Confession: I LOVE LUCKY CHARMS and POP TARTS! I mean come on. I basically have never not been craving a giant bowl of Lucky Charms, or a hot pop tart straight out of the toaster! And I even made pop tart macarons! THAT’S how much I love those processed sweets. But these products have countless chemicals and preservatives stuffed in them. So the question was posed, how can I enjoy these delicious treats without pumping my body (and brain) full of preservatives? By baking some ultimate Lucky Charms Pop Tarts at home, of course!
If you love sweets *raises hand slowly, looking around to see if anyone else is admitting to being an addict* then you are going to LOVE these ultimate Lucky Charms Pop Tarts! They are the best “after school snack” or “I hate my coworkers & need a sugar high” break. Or make them for a scrumptious dessert to fancy-up any nighttime meal.
The pop tarts themselves were actually inspired by a kitchen experiment I did like 8 years ago! The recipe I followed was from the gorgeous Taralynn McNitt’s 12 lighter pop tarts. It took me over four hours to make them back then, when I had zero skills in the kitchen. These definitely won’t take you four hours to make. 💖
What makes these the ULTIMATE Lucky Charms Pop Tarts
I tried to fit as many elements in these treats to give an homage to both the enticing magic of Lucky Charms and the delectable taste & texture of Pop Tarts.
Lucky Charms Cereal
In the pop tart dough, there is cereal milk, which is milk infused with the amazing flavor of Lucky Charms. There’s also pulverized crumbs of the oat pieces of Lucky Charms to replace some of the flour, for extra flavor of the cereal. And of course, these pop tarts are topped with even more Lucky Charms!
Marshmallow & Jam Filling
When I think of Pop Tarts, I think of marshmallow fillings (the s’mores pop tarts, omggg) and fruity jam fillings (like the classy & sassy strawberry pop tarts). So, I added both! Swiss meringue creates a soft and marshmallow fluff center. Fruit jam is swirled into the meringue filling to give a sweet fruity kick with each bite.
Health in Mind
These are not “healthy” if you’re trying to stick to a whole-foods, non-processed, no-fun-at-all diet. BUT I did make them healthier. The dough has minimal ingredients and it’s homemade. Compare this to store-bought pie or pastry dough, which usually has preservatives to extend its shelf life. And the filling is comprised of homemade meringue with no preservatives, instead of store-bought marshmallow fluff (who knows what is in that stuff).
Ultimate Lucky Charms Pop Tarts
Lucky Charms Pop Tarts
- 8-10 Tbsp milk (dairy or non-dairy)
- ½ cup unsalted butter, cubed and chilled in the fridge
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- ⅔ cup Lucky Charms cereal (just the oat pieces, no marshmallows), pulverizes into crumbs in a blender or food processor
- 1½ cups Lucky Charms cereal
- 1 tsp rainbow sprinkles
Marshmallow Meringue and Jam Filling
- 2 egg whites
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar (optional, but it helps the eggs have a more stable structure when they are whipped)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp fruit jam
- 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted (add up to ⅓ cup more, as needed, to thicken the icing)
- 1 Tbsp milk (dairy or non-dairy)
Make the Lucky Charms Pop Tart Dough
- In a wide bowl, pour in ½ cup of Lucky Charms cereal and 10 tablespoons of milk. Let it sit to create delicious cereal milk while you proceed with the next steps.
- In a mixing bowl, add the cubed cold butter and the flour. Rub the butter cubes between your fingers to smash them and distribute them through the flour. Each butter chunk should end up being about the size of half a walnut.
- Mix in the sugar, salt, and crumbs of the oat pieces of Lucky Charms.
- Drain the Lucky Charms cereal from your cereal milk. Start by adding 8 tablespoons of the milk to your dough and mix it in. If the dough is too dry to form into a ball, add another tablespoon of cereal milk at a time.
- Form the dough into a disc (a slightly flat ball) and wrap it in plastic cling wrap. Refrigerate your dough for at least one hour.
Make the Marshmallow Meringue & Jam Filling
- Make a double boiler by placing a heat proof bowl or your metal stand mixer bowl over the top of a sauce pan filled with about an inch of water. Ensure the bottom of the bowl isn't getting wet when it's on the sauce pan. Turn the stove heat to medium and bring the water to a simmer.
- While the water is heating up, in the heat proof bowl or your metal stand mixer bowl add the egg whites, cream of tartar and sugar. Whisk until it's combined, after about 20 seconds.
- Once the water is simmering, place the bowl with the egg white mixture on top and whisk continuously until you can no longer feel any grainy sugar, or when the mixture reaches 165°F.
- Remove the bowl from the stove and whisk it with an electric whisk or in your stand mixer until it reaches soft peaks, after about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Add in the vanilla extract and continuing whisking until the meringue reaches stiff peaks.
Fill and Bake the Lucky Charms Pop Tarts
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and set it on a lightly floured work surface. Roll out the dough until it's about ¼-inch thick rectangle.
- Cut straight lines to cut out the top and bottom rectangle pieces of each pop tart. I cut out a total of 6 pop tarts, but if you want to make smaller pop tarts, you can cut out 8.
- Place the bottom of each pop tart dough piece on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat.
- Add a generous dollop of the meringue to each pop tart bottom and swirl in a bit of the jam.
- Place the top piece on each pop tart – you can stretch the dough a bit if needed.Use a fork to press on all sides to seal them so they don't leak out the precious filling.
- Bake in the oven for about 20 to 25 minutes, until the sides are golden brown.
- Set the pop tarts out to cool completely before icing them.
Decorate the Lucky Charms Pop Tarts
- Make the icing by sifting the powdered sugar into a mixing bowl and whisking in the milk until it forms a thick icing. Sift in a few more tablespoons of powdered sugar at a time, as needed, to thicken the icing. You want it thin enough to drizzle, but thick enough so it's not opaque or too runny that it will just all slide off your pop tarts.
- Drizzle giant blobs of icing on each pop tart. Top with extra Lucky Charms cereal and rainbow sprinkles. Enjoy!!!