Homemade gluten free and vegan pop tarts that will make your snack time extra special. Top 8 allergen free! Way easier than you think and customizable to suit your every favorite flavor!
These homemade gluten free and vegan pop tarts are made with flaky pie crust, strawberry jam (or any fruit filling of your choice!), and a decadent frosting glaze that take this classic snack from good to great! Plus, while there are a hefty number of steps involved in this recipe, don’t let that intimidate you! The recipe itself is rather easy.
Free From: wheat, gluten, dairy, casein, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, coconut, fish, shellfish, crustaceans, mollusks, celery, corn, sesame, mustard, lupin, sulfites, and more
How to Make the Pop Tart Crust
The key to this recipe lays in the crust. I started with my allergen friendly pie crust and transformed it a bit to more closely resemble a pastry.
It starts with a combination of butter (cow or non-dairy work equally well) and vegetable shortening. You want to make sure that they are all really cold – heck you could even pop them into the freezer for 5 minutes before getting started on this recipe.
The reason we want our fats to be so cold has to do with the flakey-ness of the final pie crust. If you let the butter melt into the flour, it becomes too difficult to work with and will make your final pastry crust resemble a cracker more than a pie crust. By keeping the fats chilled, they will stay somewhat whole as you roll them out, and when you bake the pastry, the steam created by the butter and shortening will create little air pockets. Air pockets = flaky pie crust.
That’s why I love making pie crusts in a food processor. It blitzes ingredients together super quick and doesn’t allow for the warmth of my hands to really mess with the butter or shortening. You can even chill your bowl for extra pie crust insurance.
If you don’t have a food processor, no worries! You can still have great pie crusts and pastry crusts! A hand held pastry cutter or even just 2 forks work the same to get a crumbly pie dough. It just requires a little more arm strength and time to get it to the right consistency. You have my permission to consider it your arm workout for the day, haha. Just work quickly and don’t be afraid to pop your crust into the freezer at several points to keep the dough chilled.
How to Assemble Gluten Free and Vegan Pop Tarts
Divide your dough in half so you only are working with the minimal amount of dough at a time.
After letting your dough chill in the fridge for at least an hour, let it rest on the countertop for about 10 minutes to warm up eeeevvver so slightly. This will make it easier to manipulate.
Grab two sheets of parchment paper to roll your dough between. You’ll also want to sprinkle some extra starch onto the parchment paper. Anything that you have on hand should work; think potato starch, corn starch, or tapioca starch. This prevents your dough from sticking to the rolling pin, the counter top, your hands, etc. I find that starch works better than something like rice flour for rolling out gluten free products. Just make sure that you don’t use too much.
After you roll out your dough to about a ¼-inch thickness, peel back the top layer of parchment and grab your pizza cutter. Yes, your pizza cutter. This will quickly and easily make your slices for your pop tarts. Cut the dough into evenly sized rectangles. You want to make sure you have even numbers so every bottom has a piece to go on top!
Quickly but assertively scoop your first piece of pastry and place it onto your parchment lined baking sheet. With a brush, or your finger, slightly damped the edge of the pastry to help things stick together. Place a dollop of jam in the center of your pop tart. Now gently place the second piece on top of your pastry and press into place with a fork crimping the edges. Use a fork to stab the top of the pop tarts so steam can escape.
You should get between 8 and 10 finished pop tarts depending on how large you cut your rectangles.
Pop the pop tarts back into your fridge to let everything chill out for about 20 minutes. This lets the fats harden back up so that you won’t have your pop tarts melt into goo in the oven.
For an extra golden crust, you can brush your finished unbaked pop tarts with either an egg wash (if not allergic) or a milk wash. Both egg and milk (non-dairy works just as well) help the crust to brown up to a beautiful golden color.
Bake these pop tarts for about 20-25 minutes at 350F. Let them cool completely before frosting with a glaze.
How to Store Gluten Free Pop Tarts
These will keep on the countertop for about day, in the fridge for about 3 days, and in the freezer for about 3 months. Place a pop tart on the counter to thaw before warming in the microwave.
