Homemade Pop Tarts…on the Panini Grill

Boy, pop tarts are everywhere these days, aren’t they? Recipes for homemade pop tarts have been appearing on food blogs for a while now, but once Bon Appétit published theirs this past spring it ignited a bit of a trend. Then, last week, the Pop-Tarts World retail store opened its doors in Times Square. The sweet little breakfast treat we grew up with all of a sudden got huge!

Of course, I’m of the belief that almost anything that you toast can be made just as easily – possibly even better – on the panini grill. Pop tarts definitely qualify. So I cut out some puff pastry rectangles, filled some with homemade blueberry jam and others with chocolate-hazelnut spread (aka, Nutella), sealed them up and put them on the grill. Within about seven minutes I had perfectly puffed,  flaky, golden homemade pop tarts…complete with ridges to cradle some tangy lemon glaze.

I used Nutella and homemade blueberry jam as fillings...mmmm!

These were incredibly easy to make, with a few sheets of frozen puff pastry and the sweet fillings I had on hand. They’d also be interesting with savory ingredients, like shredded cheese or barbecued pork. Just thinking aloud.

Sealed and ready to grill!

There was a small ooze factor with the jam. Try as I might, a little always wanted to escape from inside the tart. Deb from Smitten Kitchen recommends mixing in a little cornstarch to thicken it and minimize the ooze. I actually didn’t mind…it makes it easier to tell which one’s which!

Homemade Pop Tarts

After about seven minutes on the grill, breakfast was served!


Homemade Pop Tarts…on the Panini Grill

Makes 6 pop tarts


For the pop tarts:

2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 cup jam, Nutella or any sweet or savory filling you choose
1 egg
1 tablespoon water

For the lemon glaze:

1 cup sifted powdered sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice


Preheat the panini grill to 400°F.

Unfold the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. Depending on the thickness of your pastry, you may need to roll it out to a 1/8″ thickness. Divide each pastry sheet into 6 equal rectangles (the size is up to you, mine were about 3″x 4″). Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of filling onto six of the rectangles – be careful not to overload them or the filling may be more likely to ooze out during grilling.

In a small bowl, beat the egg and water together to make an egg wash. Brush the egg wash around the edges of the rectangles that have filling. Place an “empty” rectangle on top of each of the filled rectangles, press to seal the edges and crimp with a fork.

In batches, carefully place the sealed tarts onto the panini grill. Lower the lid until it’s hovering just above (about 1/4″) the tarts without actually touching them. As the tarts bake they’ll puff up and make contact with the upper grate – you want to give them a little room to expand. Grill for 6-7 minutes until the tarts are puffed and golden.

Meanwhile, whisk together the powdered sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl to make the glaze. Drizzle glaze over the grilled pop tarts – serve hot and enjoy!



KathyPanini Happy, online since 2008, is more than just a sandwich blog. Here, you'll find hundreds of my original panini recipes, my guide to choosing a panini press and a whole lot of other creative uses for the panini press.
~ Kathy Strahs
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  1. Love this! My son starts school soon and likes the idea of Pop Tarts — though not the real thing. I can’t wait to make these for him (and me too!).

    Posted 8.18.10 Reply
  2. Jennie wrote:

    I may have to pack the panini press to take on vacation just so I don’t have to wait to try this genius recipe. Thanks Kathy!

    Posted 8.18.10 Reply
  3. Get out of here!! This is so awesome! Thanks for sharing, love this!!

    Posted 8.18.10 Reply
  4. Erin wrote:

    This is positively genius!

    Posted 8.18.10 Reply
  5. Sarah wrote:

    Love this. Super quick. 🙂

    Posted 8.18.10 Reply
  6. Love this idea! They look AMAZING!

    Posted 8.18.10 Reply
  7. What a great idea! This would be loads of fun to make with kids.

    Posted 8.18.10 Reply
  8. Esi wrote:

    I’ve said it before, but you are so very creative. What a way to kick up homemade pop tarts!!

    Posted 8.18.10 Reply
  9. Cyndi wrote:

    Now if I could just duplicate the cinnamon-brown sugar filling. That’s my favorite flavor.

    Posted 8.18.10 Reply
  10. Wow, so simple!

    I LOVE poptarts… they’re a guilty pleasure.

    Posted 8.18.10 Reply
  11. Ally wrote:

    Love the step by step pictures. You make it look so simple and delicious! Have you added this recipe to Fiddme yet?

    Posted 8.18.10 Reply
  12. My grandkids would love these — and they’d especially love the ooze! Thanks for another great panini idea.

