Six of the city’s best Pop Tart–like treats
Since Pop-Tarts debuted in 1964, they’ve been a latchkey-kid staple. When they first hit the U.S. market, stores sold out in two weeks, forcing Kellogg’s to publicly apologize for the empty shelves while they scrambled to increase production. Half-a-century later, the toaster-ready pastries are still selling like, well, hot cakes, and Toronto bakers are putting their own spin on the Pop-Tarts formula. Here are six of the city’s flakiest, tastiest, most nostalgia-inducing pretenders.
Sisters Cindy and Sarah Coelho fill their tarts with seasonal jams from Parkdale’s Kitten and the Bear. Currently, their fruity offerings include: golden plum–lavender, four-berry blend, and strawberry-basil lime. Their popular Nutella-filled pocket with a chocolate crust is available all year. $3.25.
859 College St., 416-916-2253, bakeshoppeto.com
Sam James Coffee
SJC is the one company in town carrying Lindsey Gazel’s Instagrammable wannabes. Only available Thursday through Sunday, these pastry pockets are changed up every week. The selection oscillates between original Pop-Tart flavours (raspberry, apple) and Gazel’s own combos like a peach–passion fruit jam number that’s tangy and sweet, just like the fuzzy peach it’s decorated with. $3.
Various locations (not available at Sam James Coffee Pocket), samjamescoffeebar.com
Made with Ontario-sourced red fife whole wheat, these mock-tarts would appease even kale-loving moms. Evelyn’s uses a pâte sucrée dough—the egg holds the crumbly whole grains together. Not only are these almost-healthy treats sold at Saturday farmers’ markets (Wychwood and Brickworks), but they’re also filled with seasonal produce: the pockets pictured above are stuffed with stewed strawberries that were batch-frozen earlier in the season. Starting at $3.50.
These vegan takes on the tart come lightly iced or “hella glazed.” On one visit the selection included coconut cream, wild berry and apple-cinnamon. Vegans jonesing for Nutella, rejoice: the café’s espresso-glazed tart is filled with house-made and dairy-free chocolate-hazelnut spread. $4.
1292 Bloor St. W., No phone, @DBeatstro
The Rolling Pin
The duo behind this uptown bakery takes DIY to the extreme. Vanessa Baudanza and Isabelle Loiacono pick many of the fruits they use in the jams that fill their pastry pockets, which come in 10 flavours including wild blueberry, apple spice and Nutella-banana. The PB and J number (pictured) is jam-packed with childhood nostalgia. $4.25.
3429 Yonge St., 416-691-4554, therollingpin.ca
OMG Baked Goodness
Owner Lesley Mattina starts with pâte brisée (shortcrust pastry) and then adds extra butter and eggs. The resulting pastry is so flaky it’s almost croissant-like. Each bite of the s’mores tart tastes like camping (thanks to the torched, house-made marshmallow that’s piped onto the pocket), but our favourite flavour is cherry topped with crushed nougatine. $3.25.
1561 Dundas St. W., 647-348-5664, omgbakedgoodness.com