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

35 mins
30 mins
5 mins
1 hr 10 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