If Pop-Tarts do not scream nostalgia to you, then I don’t know what will! When I think Pop-Tarts, I instantly think of the flavor wild berry because the look of them is so iconic. I’m thrilled to say this recipe seriously tastes 95% like the real thing. The other 5% is because they’re fresh and homemade. So, give these vegan wild berry Pop-Tarts a try and thank me later!
You are not going to believe what ingredients are in the original store-bought Pop-Tarts.
Store-bought wild berry Pop-Tarts contain some pretty funky ingredients, and I’m not talking about the good kind of funky. The first two ingredients that jumped out at me are gelatin and carmine color.
Most people have heard of the word gelatin before but may not actually know what it is. It is obtained from boiling bones, ligaments, skin, and tendons from usually cows or pigs. The other funky ingredient, carmine color, is an extract from a female insect species to create bright red food coloring.
Bones. Tendons. Insect food coloring. What the heck!?
I don’t know about you, but those ingredients are definitely not on my list of foods I want to eat. Like, ever. Along with those two ingredients are many, many other unnecessary ones. Pop-Tarts are such fun food, though, so I knew I had to recreate them without all of that junk.
These Pop-Tarts have a true wow factor!
I think these would be the most fun veganized food to introduce to any of your friends and family that may be skeptical. These pastries are sweet, buttery, visually appealing, and nostalgic. So, I guarantee they will more than likely be pleasantly surprised, because what’s not to love!?
Want another delicious copycat recipe!? Check out my Homemade Chicken, Broccoli, and Cheddar Vegan Hot Pockets. They bring another feeling of nostalgia!
If you make these vegan wild berry Pop-Tarts, don’t forget to post a picture to Instagram, tag me @chefsummerstorm, and #gardengrub so I can see your recreation!
Homemade Vegan Wild Berry Pop-Tarts
Wild Berry Filling
- 2 cups frozen mixed berries, thawed
- 1 cup organic cane sugar
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 cups organic powdered sugar
- 3 tbsp plain, unsweetened almond milk
- Natural blue food coloring
- 2 tbsp wild berry filling
- To a large mixing bowl evenly combine the flour, sugar, and salt.
- Break the butter up into small chunks and add it into the flour mix. Toss to coat.
- Break the butter up into the flour by rubbing it between your hands. Rub until the mix looks like a fine meal.
- In the middle of the mixture, create a hole and the pour the water and vanilla extract into it. With a wooden spoon stir from the inside out, gradually pulling in the mix from the outside. Stir/mix until it all comes together.
- Add flour your hands to prevent sticking and bring the dough together best as you can. *The dough will be super sticky and wet. Then, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and chill it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
Wild Berry Filling
- Add the thawed berries, sugar, and lemon juice to a medium-sized saucepan and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Place a fine-mesh strainer above a bowl and pour the berry mix into the strainer. Mash the berries through the strainer until you're left with mainly just seeds. Discard the seeds.
- Pour the strained berry juice back into the saucepan.
- Add the cornstarch and the water into a small bowl and stir until well combined. Pour this into the pan with the juice and whisk together.
- Cook this over medium heat for 7 minutes and stir it occasionally to ensure it is not sticking.
- Scrape the berry mixture into a bowl and allow it to completely cool at room temperature.
- Using a fork, whisk together the powdered sugar and almond milk until incredibly smooth.
- Remove 1/4 cup of the icing and place it in another bowl along with 20 drops of natural blue food coloring. Whisk well with a fork. Scrape into a piping bag/Ziploc bag. When ready to pipe, cut the very tip of the bag off. *This is for the blue zig-zags!
- Add the 2 tablespoons of wild berry filling and 5 drops of blue food coloring to the other 1 3/4 cup leftover icing. Whisk well with a fork. *This is for the purple icing!
- ***You may need to adjust how much blue food coloring you use according to which brand you use. I use the brand "Watkins- no artificial dyes."
