Throwdown: Boxed Toaster Tarts vs. Homemade Tarts

Throwdown: Boxed Toaster Tarts vs. Homemade Tarts

As moms we know that buying the box is convenient, but do they compare with taste?

Here is our own little throwdown: boxed toaster tarts vs. homemade tarts.

Remember eating packaged tarts as a kid? Like the tarts that POP out of the toaster – you gettin me?? My family always got the rip-off brand of the Tarts that Pop, anyway…


They seemed like such a fun breakfast, didn’t they?!


I am not entirely surprised when my kids spot that box on the shelf at the store and ask if we can get them. On most occasions I would laugh at them sweetly and remind these silly children that we don’t do “junk food” for breakfast. Maybe for lunch, but not breakfast…

Side note including important things that need to be admitted: Perhaps at one point in my desire to keep my family healthy, I would have triumphantly made a near-to-public announcement that these things are junk. Filled with sugar, artificial coloring, and processed with chemicals that are most likely the epitome of all evil in the world, etc.

With age and experience, I have become less of a condescending jerk because either I am too tired, have been on the receiving end of those comments or have heard enough sweet moms guiltily explaining why the lovely meal that they served us didn’t feel like it was good enough. I would imagine the Lord used all three to humble me, change my heart and in turn my response to others.

If you’re that mom in the same place as I was, I am lovingly telling you, don’t be that jerk. If you’re the mom that wants to do better, then do what you can. If you actually don’t care because you’re just trying to survive one day at a time, do what you have to do. 

If you’re that mom in the same place as I was, I am lovingly telling you, don’t be that jerk.

Resuming the story…

Throwdown: boxed toaster tarts vs. homemade tarts

Last week when my children looked at me with those pleading eyes and asked for that box o’ tarts, I said yes. Yes, with the stipulation that they had to help me make homemade tarts to see which they preferred. Usually we would make our own stellar crust, but there was a manager’s special on pie crust, so I set aside my constant struggle to be frugal and mentally justified the puchase as a home ec culinary experiment: Boxed Strawberry Toaster Tarts vs. Homemade Blueberry preserve tarts.

Little Man chose to cut round tarts rather than the rectangular, which speaks of his sophistication, I think. After cutting the dough, we placed them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and brushed each bottom half with beaten egg to keep each the crusts together.
Throwdown: Boxed Toaster Tarts vs. Homemade Tarts And since Curly Fry, our resident baker, had previously made some blueberry preserve that turned out a wee bit thicker than expected, we thought it would be perfect for these.

Throwdown: Boxed Toaster Tarts vs. Homemade Tarts

Filled, crust top on and edges pressed, these tarts were put into the preheated 375 degree oven. I set the timer for 20 minutes since the few recipes I pieced together called for 25-30.

Meanwhile, the kids watched a show, I put a little of that preserve on some homemade yogurt and in my quiet kitchen started this post. It was a good morning. A good, good morning.

Throwdown: Boxed Toaster Tarts vs. Homemade Tarts

The timer beeped, I turned off the oven and pulled those tarts out. Less gently than recommended, I dropped the tarts on a rack to cool with my bare hands, of course, because I’ll risk burns rather than locating the spatula. Onto the tray and into the still hot oven went the prepackaged tarts for a couple minutes. I’m allll about energy conservation…

The homemade tarts were a little overdone, so I recommend the dough be rolled thinner and timer set for 15 minutes. But the edges stayed together beautifully, even if a bit of the heavy handed filling seeped out.

Curly Fry made icing because “it’s so easy, Mom!” Her excellent memory combines well with her love to bake. It’s adorable. I did have to point out some of the little lumps in the icing, but we were in a wee bit of a hurry because the others were hungry. (Sounds like a horror film, kinda, doesn’t it? We all know that people, especially children, can be scary when they’re hungry…)

Throwdown: Boxed Toaster Tarts vs. Homemade Tarts
We gave the icing a bit of time to set after topping the blueberry tarts before having one of each. There were the four of my beasties, a visiting Iron Heart child, and myself. All but one preferred the homemade tarts to the store bought. Even slightly overdone, they didn’t seem as dry, were perfectly sweetened and had better flavor.

Are you in the mood for some homemade tarts now? Just in case, here’s the recipe. Let me know if you try them!


Blueberry Preserve Tarts

Ditch the box tarts and make your own! 

Course Breakfast
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 ish
Author Katie


  • 2 9 inch pie crusts rolled thin
  • 1 egg well beaten
  • 2/3 cups blueberry preserve thicker is better


  • 1 cup powdered sugar sifted
  • 2 tbsp half and half
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lay parchment paper on baking pans.

    Throwdown: Boxed Toaster Tarts vs. Homemade Tarts
  2. Using a biscuit cutter, make even amounts of rounds for each tart to have a bottom and top crust. Place bottoms on the paper and give an egg wash, paying extra attention to the edges.

  3. Place 1 tbsp of preserves in the middle of each bottom round. Cover with top rounds. Flute edges and add a vent with fork.

  4. Bake tarts for 15 minutes. Whisk icing ingredients together until smooth.

  5. Take tarts out of oven and cool on wire rack. Ice tarts.

  6. Eat.

Have you made your own tarts before? What did you think? Did all this tart talk also make you think of the Queen of Hearts?



Author: Katie

Welcome! I'm Katie. Here at Forging Iron Hearts, I will be sharing the experiences of our family here in our intentional community in East Texas. You will likely see occasional posts from my wonderful husband Kevin and the other Iron Heart families, as well.