All the Ways I Like to Eat Pop-Tarts
All the Ways I Like to Eat Pop-Tarts

The simple Pop-Tart has come a long way since its inception in the 1960s. Although they don’t look different, the way they’re eaten has undergone some whimsical experimentation. This tracks for the colorful, jam-filled, toaster-friendly treat with teeny tiny sprinkles on top. If it’s been a while since you’ve dipped your toes into the jam-filled breakfast pastry pool, this is your sign to take the plunge. Here are some of the best ways to eat Pop-Tarts.

Eat ‘em frozen

Out of respect for the warmer temperatures approaching, the first few Pop-Tart suggestions will be a treat to cool you down. I’d never recommend a hot toaster oven when it’s 80°F; I just wouldn’t stand for it. Instead, gift yourself a frozen Pop-Tart. Take the foil sleeves out of the cardboard box (the cardboard gets humid and takes up extra space) and keep them stashed in the freezer until you need it most. The pastry gains a crisp texture and the jam never gets icy—instead it ends up pleasantly chewy.


Credit: Allie Chanthorn Reinmann

Crumble them into ice cream

Plain flavor ice cream is fine, but I’m much more likely to get a pint of ice cream loaded with stuff. I like caramel swirls, chocolate bits, cheesecake blobs, you name it. So when I tested out a no-churn ice cream, you better believe I crumbled Pop-Tarts into it. It’s easiest to fold it into the soft-serve-like stage when you’re making your own ice cream at home, but you can do it with store-bought too. Leave the ice cream in the fridge for 30 to 45 minutes to soften. Scoop it into a bowl and mix in the pastry chunks. You can return it to the pint to freeze it hard, or just start chowing down. 

Stack up an ice cream sandwich

Ice cream sandwiches are inherently fun, and when the “bread” is Pop-Tarts, the lucky eater is bound to crack a smile. I enjoy Pop-Tarts ice cream sandwiches because you can really take liberties with flavor combinations. At any given time, Pop-Tarts will have classic flavors (like strawberry, blueberry, and brown sugar cinnamon) but I constantly see the shelves stocked with weirdo-beardo flavors too, like Apple Jacks, Boston Creme Donut, or Frosted Strawberry Milkshake. Pair those with any of the numerous ice creams in the freezer section and you’ve got a delightful treat. Here’s how to make a Pop-Tart ice cream sandwich.

A pie crust on a wire rack

Credit: Allie Chanthorn Reinmann

Use Pop-Tarts for pie crust

Usually graham cracker crumb crusts are the standard for chilled pies and tarts, but why not switch up the crumb for something a bit more nostalgic (not to mention colorful). The best part is, it’s a one-ingredient crust. Throw a few Pop-Tarts in a food processor and blend it down into small crumbs. Press the pieces into a pie dish and the jam particles will help bind the crust together. Read this for the full method

A spoon scooping a Pop-Tart trifle.

Credit: Allie Chanthorn Reinmann

Make the world’s laziest trifle

Cookies and milk are inextricably linked, which is why I think Pop-Tarts and heavy cream are easy friends. Make a perverted trifle of multiple flavors of Pop-Tarts layered with whipped cream for a quick crowd-pleaser when you have no energy or will to go buy the custard and cake for a “proper” trifle.

Crumble topping for muffins and cakes

The main thing that makes a crumb cake so irresistibly good is the streusel topping. And yet, my least favorite thing about making a crumb cake is taking the extra time to whip up that very same topping. Here’s an easy work around: Top your cakes with crushed Pop-Tarts. I use crushed ginger snaps in this recipe but the same method applies for your breakfast pastries.

Zhuzh up your milkshakes

I don’t have to convince you that a milkshake is a good idea, but you should know that any milk shake you make can be a lot more fun if it’s loaded with Pop-Tarts. That’s correct, you can drink your Pop-Tarts, and you should. It’s easy with a blender too. Simply add your favorite brand of vanilla ice cream, a sleeve of tarts, and a bit of milk. Buzz away, and grab a straw.

Replace toast with tarts

When you eat Pop-Tarts straight out of the foil package, or even gently toasted, you’re shorting yourself. Sure, they have flavor already, but that sweet filling is more like a nudge. Pop-Tarts are actually great toast replacements. Slather on a layer of jam, Nutella, or fluff. Why not add a schmear and some fresh strawberry slices? Spread on a thick coat of peanut butter and top it with sliced bananas for a snack that’s fit to rival any slice of 12-grain. The flavor combinations are endless, and if you haven’t already, now’s a good time to add a box of Cherry Frosted to your grocery list. 

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