    Posted 8.18.10 Reply
  13. What a cool idea.

    Posted 8.19.10 Reply
  14. When my cousins come to visit they always ask for poptarts. We don’t keep them in the house because we don’t eat them. This is a great family fun activity 🙂

    Posted 8.20.10 Reply
  15. Faith wrote:

    This looks so yummy. I just love nutella! Thanks for the creative idea!


    Posted 8.20.10 Reply
  16. Robin Sue wrote:

    Just for these alone I would get a panini grill. My kids would love this!

    Posted 8.20.10 Reply
  17. katy wrote:

    these are way too elegant to still be called pop tarts! they are gorgeous!

    Posted 8.20.10 Reply
  18. i dont eat gluten or dairy or many other things that i am allergic to but omg bewteen the warm nutella and the panini press…you have me wanting these….bad!

    nice to “meet” you, glad Marla played matchmaker!

    Posted 8.20.10 Reply
  19. Week before last I actually tried making homemade pop tarts! Yep, I’d been reading about them all over the blogworld too. But our attempt failed because I 1) did not read the dough recipe all the way through (I know, I know, I should have!) and did not realize it called for milk–which we had just run out of and 2) the dough required a 30 minute chill time in the fridge on top of rolling and baking…which did not go over so well with two hungry kiddos. 🙂

    Puff pastry on the panini press is genius! I happen to have some in the freezer and I spied the Nutella in the pantry just today thinking it would be great in a homemade pop-tart! Attempt #2 is coming up this weekend! Thanks for the inspiration!

    Posted 8.20.10 Reply
  20. Jessica wrote:

    Anything with Nutella is amazing! This looks delish!

    Posted 8.21.10 Reply
  21. I love paninis – glad you stopped by my blog so I could find these amazing pop tarts. So easy to make, too! And there’s a Pop Tarts World retail store – crazy!

    Posted 8.21.10 Reply
  22. That is a most amazing pop tart! Nice to know there are better alternatives than the overly sweet packaged stuff.

    Posted 8.22.10 Reply
  23. We made some of these, but just with the oven. The boring way. 🙂 Great idea to use puff pastry. So flakey.

    Posted 8.22.10 Reply
  24. Lys wrote:

    LOVE this idea! I wasn’t a fan of the pop-tarts that are in a box, however the idea of making them with homemade ingredients – love love love!

    Posted 8.25.10 Reply
  25. Tricia wrote:

    Brilliant! I’m so loving this idea! Thanks for the inspiration.

    Posted 8.26.10 Reply
  26. Maria wrote:

    I love that you grilled these!

    Posted 8.30.10 Reply
  27. Harriet wrote:

    That looks like a really cool idea, and probably much healither than buying Pop Tarts from a supermarket. I love how you make all the pastry yourself instead of just buying it frozen, well done!

    Posted 9.4.10 Reply
  28. Sagan wrote:


    Posted 9.4.10 Reply
  29. Heather wrote:

    How creative! These look and sound amazing. I just got a new panini grill and these are on my list to try. Yummy!

    Posted 9.22.10 Reply
  30. Amy wrote:

    Hi Kathy – keep forgetting to get over here…I know this post is several months old now, so this comment is more for you than anyone else who might stop by. But I love it when people come back to my blog and tell me they’ve made one of my recipes, so….

    I made these Christmas morning (with my new panini grill…ya, baby!) and they were fantastic. Puff pastry usually intimidates me, but I found it incredibly easy. I went with the Nutella option and was happy happy. You can imagine how much my little kids enjoyed them…

    Posted 1.11.11 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      That’s fantastic, Amy – I’m so glad you guys enjoyed them for Christmas. And thanks so much for coming back to say so, I always love hearing how things went. 🙂

      Posted 1.11.11 Reply
  31. What a cute idea! These look so fun and tasty 😀

    Posted 10.8.11 Reply
  32. Love this idea!
    I wanna try these with cheese for sure..
    Do you think it would work with pie crust instead of puff pastry? I have some on hand that I wanna use up!

    Posted 10.23.11 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      You know, I haven’t tried pie crust on the grill yet. Definitely let me know if you do! The challenge will be avoiding burning, so a lower temperature might be good.

      Posted 10.23.11 Reply
  33. Kristen wrote:

    Could I use a George Foremen grill since I don’t have a panini press.

    Posted 6.8.14 Reply
    • Kathy Strahs wrote:

      A Foreman grill should work! ~Kathy

      Posted 6.8.14 Reply