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LEMON POP TARTS

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These frosted lemon pop tarts feature a flaky buttery crust with thick, luscious lemon filling. Like our strawberry pop tarts, these delicious toaster pastries can be made 2 ways: 100% homemade, or halfway to homemade.

PIN LEMON POP TARTS

Frosted lemon pop tarts on a metal cooling rack.

Something to adore about these toaster pastries is how unique they are. Handmade, each one is slightly different. Some are puffier than others. The frosting spread over the top is not exactly the same shape. The pattern of the candy sprinkles varies. Each lemon pop tart is perfectly imperfect!

Two stacked lemon pop tarts with a bite taken out of the one on top.

My go-to method for toaster pastries includes homemade pastry dough and this easy recipe for lemon curd. But there are times when my craving for a lemon hand pie is immediate and deep. When I need quick satisfaction I’ll reach for store-bought refrigerated pie crusts and a jar of lemon curd.

Whether made entirely from scratch or halfway homemade, these lemon pop tarts are 100% more luscious than Kellogg’s pop tarts. In comparison, the boxed ones with preservatives taste like cardboard. We deserve a bakery-style pastry with a fabulous filling and a tasty glaze.

Three lemon hand pies on a cooling rack being decorated with sprinkles.

INGREDIENTS

Flaky Pastry Dough

HALFWAY HOMEMADE: If using the halfway-homemade method, you won’t need the ingredients below. Buy a box of refrigerated pie crusts (I prefer Pillsbury). At the market, look for this product in the refrigerated section.

  • All-Purpose Flour: Gives the pastry dough structure. When mixed with water, the proteins interact and form gluten. This elastic framework gives the dough its strength. However, it’s important the flour is not over-hydrated or too much gluten will form. The dough will shrink back when baked, and the pastry will be chewy rather than light and flaky.
  • Granulated Sugar: Provides the perfect amount of sweetness.
  • Sea Salt: Adds a dimension of flavor to baked goods.
  • Unsalted Butter: The fat in this ingredient gives pastry dough a light flaky texture with delicate lofty layers. The unbaked pastry should have small visible bits of cold butter that will create air pockets during baking. If using salted butter, reduce the sea salt to 1/2 teaspoon.
  • Ice-cold Water: This temperature is non-negotiable. Ice-cold water helps keep the fat in the butter cold. While handling the dough, we must prevent the butter from warming.
  • Large Egg + 1 Tablespoon Water: For brushing the dough. It’s an edible glue that helps keep the top and bottom crusts together so the pop tart is sealed. It’s also a glaze brushed over the top of the pastries.
Ingredients for pastry crust for lemon pop tarts.

Lemon Fruit Filling

HALFWAY TO HOMEMADE: Buy a jar of lemon curd. At the market, look for it near the jellies and jams. For the best flavor and texture I prefer Bonne Maman (imported from France) and Trader Joe’s (imported from England).

  • Whole Eggs and Yolks: This combination provides the ideal amount of richness without making the mixture too eggy.
  • Granulated Sugar: Provides ideal sweetness to offset the tartness so the taste is perfectly balanced.
  • Lemon Juice and Lemon Zest: Provides the bright lemony flavor that makes this recipe shine.
  • Butter: Provides moisture, richness and a delicious mouthfeel.
  • Sea Salt: Enhances the flavor of the other ingredients.
  • Pure Vanilla Extract: Provides a bakery taste and gorgeous aroma.
Ingredients for lemon curd.

Frosting

  • Powdered Sugar: Also called confectioner’s sugar, it’s the main ingredient for this delicious frosting. It’s important to use this specific type of sugar as it dissolves in liquid without any heat.
  • Whole Milk: Adds moisture and richness. But you can also use heavy cream or half-and-half.
  • Lemon Juice: Adds a bright lemon flavor.

