One of the most popular processed foods are Pop-Tarts, aka toaster pastries. It makes sense: They’re ready in a flash and so tasty! But have you looked at the ingredients list? For such a small product, they have a massive list of unsavory ingredients.
The fantastic thing about this toaster pastry recipe is it’s fairly simple to make on your own! And you can add it my list of amazing pumpkin recipes. While the instructions here might seem a bit long, they’re not super-involved.
Best of all, once you get the hang of these and discover the wonder of gluten-free flours, you can have this toaster pastry snack ready for any occasion, chock-full of healthy ingredients. Roll up your sleeves and let’s get these pop tarts happening!
We’ll start by prepping our pumpkin, also known as our toaster pastry filling. Turn the oven to 375 F and grease up a baking sheet. Wash and remove the stem from your sugar pumpkin.
Slice that bad boy up vertically and remove the seeds. Don’t toss them, though! Roast them for an on-the-go healthy snack later.
Place the de-seeded pumpkin halves on the waiting sheet and bake for about 45 minutes, or until you can stick a fork into the pumpkin with no trouble. Because our time is valuable, while the yummy pumpkin filling is roasting, we’re going to prep our dough.
Start by whisking flour, coconut sugar and salt in a bowl. With a fork or pastry blender, start cutting in the butter until the entire mixture is crumbly. Add in the ice water, just a tablespoon at a time, until the dough is formed.
Divvy up the dough in half and roll each half into a ball. Wrap each in plastic wrap and let them cool in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Time’s up! Remove and unwrap one ball of dough, smoothing out any cracks along the sides. Then, on a smooth surface that’s been dusted with flour, like a kitchen counter, roll the ball of dough into a 9 x 12-inch rectangle, with dough about 1/8 inch thick. That’s right, these homemade toaster pastries are really starting to take shape!
If you’re picky about the edges, use a paring knife to get these looking clean and give ’em a more “authentic” toaster pastry look. Cut the rectangle into 3 equal pieces and then cut those into three pieces, leaving you with 9 rectangles.
Next, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the rectangles on the baking sheet, refrigerating while you prep the rest of the dough.
Remove that second ball of dough that’s been hanging out in the fridge and repeat the process. One of the balls will be the bottom of the toaster pastries, while the other will make up the top. Once you’ve cut and made all your rectangles, let both sets hang in the refrigerator. It’s filling time!
By this point, your pumpkin should be roasted. Slide it out of the oven, but don’t turn turn it off just yet; instead, lower the temperature to 350 F. Let the pumpkin cool before doing your thing, as it will be hot!
Using a spoon, scoop out the pumpkin “meat” and toss out the rinds. Then it’s time to bust out the food processor. Combine the pumpkin filling, butter, coconut sugar, vanilla and all those yummy spices and pulse till they’re mixed.
Once that’s ready, grab the waiting toaster pastry rectangles from the fridge. With a tablespoon, scoop a heap of the pumpkin mixture onto each bottom dough rectangle, leaving about a 1/4-inch border.
Next, place the second rectangles on top of each toaster pastry and seal the edges down with a fork. Poke 3 teeny holes on each top to let air escape while these cook.
Finally, bake the toaster pastries for 45 minutes or until they’re golden brown. Let them cool for 20 minutes before sprinkling each with coconut sugar and serving!
They might more labor intensive than those store-bought processed food versions, but these toaster pastries are so much healthier — you can actually feel good about serving them to your family! Once you get comfortable making them, you could also play around with the filling ingredients. Enjoy!
Gluten-Free Toaster Pastry with Sugar Pumpkin Filling
- 1 sugar pumpkin
- 4 tablespoons grass-fed butter, sliced into 1/2 tablespoon pieces
- 3/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
- 2/3 cup Nutiva shortening
- 7–8 tablespoons ice water
- Heat the oven to 375 F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking sheet with avocado oil.
- Wash and remove the stem from the sugar pumpkin. Slice the pumpkin vertically and remove the seeds.
- Place the pumpkin halves face down on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the pumpkin is easily pierced with a fork. Prepare the dough while the pumpkin is roasting.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, coconut sugar and salt. Using a fork or pastry blender, cut in the shortening until the mixture becomes crumbly. Stir in ice water one tablespoon at a time until dough is formed.
- Divide the dough evenly in half, forming each half into a ball. Wrap both halves in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
- Remove and unwrap one ball of dough. Smooth out any cracks along the sides of the dough. On a smooth surface dusted with flour, roll the dough into a 9 x 12-inch rectangle. The dough should be about 1/8 inch thick.
- Use a paring knife to trim and create clean edges. Cut the rectangle vertically into 3 equal pieces, then cut those pieces horizontally into three equal pieces, creating 9 rectangles (you can use a ruler to help guide you).
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the rectangles on the baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate while you work with the rest of the dough.
- Remove the other ball of dough and repeat the process above. One set of rectangles will be the bottoms of the pop-tarts; the other set will be the tops. Refrigerate both sets of rectangles while you prepare the pumpkin filling.
- Remove the pumpkin from the oven and lower the heat to 350 F. Allow the pumpkin to cool before handling it. It will be hot!
- Use a spoon to scoop the pumpkin meat out of the rind. Discard the rind.
- In a food processor, combine the pumpkin meat, butter, coconut sugar, vanilla and spices and pulse on high until mixed.
- Remove the pastry rectangles from the refrigerator. Using a tablespoon, spoon a heaping tablespoon of the pumpkin mixture onto each bottom rectangle, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Place the pop-tart tops on top and seal the edges with a fork. Poke 3 rows of 3 tiny holes in the tops to allow air to escape.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the tarts from the pan and allow them to cool for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with coconut sugar and serve.