These Apple Empanadas are made with homemade empanada dough, a classic apple pie filling, and an icing sugar glaze. They’re a surprisingly easy dessert to make either baked or fried, with simple ingredients and a super delicious end result, reminiscent of the popular McDonald’s Apple Pie

apple empanadas on a plate

If you grew up enjoying the McDonalds apple pie dessert, this is the recipe for you!

Think of apple empanadas as empanadillas with an apple pie filling. It’s a truly delicious spin on the classic holiday dessert, with a little Puerto Rican twist.

If you’ve had the chance to try an assortment of Latin and/or Puerto Rican recipes, you’ve likely had some form of homemade empanada dough, like I use in these guava cheese empanadas.

It’s a surprisingly simple dessert to make and fill with whatever you enjoy, like this classic apple pie filling.

ingredients to make apple empanadas

Ingredients

Here are all of the ingredients you will need to make these apple empanadas from scratch:

  • empanada dough discs (can be homemade or store bought)
  • butter
  • cinnamon
  • a pinch of salt
  • brown sugar
  • Granny Smith apples, cut into small bite sized cubes
  • cornstarch + water, whisked together to make a slurry
  • egg + water for the egg wash
  • powdered sugar
  • milk (can be a plant based milk)

See recipe card for quantities.

Instructions

Important: sealing the empanadas tightly is especially important if you plan to fry them to prevent filling from leaking out and splattering dangerously.

To fry the apple empanadas, heat a few cups of oil in a frying pan and fry empanadas on each side until golden brown and crispy on the outside.

baked and fried empanadas on plates

Baked vs. Fried Empanadas

You can either bake or fry these once you’ve got them filled and sealed (reference image above: left=fried, right=baked).

If baking, place them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush them with an egg wash made with an egg beaten with water.

To fry the apple empanadas, heat a few cups of vegetable or canola oil in a frying pan and fry empanadas on each side until golden brown and crispy on the outside.

I find that the frying method is more reminiscent of the McDonalds apple dessert (also sometimes called a Baked Apple Pie), if that’s what you’re after.

egg wash in a jar

Homemade vs. Store Bought Dough Options

When it comes to empanada dough, there are so many different ways to make it that it’s quite versatile.

You can use my recipe to make it from scratch, buy pre-cut empanada dough online or in select stores, or use a store bought pie dough and cut it into rounds.

apple empanadas on a pan

Filling Variations

The filling options you can create based off of this recipe are endless. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Peach Pie – instead of apples, try chopped peach pieces and go for a peach pie theme
  • Cherry Pie – use cherries instead of apples for a cherry empanada treat
  • Picadillo – this classic Puerto Rican recipe is used to make empanadillas, my personal go-to filling
  • Guava & Cheese Empanadas – a salty sweet balance with guava paste and cream cheese
  • Beef & Cheese Empanadas – a classic combo of ground beef filling and cheddar cheese.
sliced apples on a cutting board

What to Eat it With

While these are really delicious on their own, you can also skip the icing sugar glaze and go with a different topping:

Equipment

You will need a rolling pin if you plan on making the empanada dough yourself. Or you can use your hands.

If you plan to bake the empanadas, you will need a pastry brush to brush on the egg wash.

apple empanadas on a plate

Storage

You can make these and store them in an airtight bag or container the fridge for up to 5 days. I like heating them up in a toaster oven.

The dough can be made ahead, rolled out and frozen months in advance if desired.

Enjoy,

Salima written in cursive
Print
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icing drizzling on apple empanadas

Apple Empanadas Dessert (Baked or Fried)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Salima Benkhalti
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 90 minutes
  • Yield: 1632 empanadas 1x
  • Category: Dessert, Snack, Breakfast
  • Method: Baked, Fried
  • Cuisine: Puerto Rican, American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

These Apple Empanadas are made with homemade empanada dough, a classic apple pie filling, and an icing sugar glaze. They’re a surprisingly easy dessert to make either baked or fried, with simple ingredients and a super delicious end result, reminiscent of the popular McDonald’s Apple Pie


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1632 empanada dough discs (can be homemade or store bought)
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 34 Granny Smith apples, cut into small bite sized cubes
  • 1 tsp cornstarch + 1 tsp water, whisked together to make a slurry
  • 1 egg + 1 tbsp water for the egg wash
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp milk (can be any kind of plant based milk too)


Instructions

  1. Make the empanada dough. See this recipe for directions.
  2. Make the apple pie filling. In a saucepan combine butter, cinnamon, salt, and brown sugar over medium low heat. Cook until the butter and sugar becomes liquid and bubbly.
  3. Add the apples to the pan and toss gently to coat with the caramel sauce. Cook for a few minutes before adding the cornstarch slurry and tossing again to coat.
  4. Fill the empanadas. Once the filling begins to thicken and the apples begin to soften, remove from heat and set aside to cool. Once cool, add a tablespoon or two of the filling into the center of the empanada discs.
  5. Seal the empanadas. Add a dab of water around the border of the circle of dough and fold half of the circle over the other. Use a fork to crimp the edges shut.
  6. Bake. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush with a mixture of egg and water. Bake the empanadas for 20 minutes or until light golden brown. (See note for instructions on how to fry).
  7. Add the glaze. Whisk together the powdered sugar and milk. Add more powdered sugar if it’s too thin, and more milk if it’s too thick. Drizzle over the empanadas and enjoy!

Notes

To fry the apple empanadas, heat a few cups of oil in a frying pan and fry empanadas on each side until golden brown and crispy on the outside.

Important: sealing the empanadas tightly is especially important if you plan to fry them to prevent filling from leaking out and splattering dangerously.