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These red velvet pop tarts have only 5 ingredients and are so easy to whip up. Cut into traditional rectangles, or use fun-shaped cookie cutters for special occasions. Heart shaped tarts are perfect for Valentine’s Day breakfast or dessert.
When I stumbled across a how-to for turning boxed cake mix into pie crust, my mind immediately went to all the flavors of pie crust I could make without a lot of extra ingredients or effort.
With Valentine’s Day coming up, I couldn’t resist attempting a sweet little dessert that isn’t straight-up chocolate. Not that there is anything wrong with that! But, heart-shaped, red velvet pop tarts are pretty enough for a Valentine’s Day breakfast or dessert and perfect for Valentine’s of any age.
Ingredients for Red Velvet Pop Tarts
There are only five ingredients in these red velvet pop tarts (okay…6 if you count the ice water you may or may not need)!
Red Velvet Cake Mix — You’ll need one standard size box of red velvet cake mix (15.5 oz). It doesn’t matter the brand, but I used Betty Crocker for this recipe.
Eggs — A total of five eggs are required. One whole egg plus 3 yolks will be combined with the cake mix. The remaining egg is for the egg wash. (Save those egg whites for a little omelet, or you can freeze them in an ice cube tray for later use!)
Unsalted Butter — Unlike traditional from-scratch pie crusts that typically call for chilled butter, I followed the how-to method and went with room temperature. I did increase the amount to two tablespoons, though.
Fruit Preserves or Jam — Right out of the jar, this is a super easy filling for the tarts. Use any flavor you like. I chose strawberry, but I think raspberry would’ve been divine, too. I like the little bits of fruit you get with a preserve or jam versus a jelly.
Milk — You’ll only need a tablespoon to whisk with one egg to make the egg wash. Use whatever milk you have on hand, or feel free to use dairy cream. The egg wash will be used to help seal the tarts and to brush on top to give them a little sheen once baked.
Optional Ingredients — You can sprinkle decorator’s sugar (coarser than regular granulated) on top before baking. After baking, drizzle with melted white chocolate or icing.
How-To Make Red Velvet Pop Tarts
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You can mix these by hand, with a hand-held mixer, or with a stand mixer (which makes easy work of it).
Make the Tart Dough
Begin by lightly beating one whole egg and three yolks in the bowl. Sift the cake mix into the bowl with a mesh strainer to remove any lumps.
Add the softened butter and mix on the lowest speed until it forms a crumbly texture. This should take 2 to 3 minutes with a stand mixer.
Test the dough by squeezing some together with your fingers. If it holds together well, your dough is ready. If it falls apart easily, add one tablespoon of ice water and mix it a few more seconds before testing again. One tablespoon was all I needed to add, but if your dough seems too dry, add a few more drop of ice water at a time until you reach the desired texture.
Lightly flour your work surface and turn the dough out. Knead it just a few times to bring it all together into a single mass. Form it into a disc.
Add a little more flour to your work surface and rolling pin. Roll the dough out until its about 1/8” thick. Use a knife, pizza roller or cookie cutter to create shapes. I used a 4” heart shaped cutter.
Place the shapes on a sheet pan lined with a Silpat or parchment paper. Reroll the scraps and repeat the process until you’ve used all the dough. Refrigerate your tart shapes for 10 to 15 minutes before filling.
Fill the Tarts
Preheat your oven to 400F degrees. Make the egg wash by whisking one egg and 1 tablespoon of milk in a small bowl.
Leave half of your tart shapes on the sheet pan and apply a little egg wash around the edge of each with a pastry brush. Spread one tablespoon of preserves onto the dough, but don’t get too close to the edge.
Place another piece of dough on top of each and seal the tarts with the tines of a fork. Lightly brush more egg wash all over the top of each tart and sprinkle with decorating sugar, if using.
Bake the for 15 minutes. Let them cool on the sheet pan for 5 minutes. Enjoy them warm or remove them to a rack to finish cooling.
Serving Suggestions for Red Velvet Pop Tarts
- Serve them as-is for a sweet treat.
- Dunk them into a glass of milk or a cup of coffee for breakfast.
- Create the ultimate Valentine ice cream sundae with one of these tarts as the base or as a giant ‘garnish’.
Store them at room temperature in an airtight container. Warm them up in the microwave in 15 second increments for a ‘just out of the oven’ experience.
Red Velvet Pop Tarts
- 1 egg
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 box red velvet cake mix (15.5 oz)
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter room temperature
- ice water
- ½ cup fruit preserves or jam any flavor you like
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp milk
- coarse decorating sugar optional
- Lightly beat the egg and egg yokes together in the bowl of stand mixer. Sift the cake mix into the bowl to break up any clumps. Add the softened butter. Mix the ingredients together on the lowest speed until it begins to form a crumbly mixture (about 2 to 3 minutes).
- Test the dough by squeezing some together to see how well it holds. If it crumbles apart easily, add 1 tbsp of ice water to the dough and mix to bring it together into a coarse dough. (I only needed to add 1 tbsp of ice water. If its still too dry, add a few more drops at a time until you get the right texture.)
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it a few times to bring it all together into a disc. Dust the surface and a rolling pin with a little more flour and roll the dough to about 1/8" thick.
- Using a cookie cutter, pizza cutter or knife, cut shapes out of your dough and place them on a sheet pan lined with silpat or parchment. Combine the scraps, re-roll the dough and continue cutting shapes until you've used all the dough.
- Place shapes on a lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Meanwhile, whisk 1 egg with 1 tbsp of milk to create the egg wash.
- Remove the dough from the fridge. Brush the edges of half the shapes with egg wash. Place a tablespoon (or more) of fruit preserves in the center. Top with another piece of dough and seal the edges with a fork. Brush the tops lightly with egg wash. Sprinkle a little decorating sugar on top if you'd like.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Let them cool on the sheet pan for 5 minutes. Enjoy them warm or remove them to a rack to finish cooling.