Sprinkles

  • Sprinkle Mix: For lemon pop tarts I prefer Sprinklefetti Sparkle Yellow Sprinkle Mix because it looks super special. But with the worldwide shipping situation, many products are currently not in stock. So I made my own DIY version (see “Recipe FAQ” section). But feel free to make your own custom mix with whatever you have on hand. You can use edible vermicelles, confetti, nonpareils and white sparkling sugar.
Ingredients for pop tart icing plus yellow sprinkle mix for decorating.

recipe steps

HALFWAY HOMEMADE: Buy a jar of lemon curd and a box of 2 refrigerated pie crusts. Skip down to the Pop Tart Assembly section of the recipe.

Lemon Fruit Filling

HOMEMADE: Make this easy lemon curd recipe.

Homemade Pastry Dough

RECIPE PREP: Fill a tall glass with ice. Pour cold water over the top. Put it aside for 15 minutes. Chop butter into small cubes.

  • STEP 1: Add flour and granulated sugar to the bowl of a food processor. (If no food processor: see “Recipe FAQ” section for instructions.) Pulse briefly to combine. Add chopped pieces of butter to the bowl.
  • STEP 2: Pulse until no chunks of butter are visible and the mixture resembles coarse meal.
  • STEP 3: Add ice-cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together in clumps. The dough should not come together into a ball. When pressed between your fingers it should be moist, but not wet and crumbly. With a spatula, check the bottom and sides of the bowl to make sure there are no dry pockets of flour. If there are, add a bit more water and pulse again. Remove dough from the bowl and divide it in half. Shape each half into a 1-inch thick disk. Wrap each piece in plastic. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour (or overnight).

KITCHEN NOTES: The biggest tip is to keep the dough cold at all times. Pastry dough prep time: 5 minutes. Chill time: 1 hour.

How to make pastry crust in 3 simple steps.

Pop Tart Assembly

RECIPE PREP: Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Lightly flour a large board and a rolling pin. Line 2 large baking trays with parchment paper. Find a ruler. Pull out a long, sharp kitchen knife.

  • STEP 1: Remove 1 disk of homemade dough (OR 1 refrigerated pie crust) from the fridge and unwrap it. Transfer it to the prepared board. It’s important to work quickly. Roll the dough into a rough 10″ X 13″ rectangle, 1/8-inch thick. Use your ruler to measure. Trim the dough into a perfect 9″ x 12″ rectangle. Slice the rectangle into nine 3″ x 4″ pieces. Gently lift and transfer the pieces to a prepared baking tray, leaving room between the rectangles.
  • STEP 2: In a ramekin, whisk the egg with a splash of water. Brush egg wash around the edges of each rectangle (this will glue the top and bottom pieces of the pastry together). Add 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon filling in the middle of each rectangle. Do not overfill. Leave an empty border around the edges so we can close and seal the pop tarts.
  • STEP 3: Repeat the rolling and slicing process with the second disk of dough. Arrange the 9 pieces on top of the filling-topped rectangles. With your fingertips, press firmly around the edges of each pastry to seal it closed. With the back of a fork, crimp all the edges to secure the filling inside. Poke a set of 4 holes on the top of each pop tart so steam can escape. If time allows, chill the pastries in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  • STEP 4: Brush the top of each hand pie with egg wash. Bake 20 to 25 minutes (rotating the pan halfway through baking), or until the pop tarts are golden blonde. Cool completely before frosting.

KITCHEN NOTES: Even though the pastries will not spread in the oven, we’ve left some space between them just in case some of the filling leaks. Pop tart assembly: 15 Minutes. Bake time: 20 to 25 minutes.

How to assemble lemon pop tarts in 4 easy steps.
  • STEP 5: Make the frosting. Whisk together powdered sugar, milk and lemon juice. Working with 1 pastry at a time, spread icing over the top. Immediately decorate with candy sprinkles.

KITCHEN TIP: Only frost and sprinkle the pop tarts you’ll be serving today. Refrigerate the remaining unfrosted pastries in an airtight container. When ready to enjoy, reheat in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes. Frost and decorate.

Baking tray with lemon pop tarts cooled, frosted and decorated with sprinkle mix.

