Pumpkin Empanadas are a childhood favorite sweet that can be enjoyed for breakfast for dessert. Filled with rich cinnamon spiked pumpkin, these have all the flavors and feels of fall!
The word “empanada” means that is is something that is made with bread. An empanada is a stuffed turnover which is most traditionally filled with pumpkin puree. Even though ther are many empanadas that are fried, Pumpkin Empanadas are always baked.
You can add variations to your Pumpkin Empanadas, such as changing up the spices, or adding a little maple syrup or chopped nuts to the filling. Check out my recipe for Roasted Pumpkin and Apple Empanadas here…basically the same recipe but using apples as a sweeter. Also, I love using dulce de leche as an empanada glaze.
In this recipe, I added 2 washes and both are optional. The egg wash is brushed on before the Pumpkin Empanada is baked. Egg washes give a shiny coating to a baked empanada but will not change the flavor. The second wash is a honey glaze which is brushed on after the empanada is baked. The honey simply functions as a sweet stickiness that keeps the cinnamon sugar from rolling off the crust. I like the crunchiness of the granulated sugar sprinkled on top.
Pumpkin Empanadas will keep for a couple of days on the countertop and perhaps up to 4 days in the refrigerator. However, like most baked items, these spicy empanadas are best when they are fresh out of the oven. If you want one with your morning coffee, toaster ovens are excellent for reheating an empanada.
Pumpkin Empanadas are a cozy Autumn treat
- Prep Time: 60 minutes
- Cook Time: 30-35 minutes
- Total Time: 0 hours
- Yield: 18 empanadas 1x
1 small pumpkin (about 2 lbs./1 kg)
2–3 tbsp. olive oil (30ml-45ml)
1 tbsp. cinnamon (4g)
¼ cup all-purpose flour (32g)
1/3 cup granulated sugar, or to taste (67g)
4 cups all-purpose flour (500 g)
1 tsp. baking powder (4g)
½ tsp. salt (2g)
3 tbsp. sugar (38g)
6 tbsp. butter, chilled (90g)
1 cup water (240ml)
1 tsp. water (5ml)
Crunchy sugar topping:
1 tbsp. honey (15ml)
1 tsp. water (5ml)
¼ cup sugar (50g)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Heat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a large baking pan with parchment paper. Carefully cut the pumpkin into halves and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Place the pumpkin halves face down in the parchment lined pan. Brush the pumpkin lightly with olive oil. Place the pan in the heated oven, and roast for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, prepare the crust. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour along with the baking powder, salt, and sugar. Pulse once or twice to combine well. Cut the butter into slices, add to the bowl, pulsing until the mixture makes a course meal. Add the eggs one at a time, pulsing to combine well.
Turn the food processor on and add the water through the feed hole. Once the dough gathers into a ball, turn off the food processor. Remove the dough and knead by hand on a floured surface until it is no longer sticky. Divide the dough into 18 equal size balls. Knead each piece lightly to coat with flour. Shape each equally sized piece into a flat patty. Place the pieces in a bowl, and store in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
Once roasted, remove the pumpkin from the oven, and allow to cool completely. Using a large spoon, scoop the pumpkin flesh out of the pumpkin skin. You will only need 1.5 lbs. (750g) of the pumpkin flesh. If you have leftover, freeze it for later use. Add the cinnamon, flour and sugar and mash. This should be a chunky mixture, but not too chunky. Pour off any collected moisture from the pumpkin.
To make the empanadas, roll each of the chilled dough patties into circles on a floured surface. Roll the circles to approximately 8” (20cm) in diameter. Add a large spoonful of the filling to the center of the circle. Fold the dough over the top to make a half-moon shape and seal the edges with a fork or your fingers. Crimp the edges decoratively, if desired.
If you turned off the oven after roasting the pumpkins, turn it back on to preheat to 375°F (190°C) while you continue to shape all of the empanadas. Place the formed empanadas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
To make the egg wash, scramble one egg with 1 tsp. of water (5ml) Brush onto empanadas before baking.
Bake the empanadas for 25-30 minutes until they are golden brown. Remove to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before serving.
For a crunchy sugar topping, mix together the honey with 1 tsp. of water (5ml) In a separate bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon. Brush each of the cooled empanadas with the honey syrup and sprinkle over the cinnamon sugar.