Whether you call them a pop tart or a hand pie, these are an irresistible snack full of apple cinnamon and brown sugar fall flavors.
mini caramel apple pop tarts with brown sugar glaze

I missed out on the part of childhood that involved eating artificial fruit covered in artificial pie crust and an artificially colored glaze for breakfast.


The Pop Tart wasΒ persona non grata in our household, along with Fruity Pebbles, Cocoa Pebbles, and Cookie Crisp. Although Fruit Loops and Golden Grahams and Cinnamon Toast Crunch were, strangely, totally acceptable.

I will never understand parenting.



Well the joke is on you now, mom, because now that I am old, not only can I buy Pop Tarts myself (except that I wouldn’t. ever. even if my life depended on it. ew.) and eat them for ALL THE MEALS, but I can also make them. And eat them for ALL THE MEALS.



In case this was unclear to anyone besides me, pop tarts are actually hand pies. In breakfast-appropriate clothing.

Who knew? (Well, obviously, those of you who were allowed to eat them. Doh.)


And pie for breakfast? That’s totally the kind of thing I can get behind.

Also, eating brown sugar glaze straight from the pan and getting rainbow sprinkles in every crevice of your life. I support you.


These are filled with so much caramel cinnamon apple brown sugar. Like, real apples. Bet your pop tart can’t do that.

I tried to get the.boy to affirm my belief that they were just like the apple cinnamon pop tarts but BETTER. But he just said they tasted more like toaster strudel.

Meh. What does he know. It’s not like he ate them for breakfast every day of his childhood or anything like that.


All I know is…don’t waste your weekend by not making these. K, thanks.


One year ago…Buckwheat Harvest Tart

Two years ago…Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables,

Three years ago…Spinach and Onion Curry Pizza on Pumpkin Pizza Dough

Four years ago…Cacio e Pepe Spaghetti Squash

Caramel Apple Pop Tarts with Brown Sugar Glaze
Whether you call them a pop tart or a hand pie, these are an irresistible snack full of apple cinnamon and brown sugar fall flavors.
Yield: 18 pop tarts
For the crust
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1¼ tsp salt
  • 8 oz chilled butter, cut into ½-inch dice
For the filling
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 honeycrisp apples, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp flour
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
For the glaze:
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • pinch of sea salt
  • sprinkles
  1. For the crust, combine the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. Add in the cold butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse, wet sand. Stir in 4-5 tbsp of ice water until the dough just starts to come together.
  2. Divide the dough in two and pat each half into a disk. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you make the filling, about 30 minutes.
  3. For the filling, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add in the apples, lemon, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Saute for 15 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Allow to cool while you roll out the dough.
  4. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Beat the egg with 1 tbsp water.
  5. On a piece of floured parchment paper, roll out one of the disks of dough to a 10x13-inch rectangle. Using a biscuit cutter, cut out as many circles as possible and place them on one of the parchment-lined baking sheets. Gather up the remaining dough and re-roll it, cutting out circles, until there isn't enough dough left. Repeat with second disk of dough.
  6. Place a heaping tsp of apple filling in the center of half of the dough circles. Brush the egg mixture around the edges of the dough circle and then top with another circle of dough. Crimp around the edges to seal. Brush with the egg all over. Repeat until all of the mini pop tarts are filled and sealed.
  7. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  8. Preheat the oven to 375.
  9. Bake one baking sheet at a time, for 20-25 minutes or until dough starts to turn golden brown. Allow to cool before glazing.
  10. To make the glaze, in a small saucepan, bring the brown sugar, butter and milk to a boil, stirring often. Stir in the sea salt and allow to cool for five minutes. Drizzle over the pop tarts.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 pop tart


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89 Responses to Mini Caramel Apple Pop Tarts with Brown Sugar Glaze

  1. These look SO much better than any pop tart I ever had! I haven’t had a real pop tart in forever… and actually probably since snackwells had their own chocolate pop tart!

  2. I totally agree with Lauren, these look way better than your average pop tart. My daughter is a pop tart fiend so I’ll be making these and converting her. And eating a bunch of them myself!

  3. These look perfect! 100x better than a pop tart!

  4. I never knew pop tarts could be this good! What have I been missing?

  5. Chewthefat says:

    When I was younger, I used to have a serious Pop Tart problem. I haven’t eaten them since I was age 23 (well, I took one bite of one a couple of years ago and found it gross) but I used to be able to put away a whole box of those calorie-dense babies.

