Cinnamon Apple Empanadas

Prep 10 mins
Cook 40 mins
Total 50 mins
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Sweet Cinnamon Apple Empanadas are just like mini apple pies! Flaky empanada dough is filled with tart Granny Smith apples, sugar, and cinnamon… It won’t take more than one bite for you to fall in love with these homemade empanadas!

Sweet Cinnamon Apple Empanadas

I know there is an abundance of apple desserts out there already, but I have to add just one more recipe (for now, anyway) to your must-try list. These Cinnamon Apple Empanadas are perfect for fall, and just too good in general to pass up!

Why do I love these easy apple pastries so much? Glad you asked.

The first reason is obvious… they taste fantastic! Sugary Granny Smith apples are cooked in cinnamon, wrapped in buttery dough, and baked to golden-brown perfection. Who could say no?

The second reason is that they’re just as good as a fresh slice of apple pie, but everybody gets their own individual pastry, so nobody can argue about who got a bigger slice. 😉

The last reason is that apple empanadas are super easy to make, and they inspire smiles all around!

Apple empanadas with a bowl of caramel sauce.

What Are Empanadas?

Empanadas are turnovers (baked or fried) that are made with flaky empanada dough and some sort of filling. These traditional Spanish pastries can be made with meat (beef, pork, etc.) or you can make dessert empanadas, and use a sweeter filling. Cinnamon-sugar apples are perfect for fall, so that’s what we’re working with today!

Looking For More Empanada Flavors?

Lucky for you, we love both sweet and savory empanadas around here! Here are a few more flavors:

Ingredients for cinnamon apple empanadas.

Recipe Ingredients

Okay! Time to make a dent in that pile of apples you picked this fall. We basically are making some homemade apple pie filling and then stuffing it in empanadas! Here’s everything you’ll need to make homemade apple empanadas:

  • Apples: I like to use Granny Smith apples, peeled and roughly diced.
  • Sugar: I make these with granulated sugar, but you could do it with brown sugar too.
  • Water: For cooking the apples.
  • Butter: I find that salted butter is best in this recipe.
  • Cinnamon: Feel free to add more or less of this depending on how cinnamon-y you want your filling to be.
  • Vanilla Extract: For a little extra sweetness.
  • Empanada Wrappers: You can use store-bought, or make a batch of my empanada dough and roll it into 6-inch rounds.
  • Egg Wash: To ensure that the empanadas turn a lovely golden-brown.
A plate of empanadas filled with apples.

How to Make Cinnamon Apple Empanadas

When I say these baked apple empanadas are easy, I mean they are really easy. Like, only-10-minutes-of-prep-time-necessary easy. We’ll start with preparing the filling, from there we’ll fill up the wrappers, bake them, and then you can dig in!

Here’s the simple step-by-step tutorial:

Preheat the Oven to 375°F: Line a large baking pan with parchment paper or spray with non-stick spray.

Cook the Apples: Add the apples to a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat, along with the sugar, water, butter, and cinnamon. Stir to combine and let the apples cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring often to prevent burning.

Add Vanilla: Once the apples have softened and are reduced by half, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

Fill the Wrappers: Add two tablespoons of the apple filling to the center of an empanada circle, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge. Fold the empanada in half and twist the edges to form a classic empanada look, or use a fork to press the edges together.

Brush on the Egg Wash: Add empanadas to the prepared baking sheet, leaving a little room for spreading. Whisk the egg and water together and brush it over the empanadas.

Bake: Bake for 25-27 minutes, or until the tops turn a light golden color.

Let the Empanadas Cool: Remove the pan from the oven and let them cool for five minutes before removing them and letting them cool for another 10 minutes on a cooling rack. (Be careful when removing the empanadas from the pan as some of the filling will have spilled out while baking.)

Can I Make These in Advance?

Kind of! You can definitely make the apple filling ahead of time. After it’s done cooking, let it cool and then store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days. I also like to make the empanada dough ahead of time, so that when it’s time to make the actual empanadas, I’ve already complete a bunch of steps. 🙂

Baked apple pastries on a cooling rack.

