How fun are these cookies and cream homemade pop tarts? They take me straight back to my childhood even though…let’s be real I still eat pop tarts today. They’re a delicious chocolate pastry with a soft cream cheese and Oreo filling. This is definitely a dessert I had to get out of my kitchen ASAP before I ate them all!
Growing up, my mom tried not to keep too many sweets in the house. A, because she didn’t want her daughters hopped up on sugar and B, she has an insatiable sweet tooth…which is definitely where I get it from. So when she broke down and bought Lucky Charms or Pop Tarts, it was a total treat.
BUT my best friend’s house was LOADED with junk food. She always had boxes and boxes of pop tarts. Her mom always put them on the very top shelf…probably in hopes that we wouldn’t reach them. With a little team work, we always climbed up there to grab a box.
We would actually smear butter on our pop tarts and then pop them in the microwave. They came out so ooey and gooey and delicious. Oh, to have my 10 year old metabolism again.
My top two favorite flavors were always cookies and cream and brown sugar cinnamon. I was a sucker for anything cookies and cream and still am!
How to make homemade pop tarts
Trust me, these homemade pop tarts are much easier to make than they look! You essentially start off making pie dough. You chill it for a few minutes in the fridge, roll it out, and cut out rectangles.
The worst part is cutting out the rectangles but don’t stress over them. They don’t have to be PERFECT, just close enough.
You lay your rectangles out, spread your filling onto half of them and lay the other halves on top. Crimp the edges with a fork and bake! It’s that easy. As long as you keep your dough fairly cold and don’t let it get too warm, you shouldn’t have any issues.
You could also think of it as making little hand pies. There’s no stuffing involved, just sandwich and crimp.
The cookies and cream filling
I could probably eat the filling just on it’s own. I mean, it’s cream cheese and Oreo cookies…it doesn’t get much better than that!
Since it’s such a simple recipe, you can adjust the filling to your liking. I added loads of chopped Oreos but if you prefer a little less, that’s totally OK. Fewer Oreo cookies gives you that classic bright white filling with specs of black. Because I added extra, the two blended together but as long as it tastes good, who cares what it looks like!
I should also mention the importance of using good quality cocoa powder in your chocolate pastry. You don’t have to get anything special, but I recommend at least using the Ghirardelli cocoa powder that you can find in most grocery stores. This gives you that deep chocolate color. Cheaper cocoa powders tend to be paler in color so your pop tarts won’t have that rich chocolate pastry color.
Not to mention the taste! Since the pastry dough doesn’t contain a whole lot of cocoa powder, you want to make sure it can pack a punch. So using good quality cocoa powder will give you great color AND flavor.
How to know when your homemade pop tarts are done
The trickiest part about these homemade pop tarts is knowing when they’re fully baked. This also goes for ANYTHING chocolate. The rule of thumb is to bake until golden brown…but what if what you’re baking is already dark in color?
As your chocolate pastry dough bakes, it will dry out. So, instead of judging the bake by color, you should look out for texture and shine. The edges will bake faster than the center so when the center loses its shine and becomes a dull chocolate color, that’s when they’re ready.
Now, if your pop tarts seem a little floppy when you transfer them to the cooling rack, don’t be alarmed! They’ll stiffen up as they cool.
This happens because the moisture from the inside tries to escape the pastry in the oven, creating a flexible dough. As the pop tarts cool, they’ll dry out and become that classic pop tart we all know and love!
Looking for more chocolatey recipes? Check out my:
If you make these delicious cookies and cream homemade pop tarts, make sure to tag me @butternutbakery on Instagram! I love seeing my recipes come to life in YOUR kitchen. To save this recipe for later, pin it using the button on the recipe card, the buttons above or below this post, or hover over any of the images to get that pin it button. Happy baking!