RECIPE FAQ

These are the most commonly-asked questions when making lemon pop tarts and the most helpful answers for recipe success.

HOW TO ASSEMBLE DOUGH WITHOUT A FOOD PROCESSOR?

Put butter in the freezer for 1 hour. Grate the cold butter on a cheese grater. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in the butter (with a pastry cutter or fork) until the mixture resembles course meal. Add ice-cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough comes together. Divide in half. Shape each into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate 1 hour.

CAN PASTRY DOUGH BE MADE WITH SHORTENING?

For this pop tarts recipe we want a rich buttery dough. But we do confirm shortening amplifies flakiness in pastries. So for the best of both worlds, feel free to use a 50/50 mix of butter and shortening.

HOW TO KEEP DOUGH FROM STICKING TO THE CUTTING BOARD?

For easy release of the dough, wrap an extra-large board in plastic wrap. Spread out a kitchen cloth on your work surface. Place the wrapped board on top to keep it from slipping around. Lightly flour the board. Roll and cut the dough. The pieces will easily lift up from the plastic.

HOW TO MAKE A DIY SPRINKLE MIX FOR LEMON POP TARTS?

Pour 1/4 cup Sweet Tooth Fairy White Sprinkle Mix (contains vermicelles sprinkles and 4 sizes soft crunch pearls) into a plastic bag with 1 tablespoon white confetti sprinkles. Add 1 drop AmeriColor Lemon Yellow food coloring. Gently massage color into the sprinkles. Spread mix on a parchment-lined tray to dry for 1 hour before using. Complete the look with 1/2 tablespoon white sparkling sugar.

WHAT TO DO WITH LEFTOVER LEMON FILLING?

Use it to make mini lemon tarts with raspberries, lemon whip fruit dip, Linzer sugar cookies, and thumbprint cookies. Spread it over toast, scones, muffins, and whipping cream biscuits.

HOW LONG DO HOMEMADE POP TARTS LAST?

Pop tarts can stay fresh for 5 to 6 days when kept refrigerated in an airtight container. After baking the pastries, only frost those that will be eaten immediately. Refrigerate the remainder unfrosted. When ready to enjoy, rewarm the toaster pastries on a baking tray in 350°F oven (NOT in a slotted toaster). Frost and decorate. For refrigerated hand pies that are already frosted, let them come to room temperature and enjoy.

CAN HOMEMADE TOASTER PASTRIES BE REHEATED IN A TOASTER?

No. Do not reheat them in a regular toaster. Homemade toaster pastries have a lush filling that can escape through the sides if heated vertically in a slotted toaster. Always reheat homemade pop tarts on a baking tray in the oven (or on a baking tray in a toaster oven).

Four stacked lemon toaster pastries.

MORE HAND-HELD BREAKFAST IDEAS

If you enjoy lemon pop tarts, you’ll love these hand-held breakfast ideas. They’re perfect for busy families, and double as mid-day snacks. Print out your favorite recipes or pin them to Pinterest.

Five frosted lemon pop tarts on a dessert table.

RATE THIS RECIPE ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Taste testers rated these the BEST homemade lemon pop tarts. They gave these flaky toaster pastries 2 thumbs up. They adored the luscious lemon filling with delicious mouthfeel. The frosting and sprinkles sealed the deal.

If you agree these toaster pastries are 100% better than Kellogg’s pop tarts, give this recipe a 5-star rating in the comments. Then share it with a friend.

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com
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Frosted lemon pop tarts on a metal cooling rack.

LEMON POP TARTS


Description

Homemade lemon pop tarts are delicious, exciting and fun! They feature irresistible lemon frosting and candy sprinkles. Make them from scratch, or with refrigerated pie crusts and a jar of lemon curd. 


