Sweet Empanadas Dough Recipe

This dough make Sweet Empanadas that are crisp on the outside, moist and buttery in the middle, and bursting with fruit fillings. Perfect for dessert, to serve at brunch or as a snack. 

Pretty breakfast empanadas on a marble background with fruit on the side.

These dessert empanadas look so pretty, you won’t believe how easy they are to make. From holiday desserts to everyday snacking, they’re sure to be a hit with your family.

The flavors are simple and classic, yet irresistible. On of Mexico’s favorite treat!

Crispy sweet empanadas on a white plate placed on a wood serving tray.
Receta De Empanadas Dulces

Ingredients

This recipe for Sweet Empanadas Dough is great for adding your favorite filling. The dough is buttery, perfectly sweet, and totally delicious

  • All-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt and ground cinnamon
  • Earth balance buttery spread – use this butter for Vegan Empanadas (Plant-Based) or you may use your favorite unsalted butter.
  • If you’re using salted butter then reduce the added salt in the recipe to 1/4 tsp.
  • An egg (or egg replacement for a vegan empanada)
  • White sugar
  • Vanilla extract – You should definitely use the highest quality you can because it does make a difference in the taste.
  • Water at room temperature
  • 2 cups of your favorite filling

*See the recipe card below with complete measurements and details.**

All ingredients on top of a marble board.

Step by step: How To Make Empanadas Dough

  • Whisk the flour, kosher salt, and cinnamon together in a large bowl,
  • Add the butter. Using your hands or a pastry cutter, work in the butter until the mixture resembles pea-sized crumbles.
  • Add 1 egg, sugar, vanilla extract and 4 tablespoons of water.
  • With your clean hands knead the mixture a few times in the bowl just until you can gather the dough together.
  • Transfer the dough to a clean surface and continue to knead the dough adding two tablespoons of water at a time (about 8 to 10 tablespoons total). Note: The dough is ready when it no longer sticks to the counter and it does not look dry.
  • Continue to knead about 3 to 5 minutes; then form dough into a disk, wrap with plastic, and chill for at least 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

An image of a metal tortilla press.

Note: The instructions on how to form each empanada dough is made with a tortilla press as I find it easier to get the perfect thickness for the dough.

Remove chilled dough from the refrigerator

Rolling dough by hand: Divide into 4 equal portions. Roll out dough onto lightly floured surface to about ¼ to ⅛ -inch thickness. Cut out circles of dough about 4-6 inches in diameter.

  • Use your hands, a spoon or a medium ice cream scoop to portion the dough into a 2-tablespoon ball (35-40 grams, or about the size of a golf ball), then use your hands to roll the ball until it is nice and round.
  • Place the dough ball between two pieces of plastic in a tortilla press. (I use a ziplock bag)  Then gently press the dough ball until it forms a 4- to 5-inch circle.
  • Spoon about 2 tablespoons of your preferred filling into the center of the dough circle.

Fold the dough over the filling to make a half-moon- shaped pie and crimp the edges of the crust together with a fork, leaving little fork lines in the dough. Gently lay the empanadas onto the prepared baking sheets.

  • Bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until the empanadas’ edges start to turn golden brown.
  • Immediately dust with sugar & cinnamon if using any.
  • These are best eaten warm and can be reheated in an oven or microwave for about 12 to 15 seconds.

See recipe card for more details.

Adding sugar on top of an empanada with a spoon.

Optional Fillings

You can fill them with whatever you like! Dulce de leche, cajeta, nutella, pumpkin puree, fresh fruit, or your favorite fruit jam.

Serving Suggestions

These Sweet Empanadas are a wonderful dessert or afternoon snack. Pair them with a cup of Mexican Hot Chocolate, Champurrado, Atole or Horchata during the warm weather.

Store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for 5 days, or freeze them for up to 2 months. I like to double the recipe and freeze half to keep on hand for on-the-go breakfasts or snacks!

Alternatively, serve these Empanadas as part of a larger brunch with a Chilaquiles Rojos or VerdesSweet Corn Tamales, or Huevos Divorciados and Agua De Sandia to drink!

Empanadas placed on a white plate on a wood server. Decorated with fresh fruit.

How to store

I recommend keeping these empanadas in an airtight container or resealable bag. On the counter, they’ll last for about 3 days. If you store them in the fridge, they’ll stay good for up to a week. If you want to store them long-term, you can keep them in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are empanadas Mexican?

The origin of Empanadas has been claimed by many countries. However, they became popular when they first appeared in the area of ​​Spain during the time of the Arab invasions. It is said that Spaniards were inspired by the Arabs gyros to create what we call now, Empanadas.

