Pumpkin empanadas are a delightful treat that many enjoy during the fall season. With their warm, spiced filling and flaky crust, they are perfect for celebrating holidays or enjoying a cozy snack. This recipe has cultural significance in many Latin American countries, where empanadas are a beloved traditional dish. Let's get started on this culinary adventure and create some mouth-watering pumpkin empanadas!

Pumpkin Empanada Recipe


For the Dough:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (cold and cut into cubes)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs

For the Pumpkin Filling:

  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preparing the Dough:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.
  2. Add the cold butter and shortening to the dry ingredients. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, work the fats into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk and eggs.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture. Mix until a dough forms.
  5. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times until smooth.
  6. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Preparing the Pumpkin Filling:

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, salt, and vanilla extract.
  2. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes until the mixture thickens.
  3. Remove from heat and allow the filling to cool completely.


Filling and Folding the Empanadas:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Roll out the chilled dough on a floured surface to about 1/8 inch thickness.
  3. Using a round cutter or a glass, cut out circles from the dough (about 4-5 inches in diameter).
  4. Spoon a generous tablespoon of the pumpkin filling onto the center of each dough circle.
  5. Fold the dough over the filling to create a half-moon shape. Press the edges together and crimp with a fork to seal.


Baking the Empanadas:

  1. Place the filled empanadas on the prepared baking sheet, leaving some space between each one.
  2. Brush the tops of the empanadas with an egg wash (1 beaten egg with a splash of water) to give them a golden brown finish.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the empanadas are golden brown and the dough is cooked through.
  4. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly.


Serving Suggestions:

  • Serve the pumpkin empanadas warm or at room temperature.
  • Dust with powdered sugar for an extra touch of sweetness.
  • Pair with a side of whipped cream or a drizzle of caramel sauce for added indulgence.

Tips and Variations

Useful Tips:

  • Ensure the butter and shortening are cold to achieve a flaky dough.
  • Don’t overfill the empanadas to prevent them from bursting during baking.
  • If you prefer a spicier filling, add a pinch of cayenne pepper.


  • Add a handful of raisins or chopped nuts to the pumpkin filling for extra texture.
  • Experiment with different spices like allspice or cardamom to customize the flavor profile.
  • Swap out the pumpkin puree for butternut squash or sweet potato for a different twist.


Pumpkin empanadas are a delightful way to enjoy the flavors of fall. With this recipe, you can create a delicious homemade treat that is sure to impress your family and friends. Give it a try and share your creations with us—happy baking!

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