These homemade strawberry pop tarts made with strawberry preserves and flaky pastry are so much better than store-bought!
Spring is well underway, and summer is coming fast on its heels. And that means more abundant fresh berries, something that I get very excited about. I also get very excited about turning pre-packaged and over-processed foods into something homemade and more wholesome. Like these homemade strawberry pop tarts!
They’re made with traditional homemade flaky pie pastry and strawberry preserves, which you can either buy or make yourself. They taste almost nothing like their namesake and in my opinion that’s a very, very good thing. These “pop tarts” are more like strawberry hand pies and both kids and grown-ups are sure to love them!
How to make homemade “Pop Tarts”
There are 3 parts to these pop tarts:
- Pie dough— The recipe below is very similar to my foolproof flaky pie crust recipe and every bit as delicious. Can you use store-bought pie dough? Absolutely!
- Strawberry preserves— Make your own (recipe included below) or use your favorite store-bought brand. Strawberry jam will work too, but preserves have chunks of strawberries in it and I love the added flavor and texture.
- Frosting and sprinkles— Both are completely optional, but they complete the “pop tart” look!
The pie dough needs to rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes, which gives you plenty of time to make the strawberry preserves. Then you’ll just need to roll out the dough, cut into rectangles, spread a small amount of preserves onto half of them and top with the other half. Then seal the edges and bake.
You may need a ruler
In order to make the tops and bottoms for these pop tarts uniform, it’s best to use a ruler. Roll each disk of dough into as close to a rectangle shape as you can, to about 1/8th an inch thick. Then trim off edges to make a clean rectangle and cut into smaller 5×3-inch rectangles. Feel free to adjust this size slightly if needed, but to keep the same yield and baking time, they shouldn’t be too much bigger or smaller.
Collect and re-roll trimmings and repeat until you have the 16 small rectangles needed to make 8 pop tarts.
If you’re not concerned about maintaining the classic “pop tart” look, you can use a large round cutter instead to keep things simpler.
These homemade strawberry pop tarts are perfect for summertime, but since you can get strawberry preserves at the store year-round there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy them whenever you want!
Other mini pie recipes to try now
- Blueberry Hand Pies
- Strawberry Rhubarb Hand Pies
- Mini Sour Cream Apple Pies
- Strawberry Nutella Hand Pies
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Note: This recipe was originally published March 2011.
Strawberry Pop Tarts
- 2 cups (335 grams) sliced strawberries
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2/3 cup (130 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon orange or lemon zest
Strawberry Pop Tarts:
- 2 cups (240 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
- 4-5 tablespoons cold water
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten (for egg wash
- 1 cup (340 grams) strawberry preserves (recipe above, or use store-bought)
- 1 cup (113 grams) powdered sugar
- About 1-2 tablespoons heavy cream
- Rainbow sprinkles
To make the preserves:
- Put the strawberries, lemon juice, and sugar in a medium sauce pan and set over medium high heat. Stir and mash with a potato masher or large fork and bring to a boil. Boil for about 2-3 minutes until sugar is dissolved and combined with the mashed strawberries.
- Reduce heat to medium low. Continue to simmer for 10-15 minutes until thickened. Add vanilla extract and orange/lemon zest.
- Cool to room temperature before spooning onto the prepared pastry squares. Any leftovers may be stored in the fridge for a few weeks.
To make the pop tarts:
- Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in a bowl. Add the cubed butter and cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter, fork, or your fingers. Continue until the mixture resembles coarse sand and the butter is the size of small peas. Add the cold water a tablespoon at a time, mixing until the dough comes together into a ball. Divide into two and form each into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the preserves if making from scratch. Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Remove one disk of dough and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll out into a large rectangle about to about 1/8th inch thick. Trim so edges are straight. Cut into 8 5x3-inch rectangles. Repeat with second disk. Gather trimmed dough scraps together and re-roll as needed.
- Spoon 1 1/2 tablespoons of the preserves onto the pastry squares and cover with the remaining pastry squares. Press all edges together with your fingers to seal, then use a fork to double seal. Use a toothpick to poke holes in the tops of the pastries. Place on sheet pans lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Bake the pop tarts until golden, about 25-30 minutes.
- Cool completely on a wire rack.
- To make the frosting, whisk together powdered sugar and heavy cream to make a thick but pour-able consistency. To make the frosting pink, add a spoonful of remaining strawberry preserves.
- Spread over cooled pop tarts and sprinkle with rainbow sprinkles. Frosting should set up in about 20 minutes, or more quickly if chilled in the fridge.