  6. Tasting more like toaster strudel is an enormous upgrade. These look pretty tasty!

  7. You make it hard for me to actually read the text when you show me those mouth-watering pictures. Something about you being deprived of pop tarts??? It’s cool, I was too. And I can definitely wrap my head around the idea of pie for breakfast!

  8. Wow! I know a gang who would make short work of these. They look fabulous, Joanne. I love the sweet treats you’ve been posting recently. Have a great weekend. Blessings…Mary

  9. NIce!! who doesn’t like pop-tarts – we grew up with them and now I can make them fresh? Perfect girl – you rock!!

  10. Holy smokes. These totally remind me of growing up!! Awesome recipe.

  11. Lynn says:

    I never got to have pop tarts, but my dad worked for Nabisco and they had a version with no icing back then that we could have. I loved them hot with butter. I had completely forgotten about that. Your tarts look so good!

  12. My parents never bought pop tarts either but I never missed them. they taste so fake. these look awesome!

  13. I had never tried a pop tart until about two years ago or so. It wasn’t that they weren’t allowed, but I just was always a bit creeped out by them. I was never interested. These on the other hand look amazing!

  14. I don’t think we even get pop tarts here!

  15. gloria says:

    Joanne I love these pos tarts sooo much look delicious!! and I love all with apples!!!xo

  16. This is the best part of being a grown up! We can eat poptarts ALL DAY LONG. And that’s what I would totally do if I had these!

  17. We weren’t allowed pop tarts or sugar cereal as kids either! And I was always so envious of the kids who got twinkies in their lunches, while I cried over my apple and whole wheat bread. I don’t think I’ve ever recovered. HA. These look incredible!

  18. wow I saw those floating around in pinterest earlier and my friend was sitting at the side asking for the recipe. =D They look fantastic Joanne!

  19. Mmm, homemade poptarts! haha, I love your cereal “rules” you had growing up. We were allowed to buy sweet cereal but were only allowed to eat it for dessert, or mix it 50/50 with a non-sweet cereal if we wanted it for breakfast. I totally ate fruity pebbles for dessert on like EVERY night. mmmm.

  20. sandra says:

    I just saw something like these in a cafe – only they were on sticks like lollypops! I thought, oh, I must try and make these – and here you are doing just that!! Now I have the recipe. πŸ™‚

  21. Oh man these look gooooooood!! It is amazing you get soooo many posts up a week and they are all great! Not sure I would take them time to make these unless it was a special occasion, but they sure look AMAZING! I love the glaze!

  22. making my stomach growl,must be time for breakfast…

  23. My entire childhood basically subsisted off of Pop Tarts, but now they taste like cardboard to me. This homemade version, especially with that glaze on top? Total game-changer.

  24. Sprinkles on top of anything adds a little more cheer! Loving these homemade versions of Pop-Tarts, bet they could would knock the socks off of anyone!

  25. Another fun very delicious item to put on our list of treats for our boys. Can’t wait to try these!!

  26. Trisha says:

    Oh my gosh, these look amazing! My hubby grew up on pop-tarts, and I might have gotten all high and mighty once and declared that our kids were never going to eat them. Then I tried one and discovered, to my dismay, that they’re actually kind of tasty in an artificially processed sugary kind of way. These seem like the perfect compromise!

  27. The kids and I love making homemade pop tarts! Next time we need to try it with your delicious filling.

  28. Pam says:

    I just bought my kids pumpkin pop tarts from Trader Joe’s for our camping trip this weekend – I am such a rebel.

    Yours look so much tastier!

  29. yummmm, they look wayyyy better than a pop tart!

  30. Poptarts, eh? That means I can have these for breakfast? Alllll right!

  31. These look so much better than anything out of a box! Definitely have to give these a try!

  32. Pop Tarts were non grata in my house to, which basically meant I was devouring them by the box full when I was at my friend’s houses… You are making up for lost time and I am all over this pastry band wagon!!

  33. Love these! That brown sugar glaze! Making my own pop-tarts is on my to-bake list for this year. I should probably get on that.

  34. I adore pop tarts! They were a treat in our house, growing up. I still love them to this day but try not to have them around because I could eat them before my husband knows I bought them.
    Pie for breakfas? Heck, yes. I have got to make these. Seriously. Gorgeous and incredibly delicious looking. Um, obsessed, even. πŸ˜‰

  35. debbie says:

    They look absolutely perfect. What a clever idea……and sprinkles never hurt anything. I am a multicolored sprinkle addict!

