Homemade Sweet Empanadas with a Twist!

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When it comes to comfort food, few things can beat the warm embrace of a Sweet Empanada. These delightful pastries have been cherished for generations, offering a perfect blend of flaky crust and delectable fillings.

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Empanadas are a popular dish in many Latin American countries and come in various forms and flavors. One of the best things about sweet empanadas is their versatility. You can experiment with different fillings to suit your preferences and create your flavor combinations. 

Sweet empanadas are typically made by enclosing a sweet filling, such as fruit preserves, chocolate, or caramel, in a pastry dough, then baking or frying them until golden brown and crispy. The possibilities are endless, from classic apple and cinnamon to exotic tropical fruits or creamy custards. You can even enjoy a sweet empanada as a dessert, snack, or a special treat during the day.

Prepare your taste buds to indulge in a sweet sensation transcending borders and taste preferences as we delve into Sweet Empanadas.

Ingredients in making Sweet Empanadas

Ingredients for Sweet Empanadas:

Creating delectable sweet empanadas is a delightful journey made simple with this carefully curated list of ingredients:

Flaky Dough:

  • Flour: All-purpose
  • Salt: Kosher
  • Cinnamon: Ground
  • Butter: Unsalted
  • Egg: Large
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Water: Room temperature


  •  Dulce de leche, apple pie, Nutella, pumpkin puree, fresh fruit, or fruit jam.

Cinnamon mixture:

  • Sugar
  • Cinnamon
Steps in making Sweet Empanadas

How to Make Sweet Empanadas?

  1. Dough Preparation: In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and ground cinnamon and whisk them together. Next, put the butter in with a fork or a tool for cutting pastry. Keep working on it until everything looks like pea-sized crumbles. Now, include the egg, sugar, vanilla extract, and four tablespoons of water.
  2. Dough Kneading and Resting: Knead the mixture with your clean hands until the dough comes together. Then, transfer it to a clean surface and continue kneading while adding the remaining water slowly. Stop when the dough is no longer sticky, soft, and smooth. Knead it for an extra 5 minutes, roll it into a flat disk with a rolling pin, wrap it in plastic, and let it rest in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour.
  3. Preparation for Baking: Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C), line two baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside.
  4. Divide and Roll Dough: Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator and divide it into four equal portions. Roll out one portion on a lightly floured surface to about ¼ to ⅛ inch thickness, then cut out circles using a cookie cutter, glass, or cup approximately 6 inches in diameter. These circles will serve as the base for each empanada.
  5. Adding Filling and Folding: Place approximately 2 tablespoons of your favorite filling in the center of the dough circle. The filling can be delicious, like dulce de leche, apple pie, Nutella, pumpkin puree, fresh fruit, or fruit jam. Fold the dough over the filling to create a half-moon-shaped pie, and crimp the edges together with a fork.
  6. Baking time: Transfer the empanadas to the prepared baking sheets and bake for approximately 25 minutes until the edges turn golden brown. This indicates that they are perfectly baked.
  7. Cinnamon Sugar Topping: Mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. After removing the empanadas from the oven, promptly dust them with the sugar and cinnamon mixture, if desired. This enhances their flavor and appearance.
  8. Serving: Serve the sweet empanadas warm or reheat them if needed. They're ready to be enjoyed!
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Sweet Empanada Tips:

Empanadas are a delicious and popular snack or meal option enjoyed by many. However, it's important to follow proper storage and safety guidelines to ensure the freshness and quality of these tasty treats. 

Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  1. Room Temperature: Empanadas can stay out at room temperature for up to 2 hours. After this time, it is crucial to refrigerate them promptly to prevent bacterial growth and ensure food safety. It is crucial because bacteria thrive and multiply quickly at temperatures ranging from 40°F (4°C) to 140°F (60°C), a range often referred to as the “danger zone.”
  2. Refrigeration: It is advisable to store empanadas in the refrigerator for optimal storage. They can be refrigerated for 3–4 days. To do this, transfer the empanadas into clean, airtight containers or wrap them tightly with plastic wrap. It helps maintain their freshness and prevents cross-contamination with other foods in the fridge.
  3. Freezing: If you want to store empanadas longer, freezing is the best option. To prepare them for freezing, thoroughly cook the empanadas until they are golden brown and allow them to cool completely. Then, wrap each empanada individually in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to preserve their freshness and prevent dehydration. Place the wrapped empanadas in an airtight container or freezer bag and label them with the date of preparation.
  4. Frozen Storage: Empanadas can be safely stored in the freezer for three months. Keeping them at a consistent temperature below freezing (0°F/-18°C) is crucial. This helps maintain their taste and texture. Thaw the frozen empanadas in the refrigerator overnight for best results.
  5. Reheating: When you're ready to enjoy the empanadas, there are a couple of options for reheating. First, if you want to retain their crispiness, you can briefly fry them in oil until heated. Alternatively, you can reheat them in the oven at a low temperature until warmed up. Regardless of the method you choose, it's essential to ensure that the internal temperature of the empanadas reaches 165°F (74°C) to kill any bacteria that may have grown during storage.
  6. Refrigerated Leftovers: If you have reheated empanadas that you don't plan to consume within 2-3 days, it is best to refrigerate them promptly to maintain their freshness and safety. If you have leftovers you won't finish within this timeframe, consider freezing them for more extended storage.

Following these storage and safety guidelines allows you to enjoy empanadas while ensuring their quality and reducing the risk of foodborne illnesses. Remember to always use your discretion and discard any empanadas that show signs of spoilage or have been stored for longer than recommended.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

Are there different types of empanadas?