Do you have to chill empanada dough?

This dough only needs a minimum of 20 minutes chill time in the refrigerator but the longer the better.

Why is my empanada dough tough?

If the dough feels too dry and stiff to knead, you can let it rest a few minutes after combining all the ingredients, before you start kneading. If after a few minutes of rest is still stiff, add one tablespoon of warm water and knead. It could be that you added too much flour.

Sweet Empanadas on a serving tray with cut figs on the side.
Crispy sweet empanadas on a white plate placed on a wood serving tray.

Sweet Empanadas Dough Recipe

Servings 20 empanadas
Ana Frias
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 55 mins
If you are looking for delicious Empanaditas, you can not go wrong with this Sweet Empanadas dough recipe as your base! Simple to make and deliciously sweet, be sure to make a double batch as they’ll disappear quickly!
20 empanadas

Ingredients
  

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt If you’re using salted butter then don't add any salt to the dough. 
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 ¼ cups earth balance buttery spread (or your favorite unsalted butter) see note below
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 8-10 tablespoons water room temperature
  • 2 cups favorite filling such as dulce de leche, cajeta, nutella, pumpkin puree, fresh fruit, or your favorite fruit jam.
  • Mix sugar & cinnamon (to taste) for dusting empanadas optional

Instructions
 

  • Whisk the flour, kosher salt, and cinnamon together in a large bowl,
  • Add the butter. Using your hands or a pastry cutter, work in the butter until the mixture resembles pea-sized crumbles.
  • Add 1 egg, sugar, vanilla extract and 4 tablespoons of water.
  • With your clean hands knead the mixture a few times in the bowl just until you can gather the dough together.
  • Transfer the dough to a clean surface and continue to knead the dough adding two tablespoons of water at a time (about 8 to 10 tablespoons total). Note: The dough is ready when it no longer sticks to the counter and it does not look dry.
  • Continue to knead about 3 to 5 minutes; then form dough into a disk, wrap with plastic, and chill for at least 20 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Rolling dough by hand

  • Remove chilled dough from the refrigerator.
  • Divide into 4 equal portions. Roll out dough onto lightly floured surface to about ¼ to ⅛ -inch thickness. Cut out circles of dough about 4-6 inches in diameter.

Using a Tortilla Press

  • Use your hands, a spoon or a medium ice cream scoop to portion the dough into a 2-tablespoon ball (35-40 grams, or about the size of a golf ball), then use your hands to roll the ball until it is nice and round.
  • Place the dough ball between two pieces of plastic in a tortilla press. (I use a ziplock bag)  Then gently press the dough ball until it forms a 4- to 5-inch circle.

Add the filling & baking:

  • Spoon about 2 tablespoons of your preferred filling into the center of the dough circle. Fold the dough over the filling to make a half-moon- shaped pie and crimp the edges of the crust together with a fork, leaving little fork lines in the dough. Gently lay the empanadas onto the prepared baking sheets.
  • Bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until the empanadas’ edges start to turn golden brown.
  • Immediately dust with the sugar & cinnamon mix if using any.
  • These are best eaten warm and can be reheated in a low oven or microwave for about 12 to 15 seconds.

*Ana’s Notes:

  • Earth balance buttery spread – use this butter for Vegan Empanadas (Plant-Based) or you may use your favorite unsalted butter. 
  • Keep these empanadas in an airtight container or resealable bag. On the counter, they’ll last for about 3 days. If you store them in the fridge, they’ll stay good for up to a week. If you want to store them long-term, you can keep them in the freezer for up to 3 months.

ADD YOUR OWN PRIVATE NOTES

Whenever you come back to this recipe, you’ll be able to see your notes.

NUTRITION

Serving: 1empanada | Sodium: 93mg | Sugar: 2g | Fiber: 1g | Potassium: 31mg | Cholesterol: 19mg | Calories: 170kcal | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Fat: 3g | Protein: 3g | Carbohydrates: 20g

The nutritional information and US conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this data. If this is important to you, please verify with your favourite nutrition calculator and/or unit conversion tool.

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Recipe Rating




6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    My daughter and I made these on the weekend and they didn’t last long! So good. Thanks for the recipe and the great step by step instructions!

  2. 5 stars
    So glad I found this recipe! I can’t wait to try it to make Nutella and dulce de leche empanadas for the holidays!

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve never made my own empanadas. With these directions I can now. They make a fantastic treat for the whole family.

  4. 5 stars
    These little treats were so easy to make and baked up perfectly in the oven! We served them for dessert last night and everyone loved them!