Filed Under: Breakfast | Pastry

Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts

By Tessa Arias
  |  
August 9th, 2022

You'll never buy Pop-Tarts again after making my homemade Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts! Warm, buttery, and flaky pastry, brown sugar cinnamon filling, and a cinnamon glaze on top that sets just like the original.

Yield: 12 Pop Tarts

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: These aren't sickly sweet like the store-bought Pop Tarts! Brown sugar cinnamon filling wrapped in a warm, buttery pastry is heavenly. The brown sugar and cinnamon flavors complement each other perfectly. Texture: Buttery, flaky pastry with a slightly crunchy golden crust. The top of the pastry gets frosted with a smooth brown sugar glaze that makes me drool to even think about. Ease: Rolling out the dough and forming the pop tarts takes a little time, but it could actually be a fun activity to do with kids! Appearance: I mean, look for yourself. How adorable are these?! Pros: Great for after-school snacks for the kids. Or a tasty anytime snack for adults too, really. Cons: None. Would I make this again? Yes!

These Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts are probably the best way I can think of to start any day.

copycat frosted brown sugar cinnamon pop tarts on parchment paper with cinnamon sticks

Buttery, flaky pastry. Filling made of a tasty combo of brown sugar and cinnamon. Cinnamon glaze on top. The flavor is out of this world. SO much better than store bought!

It doesn’t get better than this homemade from-scratch version of the famous toaster pastry!!

homemade frosted brown sugar pop tarts on a wire rack with a bowl of icing next to them

The whole family will LOVE this recipe. These Homemade Brown Sugar Pop Tarts are especially tasty as an after-school treat. Or pack them into your kids’ lunchboxes for a special surprise they won’t forget.

How to Make Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts

What are Pop Tarts?

Pop Tarts are sweet pastries, made from two rectangular pastry crusts, sandwiched together and filled with a wide assortment of sweet fillings, and typically finished with a sweet icing glaze on top. They are known for being a favorite quick and sweet breakfast treat. Pop-Tarts are a typical childhood favorite, and can be found in any American supermarket. They are available in some other countries in supermarkets or specialty stores, too.

Homemade vs. Store-bought Brown Sugar Pop Tarts:

The levels of flavor, flakiness, and frosting simply don’t compare when enjoying a scratch made DIY pop tart vs. a store-bought one. The latter almost looks like cardboard and has such a measly layer of frosting. For a special treat everyone will go crazy for, homemade is the way to go.

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Filling Ingredients:

  • Light brown sugar – can’t be substituted with granulated sugar. Adds the perfect amount of sweetness and moisture to the filling.
  • Ground cinnamon – this warming spice is what makes the pop tarts so good! Brown sugar and cinnamon are the perfect combo.
  • Salt – just a bit to balance out the sweetness.
  • All-purpose flour – by itself, brown sugar will liquify in the oven and cool into a brittle, caramel-like substance. We add a small amount of all-purpose flour in order to soak up the melting brown sugar and keep it from escaping.

Frosting Ingredients for Brown Sugar Pop Tarts:

  • Powdered sugar – this thickens and sweetens the glaze.
  • Milk – just enough to make it pourable but not so much that it’s runny.
  • Corn syrup – this helps the glaze set up nicely and dry on top of the pop tart, so it’s not wet to the touch. Corn syrup is unfairly demonized and really just misunderstood. At the end of the day it’s an invert sugar (meaning that it’s a sugar that’s liquid at room temperature). Corn syrup is not the same as high fructose corn syrup. If you prefer to skip it altogether, just note that the glaze will stay pretty wet and won’t dry or harden fully, so you won’t be able to store the pop tarts stacked on top of each other without the glaze smearing.
  • Vanilla extract – the aroma alone tells our brain something delicious is about to happen.
  • Cinnamon – a key flavor ingredient! Adding it to the pop tart icing allows the full flavor of this spice to really shine.

