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Caramel Apple Empanadas

Craving the sweet and savory flavors of those Taco Bell Caramel Apple Empanadas? My copycat recipe recreates the iconic empanada from the comfort of your own kitchen! Filled with fresh Granny Smith apples, warm spices, and a rich caramel sauce all wrapped in a flaky, buttery pastry.

taco bell's caramel apple empanadas

Caramel Apple Empanadas

I am a sucker for a copycat recipe and this one is one of my most popular recipes. You can see why…

Tart and tender apples, spices, and caramel sauce all in a portable hand pie! And it tastes better than the discontinued taco bell empanadas.

And added bonus, and this one is the best in my opinion, you don’t have to drive anywhere! Or pay to have someone bring it to you!

So, ditch all that late night driving and make these at home. It’s cheaper, way more convenient, and taste better than buying them.

What is a Caramel Apple Empanada?

An empanada is a baked or fried turnover that contains a savory or sweet filling. Savory fillings like ground meat and cheese are delicious but you can also use fruit like apple pie filling.

This recipe is for dessert empanadas and a copycat version of the taco bell apple empanadas.

Check out some of my other delicious recipes! I have beef empanadas, street corn empanadas, taco empanadas, and even some vegetarian Caprese Empanadas.

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read my disclosure policy here.
simple ingredients for sweet empanadas

Ingredients Needed

Apples – Granny Smith is what I use but use your favorite apple.

Spices – Homemade apple pie spice. Sub cinnamon if you like.

Sugar – I use a coarse raw sugar or substitute brown sugar.

Caramel sauce – Homemade caramel sauce or store bought work well.

Empanada dough – Prepared dough or make homemade empanada dough. Sub pie dough in a pinch.

Kitchen staples – Lemon juice, egg, milk.

For more insider tips & tricks, and a candid behind the scenes look follow me on social media! Check use out on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter (yes, people still use Twitter, LOL!)

How To Make Caramel Apple Empanadas

First: Preheat oven to 425F. Thaw empanada dough if frozen. Make egg wash by combining egg and milk in a small bowl. Beat until mixed. Set aside.

Second: Peel and dice the apples. Place in a large bowl. Toss them in lemon juice. Add the apple pie spice and 1/4 cup caramel sauce. Stir to evenly coat the apples.

Third: Place 2-3 tablespoons apple mixture in the center of each disc of dough. Drizzle a little caramel sauce on the filling, being careful not to get near the edges of the dough.

Fourth: Brush the outside edges of the dough with the egg wash. Fold the dough in half over the filling, pressing out any air as you go. Crimp closed with a fork to seal.

Fifth: Place empanadas on a parchment paper lined baking sheet or on a silicone mat. Brush egg wash and sprinkle with sanding sugar if desired.

Sixth: Bake at 425F for 20-25 minutes or until the dough is golden brown. Remove from the oven when done and let cool for 5 minutes. Drizzle with remaining caramel sauce if desired. Serve warm!

For the full recipe and detailed instructions, please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

close up of golden flaky pie crust

How long do they last?

Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. I would leave the caramel sauce drizzle off until ready to enjoy so they don’t get soggy. Reheat them in the oven or air fryer at 350F until heated through and crispy on the outside again.

Can you make them ahead of time?

You can prep and bake them up to 3 days in advance. You can also freeze them baked or unbaked.

To freeze them unbaked, prep up to right before the egg wash. Freeze on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper until frozen through. Remove and store in a freezer safe bag for up to 2 months. Remove and bake at 400F until heated through. Drizzle and enjoy.

To freeze baked empanadas, prep and bake. Cool completely then freeze on a lined baking sheet until frozen through. Store in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months. Remove and thaw. Reheat and serve with caramel sauce.

apple empanadas in half


What do I serve with caramel apple empanadas?

I like them as they are or with a little extra caramel sauce. You can also serve them with chocolate sauce or with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Variations:

  • Use a different filling like cherry pie filling.
  • Sprinkle with a cinnamon sugar mixture.
  • Serve with ice cream.
hand holding a caramel apple empanada

What’s the best dough to use?

You can make your own empanada dough or buy the empanada discs you can find in the freezer section of your grocery store.

If you can’t find or don’t want to use the empanada discs, you can always use refrigerated pie crust. Just cut the circles between 4-5 inches across out of the two crusts.

Is it better to bake or fry empanadas?

Depending on how much of a mess you want to make. If you fry them, leave off the sugar and egg wash. Drain on paper towels before drizzling with caramel sauce.

I love mine deep fried for sure but baking and air frying are just as good with a lot less fuss. Bake empanadas in a large batch!

taco bell apple empanada

Tapas Tips & Tricks

  • Use fresh apples for best flavor.
  • Cut the apples into small pieces for easier eating.
  • If using homemade dough, use a rolling pin to get even thickness.
  • A pastry brush works well for the egg wash or melted butter.
  • Sprinkle with turbinado sugar, raw sugar, or brown sugar.
  • Sub dulce de leche for the caramel sauce.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please write a five-star review in the comment section below (or on Pinterest with the “tried it” button – you can now add pictures into reviews, too!), and be sure to help me share on facebook!

caramel sauce pouring on apples

These delicious caramel apple empanadas are just like the ones you get for take out only better! They make an easy dessert recipe or after-school snack.

More Taco Bell Copycat Recipes

caramel apple empanadas

Caramel Apple Empanadas

Yield: 10 empanadas
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Caramel Apple Empanadas are flaky & buttery hand pies filled with fresh tart apples, warm spices, and a rich caramel sauce.

Ingredients

  • 10 empanada dough discs
  • 2 Granny Smith apples
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon apple pie spice
  • 1 cup Torani Caramel Sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 tablespoons Turbinado (raw) sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425F. Make egg wash by combining egg and milk in a small bowl. Beat until mixed. Set aside.
  2. Peel and dice the apples. Toss them in lemon juice.
  3. Add the apple pie spice and 1/4 cup caramel sauce. Stir to evenly coat the apples.
  4. Place 2-3 tablespoons apple filling in the center of each disc of dough.
  5. Drizzle a little caramel sauce on the filling, being careful not to get near the edges of the dough.
  6. Brush the outside edges of the dough with the egg wash. Fold the dough in half over the filling, pressing out any air as you go. Crimp closed with a fork to seal.
  7. Place empanadas on a parchment paper lined baking sheet or on a silicone mat.
  8. Brush the tops with egg wash and sprinkle with Turbinado sugar if desired.
  9. Bake at 425F for 20-25 minutes of until the dough is golden brown.
  10. Remove from the oven when done and let cool for 5 minutes.
  11. Drizzle with remaining caramel sauce if desired. Serve warm!

Notes

  • Use fresh apples for best flavor.
  • Cut the apples into small pieces for easier eating.
  • If using homemade dough, use a rolling pin to get even thickness.
  • A pastry brush works well for the egg wash or melted butter.
  • Sprinkle with turbinado sugar, raw sugar, or brown sugar.
  • Sub dulce de leche for the caramel sauce.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 470Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 38mgSodium: 597mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 3gSugar: 13gProtein: 13g

This nutrition information was generated via a third party. I can not be held liable for any discrepancies in the information provided.

Monday Fall Recipes

{Originally Published 09/07/20 – recipe and photos updated to improve reader experience 01/15/24}

TakeTwoTapas.com. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.

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