homemade red velvet poptarts with cream cheese filling

The inspiration for these red velvet poptarts came from this thing I call my life notebook. You know, it’s a notebook stuffed full of life goals, to-do lists, blog posts, places to visit, books I’ve read, and grocery lists from months ago. And sometimes I leave myself little hints in the margins, like “move this to a google doc” (but it feels so much better to see my own handwriting!) and other suggestions, like “make something with clay.”

Well, the idea for these poptarts came from those margins. I don’t remember even writing this note to myself, but as I scanned the past pages of my notebook, I saw it in the interior-left top corner, a message from a brilliant, or maybe just hungry, lady:

“Make: Red Velvet Poptarts.”

Red-Velvet-Poptarts-Final-(1-of-5)

What a great Valentine’s day post! As I decided to commit to this endeavor and scanned the internet for a decent red velvet poptarts recipe, I became increasingly nervous. I couldn’t find one. Are they impossible to make? Kellog did it (gross). Eventually, I came to the decision that I’d have to wing it.

Homemade Red Velvet Poptarts

So here it is, a recipe that I developed, almost entirely from scratch.

If you’re going to make these red velvet poptarts for a Valentine’s Day surprise, give yourself some time. There’s a lot  involved. You can make these a day ahead of time and simply re-heat them in the oven at 300 degrees for a few minutes.

Homemade Red Velvet Poptarts

homemade red velvet poptarts
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Red Velvet poptarts with cream cheese filling from scratch!
Author:
Recipe type: breakfast
Yields: 12 pastries
Ingredients
For the pastry
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • ¼ c sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 sticks of cold butter, cubed and cold
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • ½ tsp red food dye (note: I used icing gels, you may need to use more food dye if you're using regular dye)
For the filling
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
Egg Wash
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp water
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and red food coloring, until blended.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the cocoa powder, flour, sugar, and salt until well combined.
  3. Using a pastry blender push in the chunks of cold butter. If you don’t have a pastry blender, you can use your hands and a fork. Cut in the butter until there are no large pieces and your flour mixture resembles coarse, damp sand.
  4. Fold in the wet ingredients until everything is well combined.
  5. Shape the dough into two or four small balls. Wrap them in cling wrap and place them in the fridge for an hour to rest.
  6. While the dough is in the fridge, using an electric mixer, whip together all of the ingredients for the filling until it’s smooth. Store in the fridge until it’s ready to use.
  7. After you’ve let the dough rest, flour a surface to begin rolling it out. Using a floured rolling pin, roll your dough into a flat, thin piece.
  8. Using a cookie cutter or a knife, cut the dough into symmetrical rectangular pieces.
  9. Decide which piece will be the top of your pastry and poke a few holes in it using a fork.
  10. Place each bottom layer on a silpator parchment paper and add some filling in the middle of the square, being careful not to over-fill.
  11. Whisk together an egg and 2 Tbsp of water to create an egg wash.
  12. Using a pastry brush, brush the egg wash on the edges of the bottom piece of dough.
  13. Place the top piece of dough over the bottom piece. Gently press the edges of the pastry together using your fingers, then go back around and press the edges using a lightly floured fork.
  14. Once your pastries are all set, place them in the oven and bake at 375 for 22-25 minutes.

 

Red Velvet Poptarts Step-by-Step Instructions

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and red food coloring, until blended. Note: I used red icing gel, which is highly pigmented. If you’re using regular food coloring (which is totally fine) you may need to increase the amount of dye you use.

In a large bowl, sift together the cocoa powder, flour, sugar, and salt until well combined.

Homemade Red Velvet Poptarts

Using a pastry blender push in the chunks of cold butter. If you don’t have a pastry blender, you can use your hands and a fork. Cut in the butter until there are no large pieces and your flour mixture resembles coarse, damp sand.

Homemade Red Velvet Poptarts

Fold in the wet ingredients until everything is well combined.

Shape the dough into two or four small balls. I found it easier to roll out four small ones. Wrap them in cling wrap and place them in the fridge for an hour to rest and firm up. I didn’t have any Saran wrap, so I just used Ziplocks.

While the dough is in the fridge, using an electric mixer, whip together all of the ingredients for the filling until it’s smooth. Store in the fridge until it’s ready to use.

After you’ve let your dough rest, flour a surface to begin rolling it out. You’ll want to get this as thin as possible without risking ripping the dough. The tarts that came out thicker were a little too heavy on the crust.

If at any time your dough gets too sticky, just pop it back in the fridge for a few minutes to firm up. Using a floured rolling pin, roll your dough into a flat, thin piece.

Then cut your rectangles for the tarts.

Ok, truth. This whole process will be a lot easier if you have a square shaped cookie cutter, which I didn’t. I spent some time trying to make perfect shaped rectangles and well, you see what I came up with. Let’s just go with it. Plus, my geometry skills needed a workout anyway.

So I used a pizza cutter and a knife and did an ok job at making rectangles and some squares  that were originally meant to be rectangles. Besides, I think the imperfect shapes makes homemade poptarts way more charming.

Once you’ve cut your rectangles, decide which one will be the top and which one will be the bottom of each pastry. For the top layer, use a fork and poke a few holes through the dough to make a vent.

Place each bottom layer on a silpat or parchment paper and add some filling in the middle of the square. I used anywhere from ½ Tbsp to 1 ¼ Tbsp of filling, depending on the size of my pastries. Be sure to avoid over-filling.

Whisk together an egg and 2 Tbsp of water to create an egg wash. Using a pastry brush, brush the egg wash on the edges of the bottom piece of dough. This will create a sealant for the pastry. See the picture below for proof that I’m a messy baker.

Place the top piece of dough over the bottom piece. (Hint: If you have two uneven sizes, try to put the larger size on top.) Gently press the edges of the pastry together using your fingers, then go back around and press the edges using a lightly floured fork.

Once your pastries are all set, place them in the oven and bake at 375 for 22-25 minutes.

You could and should double the filling mixture to create a frosting on the top of these. It’s delicious.

4 thoughts on “homemade red velvet poptarts with cream cheese filling

    1. There’s something about hand writing these notes that I love. Also, I like to use all sorts of different notebooks and colored pens to keep it fun. Happy Valentine’s Day to you!

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