Instructions for How to Make Homemade Brown Sugar Pop Tarts:

  1. Prepare your pans. Line two baking pans with sheets of parchment paper.
  2. Make the dough. In a food processor or large bowl, add the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Pulse lightly. Add the cubed butter and pulse. Pour in the cold water and honey.
  3. Roll out the dough. Lightly flour a work surface. Shape the dough into a 1-inch thick, 7-inch diameter circle (use a ruler for total accuracy!). Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a rectangle. Cut the dough into 3-inch by 4-inch rectangles.
  4. Assemble the Pop Tarts. Brush the dough lightly with water, ensuring that the edges get wet. Fill each center with 1 heaping teaspoon of brown sugar filling. Cover each filled pastry with a second piece of dough and crimp the edges together with a fork to seal the Pop Tart.
  5. Make the egg wash and bake. Mix the egg and water. Brush each filled rectangle with egg wash. Bake until the crust is golden brown and pastry is fully baked. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
  6. Make the glaze. Stir together the sifted powdered sugar, milk, corn syrup, vanilla extract, and cinnamon.
  7. Frost the Pop Tarts. After the Pop Tarts have cooled completely, glaze each Pop Tart. Enjoy with a glass of milk!

Tip for Homemade Pop Tarts: Keep pastry ingredients cold!

Just like most typical pie or pastry dough recipes, temperature is important here. Make sure you’re working with cold butter and water. This prevents the butter from melting and ensures your dough is nice and flaky once baked. As with any pastry, be careful not to overmix so your pastry doesn’t end up rubbery!

Can I make one big Pop Tart instead?

Yes, you can definitely opt for one giant Pop Tart instead of individual sized Pop Tarts!  The measurements and ingredients will all be the same.  Instead, roll the dough into a large even rectangle about 1/4″ thick.  Take a ruler and measure approximately where the middle of your dough would be and cut in half.  Brush the edges of the dough with water, spread out all of the filling, cover the pastry, crimp the edges and egg wash.  Bake until golden brown.  When the pastry is cool top with the glaze and cut into shareable pieces with a knife.

Can I reheat these Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts in a toaster?

We haven’t tried that, but I wouldn’t recommend it! Real Pop-Tarts contain a bunch of artificial ingredients that are designed to keep intact and not melt their way into your toaster; these homemade ones don’t contain those same ingredients. The glaze would definitely make a big old mess and probably ruin your toaster!

If you wish to eat these pop tarts warm, I would recommend reheating them for a few minutes in a hot oven, and then serving a little of the glaze on the side, if you wish (glazing hot pop tarts will cause the glaze to soak right into the pastry, making the pastry soggy).

Can I use another type of filling for these Pop Tarts?

I actually have a recipe for Strawberry Pop Tarts, too! Those have the same pastry, with a vanilla glaze recipe (the same as this glaze, but without the cinnamon). You can use that recipe if you would prefer to fill your homemade Pop Tarts with any sort of jam (store-bought or homemade).

Can Brown Sugar Pop Tarts be made ahead of time?

You can make the pastry dough up to a day in advance – just store it in the fridge, wrapped well in plastic wrap. Alternatively, you can fully assemble the pop tarts and cover well with plastic wrap, and store in the fridge for up to one day before baking.

Also, just know that these pop tarts are just as delicious if not more so the second day as they are right after baking!

How to store Homemade Pop Tarts:

Store pop tarts in an airtight container, at room temperature for up to three days. They will keep a day or two past that, but they won’t be as flaky and delicious past three days.

Can you freeze Homemade Pop Tarts?

Unbaked, assembled pop tarts can be frozen on a baking tray until solid, then transferred to a ziptop bag or airtight container for up to a month. Thaw in the fridge for an hour or so before baking, cooling and glazing!

You can also freeze baked, cooled and unglazed pop tarts in an airtight container or ziptop bag for up to a month. Simply thaw at room temperature for an hour, then reheat in the oven for a few minutes or until crisp again, then cool, glaze and serve! Just note that the crispness of the pastry is definitely lost somewhat using this method – but they will still taste good!

More Copycat Recipes You’ll Love:

How to make
Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts

Yield: 12 Pop Tarts
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Inactive time 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
You'll never buy Pop-Tarts again after making my homemade Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts! Warm, buttery, and flaky pastry, brown sugar cinnamon filling, and a cinnamon glaze on top that sets just like the original.

