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Crispy sweet empanadas on a white plate placed on a wood serving tray.

Sweet Empanadas Dough Recipe

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!
Course Dessert
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 20 empanadas
Calories 170kcal
Author Ana Frias


  • 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


  • 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.


  • 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.


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