Clean Apple Cinnamon “Pop Tarts” (Grain/Gluten/Dairy/Sugar-Free)

Clean Apple Cinnamon "Pop Tarts" (Grain/Gluten/Dairy/Sugar-Free) - offbeat + inspired

Phew! These have been such a long time coming. When the pop tart train rolled into blog land, I couldn’t help hopping aboard. Who didn’t, at some point in life, LOVE pop tarts? I was a huge fan of the funky flavors like s’mores, chocolate frosted (with those majestic white sprinkle crumbles), apple cinnamon, brown sugar and so on. Toasted or not, with milk or on their own — there was just something about that crumbly crust and thin layer of filling that I couldn’t get over.

Clean Apple Cinnamon "Pop Tarts" (Grain/Gluten/Dairy/Sugar-Free) - offbeat + inspired

I haven’t had a pop tart in YEARS. So when homemade versions debuted all over my favorite food blogs and overwhelmed my Pinterest feed, the wheels started turning. I had to create a “clean” version of that wondrous breakfast pastry.

Clean Apple Cinnamon "Pop Tarts" (Grain/Gluten/Dairy/Sugar-Free) - offbeat + inspired

I noticed that a lot of people were using pie crust recipes for the outer pastry, but as I remember them, pop tarts were less flaky and more crumbly. I also wanted to nail the filling. It had to be sweet and flavorful without being overwhelming.

Clean Apple Cinnamon "Pop Tarts" (Grain/Gluten/Dairy/Sugar-Free) - offbeat + inspired

So after lots of trial and error, here is my attempt at clean pop tarts. I’m shocked by how delicious they are while remaining completely vegan and grain/gluten/sugar-free. They’re buttery, crumbly, sweet but not too sweet, pleasantly filling, and they’ve satisfied each and every one of my childhood breakfast cravings. Please do give this recipe a try and let me know what you think! If you like to snap pics of your food like I do, post to Instagram and tag #offbeatandinspired so I can see your results! (Find me on IG here!)

Were you (or are you) a pop tart fan? What’s your favorite flavor? Let’s talk nostalgic breakfast foods!

Clean Apple Cinnamon "Pop Tarts" (Grain/Gluten/Dairy/Sugar-Free) - offbeat + inspired

Clean Apple Cinnamon "Pop Tarts" (Grain/Gluten/Dairy/Sugar-Free) - offbeat + inspired

Clean Apple Cinnamon "Pop Tarts" (Grain/Gluten/Dairy/Sugar-Free) - offbeat + inspired

Clean Apple Cinnamon "Pop Tarts" (Grain/Gluten/Dairy/Sugar-Free) - offbeat + inspired

Clean Apple Cinnamon "Pop Tarts" (Grain/Gluten/Dairy/Sugar-Free) - offbeat + inspired

Were you (or are you) a pop tart fan? What's your favorite flavor? Let's talk nostalgic breakfast foods!

Apple Cinnamon Almond Pop Tarts - Gluten/Grain/Dairy/Sugar-Free!
yields about 6 pop tarts

For the Crust

350g finely ground blanched almonds
2-3 small, or 1 large pitted Medjool date
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp coconut oil (I like to use this kind from Trader Joe’s, or this kind by Nature’s Way)
1 tbsp light coconut milk (if needed)

For the Filling

1/2 a sweet/tart apple such as Honeycrisp, Jonagold or York Imperial (cored - peel it if you prefer, but I like to leave the skin on!)
4-6 small, or 3 large pitted Medjool dates
1/4 cup light coconut milk (I use Trader Joe’s brand)
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

In the bowl of a food processor, combine blanched almonds, dates, cinnamon, salt and coconut oil. Pulse until fully combined, resembling wet sand. If you’re able to form a ball of dough, move the mixture to a large piece of parchment paper. If not, add 1 tbsp coconut milk and pulse again.

After you’ve moved the dough to the parchment paper, rinse out your food processor bowl and make the filling. Add the apple, dates, coconut milk and cinnamon and pulse until smooth. You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times to make sure everything is thoroughly combined. Set aside.

Once you’ve formed the dough ball, press it into a rough rectangle on the parchment paper, cover with another sheet of parchment and roll out to about 1/8-1/4 inch thick with a rolling pin. Be very careful to press and roll slowly and steadily, as this dough is prone to crumbling.

