Paleo Strawberry Heart Pop Tarts (Vegan Friendly, Gluten Free)
What should I make for Valentine’s Day? AKA, what can I make heart-shaped? *Without hesitation* — POP TARTS. I have made several flavors of Pop Tarts, they are just my favorite thing to make. It feels so rewarding but it really is so easy. It’s just a few steps and you can make the dough and filling in advance, place in the fridge, and assemble and bake when you're ready!
I first made these Pop Tarts in rectangles and cut out little hearts out of the top crust. I just didn’t LOVE them. They had to be cuter! This is Valentine’s Day. So I found the perfect sized heart cookie cutter and cut the dough into heart shapes. It really is much easier than free handing with cutting the traditional rectangles because all the shapes line up perfectly.
These paleo and vegan pop tarts are by far my most popular recipe, I’ve made them in so many flavors. I will link in the post below to the other Pop Tart recipes! I’ve had many reach out and thank me that they are so happy they can eat ‘real pop tarts’ again. The best part of recipe developing for others who have restricted diets is to create these old favorites and bring back that happiness and joy. They are safe for a low fodmap diet and the perfect paleo dessert. I even eat these for breakfast.
If you are looking for a fun weekend bake or need a fun little Galentine’s Day treat for your gals, virtually or with just your closest few, these heart shaped strawberry Pop Tart bbs are cute and taste delicious. Hey boyfriends and husbands love these too! Make now or Pin for later!
These Strawberry Heart Shaped Pop Tarts are paleo, gluten free and vegan!
You would honestly never know. I used almond flour/tapioca starch for the flour base, non dairy butter, touch of sea salt and coconut sugar for the dough. And boiled down fresh strawberries with a touch of maple syrup for the filling. These taste true to a real strawberry Pop Tart! I’ve had those who have been gluten free for years make these and couldn’t believe how much they tasted like ‘childhood’, and how they’ve missed Pop Tarts!
Are these Strawberry Heart Pop Tarts easy to make?
Yes! I’d say these are easy level baking. Don’t be intimated by the look of them. You mix the dough ingredients together, roll out and cut into hearts with a cookie cutter or into rectangles and fill the centers. Place another piece of dough on top, seal the edges and pop into the oven. Spread some icing and you have yourself the most delicious little pop tart/hand pie!
The 5 minute jam filling!
Don’t be intimated by making this filling. You literally just heat and smash the berries on the stovetop, add a touch of sweetener and some tapioca starch to gel it up into a jam. It takes just about 5 minutes.
How do I make my own unrefined powdered sugar?
To make your own unrefined powdered sugar, place any granulated sweetener in a high speed blender for 30-60 seconds. I use my Vitamix and place the sugar in my dry container. I suggest powdered monkfruit in this recipe. I think coconut sugar is a little too overpowering for the strawberry. Powdered sugar is great to have on hand for frostings, icings, and shortbread cookies so I like to make a bunch and store it for later.
How to store the paleo strawberry pop tarts?
Store the pop tarts in a vented container or dish covered with aluminum foil for 1-2 days on the counter, and then transfer to the fridge in an airtight container. Try to lay them flat, if you stack them they may get soft and stick together. These can also be frozen for 3+ months!
What is in these paleo strawberry pop tarts?
Strawberries: You can use fresh or frozen. Alternatively you can substitute for raspberries or blueberries
Coconut Sugar: My baking sugar of choice. It’s low glycemic and safe on most low carb diets. It doesn’t taste like coconut sugar! But you can replace this with any other granulated sweetener
Almond Flour: My go to paleo flour, it is a neutral flavor and adds moisture. It unfortunately can’t be substituted
Tapioca Starch/Flour: This starch is half of your dough. It binds and absorbs moisture from the almond flour. You may substitute with arrowroot starch
Non Dairy Butter or Real Butter: Gives a buttery flavor to the crust, a must in all pie crusts
Egg: Binds together the dough. You can substitute for a flax or chia egg
Sea Salt: balances out sweetness in all baking recipes
Unrefined or Regular Powdered Sugar: I always make my own unrefined powdered sugar by putting any granulated sweetener in a high speed blender for 30 seconds. I think traditional powdered sugar works best for this icing, but you can also use powdered monkfruit here for a paleo option. It's just a little sweeter.
Vanilla Extract: Just a touch for the icing
Strawberry filling: You make this quick 5 minute jam, divide it to be used in both your pop tarts and also for the icing
What do I need for these paleo strawberry pop tarts?
