Delicious Caramel Apple Empanadas for Your Sweet Tooth

Welcome to my kitchen, and let me introduce you to my latest recipe: Caramel Apple Empanadas. As a chef, I have a passion for fusing different culinary traditions, and this recipe is the perfect marriage between American apple pie and Brazilian empanadas.

The inspiration behind this recipe came from a nostalgic place – Taco Bell’s discontinued Caramel Apple Empanada. As someone who loved the flavor combination of the original dessert, I set out to create an even better homemade version that would satisfy my cravings.

When I bit into this hand pie for the first time, I knew that I had nailed it. The buttery, flaky crust pairs perfectly with the sweet apple pie filling and gooey caramel sauce. One bite of these empanadas, and you’ll be transported to a world of sticky-sweet caramel apples with a Latin twist.

So join me in my kitchen as we explore the ingredients, techniques, and tips that go into making these delicious Caramel Apple Empanadas. Whether you’re looking for a fun dessert to make with friends or a sweet treat for your family, this recipe won’t disappoint. Get ready to indulge in these mouthwatering hand pies!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Caramel Apple Empanadas
Caramel Apple Empanadas

The Caramel Apple Empanadas Recipe is truly one of a kind. If you love the sweet and tart combination of caramel apples, this recipe will blow you away. As a chef who specializes in both Brazilian and American cuisine, I can personally vouch for the delectable flavor in every bite of these hand pies.

Everyone loves apple pie, but imagine it melted into a half-moon-shaped pastry filled with creamy caramel that oozes out with every bite. The combination of Granny Smith apples, lemon juice, and ground cinnamon creates the perfect filling that sets this recipe apart from others.

Not to mention, these empanadas are incredibly versatile. They make for a quick snack, a delightful dessert, or even a party appetizer. With just a few ingredients and an easy-to-follow recipe, anyone can create these delicious treats in no time.

And if all of this sounds familiar to you Taco Bell fans out there, you’ll be excited to know that this recipe is a copycat version of their long-discontinued Caramel Apple Empanada. But trust me when I say our caramel sauce is even better!

So go ahead and indulge in this mouthwatering treat that is sure to impress your friends and family. You’ll thank me later!

Ingredient List

 A sweet and savory treat that will make your mouth water!
A sweet and savory treat that will make your mouth water!

Before you start this caramel apple empanadas recipe, you will want to make sure you have all the right ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need to make 8 delightful hand pies caramel apple:


  • 2 Granny Smith apples
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp dulce de leche or caramel sauce +
  • 2 tablespoons caramel filled caramels, unwrapped and chopped
  • 1 refrigerated pie crust, at room temperature
  • Sour cream (optional)

Pro tip: Try to use cold ingredients to make the perfect empanadas instructions. Keep your pie crust chilled until ready to slice and fill!

The Recipe How-To

 Bite into the golden baked crust and discover the gooey caramelized apple filling.
Bite into the golden baked crust and discover the gooey caramelized apple filling.

Now that we’ve gone through the ingredient list, let’s get started with making these Caramel Apple Empanadas!

Step 1: Make the Caramel Apple Filling

First up is making the caramel apple filling. Peel and dice 2 large granny smith apples into small pieces, about ¼ inch squares. In a mixing bowl, combine the diced apples, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar, and 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Stir together until well incorporated.

In a separate bowl, melt 8 unwrapped caramel candies in the microwave per package instructions. Stir together until smooth, then add to the apple mixture and stir well.

Step 2: Assemble the Empanadas

Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out refrigerated pie crust on a lightly floured surface until it’s about ⅛-inch thick. Use a cookie cutter or a circular cutter to cut out even rounds—about 4 inches in diameter—until you run out of dough.

Spoon some of the caramel apple pie filling onto one half of each pie crust round, making sure to leave room around the edge. Fold other half of dough over and press down gently with fingers. Use a fork to create a seal by pressing down along edges.

Step 3: Bake the Empanadas

Brush egg wash over each empanada and sprinkle with granulated sugar before placing onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown all over.

While still hot out of the oven, brush with melted caramel sauce.

And voila! Delicious Caramel Apple Empanadas that are perfect as a hand-held dessert or snack.

Enjoy these empanadas instructions and impress your friends and family with this elevated twist on an old favorite!

Substitutions and Variations

 Enjoy the perfect balance of tangy apples and rich, buttery caramel.
Enjoy the perfect balance of tangy apples and rich, buttery caramel.

When it comes to making caramel apple empanadas, there is always room for creativity and substitutions. While this recipe calls for specific ingredients, you can easily switch things up to suit your taste preferences.

