A Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Childhood Treat: Homemade Pop Tarts

I remember going to the grocery store with my mom as a child and licking my lips as I walked past the frozen food section and spotting the Pop Tarts. Oh,how I desired these boxed pastries so badly each time I would see them stacked so perfectly in the case. Now, what child does not like Pop Tarts? I remember wishing and hoping that my mom would buy these for us. At the time, I couldn’t understand why she wouldn’t put these on her grocery list. Now I know why. 🙂 Since that time, I have obviously learned that they are anything but the first choice for breakfast. Just a glance at the ingredient list in the strawberry flavored box displays some of the following ingredients: Enriched flour (wheat), corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, soybean oil, TBQH to preserve freshness, wheat starch, caramel color,, red 40, yellow 6, blue 1. This is not even the entire list, and some I honestly have no clue what they are. Now, the fact that it has wheat, alone leads me to avoid this product. Yet the other ingredients on this list make me cringe as well.

Still, like I said…what child does not like Pop Tarts? That question led me to a recipe that I have used many times and with great success. Plus, it is “kid and hubby approved”! 🙂 So, without further ado, here is the gluten free recipe of this childhood treat.

Gluten Free and Dairy Free Pop Tarts:

1 cup superfine brown rice flour
¾ cup tapioca starch (The recipe also gives the option of potato starch; I prefer tapioca over potato.)
¼ cup sweet rice flour plus more for rolling
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon organic sugar
*1 cup chilled organic palm shortening, cut into 1 inch pieces(You don’t have to be fussy about exact size of these pieces. I actually just took my fingers and dropped pieces in from my 1 cup measure.)
2 large eggs – use divided
2 – 3 tablespoons rice milk
5 ounces organic, gluten free jam (I use strawberry; any flavor will work. Be creative!)
2 teaspoon coarse, organic sugar

Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the brown rice flour, tapioca starch, sweet rice flour, xanthan gum, salt and 1 tablespoon sugar. Add the shortening and work it into the flour mixture with your hands until it is crumbly and the texture of coarse sand with some large pieces about the size of grapes. Add one egg and 2 tablespoons of rice milk. Mix with a spoon until you have a soft dough that is not sticky. You may need to work the dough with your hands to get it to come together. If too dry add the final tablespoon of rice milk. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions and shape into rectangles. Wrap one portion of dough with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator while rolling the first.


Place a piece of waxed or parchment paper on a work surface, sprinkle with some sweet rice flour, place one piece of the dough on the parchment, sprinkle with a little more sweet rice flour and top with another piece of paper. Roll into a rectangle that is a bit larger than 12 inches by 8 inches. Trim the dough with a knife into a 12 by 8 inch rectangle. Cut the 8 inch side in half and the 12 inch side into 4ths to form eight 3 by 4 inch rectangles.

Beat the remaining egg and brush the bottom 4 rectangles with some of the egg. Place 1 tablespoon of jam on each bottom rectangle, leaving ½ inch border on all sides. Slide your hand under the paper under the top rectangles and flip them so they are directly on top of the filled dough. Press the edges of the dough together and then press with the tines of a fork. Prick the top of each pop tart three times with the times of a fork. Brush with more egg wash, sprinkle each pop tart with about a ¼ teaspoon of coarse sugar and place on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in the refrigerator and repeat with the final piece of dough. Refrigerate for at least ½ hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees while the pop tarts are in the refrigerator. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool and serve.

*Note on organic palm shortening: Palm shortening has a great number of uses, and it also has great health benefits! Here is a link for your reading:


(Aside from a couple of my changes and adjustments, this recipe comes from Carol Kicinski of Simply Gluten Free.)

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