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Friday, June 23, 2017

Caramel Apple Empanadas {With Cajeta or Dulce de Leche}

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!

two cajeta and apple empanadas on plate

     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!

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

cajeta apple empanadas, cream cheese empanadas
Yield: 20 servings

Caramel Apple Empanadas {With Cajeta or Dulche de Leche}

Caramel Apple Empanadas {With Cajeta or Dulche de Leche}

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!
prep time: 1 H & 30 Mcook time: 25 Mtotal time: 1 H & 55 M


  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cajeta, caramel sauce or dulce de leche
  • 4 baking apples, chopped
  • 1 large egg


How to cook Caramel Apple Empanadas {With Cajeta or Dulche de Leche}

  1. 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.
  2. Meanwhile cook apples and cajeta over medium heat until the apples are softened. Chill until ready to use. 
  3. Cut dough into two parts, then roll the first part out to about 1/8" 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. 
  4. 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.
  5. Enjoy with a little extra cajeta and a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
Fat (grams)
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Created using The Recipes Generator

picture of dairy farm with dairyweek logo

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No Bake Oreo Cream Pie by Tip Garden
Creme Anglaise ('Real Custard') by Caroline's Cooking
Buttermilk Parmesan Pork Chops by Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids
Earl Grey Panna Cotta by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Best No Bake Cheesecake with by Feeding Big

A warm flaky crust with a caramel apple filling is what dreams are made of! These caramel apple empanadas finger licking good!


  1. How sweet of you to indulge your little sister like that. It turned into a fun filled afternoon and a great treat to bring to family dinner.

    1. We did have a lot of fun doing it! Sometimes these unplanned projects work out the best!

  2. I can see this becoming my new favorite dessert.

    1. I can see that too! They are really good if I do say so myself!

  3. Nothing but caramel heaven on a plate right there!! Right up my apple alley, lol!!! These look scrumptious and easier than I thought they would be!! Happy weekend beautiful friend!

    1. They really aren't that hard. They do take a little time, but if you could talk your guys or your mama into helping you could have a bunch whipped out in no time!

  4. Yummy! The kids and I would have a lot of fun making these.

    1. It would be a fun afternoon project for everyone!

  5. These are perfect with your caramel sauce from yesterday. Oh my YUM

  6. I can almost taste how good these would be. I bet the whole house smelled wonderful. I am like you and always have cream cheese in the refrigerator - I guess that means I need to make them!

    1. I guess it does!! It seems I can't go to the grocery store without getting butter, cream cheese and either sour cream or yogurt. I always think we are running low even if I just bought some! But we go through them all quickly!

  7. I love me some empanadas. They're flaky goodness is irresistible! Added to this cajeta and there's no way I can say no!

  8. I love me some empanadas. Th

  9. What a great idea! I love the sound of the cream cheese dough- you make it sound easy!

    1. It really is pretty easy! They take a little bit of time, but are totally worth the effort.

  10. These look delicious and great that you got help!

    1. It was so much fun that my sister came by to help. Little did she know the boss of the kitchen wasn't going to let her do much. ;-)

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

    1. They smell so good while they bake! Thank you!

  12. Do you roll out dough on a floured surface

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

  14. 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!


Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. I love reading your ideas!