There are few grab-and-go breakfast treats that spark sugary delight like the iconic toaster pastry. It heats up quickly, provides a sweet burst of short-lived energy and temporarily alleviates junk food cravings. But not all toaster pastries are equivalent; a bite into a flavorless pastry square could easily leave your sweet tooth disappointed. As more companies create their own convenient toaster pastries, it’s worth sampling outside the bigger brands to find the perfect toasted, jam-filled bite.
To find the best toasted treats available, we tested five brands of toaster pastries, all of which are available online or in your local grocery stores. We decided to go with a classic flavor — strawberry — to keep our comparisons consistent. Here are our rankings, from best to worst.
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Nature’s Path Organic Toaster Pastries: Frosted Berry Strawberry ($3.99 for 6)
Nature’s Path’s strength is that their pastries taste sweet, but not so sweet that the taste of the strawberry jam is instantly obscured. That accomplishment is impressive, given that each pastry contains 19 grams of sugar. Compared to more familiar brands, Nature’s Path might be a bit pricey. You can buy twice as many Pop-Tarts for a dollar less. Still, the excellent jam to pastry ratio in Nature’s Path’s toaster pastry won us over. Even if it costs a little more, it’s worth splurging on every now and again.
Annie’s Homegrown Organic Toaster Pastries: Strawberry with Frosting ($3.50 for 6)
Overall, Annie’s and Nature’s Path are fairly interchangeable. In both, the sugary taste isn’t overwhelming, though the actual sugar content is the same. The biggest difference comes down to the jam. Annie’s has a fantastic jam to pastry ratio, but the jam was a bit thicker, and more chewy than Nature’s Path’s version. It’s almost like Annie’s put a bit of fruit leather in the center of each of their toaster treats. This isn’t a bad thing, but might be worth noting for those who don’t want a gummy texture.
Kellog’s Pop-Tarts: Frosted Strawberry ($2.99 for 12)
If you’ve ever had a toaster pastry, you’ve probably had this brand, and the formula hasn’t really changed over the years. It’s still the same silver-wrapped pastry that brings about fond memories of childhood. Surprisingly, it also contains one of the lowest sugar contenders, at 16 grams per Pop-Tart. And at our second cheapest pick, it’s a relatively affordable brand. Definitely worth keeping in your snack pantry.
Kroger Frosted Toaster Treats: Strawberry ($1.50 for 8)
Generic versions can be pretty hit or miss, but Kroger’s toaster pastry is a pretty close duplicate of Pop-Tarts, to the point that one could be forgiven for believing that they are exactly the same as the name brand. And since the taste is indistinguishable, the selling point here is the slightly cheaper cost. You could technically get four more toaster pastries through Kroger than you could by buying a pack of Pop-Tarts. Not a bad trade off for a slightly less fancy box.
Not Our First Pick
Bobo’s Toast’r Pastry: Strawberry Jam ($2.59 per pastry)
We were really excited to try this toaster pastry. The crumbly, almost homemade look is really inviting, and at $2.59 for a single toaster pastry (not even a two pack!) we were sure we were in for a gourmet treat. Alas, we were not. The pastry has a whole wheat flavor, but it’s so dry that it sucks all the moisture from your mouth. We’re still not sure the flavor we had was strawberry, because we could hardly taste the jam. Additionally, Bobo’s pastries contain 22 grams of sugar — three more than our top picks — without delivering more flavor. Overall, Bobo’s seems to have invested more time in its packaging than its product.
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