Homemade Maple-Cinnamon Oat Pop Tarts

Maple-Cinnamon Oat Pop Tarts

Just like Spaghetti-os and Oatmeal Cream Pies, Pop Tarts are one of those things I loved when I was kid but have tried to stay away from as an adult. But since I had so much fun learning to make those other favorites at home, I figured it was time I finally attempted a Pop Tart. With the other recipes I was trying to make a homemade version that was close to the taste and texture of the originals. This time I wanted to make a healthier Pop Tart. But one that still, you know, tastes good. And while this recipe isn’t especially low fat (by my calculations it’s about the same as the store bought version), after some trial and error I feel like I came up with a satisfying compromise.

A Pop Tart is pretty much just pie crust with some type of filling, so the pastry dough is the most important part. I tried out several different “healthy” pie crust recipes first. Lesson learned: pie crust without butter SUCKS. It just does. But thanks to a tip from a reader (Thanks, Shel!), I figured out you can substitute healthier coconut oil for shortening. So while this dough does have butter, there’s no gross shortening and it’s still flaky and moist. Yay!

Maple-Cinnamon Oat Pop Tarts

To add more whole grain to the tarts I substituted some of the white flour for oat flour. I just really like the flavor that oat flour adds to baked goods and I think it works well with the maple-cinnamon filling. But don’t worry, you don’t need to go out and buy special flour, you can make your own oat flour just by grinding normal oats in a blender or food processor.

My favorite flavor of pop tarts when I was young was the brown sugar-cinnamon. Hands down. None of that fruity stuff, I wanted straight sugar! But I’ve grown up (a little bit) and while I’m still a sugar fiend, I’ve been trying to cut down on the processed sugar so I used maple syrup instead. The only part of the recipe where I broke my processed sugar rule was with the icing on top. My 8 year old self would not let me pass up icing these! But the icing has more maple syrup in it to give the tarts lots of maple-y flavor.

Maple-Cinnamon Oat Pop Tarts

Instead of using brown sugar for the filling, I used maple sugar. Maple sugar isn’t a very common ingredient in recipes, but dammit, it should be! It’s amazing! Imagine a concentrated, crystallized form of maple syrup. It’s a little courser than granulated sugar, but it tastes delicious and you can substitute it for sugar in any recipe. The downside is that it’s tough to find and a bit expensive, I had to order mine from Amazon. If you can’t get maple sugar, you can use brown sugar instead but if you love maple syrup this stuff is worth the effort to find it! When the sugar is baked, it melts and makes a warm, gooey maple-cinnamon center for these tarts.

This recipe is very simple and flexible. Feel free to use all white flour or substitute whole wheat (or another whole grain flour) instead the oat flour. The pastry dough only takes about 10 minutes to put together (and you can do most of it in a food processor); after it chills for a short time, roll it out and cut into rectangles. The possibilities for fillings are almost endless. Fill it with cinnamon-sugar, fruit preserves, chocolate, nutella or whatever you like!

Maple-Cinnamon Oat Pop Tarts

Maple-Cinnamon Oat Pop Tarts

from Back to the Cutting Board,
pastry dough adapted from Apron of Grace

Breakfast, Snack | Yield: 7 to 9 tarts
Prep time: 30 min | Cook time: 30 minutes | Total time: 1 hour 15 min

Ingredients

Pastry

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup oat flour (See recipes notes below)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into small cubes and chilled
  • 3 tbsp. coconut oil or shortening, chilled (measure out each tablespoon separately and chill along with the butter)
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 6 to 8 tbsp. ice water
  • 1 egg

Maple-Cinnamon Filling

  • 1/2 cup maple sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Maple Icing

  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 to 3 tbsp. maple syrup

Process

  1. Combine both flours and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Cut in pieces of chilled butter and coconut oil until the mixture is crumbly. You can do this in a food processor or with a pastry blender.
  3. Stir in the maple syrup.
  4. Add 1/4 cup of ice water, then add one tablespoon of water at a time until the mixture comes together into a ball. Knead lightly a few times until the dough is combined. Shape into a rectangle and cover with plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for 15 to 30 minutes. (This can be made the night before. Let dough soften up slightly before rolling it out.)
  5. While the dough is chilling, mix together the maple sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Line a large baking sheet with parchment.
  7. Separate the egg white into a small bowl and discard the yolk or save it for another use. Beat the egg white until frothy.
  8. Cutting the dough

    Remove the dough from the fridge and place on a lightly floured surface. If you have a small work surface, cut the dough in half and store the remaining half in the fridge until you need it. Roll the dough out in a large rectangle to about 1/8-inch thick. Cut into 3×4-inch rectangles. Tip: Use a small food container as a make-shift dough cutter.

