Our Homemade Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts are like the original but even more delicious because they are made fresh with real ingredients! Treat your loved ones to this nostalgic breakfast pastry that everybody loves with the warm, sweet flavors of cinnamon and brown sugar!

An overhead image of homemade brown sugar pop tarts.


Table of Contents
  1. Why You'll Love Homemade Pop-Tarts
  2. What You'll Need
  3. How to Make Homemade Pop-Tarts
  4. Recipe FAQ's
  5. Tips for Success
  6. Storage Instructions
  7. More Easy Pastry Recipes
  8. Homemade Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts Recipe Recipe

Did you know that Pop-Tarts have been around since the 1960's? Me either! And brown sugar cinnamon was one of the original 4 flavors of Pop-Tarts that were introduced in Ohio in 1963, along with blueberry, strawberry, and apple-currant (later dropped and replaced with regular ol' apple). This fan favorite pop-tart flavor has been around for more than half a century and is still going strong!

The old-fashioned sweetness of brown sugar with cinnamon encased in a buttery, short pastry is just too delicious for words. It's no wonder this flavor has stood the test of time and it reminds me of another popular treat on the blog that doesn't get nearly enough attention: the Hotteok, which is a type of Korean sweet pancake. It's a street food where a yeast dough is wrapped around a cinnamon brown sugar and walnut filling and then they are cooked in a hot pan until crisp outside and the filling is molten inside.

But I digress.

As much as I like the pop-tarts that come in the blue box (I can admit that on here, right?), I think the from-scratch homemade version is even better.

I made 5 dozen of these homemade brown sugar cinnamon pop-tarts for a cookie exchange and learned a lot in the process! They ended up getting rave reviews and I had multiple texts and DM's the next day from friends at the party who wanted the recipe, so I knew I needed to share it here!

If you love all things cinnamon and brown sugar, be sure to also try our Homemade Cinnamon Rolls, Cinnamon Roll Waffles, Cinnamon Sour Cream Coffee Cake, and Copycat Crumbl Cinnamon Swirl Cookies.

Why You'll Love Homemade Pop-Tarts

  • More flavorful. The crust, filling, and glaze have a noticeably fresher, homemade quality and taste to them that the boxed version just can't compete with.
  • Fun! I love a good baking project and this is a fun one involving pastry dough, rolling out and crimping cute little pockets of brown sugar and cinnamon filling, and then adding glaze on top!
  • Nostalgic. It seems like lots of adults grew up eating pop-tarts but haven't had one in years. So when you offer them a homemade version, it has it's own kind of magic that delights and surprises everyone.

What You'll Need

Scroll down to the recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

  • All-purpose Flour - I prefer using unbleached all-purpose flour for the pastry dough here.
  • Salted Butter - Use very cold butter straight out of the fridge for the pastry dough.
  • Shortening - I scaled back the shortening just a bit from my regular pie crust recipe since the original pop-tarts aren't really flaky and their pastry is a bit drier and less rich.
  • Sugar - Obviously you will need light brown sugar for the filling (dark brown sugar will work as well), but you will also need a little granulated sugar for flavoring the pastry crust, and powdered sugar for the glaze as well.
  • Ground Cinnamon - Feel free to scale the ground cinnamon up or down in either the filling, the glaze, or both, if you prefer. I think I got it just right after making DOZENS of these pop-tarts during my recipe testing, but the choice is really yours.
  • Salt - Keeps the flavors from being overly sweet or bland.
  • Cold Water - It's important to keep the pastry crust cold. I fill a measuring cup with ice water, then measure out only what I need for the recipe right before adding it to the crust ingredients.
  • Egg Wash - This is made by simply whisking a whole egg with a little cold milk. It helps seal the pop-tarts so the filling doesn't leak out, while also adding a nice additional color and flavor.
  • Vanilla Extract - A little vanilla balances out the flavor of the glaze.
  • Corn Syrup - You can omit if you like, but it gives a nice glossy shine to the glaze even when it has dried.
Ingredients for making homemade brown sugar pop tarts.

How to Make Homemade Pop-Tarts

  1. Make pastry crust. Add flour, sugar, and salt to a large food processor (affiliate link). Add the cold, cubed butter and shortening, then pulse until the butter and shortening are pretty well cut into the flour leaving only pea-sized pieces.

