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Homemade Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts

These Homemade Pop-Tarts Earned a "That Was the Best Thing I've Ever Eaten" Review

Like so many others, I jumped on the sourdough bread train of 2020, and as anyone who has kept up the hobby knows (except for the monsters who throw it away . . . you know who you are), the real struggle is finding a creative way to use your sourdough starter discard.

Although I haven't gone as far as using my sourdough starter discard as a face mask, I have made some really delicious recipes, from soft pretzels to pancakes to tortillas. (I've also had some fails; my sourdough chocolate chip cookies weren't my best work.) Now I'm adding these homemade sourdough pop-tarts to my repertoire, because they are so. damn. good. No seriously, my sister-in-law immediately texted me "that was the best thing I've ever eaten" after I gave her one. And I am far from a professional baker here, folks!

First, let's get something straight. These homemade pop-tarts do not taste like sourdough bread. The sourdough starter discard doesn't have that signature sour taste (especially after it's sat in my fridge for a week or so), so we're talking sweet, buttery pastry here. The crust is similar to a pie crust, so they are kind of reminiscent of a Toaster Strudel or a hand pie.

While you can use any filling (i.e. strawberry or blueberry jam, Nutella, etc.), I went with brown sugar cinnamon because it's my favorite Pop-Tart flavor. Don't skimp on the filling, and if a little oozes out, who cares, they'll be devoured in minutes anyways. I topped mine with icing and sprinkles (these Christmas-themed ones are from Fancy Sprinkles), but feel free to use the topping of your choice. Get the recipe, ahead!

Homemade Sourdough Pop-Tarts

Adapted from Little Spoon Farm


If you use salted butter instead of unsalted butter, use less salt than the recipe calls for (like a pinch).

You can use whatever filling you like, from blueberry or strawberry jam to Nutella.

Homemade Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts


  1. Crust
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    8 tablespoons unsalted butter (cold)
    1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
    2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    1/2 cup (125 g) sourdough discard
    1 teaspoon white vinegar
  1. Filling
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 tablespoon flour
  1. 1 egg lightly beaten
  1. Glaze
    1/2 cup powdered sugar
    1 teaspoon water
  1. Sprinkles (optional)


To Make the Crust:

  1. Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Carefully (watch those fingers) and quickly use a cheese grater to grate the cold butter into the flour mixture — as anyone who's watched The Great British Bake Off knows, you gotta keep that butter cold. Cut the butter into the flour using a pastry cutter (or bench scraper) until you have large crumbles.
  2. Add the sourdough starter discard and vinegar, using a fork to combine the dough (remember, you're trying to avoid melting the butter). If it's too dry and crumbly, add a teaspoon of ice water at a time until it's cohesive, but be careful not to overdo it. Shape the dough into a rectangular shape.
  3. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, then use a rolling pin to flatten it a little and give it a nice smooth shape. Chill it in the fridge for at least one hour but up to 24 hours if you want to prep it early!

To Assemble:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Lightly flour your surface, then roll the dough into a rectangle, with around a 1/8-inch thickness. Cut the dough into 4 strips, and brush all around the edges with the egg wash.
  3. Mix together the brown sugar, ground cinnamon, and flour for the filling.
  4. Add a heaping spoonful of filling to one side of each rectangle, and fold the dough over itself. Use a fork to press and seal the edges. Brush the egg wash on top of each pop tart.
  5. Place the pop tarts onto the baking sheet, and bake for 20-25 minutes (watch for a golden brown crust). Transfer to a cooling rack to glaze.

To Glaze:

  1. Whisk the powdered sugar and water together until it's smooth and spreadable (you may need to add a little extra water). Spoon onto each pop tart while it's still warm, and sprinkle with coarse sugar or sprinkles.
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Tara Block
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