Popular in Mexico, these sweet pocket pastries are wonderful for breakfast or dessert. I like to top them with large red, white, and green sugar crystals for Mexican holidays, celebrations, and fiestas. Store in an airtight container once completely cooled.


Recipe Summary

30 mins
5 mins
1 hr 10 mins
35 mins
24 empanadas


Original recipe yields 24 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

  • Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Use a pastry cutter to cut shortening into the dry ingredients quickly until mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Sprinkle with cold water and mix with a fork until dough just holds together.

  • Run your hands under cold water for 20 seconds, then dry them. Gather dough with your cooled hands and form into 2 balls. Cover one and refrigerate. Flatten the second ball into a large patty.

  • Flour a flat, clean work surface. Roll out dough evenly, sprinkling with flour as needed to prevent sticking, to about 1/8-inch thickness. Cut dough into 4-inch circles using a cookie cutter or drinking glass. Dab a little water around the rim of the dough circles to make a good seal when folded over.

  • Place a scant tablespoon of strawberry jam in the center of each circle. Fold in half to form a semi-circle. Pinch edges to seal. Transfer to an ungreased cookie sheet. Press edge down with the tines of a fork to seal further. Repeat with remaining circles, then with second ball of dough.

  • Brush each empanada lightly with beaten egg. Cut 2 small slits into the top of each one. Sprinkle tops with decorator sugar.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until crusts are golden brown, 13 to 15 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool further. Serve warm.

Cook's Notes:

Substitute apricot or pineapple jam for the strawberry, if desired. You can also use apple or cherry pie filling.

Substitute cinnamon sugar (2 tablespoons white sugar mixed with 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon) for the decorator sugar, if desired.

Nutrition Facts

195 calories; protein 1.9g; carbohydrates 27.3g; fat 8.9g; cholesterol 7.8mg; sodium 15.5mg. Full Nutrition