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Homemade Pop Tarts with Cream Cheese Filling and Molasses Glaze

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts are made with a homemade crust, cream cheese cinnamon-sugar filling, and a molasses glaze. So much better than store-bought!

Homemade brown sugar cinnamon pop tarts lined up in a white dish. A mug of coffee rests in the background.

Creating This Homemade Pop Tart Recipe

Written by: Taylor of Food Faith Fitness

When I think of being a kid, I think of three things: 1. No bills. 2. No work. 3. Pop Tarts.

Unfortunately, I can’t go back to having no bills and not having to work, BUT I CAN go back to eating my beloved Pop Tarts. Except, I don’t want no Pop Tarts from a box. I want them handmade and fresh from the oven.

Clearly my old age has turned me into a Pop Tart purist. If there is such a thing that is that is.

And you know what? I am fully okay with that because these Pop Tarts? They get two thumbs and two big toes U-P.

And that is from 5 taste-testers. These adorable, flakey pockets full of gooey, sweet cream cheese are the BOMB. Do people even say that anymore?  I guess we are talking about things from the past. Let’s go with it.

PLUS they are — wait for it — pretty darn good for you! Minus the sugar. But, in my books, 1 ingredient out of eleventy billion doesn’t even count. You understand.

Homemade pop tart dough that's been rolled out

If that didn’t convince you, then maybe this will: Aside from being stuffed with a honey and cream cheese YUM-fest, they are also filled with satisfaction and the general good feelings that come when you CONQUER a recipe and make it from scratch.

Like with your own hands. The things on the end of YOUR OWN ARMS. Those things. It’s a warm and fuzzy feeling.

The same feeling that you get when you CHOMP into above mentioned homemade brown sugar Pop Tart. Minus the fuzz. No one likes a fuzzy Pop-Tart.

Anyway.

The taste-testers that I mentioned earlier all said that the taste of these reminded them of a Ginger Snap Cookie. Basically this means that these would make a PERFECT Christmas morning breakfast for both you AND your kids.

They pair yum-a-liciously with both a glass of milk AND a cup of coffee.  See? Happy you. Happy kids. AND happy belly.

With so much happy goin’ on, you would be a scrooge not to make them happen. Your Christmas morning depends on it.

Process shot showing pop tart dough that's been cut into rectangles

Ingredients for Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts

I’m not going to try and pretend otherwise…there are a lot of ingredients in this recipe. That’s because this homemade Pop Tart recipe is comprised of pie dough, brown sugar spread, cream cheese filling, and a molasses glaze.

Here’s what you’ll need to make all of that:

  • Whole wheat pastry flour
  • White whole wheat flour
  • Spices (ground ginger, cinnamon, salt)
  • Coconut oil
  • Brown sugar
  • Egg
  • Cream cheese
  • Honey
  • Granulated sugar
  • Icing sugar
  • Molasses
  • Milk

For the complete ingredient list and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this post for the FREE printable recipe card.

Process shot showing cream cheese brown sugar filling atop pop tart dough

How to Make Homemade Pop Tarts

There are quite a few steps to this recipe, so let’s jump right in!

  1. Make the pastry dough: In a large bowl, stir together the flours, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Cut in some frozen coconut oil with your fingers until the size of small peas.
  2. Drizzle in some ice water and mix until the dough just comes together.
  3. Form the dough into two discs and wrap with saran wrap. Refrigerate.
  4. Shape the dough: On a lightly floured surface, roll one of the discs into a 4-inch wide rectangle. Cut the dough in 3-inch increments (so each piece is 3×4 inches) and place the squares onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  5. Repeat with the remaining disc.
  6. Brush on the egg wash: Once the dough is cut into squares, combine an egg white and water in a small bowl and brush each square entirely with egg wash.
  7. Add the brown sugar filling: Combine brown sugar and spices in a small bowl and spoon ½ Tbsp onto the middle of each square.
  8. Add the cream cheese filling: Whisk together the filling ingredients in a small bowl until mostly smooth. Drop the filling by 1 Tbsp balls onto the center of half of the squares and lightly spread out.
  9. Finish assembling: Cover each cream cheese-covered square with one of the dough squares that only have the brown sugar spread (spread side down) and firmly press around the filling to seal it in.
  10. Use a fork to press along the outside of each pop tart to crimp the edges and real seal it in. Then, use a toothpick to poke 9 little holes in the top of each pop tart so that air can escape while baking.
  11. Place into the freezer for 30 minutes to firm up the oil and filling.
  12. Bake the Pop Tarts: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F, then bake until golden brown.
  13. Make the glaze: Once the pop tarts are completely cooled, whisk together the molasses glaze ingredients and spread over each Pop Tart.

The above is simply a quick summary of this recipe. Check out the free printable card at the bottom of this post for all the detailed instructions.

Homemade brown sugar pop tarts ready to be baked

How to Store Homemade Pop Tarts

Keep these brown sugar Pop Tarts in an airtight container at room temperature for up to four days. I felt comfortable keeping them at room temperature because they’re baked, but since the filling does contain dairy you may want to store them in the fridge.