Firstly, when selecting apples for this recipe, any firm and tart variety will work. If you don’t have Granny Smith apples on hand, Honeycrisp or Fuji can be a great substitute.

Moreover, you may opt to use store-bought pie filling or canned apple pie filling in place of making the homemade version from scratch. This variation can save time and still deliver a delicious result.

If you are looking to elevate the flavor of your empanadas further, try adding some ground nutmeg or cloves in addition to the ground cinnamon called for in the recipe. You could also infuse some vanilla extract into the caramel sauce or add a sprinkle of sea salt over them while serving.

Alternatively, you could make sour cream caramel dipping sauce by combining caramel sauce and sour cream in equal parts. This adds a tangy taste that couples well with sweet apple filling.

For those with dietary restrictions or watching calorie intake, you can use whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour, coconut sugar instead of granulated sugar or reduce the amount of sugar used overall.

All said and done variability is what makes cooking exciting in the first place. Therefore give these variations a try, and find out which one suits your taste as even small changes can make such an enormous difference!

Serving and Pairing

 A warm and cozy dessert that's perfect for cool fall evenings.
A warm and cozy dessert that’s perfect for cool fall evenings.

When it comes to serving these delicious caramel apple empanadas, there are a myriad of options to choose from. One great way to serve them is piping hot straight out of the oven along with some vanilla ice cream on top for a classic flavor combination. The cold and creamy texture of the ice cream perfectly complements the warm and flaky pastry shell of the empanada.

If you’re looking for something even more decadent, try drizzling some additional caramel sauce or dulce de leche on top before serving. This will add even more sweetness to the already ooey-gooey filling inside.

For those who prefer something less sweet, serving them with a dollop of sour cream can also help balance out the richness of the dessert. The tangy cream pairs well with the sweetness of the apple pie filling.

As for pairing suggestions, a strong cup of coffee or tea would be perfect to accompany these empanadas. The bold flavors will help cut through the richness of the dish and provide a nice contrast.

In conclusion, there are many ways to serve these delightful treats, whether you want to keep things simple or go all out with toppings and pairings. Either way, your taste buds will surely be satisfied with the irresistible combination of caramel and apple flavors in every bite.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 These empanadas are the perfect way to use up your extra apples!
These empanadas are the perfect way to use up your extra apples!

When it comes to make-ahead and storing the caramel apple empanadas, there are a few things to keep in mind. First of all, you can definitely prepare the empanadas ahead of time and then store them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake them.

To store the uncooked empanadas, arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and put them in the freezer for an hour or two until they are firm. Then transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container and store them for up to 2 months.

When you’re ready to enjoy the empanadas, simply remove them from the freezer and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Preheat your oven to 375°F, brush the empanadas with egg wash, and bake them for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.

If you have leftovers or want to store any cooked empanadas, simply let them cool completely before placing them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When it’s time to reheat, you can do so in the air fryer at 350°F for about 5-7 minutes or in the oven at 375°F for about 10-15 minutes until heated through.

As for the caramel sauce, you can make it ahead of time as well and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Just be sure to give it a good stir before using it again.

With these tips, you can easily make these delicious and decadent caramel apple empanadas ahead of time or store any leftovers without losing their scrumptious flavor that tastes even better than those from Taco Bell’s discontinued version.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Impress your friends and family with these homemade delights.
Impress your friends and family with these homemade delights.

To guarantee the best outcome of your caramel apple empanadas, here are some tips I’ve learned from years of experience in the kitchen!

Firstly, when selecting the apples for the recipe, choose firm Granny Smith apples. These apples are tart and firm, which will prevent them from turning into mush during the cooking process. You want the filling to maintain some texture, so this is crucial.

To achieve a flaky and golden-brown crust, use a refrigerated pie crust instead of making your own. It will save you time and effort while delivering a perfect result every time. If you’re feeling adventurous and would like to make your crust from scratch, try using all-purpose flour instead of pastry flour.

Don’t skimp on the lemon juice! This simple ingredient enhances the flavor of the apples and balances their sweetness. Use one tablespoon per recipe to ensure that every slice is tangy and refreshing.

When preparing the apple filling, make sure all ingredients (1 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp granulated sugar, 1 tsp ground cinnamon) are evenly mixed before adding in ½ cup of caramel sauce. Stir everything together until it’s well-combined for a sweet caramel apple pie filling that’s ready for your empanadas!