PRO TIP: While I typically make pie crust by hand using a pastry cutter so that it is marbled with chunks of butter, contributing to the flakiness of the crust, that's almost the opposite of what we want for Pop-Tart dough, which isn't as flaky or rich. So we've cut back on the fat a bit and are using a food processor to cut the butter and shortening more than we typically would otherwise.

  1. Add cold water. Stream in the cold water while pulsing the crust mixture until it is evenly moistened and starting to clump together around the blades of the food processor. The dough shouldn't be as shaggy as a typical pie crust dough.
  2. Chill dough. Divide the dough into two evenly-sized pieces and flatten them into squares. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30-60 minutes before proceeding. You can even pop them into the freezer for 15-20 minutes to speed up the process.

PRO TIP: You can make the pastry dough in advance and refrigerate it for 1-2 days or freeze it for up to 2-3 months. Let it thaw on the counter until workable but still cold before proceeding. If doubling or tripling the batch to make a lot of pop-tarts, this is my preferred approach because my food processor can only handle one batch of pastry dough at a time, but I can bang out a bunch of pastry dough without cleaning the food processor bowl between batches.

  1. Roll & cut out dough. Unwrap the chilled pastry dough and dust on both sides with some extra flour. I like to roll out the dough onto a large sheet of parchment paper so I don't have to use too much flour on the counter to prevent the dough from sticking. Roll very thin into a 9x12-inch rectangle, then use a pizza cutter or sharp knife and a ruler to cut the dough into nine 3x4-inch rectangles.
  1. Fill. Brush the surface of each rectangular pastry with egg wash. Add a heaping tablespoon of the filling to the center of each rectangle, spreading it to within ½" of the edge of the pastry.
  1. Cover & seal. Add the top pastry crust, matching up the edges. Crimp the edges of each pop-tart with a fork to seal. Brush the tops of the pastries with the remaining egg wash and use a toothpick to poke 9-12 holes in the top of each pop-tart so the filling can vent as they bake.
  2. Bake. Bake the pop-tarts for about 25 minutes until golden brown, then let them cool before glazing.
  1. Make glaze. Combine powdered sugar, corn syrup, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and milk in a medium bowl. Whisk well until smooth. The glaze shouldn't be too thick or too thin. Add more powdered sugar or more milk to reach the desired consistency for your glaze.
  1. Glaze. Spoon the glaze over each pop-tart. It's okay if it drips off the edges on some sides. Let the glaze set up for 3-4 hours before enjoying.

Recipe FAQ's

Does the glaze harden?

Yes, the glaze will firm up after a few hours. You can even stack the pop-tarts once they are completely dry.

Can I put homemade pop-tarts in the toaster?

Sure! Homemade pop-tarts can generally be toasted just like store-bought ones. Just make sure the filling is securely sealed inside the pastry, and then pop them into the toaster until they're warmed through and crispy on the outside. Keep an eye on them to prevent burning since homemade pastries might toast faster than the original ones.

Can I use a store-bought pie crust or puff pastry?

Yes, you could use either of these two options to make homemade pop-tarts, but they won't be quite the same (or quite as delicious) as the homemade crust version.

Can I omit the corn syrup in the glaze?

Yes, the glaze can be made without the corn syrup, but it helps the glaze set up better and gives it a beautiful shine. I don't recommend skipping it.

A close image of a glazed brown sugar cinnamon pop tart.

Tips for Success

  • Make-ahead. You can make the crust up to 2 months in advance and store it in the freezer until you are ready to bake. You can also assemble the pop-tarts and freeze them before baking. When you want freeze pop-tarts, bake them directly from frozen. You may need to add a few extra minutes to the bake time, but it will be similar.
  • Don't overfill. It might be tempting to add more cinnamon-sugar filling but you need to make sure to leave a border around the edges so the top pastry can have contact with the bottom pastry and egg wash. Otherwise, the crimping might not work to contain the filling and it will seep out as the pop-tarts bake.
  • Try other fillings! We love the brown sugar cinnamon filling, but you can switch it out for your favorite cherry preserves, blueberry jam, or other flavors.

