Sweet Plantain Empanadas


A Salvadoran treat. The outer layer is made from sweet plantains and the inner filling is a delicious cinnamon cream. Serve sprinkled with confectioners' sugar.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
48 mins
Additional Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 28 mins
1 dozen


  • 5 ripe plantains, cut into chunks

  • ½ cup white sugar

  • 2 cinnamon sticks

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  • 2 ½ cups whole milk, divided

  • ¼ cup cornstarch

  • 2 tablespoons white sugar

  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • vegetable oil for frying


  1. Boil plantains in a large pot of water until tender, 20 to 30 minutes; drain.

  2. Peel plantains while still hot and mash in a bowl until smooth.

  3. Pour mashed plantains into a saucepan; add 1/2 cup sugar, 2 cinnamon sticks, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Refrigerate until cooled, about 20 minutes.

  4. Whisk 1/2 cup milk and cornstarch together in a small bowl until smooth.

  5. Combine 2 cups milk, 2 tablespoon sugar, lemon zest, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil. Add cornstarch mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until filling thickens, 3 to 5 minutes.

  6. Pinch off a piece of the plantain mixture and roll into a ball the size of a golf ball. Flatten into a disc and place 1 tablespoon of filling in the center; fold in half and press edges to seal into an empanada. Repeat with remaining plantain mixture and filling.

  7. Heat oil in a deep skillet. Fry empanadas in batches until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.

Cook's Note:

Look for plantains that are yellow with black spots.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

192 Calories
4g Fat
40g Carbs
3g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 192
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 5mg 2%
Sodium 121mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 40g 14%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 24g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 14mg 72%
Calcium 68mg 5%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 450mg 10%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.