Sweet Apple Cinnamon Empanadas

Apples and cinnamon
John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images
Prep: 3 hrs
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 3 hrs 40 mins
Servings: 25 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
188 Calories
12g Fat
20g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 25
Amount per serving
Calories 188
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 16%
Saturated Fat 7g 36%
Cholesterol 39mg 13%
Sodium 102mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 1g
Calcium 26mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Empanadas don't have to be savory—dessert empanadas are a lot of fun to make, and everyone loves them. These apple cinnamon empanadas (with a touch of caramel dulce de leche) also make excellent breakfast pastries.

This recipe uses a different empanada dough from savory empanadas—a cream cheese pastry dough that is only slightly sweet, becomes very flaky, and tastes more like a pie crust. Because fruit empanadas are famous for leaking in the oven, it's important you seal the edges of the dough well. They are normally sealed with the tines of a fork, but braided edges hold the filling better. Chilling the formed empanadas overnight before baking will also prevent the filling from escaping.


  • For the Pastry:
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter (chilled and cut into 1 tablespoon pieces)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (chilled and cut into pieces)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the Filling:
  • 4 to 5 firm green apples (like Granny Smith)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Optional: 3 tablespoons dulce de leche
  • For Baking:
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup sugar (for sprinkling; as needed)

Steps to Make It

Make the Pastry Dough

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Add the flour, salt, and sugar to the bowl of a food processor and pulse briefly.

  3. Add the chilled butter and cream cheese pieces to the bowl and pulse several times, just until mixture starts to come together.

  4. Add the vanilla and pulse twice more briefly.

  5. Turn dough mixture out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Bring the dough together into a disk, wrap with the plastic, and chill for at least two hours or overnight.

Make the Filling

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Peel and core the apples, and then cut them into small cubes.

  3. Add apples to a saucepan with the butter, sugar, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Stir apples over medium heat, cooking until they are just tender.

  4. In a small bowl, mix a tablespoon or two of water into the cornstarch until smooth.

  5. Add cornstarch mixture to the apples and cook, stirring, until mixture starts to thicken.

  6. Remove apples from heat and stir in the dulce de leche, if using, until well mixed.

  7. Chill apple mixture for at least one hour, stirring occasionally.

Shape and Bake

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. To shape the empanadas, roll out dough (in two or three batches) on a floured surface to about 1/4- to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut circles of dough about five to six inches in diameter.

  3. Wet the edge of a dough circle slightly, all around the perimeter. Place one scant tablespoon of filling in the middle of the dough.

  4. Fold the circle in half, enclosing the filling, and pinch the edges together firmly to seal, flattening and extending them slightly as you pinch them.

  5. Fold and crimp the flattened edge over itself decoratively. Repeat with remaining empanadas.

  6. Chill empanadas for about one hour for best results (or 15 minutes in the freezer).

  7. Preheat oven to 350 F.

  8. Mix egg yolk with a little bit of water and brush over empanadas. Sprinkle empanadas with sugar.

  9. Bake empanadas until puffed and golden brown, about 20 minutes.

  10. These are best eaten warm and can be reheated in a low oven.


  • Chilling the formed empanadas overnight before baking will help prevent the filling from escaping.