Contrary to their gluten-filled counterparts, I wouldn’t recommend popping these in the toaster. The pastry is too delicate. A toaster oven should work just fine, however.
Tips for Measuring Gluten Free Flour
Before I started baking gluten free, I used to do the old scoop and level method for measuring out wheat flour. Gluten free flours don’t work that well when you do things this way. This is because different flours have different weights and will often settle into the bags differently.
The best way to measure gluten free flour is to do the “spoon-and-level” technique. Taking a spoon, carefully scoop out and fill your measuring cup and level it off with the back of a knife.
Allergy Variations for Pop Tarts
There are milk and egg-based ingredients in this recipe that can easily be converted to suit your allergy or dietary needs and have no effect on the finished recipe.
First, for swapping out the butter, use a non-dairy butter of your choice. I find that Earth Balance butter sticks work great in baking recipes such as this. Their soy-free butter from a carton also works really well.
To replace the dry milk powder, you can swap it for a plant-based protein powder of your choice. Just make sure that it is not a flavored variety as it can affect the final taste of your pop tarts. If you don’t have something like this, no worries, just leave this out. Your pop tarts will still be amazing.
The egg in this helps to bind the dough together. A flax egg or chia egg work perfect in this pastry recipe. Simply take 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds or chia seeds and combine them with 3 tablespoons of almost boiling water. Stir them together and let it sit for about 5 minutes to get really gelatinous. Use as directed in the recipe.
Pop Tart Pastry
- ⅔ cup white rice flour
- ⅔ cup brown rice flour
- ½ cup tapioca flour
- ½ tsp xanthan gum
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp dry milk powder or plant based protein powder or omit
- ½ cup vegetable shortening, cold
- ½ cup butter or non-dairy alternative, cold
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 egg, chicken or flax
- 16 tsp jam filling of choice
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1-2 tsp water
- In your food processor, or a large mixing bowl, combine the white rice flour, brown rice flour, tapioca flour, xanthan gum, dry milk powder, and salt. Mix well. Now add the sugar and baking powder, making sure to mix well again.
- Add the vegetable shortening and butter. Pulse on low until it resembles wet sand. Add the egg and apple cider vinegar to bring it all together. It should be a wet and shaggy dough. Divide the dough into two discs, wrap in plastic, and let rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Pre-heat your oven to 350°F/177°C. Prepare a baking tray with a sheet of parchment paper and set aside.
- On your largest working surface, prepare to assemble the pastries. Get two sheets of parchment for rolling out the dough. Place your jam into a small bowl with a spoon. Grab your pizza cutter, or large knife, as well as a spatula. Finally, grab one of the discs of dough from the fridge. You will become a little pop tart factory where you have a rolling station, a placement station of the pastry onto the baking tray, and jam station.
- Begin to roll the dough out between the two sheets of parchment paper. You may need to add some additional starch flour to the parchment paper to help it roll out easier. When it reaches ¼-inch thick, cut your dough into 8 or 10 evenly sized rectangles. Gently place them on the parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Dollup each pasty with 2 teaspoons of jam. Wet the edges of the pastry. Set aside while you roll out the second disc of dough. Cut again into 8 to 10 rectangles. Cover each pop tart.
- Using the back of a fork, gently crimp the two layers of dough together. Prick each one a few times with a fork to allow for steam to escape. Finally, brush each with either an egg wash, or more (non-dairy) milk or creamer to help develop a golden brown crust. Pop the entire sheet of pop tarts back into the fridge to chill for 10 minutes.
- Place your pop tarts into the oven and let them bake for 20-25 minutes or until a golden brown color is achieved. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before moving. They are quite delicate when first removed from the oven so please let them cool down totally before doing anything to them.
- When they are cool, mix together your sugar and water to make a thick glaze to pour on top of your pop tarts. Serve and enjoy.
- Make sure to let the glaze dry completely before stacking and storing.