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Pineapple Empanadas Recipe

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  • Author: Mirna Pena
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours


Pineapple Empanadas (Empanadas de Piña) are soft, flaky, and sweet. The dough is like a pie crust and the pineapple is sweet but not overly sweet. It’s like a handheld pie.




  • 120 oz cans of crushed pineapple in pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon of water


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) of softened butter
  • 8 oz cream cheese – softened

Egg wash:

  • 1 egg 
  • 1 tablespoon milk or cream

Cinnamon sugar coating:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon


  1. Combine the pineapple (including juice) and sugar in a pot on medium to medium-low heat. Once it comes to a boil, take down and simmer for about 1.5 hours, stirring occasionally.
  2. Mix 1 teaspoon of cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water and set aside. 
  3. After about 1.5 hours, once the pineapple mix pulls away from the bottom of the pan, but still has some liquid, add your cornstarch and water mixture.
  4. Continue cooking on low for another 2-3 minutes. You will know it’s ready when you drag a spoon and it pulls apart but does not come back together or has pooling liquid at the bottom.
  5. It will still be just a tiny bit loose, not totally set. It will set once it has cooled. You will notice it is thicker, sweeter, and jam-like.
  6. For the empanada dough, start by creaming the butter and cream cheese together with a hand mixer or stand mixer.
  7. Add the flour to the butter and cream cheese mixture and mix with a spoon and then by hand until well combined.
  8. Set the dough aside for about 30 minutes to rest at room temperature.
  9. Once your dough has rested and the filling has cooled, we need to form the empanadas.
  10. Start by making 1.5-ounce dough balls, or about the size of your palm.
  11. For the next step, use a tortilla press or a rolling pin and flatten the dough ball until it is approximately 4-5 inches in diameter
  12. Take about 1 to 1 1/2 a teaspoons of filling and place it slightly off-center. Do not overfill because it might spill out during baking.
  13. Using a little bit of egg wash, moisten the edges of the flat dough.
  14. Fold the dough over itself and press together with a fork to crimp the edges. Place it on a parchment-lined baking sheet about 1 inch apart from each other. Continue until you run out of dough.
  15. At this point, you can either brush the tops of the empanadas with an egg wash or leave as is and you can roll in cinnamon sugar after baking.
  16. Bake in a 350-degree oven for approximately 25-30 or until a light golden brown
  17. If you are rolling them in cinnamon sugar, make sure it’s done as soon as they come out of the oven. In a bowl big enough, add the sugar and cinnamon, mix well. Add an empanada to the sugar mixture and toss to coat. Remove and leave them cool on a cooling rack.
  18. Once it has cooled enough not to burn your mouth you may enjoy!


  • Stores for 7 days at room temperature.
  • Option – do half with cinnamon sugar and half without only using the eggwash.