Empanadas come in all sorts of yummy varieties. Some have tasty meats inside, like beef or chicken, all seasoned just right. There are empanadas filled with gooey cheese that melts in your mouth. There are also empanadas with vegetables, like mushrooms and green peppers. But the best empanadas are the sweet ones, filled with cream cheese and guava and chocolate or caramel. With so many different types of dessert fillings, the possibilities are endless. 

Here are some various flavors and fillings, offering a wide range of delicious options:

  • Meat Empanadas: These are filled with seasoned meats, such as beef, chicken, pork, or seafood. The meats are often cooked with spices and sometimes with vegetables like onions, peppers, or olives.
  • Cheese Empanadas: These empanadas are filled with various types of cheese. The cheese can be mild, like mozzarella, or more robust, like cheddar or feta. Some cheese empanadas may also include additional ingredients like herbs or vegetables.
  • Vegetarian Empanadas: These are filled with various vegetables, like spinach, mushrooms, or a combination of different veggies. They can also include cheese or beans for added flavor and protein.
  • Sweet Empanadas: As the name suggests, these empanadas have sweet fillings, often featuring fruits like apples, peaches, guava, or even pumpkin. These are mixed with sugar and spices like cinnamon for a delightful dessert.
  • Regional Variations: Different countries and regions have unique empanadas types. For example, in Argentina, they're known for their savory beef empanadas with a blend of spices. In Chile, seafood empanadas are a popular choice. In Mexico, you might find empanadas filled with spicy chorizo and potatoes.
  • Dessert Empanadas: These are a particular type of sweet empanada that may contain fillings like caramel, chocolate, or even cream cheese, providing a decadent dessert experience.

So, whether you're in the mood for a savory, cheesy, veggie-packed, or sweet empanada, there's a type to satisfy every craving!

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Where did sweet empanadas originate?

Sweet ​empanadas originated in ​Latin America and ​Spain. They have a long history that can be traced back to these regions. Empanadas, in general, have their roots in ​Galicia, which is a region in northwest Spain.

From there, they were brought to Latin America by Spanish colonists. In Latin America, empanadas evolved into individual pockets of pastry crust filled with various sweet fillings, such as fruit or dessert-like fillings. It's uncertain when sweet empanadas evolved from their larger, pie-like form into smaller, individual pastries.

However, what is known is that sweet empanadas have become a popular variation of this Latin American favorite. So, sweet empanadas can be considered a delicious fusion of Spanish and Latin American culinary traditions.

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Do empanadas taste better baked or fried?

Deciding which one tastes better is up to you. Baked empanadas are lighter and softer with a gentle crunch. Fried empanadas are crispy and bold in flavor. Some like the lighter, juicier filling of baked empanadas, while others prefer the crispy, indulgent experience of fried ones. It's fun to try both and see which you like best!

The flavor of empanadas can be delicious, whether baked or fried, but it ultimately hinges on the chosen cooking method. Let's look at both:

Baked empanadas go into the oven. The dough gets brushed with egg or oil, which makes it turn golden and a bit crispy. Baking gives empanadas a lighter and less oily feel. The filling stays juicy and full of flavor, so when you bite in, it's delicious. Baked empanadas have a slightly crunchy outside and a softer taste.

Fried empanadas take a hot oil bath until they're crispy and golden. Frying makes them crispy and flaky on the outside, with a greasy and indulgent flavor. The filling in fried empanadas can have a stronger taste because it mixes with the hot oil. Frying also brings out even more richness and flavor in the filling.

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Sweet Empanadas

Yield: 18-20
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Embark on a sweet journey with our delectable Sweet Empanadas! From velvety chocolate to fruity delights, every bite is a taste of pure bliss. Perfect for any moment of indulgence.


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 ¼ cups unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8-10 tablespoons of water, room temperature
  • 2 cups of your favorite filling such as dulce de leche, apple pie, Nutella, pumpkin puree, fresh fruit, or fruit jam.

Cinnamon mixture:

  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Start by whisking the flour, salt, and cinnamon together in a large bowl.
  2. After that, add the butter using a fork or a pastry cutter, and work it until the mixture resembles pea-sized crumbles.
  3. Next, add the egg, sugar, vanilla extract, and 4 tablespoons of water.
  4. Knead the mixture using your clean hands, just until you can gather the dough together.
  5. After that, transfer the dough to a clean surface, and continue to knead it, adding the remaining water little by little. The dough is ready when it no longer sticks to the surface, and it's soft and smooth.
  6. Knead it for 5 minutes more and then using a rolling pin, roll it into a disk, wrap it with plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to one hour.
  7. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set it aside.
  8. Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator and divide into 4 equal portions. 
  9. Roll out one portion onto a lightly floured surface to about ¼ to ⅛ -inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter or glass/cup, cut out circles of dough that are approximately 6 inches in diameter.
  10. Next, add 2 tablespoons of your favorite filling into the center of the dough circle. After that, fold the dough over the filling, into a half-moon-shaped pie and crimp the edges together with a fork. 
  11. Transfer the empanadas onto the prepared baking sheets and bake for about 25 minutes or until the edges of the empanadas start to turn golden brown.
  12. Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  13. Remove the empanadas from the oven and immediately dust with the sugar and cinnamon mix if desired.
  14. Serve warm or reheated.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 342Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 75mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 2gSugar: 22gProtein: 6g

These nutritional calculations might not be accurate. Please speak with a licensed nutritionist to assist you.

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