When toaster strudel meets pop tart, the end result is these deliciously golden brown hand pies! They're stuffed full with a sweet cherry cream cheese filling and smothered in a dreamy pink cream cheese icing. Made gluten-free and vegan, they make the ultimate summer barbecue treat!
These hand pies have the crispy buttery outside of a pop tart and the juicy sweet filling of a toaster strudel. I'd say that's the best of both worlds! Smothered in a decadent cherry cream cheese "icing", these treats are sure to be a hit! Additionally, the dough is easy to make and requires no rising time (my favorite part) and the cherry filling is a cinch to whip up on the spot.
What is a Hand Pie?
Simply put, hand pies are a baked good with pie-like characteristics (think buttery and flaky crust with lots of filling) that you can hold in your hand. They didn't get real creative with the name. However, hand pies can be sweet or savory and the filling possibilities are truly endless. They are typically fried but you can also bake them in the oven for a "healthier" option.
Cherry Cheesecake Hand Pie Ingredients
Yes, this little treat is not only packed with sweet juicy cherries but also made with cream cheese giving it a cherry cheesecake vibe which I believe brings it to the next level. Here's what you need:
Apple Cider Vinegar
Vegan Cream Cheese
How to Make Homemade Hand Pies
- Prepare the filling. The pie filling is always the best part and these hand pies are no different. I recommend preparing the filling first so it has time to cool down before we spoon it over the dough. We use fresh cherries and mix in a bit of vegan cream cheese to create an incredible "cheery cheesecake" filling. To make, heat the pitted and washed cherries in a skillet over medium-low heat with coconut sugar and vanilla until soft. Transfer the cherries to a bowl and allow to cool
- Make the dough. This yeast-free dough is no-fuss and easy to make. The combination of almond flour and tapioca flour gives the dough a soft flaky texture while the coconut oil and apple cider vinegar give it just a touch of rise. To make the dough, we simple whisk together the almond flour, tapioca flour, and baking powder. Then add the coconut milk, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla and stir until a large ball of dough forms. The dough should be a tad moist and not sticky
- Assemble the hand pies. This is the fun part. Roll out the dough about ¼ inch in thickness. Use a generous amount of tapioca flour when rolling it out to prevent it from sticking to the rolling pin. Use a circular cookie cutter (I used a biscuit cutter) to cut circles in the dough. Half the circles will be the base of the hand pies and the other half will be the tops. Stir the cream cheese into the cooled cherry mixture and spoon a large spoonful in the center of half of the circles. Place the other half of the circles on top and gently press around the filling to seal. Use the back of a fork to press the edges down. Brush a bit of coconut oil on top and bake
- Prepare the icing. Okay, the filling and the icing may be tied for the best part of the hand pie. This icing is fool-proof and made with similar ingredients to the filling. Mix the vegan cream cheese with a touch of vanilla and nut milk and stir until it becomes thin - you should be able to lift the spoon up and the mixture falls off like paint. Then stir in a spoonful of leftover cherries. Spoon the icing over top of the hand pies and enjoy!