Furthermore, don’t over-fill your empanadas. Overstuffing them can cause them to leak out or break apart during frying or baking. Fill each empanada with about 2 tablespoons of the caramel apple pie filling and fold it into a half-moon shape.

If you’re baking your empanadas in the oven instead of frying them, brush each empanada with an egg wash before baking to achieve a beautiful golden brown color.

Lastly, if you’re using an air fryer for this recipe make sure you preheat it to 375°F for five minutes before placing your caramel apple empanadas inside. This ensures that they cook perfectly every time.

With these valuable tips, you’re guaranteed mouthwatering caramel apple empanadas that will have everyone coming back for seconds!


As I continue to share this tantalizing recipe for Caramel Apple Empanadas, your questions about the ingredients and the cooking process may arise. To ensure that you are fully equipped to prepare these delectable empanadas, I have compiled a list of frequently asked questions and provided detailed answers to each one. Keep reading to enhance your cooking experience and achieve perfect results every time you make this dish.

What happened to caramel apple empanada?

Taco Bell has discontinued its popular caramel apple empanada in the past few months, causing disappointment among fans. Many consider it the fast food chain’s best dessert option, perhaps even superior to the iconic apple pie from McDonald’s.

How do you keep caramel from sliding off apples?

Before starting the caramel apple recipe, it’s important to prepare the apples properly. To ensure the caramel sticks perfectly, I recommend soaking the apples in hot water with a dash of vinegar for a few minutes. After that, use a kitchen towel to remove any wax residue from the apples. When you’re ready to dip them into the caramel, tilt the pan to create a caramel pool, then gently twirl the apples to evenly coat them with caramel. Once you see excess caramel dripping off, you’ll know you’ve got just the right amount on each apple.

What is the best apple to use for a caramel apple?

When it comes to caramel dipping, you can’t go wrong with the classic Granny Smith. Its tartness does wonders in balancing out the sweetness of caramel. If you’re feeling adventurous, you might want to try out modern varieties such as Pink Lady, Honeycrisp, and SweeTango® for a different but equally delicious experience.

What toppings go on caramel apples?

For this recipe, we’ll need a selection of various toppings to add some texture and flavor to our final product. These toppings include chopped nuts, shredded coconut, crushed graham crackers, crumbled Oreos, rainbow sprinkles, toffee pieces, mini M&M’s, and chocolate chips. Each of these will play a crucial role in the overall taste of our dessert. Let’s get started!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this delicious recipe for Caramel Apple Empanadas is easy to make and tastes incredible. It’s a great alternative to traditional apple pie, with a sweet and creamy caramel apple filling that’s perfect for any occasion. Whether you are a fan of copycat Taco Bell recipes or looking for a new hand pies caramel apple recipe to try, this recipe is sure to impress.

With the right ingredients and some simple instructions, you can create amazing empanadas that melt in your mouth. You can also experiment with different variations and substitutions to suit your taste preferences. And if you made too much or are looking to save some for later, you can easily store these empanadas in the fridge or freezer.

So why not give this amazing recipe a try? Get creative in the kitchen, and enjoy the sweet, crispy, golden brown goodness of Caramel Apple Empanadas today!

Caramel Apple Empanadas

Caramel Apple Empanadas Recipe

Something fun for Mexican night or Cinco de Mayo.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 36 Empanadas
Calories 202.7 kcal


  • 1 (36 count) package frozen rolls, dough thawed per package directions
  • 10 caramel candies, each cut into 4 pieces
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups apples, peeled and chopped
  • 2/3 cup caramel ice cream topping
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice


  • Lightly grease 2 baking sheets. Heat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  • Combine caramel pieces and flour. Add apples, caramel topping and lemon juice; mix well.
  • Place dough for one roll on lightly floured surface; roll into 4-inch circle. Spoon about 2 tablespoons apple mixture onto lower half; brush edges with milk. Fold dough in half; crimp edges with fork. Repeat with remaining dough. Brush each empanada with butter; sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Place on prepared baking sheets.
  • Bake empanadas for 15 minutes or until golden brown; serve warm with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 77gCalories: 202.7kcalCarbohydrates: 38.5gProtein: 6gFat: 2.7gSaturated Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 0.3mgSodium: 338.3mgFiber: 1.6gSugar: 3.9g
Keyword < 30 Mins, Dessert, For Large Groups, Healthy, Low Cholesterol, Mexican
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Dora is a chef well-versed in Brazilian and American cuisine. After a hard day's work in the kitchen of her restaurant, she finds the time to jot down recipes for her food blog. Her recipes are sure to delight foodies everywhere, as she strives to make each one unique and enjoyable to read.