).
- Place pop-tarts with attached parchment paper on a cookie sheet and bake immediately.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes. If you plan to toast later, bake only until very lightly browned. Otherwise, bake until golden brown. Frost if desired when cooled.
- 1. Mix ½ cup (60 g) powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon butter and 1 tablespoon coffee or milk (coffee gives a brown color).
All images and text ©️ Paula Rhodes for Salad in a Jar.com