These whole grain pop tarts offer that handheld nostalgia but with a flaky buckwheat and brown rice crust, homemade cherry filling and a dark chocolate drizzle.
Just the Food: Whole Grain Pop Tarts
Start your day with the nostalgia of a chocolate-cherry pop tart. The effort of this homemade, whole grain pop tart makes the popularity of the processed, commercial version very understandable. However, the light sweetness, the wholesome ingredients, and the extra flaky, buckwheat and brown-rice flour crust is worth every step. After all, who ever complained about pie crust being too flaky?
A Tip for Cutting the Dough:
When making these whole grain pop tarts, it helps to make a template for cutting the crust, so the top and bottom pieces align. A thin piece of cardboard, like that from a pasta box, works well.
The Personal: Setting Positive Kitchen Intentions
As a food stylist, I’m often rushed in the kitchen, prepping for a set, or tired from a day of shooting and scraping together some form of food for myself. However, another baker recently reminded me of the importance of mindset when creating in the kitchen.
Even if she is feeling off, she makes a point to think about why she is baking, who will enjoy the result and why that matters. My own kitchen “why” revolves around bringing people together to share meaningful time together. Remembering that goal when cranking the oven to 450ºF, in an already hot kitchen, is crucial.
Pie crust is another great reminder to choose joy in the process. There’s no rushing a truly flaky crust. While working on my roundup of recipes to eat Pie All Day, I sought simple joys in each of the pies. Whether I was pausing to smell the simmering cherries, or the juices of sliced tomatoes, or leaning into the artistry of carving pie crust with a small knife, I chose patience and intention instead of stress.
This is a theme I want to prioritize more in the kitchen and in life. Stress less and enjoy more. Less perfectionism, more fulfillment. A helpful tool I learned this from Marie Forleo is to say “I choose to” instead of “I have to.” This little rephrasing can lead to big shifts, and in the case of practicing positive intentions while baking pies, the rewards are oh so sweet!
A Tip for Extra Fancy Whole Grain Pop Tarts:
In addition to a dark chocolate drizzle, I used crushed freeze-dried beets into a powder and sprinkled those on top. They’re lightly sweet and add a lovely red dusting. You can also use freeze-dried strawberries. If you like floral flavors, try crushed dried rose petals. If you want something more indulgent and playful, you could go the sprinkles route.
You Might Also Like:
If you’re craving a summery cherry dessert but don’t want the hassle of pie, try these Twin Bing Cherry-Chocolate Popsicles. Inspired by my dad’s favorite candy, Twin Bing (a cherry nougat commonly found in the Midwest), they’re coated with a honey buckwheat crunch. Find this recipe and many more in my book, The Gluten-Free Grains Cookbook.
Bored and waiting for the pop tart process to be over….
Homemade Whole Grain Pop Tarts
- 4 cups cherries, pitted
- 1/2 cup honey
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon crushed black pepper
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour or unbleached all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup brown rice flour
- ¼ cup buckwheat flour
- 16 Tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled (2 sticks)
- 4-5 Tbsps cold water
- 2 Tbsp chilled vodka
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2 Tablespoons raw cacao powder
- 2 Tablespoons milk or water (I recommend oat milk)
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla
- freeze dried strawberries or beets, crushed
- Sea salt
- Dried rose petals
For the Cherry Filling:
- In a medium pot, bring the cherries, honey, and lemon juice to a boil. Boil 8-10 minutes or until the mixture has thickened and becomes jam-like. Stir in the vanilla and a pinch of salt. Let Cool.
For the Crust:
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flours. Scatter the butter pieces over the top, and work with a pastry blender, or your fingers, to combine, until the mixture resembles gravel, with lots of butter chunks the size of large peas.
- Drizzle the vodka into the flour mixture, then the water, 1 Tablespoon at a time, tossing the dough with a rubber spatula to moisten evenly. Add just enough liquid for the dough to hold together when you give it a squeeze, and add it directly to the dry floury bits that like to hang out on the bottom of the bowl.
Working the Dough
- Knead the dough in the bowl 10-20 times to bring it together. Dump the dough onto the counter or a cutting board, and drag portions of the dough across the counter with the heel of your hand (this makes the mixture come together and yields a flakier dough). Gather the dough into a ball (a metal bench scraper helps). Flatten the dough into a disc, wrap it loosely in plastic or beeswax wrap. Chill the dough for 30 minutes.
For An Extra Flaky Crust
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the chilled dough disk into a rectangle that is about ¼” thick. Fold it in thirds like you’re folding a letter, then roll up from a skinny end into a loose spiral. Gently press to flatten it slightly, and chill for 30 minutes.
- For extra, extra flake, repeat this step once more.
Shape the Crust:
- Remove the dough from the fridge, unwrap it, and place on a lightly floured surface.
- Roll it into a rectangle of 1/8-inch thickness. Cut the dough into rectangles. For more uniformity and ease of assembly, it helps to cut a template out of wax paper or cardboard measuring about 3 x 4.75 inches. Gather any scraps and re-roll the dough until you have used it all.
- Place a heaping tablespoon of the cherry jam on one half of the rectangle. Lay the other half of the dough over the filling and seal the edges by crimping them with the back of a fork. Place the pop tarts on a parchment-lined baking sheet(s). Cover the baking sheet(s), and chill in the fridge for 30-60 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Brush the tarts with the beaten egg, and bake the pop-tarts for 25-30 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Let cool slightly.
For the Glaze:
- Sift the powdered sugar and cacao into the bowl of a stand mixer. With the mixer on low, slowly stir in the milk and vanilla, a little at a time, to make a smooth, pourable glaze. Drizzle over the pop tarts, and garnish according to your tastes.