Cut as many rectangles from the rolled out dough as you can. Use a very sharp knife and cut slowly. The rectangles should be roughly 3 x 4 1/2 inches.

With a spatula, carefully slide up to 6 rectangles onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Spoon about 1/2 tbsp of filling onto the middle of each rectangle, spreading with the back of the spoon, being sure to keep the filling about 1/2 inch away from the edge.

Form the rest of your dough into a ball again, press into a rectangle and roll out the same as the first time. Cut 6 more rectangles and place them carefully on top of the filled rectangles. Press the edges lightly with your fingers until they’re all sealed. Crimp the edges lightly with a fork, and then poke 8 holes as shown, using a toothpick or skewer.

Bake at 375 for 13-15 minutes, until the edges are golden brown.

Carefully move the pop tarts to a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely before serving. These will be much more fragile than a flour-based pop tart, so handle them gently! They’re SO worth the extra care though. Once they’ve cooled, they won’t be as crumbly. If you have leftovers, wrap and store them in the fridge.


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  1. I just finished my medjool dates so I am now off to the store to pick some up! I hope to have a batch made up either today or tomorrow!! They look delicious!

  2. First I have to say that the presentation of your post is impeccable and the pictures are super beautiful. Yes, I have been a fan of the off the shelve pop tarts but tried to stayed away from them because of all the sugar content but you now have given me hope to be able to enjoy them again. I will show this post to my daughter who loves to cook and try new things so we can make then together:-) Thanks for sharing! XOXO, Jeannette

    • Aww thank you so much!! I’m in the same boat. Used to LOVE the boxed pop tarts, but they’re just loaded with sugar! I hope you try this recipe out and enjoy it!! :D

  3. Love this so much! I’ve never had pop tarts, but they sound awfully similar to a kind of stuffed Italian cookie called ‘settembrini’, which are made during fall because you stuff them with jam made from September fruit - figs, apple, grape. I love the idea of a vegan version! I’ll make almond milk and save the pulp to try these! <3

    • Ohhh Settembrini sounds AMAZING! I’m definitely looking that up! If you give these pop tarts a try, please do let me know how you like it!! And if you take one of your beautiful photos of the results, please tag me! :D

  4. Was never big on pop tarts, but these look amazing. Plus, apples with a date dip is amazing, let alone the combo in a pastry? YUM. My all time fave childhood breakfast food was definitely apple toaster streudel. My mouth is watering just thinking about them.

  5. TBH I still love Pop-tarts. They are my rare treat food. I’m a grownup, I swear! However, these look amazing! I don’t have a food processor though because kitchen space is just too valuable right now but someday I will have a bigger space. When I do, I have to try this! A treat I don’t have to feel guilty about!

  6. I love how you have a real life non-glamourous kitchen with a water heater by the stove! That is true to how most young creatives live, ha. I also love this recipe—thanks for all the work creating it!

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  8. Oh my gosh I need to make these for my boyfriend. Poptarts were his favourite as a kid but since he’s celiac he hasn’t had them forever.. Thank you so much!!!

  9. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I too have been seeing all the pop-tart recipes, but alas, have had no time to create a low-sugar gluten-free version myself. I know what I am doing with my Sunday, apple picking, then pop-tart making with the sisters! Can’t wait!

  10. oh, how clever! these pop tarts are beautiful. i like your photography style and i really liked seeing your kitchen complete with the barenaked water heater. i just found your blog and i’m glad i did!

    • Thank you so much!! There’s a special place in my heart for that water heater haha! So glad you found the blog!! :D

  11. This is incredible. I agree, pop tarts were more crumbly than flaky like pie crusts. That’s what made them so good! I love your flavors and the fact that you turned it into a clean version. The main reason I stopped eating pop tarts was because they were so high in calories (kind of ironic considering my blog)

    • Thank you!! I hope you give these a try! They do have a high calorie count because of all the almonds, but they’re all healthy calories so that makes up for it! :)

  12. Your photography skills are amazing. These look so good and surprisingly easy(ish) to make. I’ll defo be saving this post to use in the future. Apple + Cinnamon = Winner

  13. When I looked at your pictures I was so impressed that I’m making the pop tarts right now! Can’t wait to taste them!!! (:
    Thanks for sharing this with us(:

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