These adorable Homemade Pop Tarts are perfect for Valentines Day, but can be enjoyed all year round! The combo of strawberries, cheesecake filling, and our favorite flaky, buttery crust makes these hand pies truly addictive.
In This Article
Why This Recipe Stands Out
These Homemade Pop Tarts are infinitely better than the store bought version we grew up with. This is one of our go-to cheesecake recipes when we’re looking for something portable, and delicious. Here’s why:
- Valentine’s Day: Although these are amazing all year round, they make the perfect Valentine’s Day treat.
- Super Easy: With just a small list of simple ingredients, these pop tarts are super easy to make and come together in just about 30 minutes!
- Versatile: Homemade Pop Tarts are super versatile. You can easily tweak the recipe every time for new varieties.
- Great for Gatherings: This portable, easy-to-eat treat is one of our favorite easy desserts to pass around at family gatherings or to gift to friends and neighbors.
- The Crust: The crust in this recipe is the best melt-in-your-mouth, buttery, flaky crust you’ll ever taste!
Key Recipe Ingredients
- Pie Crust – We use the flaky, butter crust from our recipe for The Best Apple Pie for these pop tarts.
- Strawberry Cream Cheese – Strawberry cream cheese not only offers that creamy, cheesecake texture, but also adds extra strawberry flavor.
- Strawberry Preserves – Pure strawberry preserves add a sweet, juicy burst of strawberry goodness.
- Egg Wash – An egg wash makes these pop tarts turn a gorgeous, golden color.
Substitutions And Variations
Not only can you change the shapes of Homemade Pop Tarts, you can also play around with endless fillings. Check out some of our favorite variations for this recipe:
- Crust: If you’re running short on time, feel free to opt for a shapeable store bought crust. Here’s some of the best store-bought crust options for pies.
- Jam Filling: We use pure strawberry preserves for this recipe, but feel free to swap this with homemade strawberry jam or any other kind of preserves like blackberry, blueberry, raspberry, or peach.
- Cheesecake Filling: This recipe uses Philadelphia strawberry cream cheese. But this brand has tons of fun, sweet flavors like brown sugar/cinnamon, blueberry, and honey pecan. You could also substitute mascarpone for the cream cheese.
- Other Varieties: Looking for a good autumn spin on this recipe? Check out our Pumpkin Hand Pies recipe. For a chocolatey spin, take a look at these Strawberry Nutella Hand Pies.
Step-By-Step Recipe Instructions
- Roll out half of pie dough and cut out desired shapes. Repeat until dough is used up.
- Spoon strawberry cream cheese onto the bottom cutouts. Then, spoon preserves onto cream cheese. Sprinkle sugar over the filling.
- Seal top cutouts onto the bottom cutouts by pressing the edges firmly with a fork.
- Cut slits in the pop tarts, brush with beaten egg, and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
- Repeat steps 1-4 with other half of dough.
- Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet at 350F for 15-20 minutes or until golden.
For full list of ingredients and instructions, see recipe card below.
Prep Ahead Tips
Homemade Pop Tarts can be a great prep-ahead treat – perfect for on-the-go breakfasts or snacks. Here’s our favorite ways to make this recipe unbelievably easy:
- The Crust: You can totally make the dough for the crust ahead of time and let it chill in the fridge for a night or two. Just note that it’ll need some time to sit at room temperature until it’s soft enough to work with.
- Freeze Unbaked: These Homemade Pop Tarts can actually be completely assembled and then frozen for months before baking. Just flash freeze them on a baking tray until they’re hard. Then, transfer them to an airtight container. When it’s time to bake, thaw and bake like normal.
- Freeze Baked: Another option is to let the pop tarts cool completely after baking them and then transfer them to an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. We recommend re-warming them in the oven at 300F to prevent them from getting soggy.
Commonly Asked Questions
Store Homemade Pop Tarts in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. (Note: We think these pop tarts are best enjoyed as soon as possible for the best flavor and texture.)
We don’t recommend re-heating homemade pop tarts in the toaster, because they’re a lot fresher and softer than store-bought pop tarts meaning they could easily make a mess in the toaster. Instead, we opt for a 300F oven to reheat these little treats.
Absolutely! Just wait to drizzle the glaze on until they’re completely cooled to prevent them from getting soggy. Try a classic powdered sugar glaze, or the festive spiced glaze we use in our recipe for our Favorite Pumpkin Scones.
When the tops turn golden, you’ll know these pop tarts are done. You may also see some of the strawberry preserves bubbling out of the slits.
One of the biggest reasons for hand pies falling apart is too much filling. We know the strawberry cheesecake filling is amazing, but make sure not to spoon too much into the crusts as it will make it next-to-impossible to seal them properly.
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Homemade Pop Tarts
- Roll out half of the chilled pie dough to 1/8 in thick, on a lightly floured surface. (keep other half in the fridge while you work.)
- Using cookie cutter, cut out desired shapes. Alternatively, use a knife to cut dough into squares or rectangles. Continue re-rolling dough scraps until first half of the dough is used up.
- Spoon desired amount of strawberry cream cheese onto bottom crust of hand pies. Spoon desired amount of strawberry preserves on top of cream cheese. Keep in mind that the more filling you put, the harder it may be to keep it from leaking out when sealing! Sprinkle tops of filling generously with sugar.
- Place top crusts on hand pies, and take care to seal them tightly. Use a fork to press down hard on edges, to finish the seal.
- Using a sharp knife, cut little slits over the tops of hand pies. Brush each pie with beaten egg, and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Gently place pies on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Repeat with remaining half of pie dough.
- Bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes, or just until tops are golden brown.
- Let cool completely before serving.
- Here’s our recipe for the best Flaky Butter Pie Crust. You can use store bought crust, though flavor is always best when homemade.
- Note that the amounts (and nutrition facts) will vary for the filling ingredients depending on how large you make your pop tarts.
- Check out our recipe for Strawberry Nutella Hand Pies for another perfect Valentine’s Day treat.
- If you feel like your pop tarts need some extra help sealing, try brushing some of the egg wash between the edges before pressing them down with a fork.
Nutrition (per serving)
More To Bake And Eat
- Mini Cheesecake Recipe – These mini white chocolate raspberry cheesecakes have all the smooth, creamy, goodness of a full-sized cheesecake in a bite-sized package.
- Chewy Blondie Recipe – This blondie recipe is chewy, chocolatey, and perfectly sweet. We love using pink and red M&Ms and serving these for Valentine’s Day!
- Perfect Strawberry Cheesecake – This cheesecake is every bit as rich, velvety, and indulgent as the best cheesecakes you’ll find in New York City.
- Salted Caramel Cheesecake Bites – White chocolate cheesecake topped with soft salted caramel sits on a buttery chocolate crust. These bite-sized treats are always a favorite!