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Caramel Apple Empanadas

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These caramel apple empanadas are easier to make than you’d think and so good.  Try eating one still warm from the oven and you are sure to be hooked!

Smear of caramel on plate topped with two golden brown empanadas filled with caramel apple filling.

A simple but flaky pastry hides a sweet secret.  These empanadas are filled with a caramel apple filling.  We made our filling with homemade cajeta, but dulche de leche or caramel sauce if you’d like.

It’s a lot like an apple hand pie and they are fabulous.  Of course a scoop of ice cream and drizzle of caramel makes them even better!

Would you like to hear how these caramel apple empanadas came to be? I knew you would!

Little dude and I were busy making homemade cajeta from Ol’ McGrandpa’s goat milk. We were supposed to be going to MiMi and Pops’ that night for family dinner.

So we called to say we’d bring cajeta and apple slices for dessert. I know, how virtuous of us to do fruit slices for dessert!  

But in the background my littlest sister was requesting empanadas instead.

Now when you are the baby of six kids, it is easy to be quite the princess.  So her request is my command…     with restrictions!

I told her I’d make them if she came to help. Good deal, right?

apple and caramel-ly cajeta mixture in pan next to empanada dough.

To my surprise, she took me up on it. So I whipped up some dough and waited for her to arrive.

This cream cheese dough is probably not a traditional dough at all, but I’ve used similar for other treats, like kolacky, with delicious flaky results. Since I had a drawer full of cream cheese in the refrigerator it seemed like the way to go!

Chloe and Little Dude working on making cajeta empanadas

When my sister arrived, she and little dude went to work chopping apples for the filling. Don’t worry, he was using a miniature butter knife.

Once the apples were soft we played trucks and tractors until the filling had a chance to cool. Then the three of us went to work on assembling the empanadas.

Poor Chloe didn’t get much of a chance to make them as little dude had to keep showing her proper technique. It’s a good thing we have him around to teach us these things!

row of cajeta and apple empanadas on plate.

I tell you what, the smell of these gems coming out of the oven is intoxicating. We had to sample one fresh and warm from the oven.

That is how these kind of things are always best. We were good though and packaged the rest up to share with the family.

caramel apple empanada cut in half with filling showing sitting on a pool of cajeta.

MiMi made some homemade vanilla ice cream for us as well. So we each had an empanada  (or two!) And a scoop of ice cream drizzled with cajeta. It was heavenly!

For another tasty caramel and apple dessert, try making a caramel apple icebox cake. There is no oven needed, just layers of cookies, creamy filling, and plenty of caramel apples, of course!

I hope you have enjoyed our celebration of dairy month as much as we have. What recipe are you going to try first?

Love tasty recipes? I do too! Follow me on Pinterest for more delicious ideas!

Smear of caramel on plate topped with two golden brown empanadas filled with caramel apple filling.

Caramel Apple Empanadas

Servings: 20 Empanadas
Author: Carlee
These caramel apple empanadas are easier to make than you’d think and so good. Try eating one still warm from the oven and you are sure to be hooked!
5 from 10 ratings
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes


  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup butter softened
  • cups all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup cajeta or caramel sauce or dulce de leche
  • 4 baking apples chopped
  • 1 large egg


  • Cream together cream cheese and butter until smooth and completely incorporated. Add flour and salt then mix until a dough is formed. Bring it together into a ball, then flatten into a small disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerator for at least a half hour.
    8 ounces cream cheese, 1 cup butter, 2½ cups all purpose flour, ½ teaspoon salt
  • Meanwhile cook apples and cajeta over medium heat until the apples are softened. Chill until ready to use. 
    ¼ cup cajeta, 4 baking apples
  • Cut dough into two parts, then roll the first part out to about 1/8-inch thick. Cut into 4 inch circles and place a rounded Tablespoon of chilled apple mixture in the center. Run a wet finger around the edge of the dough and then fold the dough in half. Crimp the edges to seal and place on a greased or lined baking sheet. Place baking sheet in refrigerator for at least 20 minutes. 
  • Preheat your oven to 375°F. Beat together the egg with a couple of teaspoons of water. Brush over chilled empanadas and then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden and crispy.
    1 large egg
  • Enjoy with a little extra cajeta and a scoop of vanilla ice cream!


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 198kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 3gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 181mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

Loved this recipe?Pin this recipe for later & follow @cookingwcarlee for more

More great dairy centric recipes:

Creme Anglaise (‘Real Custard’) by Caroline’s Cooking
Buttermilk Parmesan Pork Chops by Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids

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Thursday 18th of April 2024

These you must try

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Tuesday 20th of February 2018

My love for cooking is like poetry in motion. I remember when my mother taught me at an early young age of how to make cinnamon pastries from scratch because I always woke up way earlier on Saturday mornings than everyone else and she thought it would keep me out of trouble. Really it was so my parents could sleep longer without me pestering them to get up. I've never made empanadas but for my wife's birthday this Saturday she asked if I would make carmel apple empanadas. I loved the idea and appreciate your recipe, including utilizing cajeta. Thank you for sharing!


Monday 25th of September 2017

They look divine and would be gone in a hot minute in my house! THanks for sharing such delicousness at our appleweek link party!


Sunday 17th of September 2017

Do you roll out dough on a floured surface

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies

Wednesday 5th of July 2017

I wish I was smelling these baking in my oven right now! They look absolutely amazing :)


Wednesday 5th of July 2017

They smell so good while they bake! Thank you!