  36. Whatever you call these things, I WANT ONE. Pop Tarts be damned.

  37. These are beautiful, J! I wish you were bringing me some right now πŸ˜‰

  38. Kate says:

    I almost grew up in your house! Without the fruit loops, golden grahams, or cinnamon toast crunch.

  39. I did eat Pop Tarts everyday for awhile, then I backed off of them and I no longer eat them ever. In fact I ate one a couple years ago and was like how did I like these. Homemade ones are sooooo much better. I would happily eat these for breakfast everyday forever and ever!

  40. Simply Life says:

    I would definitely enjoy this any time of day!

  41. Veronica says:

    Oh yum! Pop Tarts weren’t allowed in our home either but I made up for it in my early twenties. So over them now – much rather have homemade…these are just over the top wonderful!

  42. Beth says:

    I don’t like most store-bought treats, but I have a special place in my heart for pop-tarts. Homemade pop-tarts could be really, really dangerous for me.

  43. I was planning on making those crepes you posted a few days ago for breakfast tomorrow but I think I’ve changed my mind now! I totally need to make this instead, so I can lick the glaze straight from the pan… I don’t think it ever makes it to the poptars but still.
    And wow, these look super pretty too. Definitely much better than storebough ew ew ew. I love these!
    Have an awesome weekend, Joanne! xx

  44. We never really had pop tarts growing up either, so I never really developed a fondness for them. but these? These little guys I could totally get behind. The sprinkles are the best part!

  45. I was not allowed to eat anything sweet when I was a kid…only on holidays like Christmas, or when I was at someone else’s house.. I guess I know why I make so many desserts now…
    These look SO good! WAY better than pop tarts!

  46. PopTarts… Toaster Strudel… I won’t lie, I love(d) them both! And I can guarantee that as much as I love(d) those, I would love your homemade ones a million times more. YUM!

  47. Monet says:

    My parents were huge health food freaks but for whatever reason…they let us eat pop tarts. I haven’t had them in years, but now I totally want to make my own. These look great Joanne!

  48. ha parents are funny! same went for tv shows and what was allowed and what wasn’t. i’ll be honest, i LOVE the occasional poptart so these sound fab to me!

  49. Danielle says:

    Your writing is totally cracking me up! : – ) And these pop tarts looks waaaay better than the ones I used to have as a kid! YUM!

  50. Hotly Spiced says:

    It certainly sounds like your parents were the best kind of parents. I wasn’t allowed any sugary cereals either and of course pop tarts weren’t sold in NZ so I had to have plain cereals but I was allowed just one teaspoon of sugar. You learned to make a little sugar go a long way! I used to love being invited for sleepovers because it seemed all other parents were into buying a sugary start for the day. These pop tarts (of a type that are so much better for you), look delicious xx

  51. I never got pop tarts growing up either, so it has taken until now to realise they could be descriped as hand pies. Yours, though, look far better than anything I’ve seen in a store! Gorgeous πŸ™‚

  52. I made apple hand pies not so long ago and never thought of them as hand pies! I did enjoy a few for breakfast though. I love the brown sugar glaze on these!! Would brighten any morning πŸ™‚

  53. Joanne! These are infinitely more appealing than pop tarts. How perfect would these be for back-to-school fall breakfasts (and lunches…and dinners…and desserts)?

  54. These are soooo gorgeous!! Love that glaze!

  55. Jeanette says:

    I never had a pop tart growing up either – my mom was super health conscious. Love your homemade version – looks and I’m sure tastes so much better than any pop tart I’ve seen!

  56. Oh my yum. Need to make these pronto. And you gave me a trip down memory lane – my mom had those white & blue china plates!

  57. It is Sunday almost afternoon, I am not gonna waste my time…will get to it asap.:)
    Girl, they really look so good the pastry is so perfect and what is not to love about this mini perfect apple tart. Your treats are just amazing and everything’s being pinned.

  58. Pop tart vs. toaster strudel is an ongoing argument between me and Matt…he grew up with pop tarts and thinks they’re way better than toaster strudels. I was always a toaster strudel person! I have tried some bakery “pop tarts” lately, though, and they are so much better than the boxed version!!

  59. We weren’t allowed to have Pop tarts either! But my mom totally bought Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Golden Grahams. And Corn Pops. Ahahahhaa so funny. These are wonderfullllllllllllllll Joanne! I’m gonna feed them to my kiddos stat. How’s that for parenting?