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 2 ¼ cups (290 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon (65 grams) granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (227 grams) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • ¼ cup + 3 tablespoons (100 grams) cold water
  • ½ teaspoon honey

For the filling:

  • ½ cup (100 grams) light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon (8 grams) all-purpose flour

For the egg wash:

  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp water

For the glaze:

  • 1 1/2 cups (188 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

Make the dough:

  1. Adjust the oven rack to the center position and preheat to 375°F. Line two sheet trays with parchment and set aside.
  2. In a food processor or large mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Pulse lightly, or mix with a whisk, until just combined. Add the cubed butter all at once and pulse for 10-20 seconds, or if mixing by hand, cut the butter into the dry mixture with a pastry cutter for 5-6 minutes, or until the mixture looks sandy and no large clumps remain. Be careful not to overmix as the butter will get too warm.
  3. Pour in the water and honey mixture in a steady stream while pulsing the dough mixture in the food processor, or if mixing by hand, pour cold water and honey into the dough mixture and mix, until the mixture comes together and a dough ball has formed. Check the dough to make sure that there are no visible flour or sugar patches, but don’t overmix.
  4. Remove the dough from the food processor or bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Fold the dough 2-3 times and shape into a 1-inch thick, 7-inch diameter circle. Wrap the dough and let it rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Make the filling:

  1. While the dough is resting, for the filling, whisk together the brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and flour until combined and set aside.
  2. Once the dough has cooled and rested, flour your work surface to roll out the dough. Roll the dough into a rectangle, about 3 feet in length, 8 inches in height, and about ⅛ of an inch thick. Using a pastry cutter, pizza cutter, knife or bench scraper, cut the dough into rectangles 3 inches wide x 4 inches in height. You should be able to cut between 18-20 rectangles depending on how thick the dough has been rolled.

  3. Lift 8 of the cut rectangles off your work surface with a spatula or bench scraper and place them onto one of the prepared baking sheets. These will be the bottoms of your pop tarts. Brush the dough lightly with water, ensuring that the edges get wet; otherwise the top and bottom dough won’t stick together completely when crimped and the filling will leak out. Fill each center with 1 heaping teaspoon of brown sugar filling, leaving about ¼-inch border from filling to the edge of the dough. Cover each filled pastry with a second dough rectangle and crimp the edges together with a fork. Repeat process with any remaining cut rectangles onto second prepared baking sheet.

Make the egg wash:

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the egg and water.
  2. Brush each filled rectangle with egg wash and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and the pastry is fully baked. Let cool completely before glazing, about 30-45 minutes.

Make the glaze:

  1. While the pop tarts are baking, in a small bowl, whisk together the sifted powdered sugar, milk, corn syrup, vanilla and cinnamon, mixing until smooth. The glaze should be thick, but not too thick to spread.

  2. Use a spoon or offset spatula to glaze each cooled pop tart. Leave to set for 30 minutes to 1 hour before eating, or at least 3 hours (or until they are dry to the touch - this will depend on your kitchen environment) before stacking on top of each other, to prevent the glaze from getting messed up and smearing, or sticking to the bottom of the pop tart placed on top of it.

Recipe Video

Course : Breakfast
Cuisine : American
Keyword : brown sugar cinnamon pop tarts, brown sugar pop tarts

Photos by Joanie Simon.

Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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  1. #
    Julie — August 12, 2022 at 2:51 pm

    Just curious, why an exact 7-inch circle of dough for chilling? Wouldn’t a rectangle make more sense, since it will get rolled into a rectangle? Or is it the 1-inch height that is important? Rolling circles of dough into rectangles isn’t something that I usually do very well, so I would rather chill the dough in a shape that will make it easier for me to roll out. (I once threw a rolling pin across the room. I’m getting better, but rolling out crusts isn’t my strong point.)

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — August 15, 2022 at 8:41 am

      Hi Julie! This was just an approximate size that worked well when we tested this recipe. You’re right – it’s more important that the dough is 1-inch thick, just so it chills appropriately in the given time. You can absolutely roll it into a square/rectangle if you prefer – it won’t make any difference to the end result! Let us know how it goes!! 🙂

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