Optional heart shaped cookie cutter, if making heart shapes
A rolling pin
Parchment paper for rolling
Large baking Sheet
Fork for crimping edges and poking holes before baking
Hand mixer/beater for the frosting
1 cup almond flour
1 cup tapioca flour
4 tbsp non dairy butter or grass fed butter, cold
1/4 cup of coconut sugar
1 egg or flax egg*
1/2 tsp sea salt
The strawberry filling:
1 1/4 cup of diced/chopped strawberries fresh or frozen
1 tbsp tapioca flour, plus 1 tbsp of hot water
1 tbsp+ of maple syrup, or any sweetener
2 tbsp of strawberry filling, from above
1 cup of powdered sugar or powdered monkfruit sweetener
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
*see notes for icing substitutions
Make the strawberry Pop Tarts:
1. Make the filling. Boil down strawberries on stove with a splash of water. Once they’re hot, smash them until puréed. In small bowl, mix together the tapioca starch and hot water until dissolved.
2. Add in this tapioca water and the maple syrup/sweetener to the strawberries and mix well. Taste and make more sweet if needed. Take off stove and let cool, it’ll gel up like jam. For thicker or seedier jam, add 1 tbsp chia seeds to the mix. I didn’t strain mine, I kept the seeds/skins but strain if you’d like! Set aside 2 tbsp of strawberry filling for the icing.
3. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a larger baking sheet with parchment paper.
4. Now mix all the dough ingredients together in a medium size bowl. I use my hands to break up the butter and get messy. You could also use a food processor. Then wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate until cold or it’ll be too sticky to work with. About 30 minutes.
5. Once chilled, place the dough between two pieces of parchment paper for the easiest rolling. A trick I like is to put a little bit of water on the counter or flat surface beneath the bottom parchment piece so it will stick when you start to roll. You can also break your dough in half and roll in segments.
6. Roll out to about 1/8” thick. If you feel the dough is sticky, add a bit of flour under and on top of the dough before rolling. If using a heart shaped cookie cutter, cut out shapes and transfer to the baking sheet. If you are making traditional pop tarts, cut into 2”x 4” rectangles. Repeat until all dough is used.
7. Transfer half of your shapes to the lined baking sheet.
8. Now spoon about 1-2 tbsp of filling on half of the cut outs, depending how large the cut outs are. Top with the another cut out, carefully using a spatula. Use your finger to gently press down edges to seal. Then use a fork to make the little seal marks. Poke your fork on top of each pop tart so air can be released. Option to brush them with egg or milk for browner tops. Bake for 15 minutes until edges are brown.
9. While these are baking, prepare your icing. Strain the 2 tbsp of strawberry filling through a mesh strainer so it's smooth. Then mix together all ingredients in a small bowl until an icing forms. If it’s too runny, add more powdered sugar. If it’s too thick, add 1/2 tsp of water, milk, or any remaining strawberry filling at a time until it becomes spreadable. Cover until ready to use.
10. Remove pop tarts from oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Once completely cool, spread the icing over the top with the back of small spoon or butter knife. Let set for 10 minutes. Add sprinkles or extra drizzles if preferred.
11. Store in a vented container or dish covered with aluminum foil for 2 days on the counter, and then transfer to the fridge in an airtight container. Try to lay them flat, if you stack them they may get soft and stick together. These can also be frozen for 3+ months!
If you love Pop Tarts, you'll love these other flavors!
To make these vegan, use a flax egg for the dough. Mix 1 tbsp of ground flax or ground chia with 3 tbsp of water and let sit for 3-5 minutes
For the icing, I find using powdered coconut sugar is a bit too overpowering for the strawberry flavor. I suggest using powdered monkfruit. Or you can use the icing I used for my blueberry pop tarts here, adding 2 tbsp of strawberry filling to the recipe. It is made with coconut butter and is a paleo option.
Work with COLD dough. It will be hard to work with once it gets to room temperature. The best way to do this is refrigerate half the of the dough while you are rolling the first half.
You can use any heart shaped cookie cutter here, but I recommend one that is no smaller than 3”. Alternatively, you can make traditional pop tarts by cutting the dough into 2” x 4” rectangles.
You can make the dough and filling in advance, place in the fridge, and assemble and bake when you're ready!
If you make these cute little strawberry Pop Tarts, be sure to leave me comments or ratings below! It really helps others. And how me your creations on Instagram @gutsy_baker! I love to see what you're baking up.