  60. They look like pop tarts πŸ˜‰ I remembered having them for breakfast during my childhood, and I used to love the ones with white frosting and artificial colored beads. I think things were different in the past especially with the inflation, parents work for a living to buy processed foods for their kids b/c they don’t have time or the energy to make foods…and I was one of them. I ate so many processed foods as a kid. I wanna make vegan “pop tarts” one day…thanks for the inspiration, Joanne!

  61. Velva says:

    Your homemade pop tarts would not last 5 minutes at my house. These are beautiful thing. When you become a parent you will never need to buy a box of pop tarts if you can make these-


  62. Deborah says:

    we never had pop tarts growing up, either. I’d way rather have these, anyway!! Yum!

  63. I wasn’t allowed real pop tarts either πŸ™‚ We did have some fake-out organic ones which tricked me pretty well until I tried a real one at a sleep over πŸ˜‰

    Either way- I’d take one of these any day- they look absolutely delicious!

  64. ramblingtart says:

    I wasn’t allowed to eat pop tarts either. πŸ™‚ Oatmeal? Oh yeah. Brown bread toasted? Yep. But nothing sugary or fake. πŸ™‚ These are so cute and sound absolutely marvelous. πŸ™‚

  65. As a kid, I never cared of Poptarts. I have no idea what the hype was. It was just artificially NASTY! Now this I’ll gladly eat any day. Apples, brown sugar and cinnamon? YUM!

  66. Johanna GGG says:

    I’ve heard of pop tarts but toaster strudel sounds even more dodgy – these look gorgeous and I know how you feel with sprinkles everywhere – sounds too familiar (and I know a little girl who would adore these)

  67. We so rarely had pop tarts as kids… but when we did it was a special treat. Haven’t had one in a very long time (not that I crave that artificial fruit flavor). I’ve been tempted to make my own, so your post definitely has me inspired.

  68. I did eat pop-tarts as a kid. Saturday morning cartoons and pop-tarts were my favorite thing. And, now I know that homemade pop-tarts are way better! The brown sugar glaze looks irresistible.

  69. Melissa says:

    Pop tarts and sugar cereals weren’t allowed in my house either! I rebelled as a college student though and ate my share, and I’ll even admit that I really like them! But I like toaster strudel better, and these hand pies look even better than that. I might just have to make these tomorrow.

  70. yes these are way better; they have none of that chemical crap in them.
    and they actually taste like real butter.

  71. Erica says:

    Those Pop tarts look delicious! I love the apple and caramel combination,Joanne!

  72. Kristi says:

    Well, now that I ate my last apple today, I’m going to have to add them back on my grocery list to make these. They look delicious.

  73. Reeni says:

    I ate and loved pop-tarts well into my adult hood! I’d trade them all in for these home-made beauties! These are dreamy pop-tarts.

  74. Kim Tracy says:

    These are way cuter than pop tarts! Plus I love that yours have sprinkles! Seriously though my daughter, who is almost 13, has never had a pop tart and is pestering me like crazy to buy them. I should totally make some of these for her and her friends.

  75. Kathryn says:

    Pop tarts are my total weakness although I don’t know if I can bring myself to eat them any more so I’m all for a homemade especially with that brown sugar glaze!

  76. Blond Duck says:

    I don’t care what you call them, I just want them!

  77. Courtney says:

    Are you kidding me with these? I really want to make them like right.this.second.

  78. Wendy says:

    A pie in the hand is worth several in the pan. πŸ™‚ And apple is our favorite! Your caramel drizzle makes them even more irresistible!

  79. Ashley says:

    I have eaten my fair share of pop tarts a child, and now, as an adult, I need to work on eating more pie for breakfast!

  80. grace says:

    bravo, joanne! homemade poptarts sounds like a big undertaking, but i would definitely take it on for results like these!

  81. Nutmeg Nanny says:

    Oh wow! Am I dreaming??? These look wonderful πŸ™‚

  82. I bet these taste a ton better than pop tarts.

  83. These look terrific. I have never made anything like this. I love it. Like a pop tart version but much better πŸ™‚

  84. Shannon says:

    i’m pretty sure we are the winners for not “getting” to eat them as kids πŸ™‚ these look 1000x better, anyways!

  85. These are so cute, Joanne! And sound so excellent for fall.

  86. Dina says:

    they are really cute and look delish!

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