Gluten-Free Vegan Pop Tarts with Lemon Icing
My Adventure Begins
Since moving to China, I’ve become a vegan and started eating gluten-free, primarily due to food allergies, but somewhat due to personal preference and environmental impact as well. Something that I have really struggled with is finding gluten-free vegan foods. I can’t easily find them in a supermarket and even finding some of the ingredients has proven to be challenging.
Over the last year, I have start pushing myself to cook more frequently so that making good food choices is easier because I can control what goes into my body. In doing so, I have been able to cut down on unwanted allergic reactions due to accidental exposure, and I’ve started learning to enjoy spending time in the kitchen experimenting with foods.
This recipe is one of my first major success in adventuring into an area of cooking that I can’t say I’m comfortable in, especially when it comes to gluten-free… baking. But I am happy to announce that my GLUTEN-FREE VEGAN POP TARTS were a success!
How I did it
When I first decided to make pop tarts, I looked at recipes on the internet to see if any of them would work for my particular allergies (eggs, milk, wheat, and many others just to name a few). The non-gluten-free recipes usually had eggs and milk, which are pretty easy for me to change out for a vegan milk and an egg replacement.
Many of the gluten-free recipes called for “GF all-purpose flour blend” which isn’t super easy for me to access in China (not inexpensively at least) and the ones I have tried were not very good in my opinion. This led me to the decision to make my own flour recipe. I saw one recipe that used buckwheat flour, which I have never used before, but I know it is a denser flour. I didn’t want to 3-5 days to order buckwheat so I decided to do a combination of sorghum, rice, and almond flour, and a little tapioca starch. I’ve used a similar blend, minus the sorghum for a pizza crust that worked out nicely too.
Something that struck me as odd with the vegan recipes was that none of them seemed to have any form of egg replacement. I noted that a few of the gluten-free recipes called for xanthan gum, but that isn’t something I use because my sister is allergic to it. I decide to use flax eggs to replace the eggs in the non-vegan recipes and the xanthan gum in the gluten-free recipes.
Once I had a flour blend and something to hold it all together, the rest was pretty simple and seemed to be similar across all normal, gluten-free and vegan pop tart recipes. It was finally time to start baking! The worst part for me was letting the dough chill for 45 minutes. Making the dough was super easy, the filling and the icing were even easier!
They are a little darker than the typical store bough pop tarts because of the sorghum flour and flax seeds, but they still taste amazing!
Ready to try and make them for yourself? Here’s what you need to get started:
300 g frozen mixed berried
300 g of white granulated sugar
1 tsp agar agar powder
½ c powdered sugar
2 tbsp water
½ tsp lemon extract (optional, adds a nice tangy flavor to off set the sweetness of the sugar)
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 flax eggs (1 flax egg = 1 tbsp ground flax seed + 2 tbsp water)
¾ cup sorghum flour
¾ cup rice flour
¼ almond flour
2 tbsp white granulated sugar
1 cup cold vegan ghee (or vegan butter)
8 tbsp vegan milk (I used GF oat milk)
½ tsp salt
- In a saucepan over medium heat, combine frozen berries and sugar. Stir mixture until sugar is completely integrated and berries are thawed.
- Sprinkle agar agar powder over berry mixture and stir in until fully integrated.
- Bring berry mixture to a boil.
- Remove saucepan from stove and put berry mixture into blender.
- Blend mixture until smooth.
- Optional: Strain seeds from mixture with a sieve or cheesecloth. (I skipped this step because the seeds don’t bother me.)
- Put mixture into a contain and chill in the refrigerator for 45 minutes to an hour or until jelly-like and cool to the touch.
- Preheat oven to 300°F (180°C).
- Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or tin foil. (I used tin foil because I was out of parchment paper.)
- Sift flours, sugar, and salt into a large mixing bowl.
- Cut cold vegan ghee or butter into the flour dry mixture until mixture is crumbly. This can be done with a mixer, but I generally prefer to do it by hand.
- Add vegan milk and flax eggs and mix until dough is a little sticky, but can still be handled without too much sticking to hands.
- Divide dough in half, roll each half into a ball, wrap in plastic and chill in the refrigerator for 45 minutes.
- Remove dough from plastic wrap and on surface floured with gluten-free flour (I used sorghum), roll out the dough to desired thickness. (I did about ¼ inch thickness so it didn’t break apart but wasn’t so thick it needed to cook longer.)
- Cut out 8 pop tart size pieces of dough. (I used a plastic container because I don’t have a cookie0-cutter and didn’t trust myself to free-hand it with a knife.)
- Place four pieces of dough on the baking sheet.
- Add 1-1 ½ tbsp of filling to the center of each piece of dough, leave room along the edges to crimp the pop tart closed.
- Place second layer of dough on top of each filled pop tart and gentle pressed together the edges.
- Take a fork and press around the edges to make sure they are sealed and have that nice pop tart-like finished edge.
- Use a toothpick to poke a few holes in the top of each pop tart so the steam can escape.
- Then bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
- Remove pop tarts from oven and let cool for 3-5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack.
- Let pop tarts cool completely before adding icing.
- Store in an air-tight container on the counter for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- Mix water, sugar and extracts together in a small bowl until it has a smooth creamy consistency. You will want the icing to be a bit thicker so it doesn’t run off the edges of your pop tart. If it is too runny, you can add more powder sugar until it gets to the consistency of your liking.
- When pop tarts are completely cool, use a spoon to add icing.
- Optional: If you want a real pop tart finish, add some gluten-free vegan sprinkles. I didn’t have any so I skipped this step.
Recipe by Lady Nazlia March 6, 2021.