How to Assemble the Pop-Tarts
- Once the dough has chilled for at least 2 hours, divide it up into 8 equal balls. Work with one ball at a time and wrap the others back up and place back in the refrigerator to stay cold- very important!!!
- Heavily flour your counter and the ball of dough.
- Roll into a 1/8th inch rectangle. Trim the edges to clean it up.
- Cut out 2 rectangles that are 5 inches long/tall and 3 1/2 inches wide. *Save any scraps and re-roll them to create more pop tarts- just knead it a few times first. *Re-dust the counter with flour if it feels like the dough may stick!
- Spoon a heavy tablespoon of the berry filling onto one rectangle and spread around, leaving the outer 1/2 inch clean. Lightly wet the outer edges of the dough with water.
- Using a bench scraper, lift the other dough rectangle and gently place it on top of the one with the filling.
- Lightly flour the back of an eating spoon and then press on top of the Pop-Tart's edges to seal it together.
- Take a knife and cut off the outer edges to make them straight. Trim it down enough to make the pop tart 4 1/2 inches long/tall and 3 inches wide.
- Gently press down on the top with your hand to evenly spread the berry filling around.
- Gently poke the top 5 times with a toothpick.
- Use a bench scraper to gently lift the Pop-Tart up and place it on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Place the Pop-Tarts 1/2 an inch apart from each other on the sheet pan.
- Place the pan into the freezer. Continue all of the last steps with each ball of dough.
How to Bake the Pop-Tarts
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure all of the Pop-Tarts have been freezing for at least 15 minutes before baking.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes. *If you want a softer Pop-Tart, bake them for 20 minutes. If you want a slightly crunchier Pop-Tart, bake them for 25 minutes.
How to Decorate the Pop-Tarts
- Allow to cool down COMPLETELY before icing.
- Spoon a heavy tablespoon of the purple icing onto the top of the Pop-Tart. Spread it around, leaving 1/4th of an inch of the edges clean. Allow to completely firm up before proceeding.
- Pipe the blue icing at an angle in a zig-zag pattern.
Welcome to the tip section of the recipe! Here I provide my top tips to help you really perfect the recipe. Sometimes, I also give substitute suggestions that I think you may find helpful.
- Feel free to change up the filling and icing flavors. Maybe you are craving Pop-Tarts, but not the wild berry flavor. That is fine! Use my dough recipe, but get creative and make up your own flavors or try to re-create another original, famous flavor.
- Quick flavor idea: Make a classic cinnamon roll filling of butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and a little salt. Top the Pop-Tarts off with an icing made of powdered sugar, a little almond milk, and vanilla extract. There! Now you have easy, brown sugar cinnamon Pop-Tarts!
- You must divide the dough into 8 balls. If not, you will be in for a not so fun awakening. Vegan butter doesn’t stay very firm and cold for long. If the dough sits out for too long, it will become very sticky. So, if you try to roll out the entire batch of dough all at once, it’s going to stick to the counter by the time you get to filling them all. It is much easier to work with a smaller portion of dough at a time, I promise you.
- Use natural food coloring! My go-to brand is always Watkin’s! Unfortunately, I haven’t had any luck finding this at any basic grocery store. I’ve always had to pick mine up at a health food store or order it online.
- If you live in a warmer climate, keep these guys in the refrigerator. I live in Florida and prefer to keep my Pop-Tarts chilled. It’s hot and humid here, and mine get a little too melty for my liking when they sit out at room temperature. They also will spoil quicker sitting out in a humid area. I actually think these taste great chilled, but you can obviously let them sit out for about ten minutes or so after they’ve been in the refrigerator.
- Keep the icing off if you would like to warm up the Pop-Tarts later on. If you think you would prefer to always eat these slightly warmed, pop them in the toaster or into the oven to warm them back up. (I wouldn’t recommend placing an iced Pop-Tart into a toaster. The icing will make a huge mess.) Then go ahead and ice the one you’re about to eat. Warning, the icing is going to melt immediately upon placing on top of the warm Pop-Tart, but it’ll taste fantastic!