Copycat Taco Bell’s Caramel Apple Empanada Recipe

Were you sad when you found out that Taco Bell’s caramel apple empanadas were being discontinued? Even the sweetest of things must come to an end. But fret not! We have a caramel apple empanada recipe that’ll bring back the warm nostalgia of consuming these delicious pieces. Our take on the famous empanadas is sure to delight anyone with a sweet tooth.

Empanadas are hand-sized pies with a savory filling. They often consist of meat or vegetables all made flavorful with various spices. These little pockets can be baked or fried, depending on how you like it served. It has been such an iconic dish for countries in Latin America for years. Many empanada recipes are such closely-guarded secrets in most Latin-America or Spanish-influenced families. To these families, there is no wrong or right way to it because of its general versatility. It is so versatile that Taco Bell has created their own version in a sugary pastry.   

If you ever need something to close off a perfect dinner, these Taco Bell caramel apple empanadas will do the trick. Their signature gooey, soft center of caramel, and cooked apples add a unique twist to the usual savory of empanadas. Taco Bell made this staple fried to get that perfectly crispy shell, but we’re giving you a healthier baked version that still yields that same mouthwatering taste. It is great comfort food to many, and we’re hoping our take on it will do it for you too. You can also give this caramel apple empanada recipe a shot together with our Long Island iced tea. Enjoy these in our baked version down below!

Copycat Taco Bell’s Caramel Apple Empanada Recipe

How To Make Copycat Taco Bell’s Caramel Apple Empanada

This Taco Bell copycat features pocket-like pastries filled with a caramel apple compote that is bursting with flavor. Serve it warm with some ice cream or eat on its own.

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 50 mins


  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour, add more as needed
  • 4 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup caramel sauce
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter

To Serve:

  • 2 rolled pie crusts, roughly 1 lb
  • ¼ cup egg whites
  • ¼ cup cinnamon sugar, for sprinkling


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Mix sugar, cinnamon, and flour together and set aside.
  3. In a saucepan, bring apples and water to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and let cook for 10 minutes or until apples are tender.
  4. Remove from the heat then fold in sugar-flour mixture, caramel sauce, and butter.
  5. Stir well until the mixture is combined. Add more flour as needed if the sauce is too thin.
  6. Unroll the pie crusts and slightly thin out the dough with a rolling pin.
  7. Use a cereal bowl or medium size ring mold to trace and cut out the shape in the dough. Then place the cut-out doughs onto a lined baking tray.
  8. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the apple compote on each of the circles, leaving about ½ inch of the edges uncovered.
  9. Wet the edges of the pie crusts with a little water, and fold over the circle in half.
  10. Use a fork to press and seal the edges.
  11. Brush the egg whites over the top of each hand pie.
  12. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
  13. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.
  14. Serve warm with butterscotch sauce or even add some vanilla ice cream to top and enjoy!


  • Sugar: 15g
  • :
  • Calcium: 15mg
  • Calories: 261kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 38g
  • Cholesterol: 6mg
  • Fat: 11g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Iron: 1mg
  • Potassium: 101mg
  • Protein: 3g
  • Saturated Fat: 4g
  • Sodium: 170mg
  • Vitamin A: 103IU
  • Vitamin C: 2mg
Nutrition Disclaimer

Frequently Asked Questions

Will these caramel apple empanadas taste just as good when fried?

Absolutely. The empanadas will be crispier and will still have that luscious golden-brown color you would get from baking. You may fry them in hot oil for five minutes, turning them once to brown on both sides. And instead of sprinkling the cinnamon sugar before cooking, you can sprinkle them after frying for the mix to stick.

Can I use red apples instead of a Granny Smith?

Yes! But take note that using red apples will yield a sweeter taste to your caramel apple empanadas. However, some red apples may vary in flavor, and it’s best to do a quick search to see if it will provide the same sweetness you’re looking for. Using granny smith apples—which is known for its mostly sour taste—on the other hand, will help to balance out the sweetness of the caramel.

Pies Pastries Recipes


Satisfy your sweet cravings with this scrumptious, easy-to-make caramel apple empanada dessert inspired by Taco Bell. Make it even more indulgent by adding a dollop of ice cream to top things off. It’ll be a great hit at parties, or for when you’re feeling like snacking!
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