Monday, May 20, 2013

Homemade Strawberry Pop Tart Donuts

Homemade Pop Tart Doughnuts
THAT one!
I think the best part of becoming an adult and moving out of my parents' house was being able to eat Pop Tarts and a Coke for dinner.

As a freshman in college, eating whatever whenever was an exciting new way to exercise my independence.

But now that I'm older, eating packaged breakfast foods means I slept in, screwed up my morning schedule and had to leave the house without a real breakfast.

But the kid in me still believes that the Pop Tart concept is magical. What if you could discard the rectangle of drywall they call pastry and morph this popular breakfast item into another popular breakfast item: a donut?

And if you're feeling really awesome, maybe you could even take an extra 15 minutes to make your own fresh strawberry jam to fill into your Pop Tart donuts (it really only takes about 15 minutes).

Strawberry filled doughnuts with vanilla icing
The icing hardens on the top but the interior is soft and filled with homemade strawberry jam

Now you have a treat for your inner kid that is fresh, homemade and absolutely delicious!! Despite its juvenile appearance, this really was a tasty donut. The fresh strawberry jam MADE this, and the crunchy sprinkles on top were a nice complement to the soft interior.

Homemade strawberry pop tart donuts

INGREDIENTS for 12 medium rounds (3.5")

Donuts (This raised donut recipe was adapted from Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston's Flour Bakery + Cafe)
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
2/3 cup whole milk, room temperature
3 1/2 all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp kosher salt
3 eggs
7 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature

Strawberry Freezer Jam (adapted from 30 Minutes to Homemade Sure Jell Strawberry Freezer Jam)
1 pint fresh strawberries
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
2 tbsp powdered pectin

Vanilla Icing (adapted from Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts: Secrets and Recipes for the Home Baker)
4 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp corn syrup
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup of boiling water


  1. Before you go to bed, make the donut dough so it can chill overnight. In your mixer bowl, combine 2/3 cup whole milk and 2 1/2 tsp yeast, give it a couple slow whirls with the dough hook and let it sit while you do some "mise-en-placing" (see next step).
  2. In a medium bowl, measure out 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour, 1/3 cup sugar and 2 tsp kosher salt. Whisk all together to aerate and combine.
  3. Flip the mixer on to slow and add the 3 eggs to the yeast/milk sludge. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix for about 5 minutes to develop the dough.
  4. Use a spatula to scrape all of the sticky dough off the dough hook and the sides of the bowl and plop the dough directly into plastic wrap. Wrap tightly and pop it in the fridge to let it chill overnight. The dough is really sticky and needs to be very well chilled before handling.
  5. If you're not too sleepy yet, you can make the strawberry jam the night before too. Otherwise, make it at least 4 hours before you pipe it into the donuts to make sure it is completely chilled. Warm jam will steam up the donuts from the inside and make them soggy. Ew. To make the strawberry jam, first stem and slice the strawberries and cook them in a saucepan at medium heat until soft.
  6. Transfer to a food processor and pulse until there are no big chunks. Remember, you will be piping this jam into donuts so there can't be big chunks of strawberry that will clog up your pastry tip. Set aside for a sec while you do the next step.
  7. In a medium saucepan, dissolve 2 tbsp pectin into 1/3 cup of water. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook for 1 minute.
  8. Pour in the pureed strawberries and the 2 cups of sugar. Stir until dissolved and that's it! Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until completely cooled.
  9. When your donut dough is completely chilled, you can start rolling and cutting rounds. Roll to 1/2" thick, go to town with your 3.5" round cutter, and place the rounds on two floured cookie sheets about 2" apart.
  10. To construct the proofing chamber in your oven place a 9”x13” roasting pan on the bottom rack and then pour boiling water into it to fill it to about half way. Pop in the donuts on the top rack, uncovered and let them rise for 2 hours.
  11. Next, take out a big stock pot and fill it 2” deep with canola oil, turn the heat on to medium, stick in a thermometer and wait for the oil to heat up to 350° F.
  12. Fry time! Using the metal spatula, carefully transfer the donuts from the cookie sheet into the oil. They only need to be in the oil for about a 30-40 seconds on each side, so the frying process will be really fast.
  13. When the donuts are cooling, make the vanilla icing. To do that, scoop in 4 cups of powdered sugar into your mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment. Flip the mixer on to low to break up any clumps and aerate. Then add 1 1/2 tsp corn syrup, 1/4 tsp kosher salt, 1/3 cup of boiling water, 1 tsp vanilla extract, and continue to mix until the icing had reached the optimal texture, which is somewhere between glaze and frosting.  
  14. Pipe about 2 tbsp of strawberry jam into each donut, dip the top in the vanilla icing and sprinkle with red sprinkles. Take a bite and watch some cartoons.


  1. Oh wow - these look great!

  2. Cool. Really inspiring. Can I come and try some?

    1. YES!! Since you're local, I'd love to drop some off at your office...keep me from eating them all. :)