Tips for Success

We’re almost there. I’ve got just a few more cinnamon apple empanada tips to share with you before you get started:

  • Do I have to Use Empanada Wrappers? I recommend using empanada dough (store bought or homemade), but you can also use pre-made uncooked pie crust for this recipe. Simply cut the pieces into 6-inch round pieces and adjust the baking time to 20-25 minutes, or until light and golden on top.
  • What To Do If the Apple Start to Burn: If the apples start to burn while you’re cooking them with the cinnamon and sugar, add another tablespoon or two of water as needed.
  • Let Them Cool: Make sure you give these a full 10 minutes to cool on the cooling rack. The filling can be very hot, even if it seems like the dough has cooled to a reasonable temperature.
  • Add Coarse Sugar: A sprinkle of coarse sugar over the tops of these empanadas adds some fun sparkle!
  • Don’t Overfill: If you overfill empanadas, they may pop open during baking, causing the filling to leak out and scorch. 
  • Empanada Press: If you plan on making empanadas frequently (and especially if you want to make a lot at a time), you may want to get an empanada press! They make folding and sealing a snap.
Cinnamon and apple pastries with caramel sauce.

Serving Suggestions

These empanadas are pretty addicting as is, it’s true.

If you feel the need to add ice cream, caramel sauce, berries, whipped cream, or whatever else your heart desires, you most definitely should. Personally, I love them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a little caramel sauce, but I’ll leave it to you to figure out the particulars.

If you are looking for some dishes to serve with these sweet dessert empanadas, here are a few more latin dishes that would pair well:

HOW TO STORE AND REHEAT PIZZA EMPANADAS

  • You can store your empanadas in the refrigerator for up to five days, sealed in an airtight container or a large zip-top bag.  
  • I recommend reheating in the air fryer at 325°F for several minutes, rather than the oven. This helps them get really crispy, but the oven is fine, too! 

CAN I FREEZE THESE?

Yes, you can! Empanadas freeze well, and are great for keeping on hand. Here’s how to freeze them and bake them from frozen:

  • If you’d like to freeze them, it’s best to freeze them unbaked. Just wrap the assembled empanadas one by one in plastic wrap, and then in a layer of foil. Store in a freezer bag in the freezer, for up to 3 months.
  • Frozen empanadas can be baked straight from the freezer! Just add an extra 5 minutes or so to the baking time.
Empanadas with apple and cinnamon inside.

More Apple Desserts to Try

Ready to try some more easy apple dessert recipes? Check out these reader favorites:

Yield: 10-12 empanadas

Cinnamon Apple Empanadas

Caramel sauce drizzled over a plate of empanadas.

Sweet Cinnamon Apple Empanadas are just like mini apple pies! Flaky pastry dough is filled with tart Granny Smith apples, sugar, and cinnamon... It won't take more than one bite for you to fall in love with these homemade empanadas!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 granny smith apples, peeled and roughly diced
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ½ stick salted butter
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 10-12 (6-inch) *empanada dough
  • 1 egg + 2 tablespoons water

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a large baking pan with parchment paper or spray with non-stick spray.
  2. Add the apples to a medium sized pot over medium-high heat along with the sugar, water, butter and cinnamon. Stir to combine and let the apples cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring often to prevent burning. If the apples start to burn, add another tablespoon or two of water, as needed.
  3. Once the apples have softened and are reduced by half, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
  4. Add two tablespoons of the apple filling to the center of an empanada circle, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge. Fold the empanada in half and twist the edges to form a classic empanada look or use a fork to press the edges together.
  5. Add empanadas to the prepared baking sheet, leaving a little room for spreading. Whisk the egg and water together and brush it over the empanadas.
  6. Bake for 25-27 minutes, or until the tops turn a light golden color.
  7. Remove the pan from the oven and let them cool for five minutes before removing them and letting them cool for another 10 minutes on a cooling rack. (Be careful when removing the empanadas from the pan as some of the filling will have spilled out while baking.)
  8. Serve with vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce, if desired!

Notes

Empanada Wrapper Note:

  • You can use store bought empanada dough in place of my homemade empanada dough if you prefer to save time.
  • You can also substitute pre-made, unbaked pie crust in a pinch. Just cut it into 6-inch circles, and adjust the baking time to 20 - 25 minutes, until light and golden on top.

How to Store and Reheat Pizza Empanadas

  • You can store your empanadas in the refrigerator for up to five days, sealed in an airtight container or a large zip-top bag.  
  • I recommend reheating in the air fryer at 325°F for several minutes, rather than the oven. This helps them get really crispy, but the oven is fine, too!

Can I Freeze These?

  • If you’d like to freeze them, it’s best to freeze them unbaked. Just wrap the assembled empanadas one by one in plastic wrap, and then in a layer of foil. Store in a freezer bag in the freezer, for up to 3 months.
  • Frozen empanadas can be baked straight from the freezer! Just add an extra 5 minutes or so to the baking time.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 134Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 44mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 1gSugar: 19gProtein: 1g

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This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

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Welcome!

Jessica
I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.
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