Ingredients

Units Scale

PASTRY DOUGH – 2 OPTIONS

HALFWAY HOMEMADE: 1 box refrigerated pie crusts (2 count)

HOMEMADE PASTRY DOUGH

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) cold salted butter, diced into small cubes
  • 1/2 cup ice-cold water, approximate (add it gradually)

LEMON FILLING – 2 OPTIONS

HALFWAY HOMEMADE: 1 12.7-ounce jar lemon curd

HOMEMADE LEMON FILLING

  • 4 large egg yolks (no whites)
  • 2 large whole eggs
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 4 – 5 Meyer lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (the clear type)

FROSTING

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

SPRINKLES

  • Sprinklefetti, or your own homemade sprinkle mix

 

 

 


Instructions

HOMEMADE LEMON FILLING

HOMEMADE PASTRY DOUGH

RECIPE PREP: Fill a tall glass with ice. Pour cold water over the top. Put it aside for 15 minutes. 

  1. Add flour and granulated sugar to the bowl of a food processor. (If no food processor, see “Notes” for instructions.) Pulse briefly to combine. Add chopped pieces of butter to the bowl.
  2. Pulse until no chunks of butter are visible and the mixture resembles coarse meal.
  3. Add ice-cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together in clumps. The dough should not come together into a ball. When pressed between your fingers it should be moist, but not wet and crumbly. With a spatula, check the bottom and sides of the bowl to make sure there are no dry pockets of flour. If there are, add a bit more water and pulse again.
  4. Remove dough from the bowl and divide it in half. Shape each half into a 1-inch thick disk. Wrap each piece in plastic. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour (or overnight).

POP TART ASSEMBLY

RECIPE PREP: Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Lightly flour a large board and a rolling pin. Line 2 large baking trays with parchment paper. Find a ruler. Pull out a long, sharp kitchen knife.

  1. Remove 1 disk of homemade dough (OR 1 refrigerated pie crust) from the fridge and unwrap it. Transfer it to the prepared board. It’s important to work quickly.
  2. Roll the dough into a rough 10″ X 13″ rectangle, 1/8-inch thick. Use your ruler to measure. Trim the dough into a perfect 9″ x 12″ rectangle. Slice the rectangle into nine 3″ x 4″ pieces. Gently lift and transfer the pieces to a prepared baking tray, leaving room between the rectangles.
  3. In a ramekin, whisk the egg with a splash of water. Brush egg wash around the edges of each rectangle (this will glue the top and bottom pieces of the pastry together). Add 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon filling in the middle of each rectangle. Do not overfill. Leave an empty border around the edges so we can close and seal the pop tarts.
  4. Repeat the rolling and slicing process with the second disk of dough. Arrange the 9 pieces on top of the filling-topped rectangles. With your fingertips, press firmly around the edges of each pastry to seal it closed. With the back of a fork, crimp all the edges to secure the filling inside. Poke a set of 4 holes on the top of each pop tart so steam can escape. If time allows, chill the pastries in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  5. Brush the top of each hand pie with egg wash. Bake 20 to 25 minutes (rotating the pan halfway through baking), or until the pop tarts are golden blonde. Cool completely before frosting.
  6. Make the frosting. Whisk together powdered sugar, milk and lemon juice. Working with 1 pastry at a time, spread icing over the top. Immediately decorate with candy sprinkles. 

Notes

HOW TO ASSEMBLE DOUGH WITHOUT A FOOD PROCESSOR: Put butter in the freezer for 1 hour. Grate the cold butter on a cheese grater. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in the butter (with a pastry cutter or fork) until the mixture resembles course meal. Add ice-cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough comes together. Divide in half. Shape each into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate 1 hour.

KITCHEN TIP: Only frost and sprinkle the pop tarts you’ll be serving today. Refrigerate the remaining unfrosted pastries in an airtight container for up to 6 days, and the frosting in a separate container. When ready to enjoy, bring frosting to room temperature. Then reheat toaster pastries on a baking tray in a 350°F oven (NOT in a slotted toaster) for 10 minutes. Frost and decorate the pop tarts.

  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • 1 Hour Chill Time (If Homemade Dough):
  • Cook Time: 20 Minutes
  • Category: Breakfast, Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Lemon Pop Tarts, Toaster Pastries, Homemade Pop Tarts, Lemon Hand Pies

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

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