Everyone ate Pop-Tarts at least once as a kid. They are a classic processed breakfast item that all parents loved because of how easy they were to make before dropping the kids off at school. Throw a Pop-Tart in the toaster and the kids would eat them in the car on the way to their first class.
As adults, we tend to buy less of those processed quick foods in favor of healthier, more whole options. Eating breakfast with large amounts of sugar and carbs isn’t the way to start the day off anymore. You’ll find yourself with stomach pains before your first morning meeting.
Making a healthier Pop-Tart with whole, homemade ingredients is the best way to have a healthy, quick, and nostalgic breakfast on your way out the door. Each element is made homemade, from the crust to the filling, to the frosting. And yet, these vegan Pop-Tarts taste just like the original!
Pop-Tarts are not inherently vegan, so by making a few simple swaps, so many more people can enjoy these pastries. Butter is swapped out with vegan butter, raw sugar is replaced with refined sugar, and it’s recommended to use vegan sprinkles for that festive topping associated with traditional Pop-Tarts.
The dough begins as any pie dough would. It is a mix of whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour because the texture from the whole wheat flour adds a depth and chewiness that has a great mouthfeel. Add the flours to a food processor to let the machine do all the work for you. Add your vegan butter and cold water, then pulse until the dough forms a ball. Exactly like pie dough!
The filling is a homemade thick jam. Strawberries are used here, but you can use any fruit that you like. To ensure the filling is not too sweet, only 1 tablespoon of raw sugar is added. Save about 1 tablespoon of filling to add to the powdered sugar to make the icing. This way, you have strawberry filling along with strawberry icing.
Ice the Pop-Tarts once they are out of the oven and completely cooled. These vegan Pop-Tarts freeze well, so pop one in the toaster on a morning that you don’t have much time. They are the perfect handheld breakfast that will bring you right back to childhood, but vegan!
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Make the strawberry compote first. To a saucepan, add the frozen berries and 1 tablespoon of the raw sugar. You may need to add a splash of water to get everything going. Cook for 5-8 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly. Allow to thicken and then remove from the heat. Set aside to cool.
Add your flours to a food processor along with the salt. Pulse a few times to combine the dry ingredients. Then add the cold vegan butter and process until the butter is the size of small peas. Then, as the mixer is running, add the water 1 tablespoon at a time. Stop the mixer when the dough forms into a ball.
Remove the dough onto a floured board. Shape into a disc and then roll with a rolling pin into a rectangle. Be sure that the dough is ¼ to ⅛-inch in thickness.
Cut the dough into equal-sized squares and place the squares onto the prepared baking sheet. Place 1 tablespoon of the filling in the middle of half of the square pieces. Using some water and your finger, wet the sides of the dough all around the filling. Then place a bare square of dough on top of the filling. Crimp with a fork to ensure full closure. Repeat with the rest of the pastries.
Poke a few holes into the center of each Pop-Tart so that air can escape during baking. Brush with some melted vegan butter and top with the rest of the raw sugar.
Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Once cooled, make the icing. With any remaining strawberry filling, mix that with the powdered sugar and 1 tbsp of water. Whisk together until the icing is smooth. Drizzle on top of each pastry. Top with sprinkles if desired, then serve.
Store in the freezer for up to 1 month or at room temperature in a sealed container for up to 3 days.