A hand holding a paper plate of empanadas at a market
Sweet Treats

Celebrate National Empanada Day with this sweet take on a Latino classic

This dessert empanada is a chocolate lover’s dream

Like arepas, tequeños and anything guava/cheese, empanadas have a special place in our little Latinx hearts. These little “turnovers” can hold so much and light up our worlds at the same time, making them the perfect on-the-go snack (you have protein and carbs, it’s a balanced meal, really). Countries around the world have their own takes on how they make their empanadas and what they fill them with. You can find anything from cheese and jamón, chicken, beef, pork or straight veggies (if that’s your kind of thing). But at the end of the day, there is really no wrong way to enjoy these small bites of joy.

The word empanada derives from the Spanish verb empanar which translates to “enbreaded” (or wrapped/coated in bread). Each empanada recipe requires two things: folding dough and your choice of filling. From there the possibilities are endless. You can either fry them like they do in the Dominican Republic or bake them like Chile or Argentina.

The traditional form of empanadas can be found throughout the Mediterranean, Latin American, Filipino cultures. But that’s not to say that other cultures don’t have their own take as well: think the pasty from the United Kingdom, the samsa from Central Asia, the samosa from India or the pirozhki from Russia. Below we’ve included a delicious recipe on how to make a dessert empanada!

Choco-hazelnut turnover©GrosbyGroup

Cinnamon-Sugar Chocolate Empanada Recipe


  • ⅞ cup baking chocolate or chocolate chips (we recommend Choc Zero chocolate chips)
  • 5 Tablespoons cream
  • 16 empanada shells (Goya, Avanti or La Salteña sell these)
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon of sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Take baking chocolate or chocolate chips, and put them in a heat safe bowl and double boil it on low to medium heat. Doubling boiling chocolate is a great way to slowly melt the chocolate without burning it.
  3. Once chocolate has fully melted, slowly fold in cream and fully incorporate into chocolate. Remove from heat.
  4. Take empanada shells and fill with the chocolate and cream mixture. Make sure to not overcrowd shell so that it will close properly.
  5. Once shells have been filled, fold the empanada (in traditional fashion) and seal the edges with a fork. Dip fork in egg wash before sealing empanadas.
  6. In a small bowl, mix cinnamon and sugar.
  7. Upon sealing all of the empanada shells (they should look like plump half moons), brush each with an egg wash. Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar mix on top.
  8. Take empanadas and place them on baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon underlay. Bake for 15 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven when done and allow to cool (#NoBurntTongues).
  10. Serve and enjoy!