  9. (The dough sticks together pretty easily, so if you have lots of dough remnants you should be able to piece enough together to get a few more tarts.)

  10. Making the tarts

    Transfer one rectangle to the baking sheet. Brush egg white around the top edge of the dough, about 1/2 inch all around. The egg white will help seal the two pieces of dough together. Add about two teaspoons of the cinnamon-sugar mixture in the middle. Brush egg white around the bottom edge of another rectangle and place it directly on top, pressing the edges together tightly. Use a fork to mark the edges of the tart on both sides. Then poke a few holes in the top piece of the tart to let steam escape. Repeat with remaining rectangles.

    Maple-Cinnamon Oat Pop Tarts

  11. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top and edges start to brown. Cool for about 5 minutes on the pan on a rack.
  12. While the tarts are cooling mix up the powdered sugar and maple syrup until smooth. The icing will be thick. When the tarts are still warm but not hot to the touch, spread a tablespoon or so of icing on top. Set aside for a minute and let the icing set. Serve tarts warm or at room temperature.

These are best right out of the oven, but they can be heated up the next day, about 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven (no need to preheat). Tarts that haven’t been iced can be toasted.

Recipe Notes:
* You can make your own oat flour by putting rolled oats (NOT quick oats) in a blender or food processor and processing until fine. Sift the flour to make sure there aren’t any bigger pieces of oat left in there.

* To make ahead of time, shape the tarts and freeze them individually. Pull out the tarts as needed and bake.

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24 Comments

  1. I loved Pop Tarts as a kid too..actually, I ate them all through college! These look amazign!

  2. I love your Spagetti-o’s recipe. My boyfriend and I make it all the time. So good. These sound great! I will definitely be making them soon. Thank you for sharing it!

  3. On my menu for next week!->RT @Emiline220: {new post} Homemade Maple-Cinnamon Oat Pop Tarts http://t.co/KR7iB9TV #recipe

  4. These look absolutely insane.

  5. This is the way a pop tart should be! I love maple sugar, and sometimes I get sooo in love with it that I refuse to use it. Weird? Yes, I know. It’s like I’m hoarding it for some special reason. I need to just start using it, because it sounds perfect in these pop tarts. I’m so glad the kid in you made you glaze them, too.

  6. Ohhhh, I will so be making these!!! pinned!

  7. I can’t wait to make these! The best flavor ever!

  8. margaret

    oh my god, these look fantastic. brown sugar was always my favorite flavor of pop tarts!

  9. I have a question about the maple syrup in the pastry…if I am using preserves for the inside, do I still need the syrup?

    • Hi Carla,

      Sorry for the late response, I just saw this comment. The maple syrup sweetens the pastry crust but I don’t see why you couldn’t skip it if you want. Especially if you’re going to put icing on top of it, since that would make it more than sweet enough for most people.

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  11. I have been trying to have less processed food in our home. This recipe is perfect! I used to love eating this exact poptart – even still ate it right before I got married 😉

  12. I love homemade Pop Tarts. I used to eat the store bought ones everyday, but now they don’t even taste good to my grown up taste buds. Homemade ones are the best. Yours are so pretty too!

  13. Loving these pretty Maple Cinnamon Oat Pop Tarts from @Emiline220! http://t.co/fhDKXgeWIV

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  15. I haven’t had a pop tart in years but maple-brown sugar were my fave too. I can’t wait to try this homemade version!!

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  17. I made maple sugar from our 2 trees in the front yard, one of which wasn’t even a maple tree. Granted, we were going for maple syrup, but there is a very fine line between achieving maple syrup and the crystallization point! Pretty easy, but takes time like anything else!

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  19. This was my favorite pop-tart flavor too growing up! How great to have a homemade recipe to try now 🙂

  20. Do you have the nutritional value for these?

  21. I don’t have oat flour nor the means to make any – I don’t have a place on my own yet-I travel. I try to keep the amount of all the different baking supplies I need to a low, but I did consider buying some oat flour but where I shop didn’t have any. Can I just use another cup of all purpose flour? I know it won’t taste exactly the same but do you think that would be alright?

  22. Jeannette

    This sounds really good. I like just about anything with the word ‘maple’ attached. My whole freshman year of college, I ate pop tarts for breakfast. It’s a wonder my teeth didn’t fall out from all that sugar or that I didn’t gain 1000 pounds! Anyway, now I’m gluten free. While I can put the gluten free oats in the blender like you said, can I use these with gluten free flour instead of all purpose?
    Thank you again!

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