These sweet baked pumpkin empanadas are made with an easy 3 ingredient filling and a simple homemade empanada dough. They're inspired by the delicious treat found in Mexican bakeries and make a delicious pumpkin pie-like dessert, breakfast, or snack.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
If you've ever had an empanada before, you understand how special these hand held treats are.
In Mexican panaderias they can be found stuffed with a mixture of pumpkin, piloncillo, and warming spices. They're usually sold alongside other delicious sweets & pastries like pan dulce, flan, and pastel de tres leches.
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Here's the list of ingredients you will need to make this treat:
- can of pumpkin puree
- brown sugar
- pumpkin pie spice
- empanada dough discs
- egg + water for the egg wash
See recipe card for quantities.
Step by Step Instructions
Make the filling. In a medium sized mixing bowl combine the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, and pumpkin pie spice. Mix to combine.
Prep your oven & pan. Preheat your oven to 350 ° F / 177 ° C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Tip: If the empanadas aren't sealing well, brush a bit of egg wash in between the seal before crimping shut.
Fill & close the empanadas. Add a few tablespoons of the filling to the center of an empanada dough disc & seal. Repeat this until you've filled all of the empanada discs or run out of filling.
Vent, brush with egg wash & bake. Cut a vent in each empanada to ensure they don't burst while baking. Beat together the egg & water & brush on the outside of the empanadas. Bake for 10-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
What to Eat it With
If you're looking for some more Latin desserts & drinks to serve alongside these, look no further:
- Pumpkin Flan (Flan de Calabaza)
- ChocoFlan (The Impossible Layered Cake)
- Puerto Rican Flan Recipe
- Pan de Mallorca (Puerto Rican Sweet Bread)
- Puerto Rican Café con Leche
- Authentic Puerto Rican Quesitos (in 30 minutes!)
- Puerto Rican Coquito (Vegan Substitutes Included)
- Puerto Rican Coconut Rice Pudding (Arroz con Dulce)
Pumpkin Pie Spice Substitute
If you don't want to buy premixed pumpkin pie spice, you can easily make your own substitute using a few simple spices.
- a half teaspoon of cinnamon
- a quarter teaspoon of cloves
- a quarter teaspoon of ginger
- a quarter teaspoon of nutmeg
Mix these together and add to your filling!
If you're looking to add something extra to your pumpkin filling, here are some ideas:
- Vanilla Extract - Add a teaspoon or two of vanilla extract to add some of that signature vanilla flavor.
- Egg - Beat an egg into the pumpkin to add a fluffy texture and richness to the filling.
- Piloncillo - If you can find it, use piloncillo instead of brown sugar to stick to the traditional Mexican flavors!
You won't need any fancy tools to make the filling, just a bowl and a spoon or spatula.
If you enjoy empanadas, be sure to check out this collection of my favorites:
Using Fresh Pumpkin
If you'd like to take advantage of pumpkin season and use fresh pumpkin for the puree, I recommend doing the following:
Cut a sugar pie pumpkin into quarters. Roast at 400 degrees F / 205 degrees C for 45 minutes, or until the flesh is fork tender. Cool completely before running through a food processor.
Measure out 30 ounces to use in this recipe and store any leftovers in an air tight jar in the fridge for up to 5 days!
I like to store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days, stored in a gallon zip lock bag or air tight container.
These don't stand up well to freezing once baked, but you can freeze before baking. Simply thaw and bake when ready to eat; note that they might take longer than usually to turn golden brown.