Can I Freeze Pop Tarts?

Yes, these homemade brown sugar cinnamon pop tarts freeze very well. Let them cool completely, then freeze for about an hour on a baking tray. This gives them time to harden so that they don’t become squished once sealed in a freezer bag.

When ready to enjoy, thaw overnight at room temperature or reheat in a warm oven for about 10 minutes.

Can I Make This Recipe Gluten-Free?

Possibly, but because this recipe uses two types of whole wheat flour I’m not sure how well a gluten-free flour blend would work in comparison.

Overhead view of homemade brown sugar cinnamon pop tarts next to a mug of coffee

Tips for Making Homemade Brown Sugar Pop Tarts

  • When adding the various filling to the Pop Tarts, always leave a bare edge around the sides. If you overfill the Pop Tarts, they’ll leak in the oven.
  • You MUST let the dough chill multiple times throughout the assembly process. If you try to bake warm Pop Tart dough, it won’t hold its shape and the Pop Tarts will come apart.
  • I’ve only made this recipe as written, but I imagine you could achieve similar results using regular all-purpose flour. I can’t say for sure though!

More Holiday Breakfast Recipes:

This Citrus Cardamom Cake is the perfect, cozy homemade coffee cake recipe. Your house will smell amazing while baking it!

This Cinnamon Applesauce Bread with Walnuts is perfect for fall and features some of fall’s best flavors, such as cinnamon, apples, and walnuts.

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread is essentially a monkey bread from scratch with a homemade caramel topping. Perfect for holiday brunches!

Cranberry Gingerbread Muffins are really easy to whip up on a weekend morning or for a lazy holiday breakfast. The sweetness of the gingerbread pairs really well with the tartness of the cranberries.

Easy Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Toffee Streusel bakes up quickly for a fun fall breakfast treat!

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Homemade Pop Tarts with Honey Cream Cheese Filling and Molasses Glaze | GoodLifeEats.com |

Homemade Pop Tarts with Cream Cheese Filling and Molasses Glaze

Yield: 7 poptarts
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours

Aside from being stuffed with a honey & cream cheese YUM-fest, these pop tarts are also filled with satisfaction and the general good feelings that come when you CONQUER a recipe and make it from scratch.

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • ¾ Cup Whole wheat pastry flour (90g)
  • 1 Cup + 2 Tbsp White whole wheat flour (140g)
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • 3 tsp Ginger powder
  • 2 ¼ tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp Brown sugar
  • ¾ Cup Coconut oil, frozen and cut into small cubes
  • 6-8 Tbsp ice water

Egg Wash:

  • 1 egg white
  • ½ Tbsp water
  • For the brown sugar spread:
  • ¼ Cup + 2 Tbsp Brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp Cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp ginger

For the filling:

  • 5 Tbsp Reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 2 ½ Tbsp Honey

Cinnamon sugar:

  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/8 tsp Cinnamon

Molasses glaze:

  • ¾ Cup Icing sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 ½ Tbsp Molasses
  • 1 ½ tsp Milk

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the flours, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Cut in the frozen coconut with a pastry blender, or your fingers, until the size of small peas.
  2. Drizzle in 6 Tbsp of the ice water and mix until the dough just comes together, adding the remaining 2 Tbsp if necessary.
  3. Form the dough into two discs and wrap with saran wrap. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Spread parchment paper on 2 baking sheets and set aside.
  4. On a lightly floured surface and using a floured rolling pin, roll one of the discs into a 4-inch wide rectangle. Cut the dough in 3-inch increments (so each piece is 3x4 inches) and place the squares onto a prepared baking sheet. Place into the refrigerator to chill while you repeat with the remaining disc.
  5. Once the dough is cut into squares, combine the egg white and water in a small bowl and brush each square entirely with egg wash.
  6. Combine the brown sugar spread ingredients in a small bowl and spoon ½ Tbsp onto the middle of each square, spreading gently and leaving about ¼ of an inch around the perimeter of each square.
  7. Whisk together the filling ingredients in a small bowl until mostly smooth (a few little lumps are perfectly fine) Drop the filling by 1 Tbsp balls onto the center of half of the squares and lightly spread out, leaving about ½ inch around the perimeter.
  8. Cover each cream cheese covered square with one of the squares that only have the brown sugar spread (spread side down) and firmly press around the filling to seal it in. Use a fork to press along the outside of each pop tart to crimp the edges and real seal it in. Then, use a toothpick to poke 9 little holes in the top of each pop tart so that air can escape while baking. Place into the freezer for 30 minutes to firm up the oil and filling.
  9. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees while the pop tarts freeze, and then bake for 25-35 minutes until golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes on the pan, and then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
  10. Once the pop tarts are completely cooled, whisk together the glaze ingredients and spread over each pop tart. The glaze will harden after about an hour.
  11. Serve

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Nutrition Information
Yield 7 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 533Total Fat 28gSaturated Fat 22gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 14mgSodium 175mgCarbohydrates 64gFiber 5gSugar 30gProtein 8g

GoodLifeEats.com offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although GoodLifeEats.com makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

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