Storage Instructions

Once the glaze has completely set up, store the brown sugar cinnamon pop-tarts in an airtight container on the counter at room temperature for up to 4-5 days. They can be stacked, but I recommend putting a piece of parchment paper or wax paper between the layers.

You can freeze the baked pop-tarts for up to 3 months. Let them thaw at room temperature for a few hours before enjoying.

More Easy Pastry Recipes

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Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.

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Homemade Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts Recipe

5 from 10 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 25 minutes
Setting Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 9 servings
Our Homemade Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts are like the original but even more delicious because they are made fresh with real ingredients! Treat your loved ones to this nostalgic breakfast pastry that everybody loves with the warm, sweet flavors of cinnamon and brown sugar!

Ingredients
  

Crust

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour (313g)
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 12 Tablespoons very cold salted butter, cut into pieces
  • ¼ cup cold vegetable shortening
  • 6-8 Tablespoons ice water

Filling

  • ½ cup packed dark or light brown sugar (100g)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • egg wash: 1 large egg mixed with 2 teaspoons cold milk or water

Icing

  • 1 cup powdered sugar (115g)
  • 1 Tablespoon light corn syrup
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons milk + more as needed

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Add flour, sugar, and salt to a large food processor (affiliate link). Add the cold, cubed butter and shortening, then pulse until the butter and shortening are pretty well cut into the flour leaving only pea-sized pieces.
  • Stream in the cold water while pulsing the crust mixture until it is evenly moistened and starting to clump together around the blades of the food processor (affiliate link). The dough shouldn't be as shaggy as a typical pie crust dough.
  • Divide the dough into two evenly-sized pieces and flatten them into squares. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30-60 minutes before proceeding. You can even pop them into the freezer for 15-20 minutes to speed up the process.
  • Unwrap the chilled pastry dough and dust on both sides with some extra flour. I like to roll out the dough onto a large sheet of parchment paper so I don't have to use too much flour on the counter to prevent the dough from sticking. Roll very thin (about ⅛" thickness) into a 9x12-inch rectangle, then use a pizza cutter or sharp knife and a ruler to cut the dough into nine 3x4-inch rectangles.
  • Brush the surface of each rectangular pastry with egg wash. Top with 1 heaping tablespoon of filling in the center of each rectangle. Evenly spread the filling to about ½-inch from the edges of the pastry.
  • Add the top pastry crust, matching up the edges. Crimp the edges of each pop-tart with a fork to seal. Brush the tops of the pastries with the remaining egg wash and use a toothpick to poke 9-12 holes in the top of each pop-tart so the filling can vent as they bake.
  • Bake for about 25-28 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
  • Combine powdered sugar, corn syrup, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and milk in a medium bowl. Whisk well until smooth. The glaze shouldn't be too thick or too thin. Add more powdered sugar or more milk to reach the desired consistency for your glaze.
  • Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the glaze over each pop-tart. Let the glaze set up for 3-4 hours before enjoying.

Notes

  • Storage: Once the glaze has completely set up, store the brown sugar cinnamon pop-tarts in an airtight container on the counter at room temperature for up to 4-5 days. They can be stacked, but I recommend putting a piece of parchment paper or wax paper between the layers.
  • Freezing: You can freeze the baked pop-tarts for up to 3 months. Let them thaw at room temperature for a few hours before enjoying.

Nutrition

Calories: 433kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 257mg | Potassium: 66mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 473IU | Vitamin C: 0.02mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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Reader questions and reviews

  1. My kids love Pop Tarts and these were a total hit! The flavor is perfect. This recipe will save a lot of money.

    1. Aren't they so good! Plus there isn't any artificial ingredients so they taste better in my opinion. Thanks for making them!

  2. 5 stars
    The brown sugar and chocolate pop tarts were always the best. I never understood why anyone would eat the strawberry ones! These ones are better than the store bought ones!

  3. 5 stars
    These were my favorite breakfast treat growing up and I couldn't wait to give them a try. They're delicious and I can't wait to make a batch when my children come to visit. They'll love this homemade version too!

  4. 5 stars
    This has always been my favorite pop tart flavor, and you just took it to a whole new incredible level! These were 10/10 delicious!!

  5. 5 stars
    Pop tarts are big in our house! I am partial to the cherry ones but the boys love the maple and brown sugar ones. When I made these they asked me to make again and skip buying them at the store because these are so much better!