Introducing Healthy Homemade Vegan Pop-Tarts! These will take you back to simpler days of unwrapping two sugar-filled pastries from their shiny silver package and popping breakfast in a toaster. If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, shouldn't it be healthy?
That's why every ingredient has been mindfully chosen to maintain a good-for-you nostalgic treat. This recipe has a wild blueberry jam center, wrapped in a flaky pastry, drizzled in healthy icing, and topped with sprinkles - also gluten-free, my personal favorite.
I've probably downed 100s of vending machine pop-tarts in my late teens and early twenties. Sitting in the grocery store break room, my first job, or a midnight snack when I was a new nurse on nights. Oy! The facts are they don't have healthy ingredients; most are controversial and banned in Europe (& that's putting it lightly, hello high fructose corn syrup). Also, they aren't vegan, so here I am with the best vegan version.
Why you'll love these
🫐 Fun for all ages! - I haven't had any kid taste-testers, but I'm 100% certain it would be up their alley. I mean, Pop-Tarts weren't necessarily created for adults, right?! This recipe would be great to get kiddos involved in the kitchen. Making the frosting turn blue and sprinkling them with color is super fun.
🫐 Easy to make - the dough is straightforward to put together, it rolls out quickly, and beyond that, all the other steps are quick and to the point!
🫐 Healthy - these are seriously healthy, but they don't taste it. It's a pet peeve when someone refers to the taste as "healthy," so it's my focus to reach beyond that when creating recipes. Have you ever bitten into a strawberry and said, "yum, that flavor is so healthy!".
🫐 Versatile - if you're not into blueberry and love strawberry or have an idea for another creation? Healthy Homemade Vegan Pop-Tarts recipe will set you up. Besides the dough, what happens in the center is up to you! Vegan strawberry pop tarts sound delicious; so many different flavors!
This is the most important part of this recipe. By mixing these common pantry ingredients, you'll have the dough prepared in no time. The base of the dough is:
🫐Almond flour - a basic gluten-free flour made from almond nuts. It can be substituted 1:1 for all-purpose or coconut flour.
🫐Tapioca flour - this is a great gluten-free substitute, and the flour has great thickening capabilities, which we need in this gluten-free recipe.
🫐Xanthan gum - holds the dough together and improves the texture.
🫐Ice water - allows the dough to stay firm and not flaky. This also substitutes having to chill the dough in the fridge once prepared.
🫐Coconut oil, solid - maximum flavor while not allowing the dough to become too sticky.
🫐Vegan butter, melted - an egg wash substitute
🫐Maple syrup - plant-based sweetener of choice!
How to get that colorful icing?
🫐Monk fruit - this is a powdered sugar replacement made from monk fruit
🫐Plant milk - unsweetened or coconut flavor.
🫐Blue spirulina (for coloring) - just a pinch, stir and add more to deepen the color.
🫐Sprinkles (optional) - but highly recommended for fun!
Tips for success
Thick filling: The goal is to release a good amount of juice which will thicken when the chia seeds are introduced. After about 10 minutes and a good amount of squeezed juice, add the chia seeds and remove them from heat. Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes while preparing the dough as it thickens.
Dough: Don't over-mix with the electric mixer. Once ingredients are combined, remove them and use your hands. Ideally, you want a dough similar to a pliable play-doh consistency that doesn't crack. This is the hardest part; keep working with the dough until it can be rolled out.
The dough shouldn't be too thin, risking you being able to work with it but not too thick. About ¼ inch thick is a good goal.
Cutting: I used a rectangle cookie cutter to ensure all pieces were the same, linked here from Amazon. You can use a knife to make rectangles or get creative and use the cookie cutter you have! If you're using a knife, make sure the squares are the same size using an outline so they will seal properly.
Filling: Make sure not to overstuff. The filling will slip out the edges and make the tarts sticky. After a couple of tries, you'll get an idea of how much can be filled inside.
Topping: start with just a pinch, a tiny pinch of spirulina powder. A little really does go a long way. Add more as you mix until the perfect shade of blue emerges!
This dough doesn't work well if made ahead of time and will dry out. It's best to make it as soon as you're ready to prep and bake.
Although I haven't tried it, you might be able to substitute gluten-free flour for all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour.
If you made a double batch and plan to enjoy it later by reheating, skip the icing and save until after reheating the tarts.
Reheat in the oven or air fryer - I sadly don't have a regular toaster to test, but if you do and it works, let me know in the comments. My only concern would be if the edges aren't sealed, you may have a filling leak you can't clean up.
Place any uneaten tarts in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
I hope you enjoy these Healthy Homemade Vegan Pop Tarts with seriously sweet icing. These are great for people with food allergies being gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free (using alternative flour). They are easy to prepare and super fun to eat. Be sure to pin for later if these excite you!
Healthy Homemade Vegan Pop-Tarts
- Rectanglular cookie cutter
- 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries - I used frozen wild blueberries
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds These will give the berries a jam consistency. You can completely substitute regular jelly for the center.
For the dough:
- 1 ½ cup almond flour
- ¼ tablespoon xanthan gum
- 8-10 tablespoons cold water
- 6 tablespoons coconut oil
- ½ cup vegan butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- ⅔ cup monk fruit this is a powdered sugar replacement
- 2 tablespoons plant milk
- 1 pinch blue spirulina for coloring I dipped a chopstick in the powder and transferred to bowl
- Sprinkles (optional)
- Set oven temperature to 350 F.
- Prepare the jam center by placing thawed berries in a saucepan on medium heat with lemon juice. Mash them with a fork to break the berry skin as the berries heat up. The goal is to release a good amount of juice which will thicken when the chia seeds are introduced. After about 10 minutes and a good amount of squeezed juice, add the chia seeds and remove them from heat. Ensure they are stirred in well. Set aside to thicken.
- Whisk the almond flour, tapioca starch, and xanthan gum in an electric mixer before adding solid coconut oil and cold water. Once all four ingredients are combined (it will be clumpy), remove the dough and work it in with your hands. Brush some flour on the surface to prevent sticking.
- While working the dough with your hands, determine if it needs more cold water if too dry or more flour if too wet. You ideally want a dough similar to a play-doh consistency that's pliable and doesn't crack. This is the hardest part - keep working with the dough until it can be rolled out.
- Roll the dough out over parchment paper sprinkled with a bit of flour. The dough shouldn't be too thin, risking you not being able to work with it, but also not too thick. About ¼ inch thick is a good goal.
- I used a rectangle cookie cutter to ensure all pieces were the same, linked here from Amazon. You can use a knife to make rectangles or get creative and use a cookie cutter you have! If you're using a knife, make sure the squares are the same size using an outline so they will seal properly.
- Place half of the rectangle dough pieces on a parchment-lined baking tray, grab a small spoonful of filling, and spread it in the center. Close the pastry with the other rectangle dough over top and press all edges with a fork to seal the tart!
- Brush melted vegan butter on top (a substitute for egg wash) alternatively, you can brush melted coconut oil over the top.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until crispy, golden, and slightly cracked.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a baking rack. During this time, prepare the icing.
- Mix monk fruit powder, plant milk, and blue spirulina until combined. Add more spirulina if you desire a deeper color.
- Once tarts have cooled, slather the icing over top and cover in rainbow sprinkles. Take a bite and enjoy!!!