Taco Bell Caramel Empanada Recipe

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Today, I’m grateful for parchment paper.

I know. You were probably expecting something a little more meaningful from my life than parchment paper. And sometime in the next 22 days, I’ll deliver something a little more meaningful than my favorite baking supplies.

But tonight, it’s parchment paper. And here’s why…

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You know that feeling towards the end of the day? How you feel after making dinner, serving dinner, and cleaning up after dinner. How you feel after making 3 desserts, strategically storing them so they won’t be eaten before you can photograph tomorrow, and trying to wrap up your post for the day?

How you feel after an hour and a half of waiting outside in the cold to vote, followed by hours of political analysis, and a nail biting election?

And  you just don’t want to do any more dishes ever again??

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And then you remember that you used parchment paper and there are no dishes waiting for you.


I’m a tiny bit tired and lazy most of the time. Which is why I decided to make these empanadas baked, and not fried (like Taco Bell makes theirs). Don’t worry, I’m not making them any healthier (it’s pie crust!), but I’m making it a lot less messy and a lot less effort.

Caramel Apple Empanada Tips

  • You can use any type of apple you want, I just like Granny Smith apples because they’re tart and hold their shape well when cooked.
  • If the dough is too sticky to work with, put it in the fridge for 10-15 minutes before trying to roll it out.
  • These are great served warm or cold!
  • If you want to make these ahead of time, they can be frozen for up to 2 months. Just thaw them out before baking!
  • You don’t have to use egg whites, but it helps the crust stay nice and crispy. If you’re vegan or have an egg allergy, you can just omit it.

Caramel Apple Empanada FAQ

What is an Empanada?

An empanada is a type of pastry that is made from dough that is folded over a filling. They can be baked or fried, and are usually served as a snack or dessert.

Can I make these ahead of time?

Yes! These can be made up to 2 days in advance. Just store them in an airtight container.

What type of caramel ice cream topping should I use?

You can use any type of caramel ice cream topping you want, but I used this one because it’s my favorite.

So there you have it โ€“ a delicious and easy Caramel Apple Empanada Recipe that is perfect for Fall. These would be great to make for a party, or just to enjoy as a cozy snack on a chilly day. I hope you give them a try!

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Taco Bell Caramel Empanada Recipe


  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 4 cups peeled & sliced tart apples
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 2 premade pie crusts
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon sugar for sprinkling


  1. Stir together sugar, cinnamon, and flour; set aside.
  2. Bring apples and water to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 10 minutes or until apples are tender.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in sugar flour mixture, caramel topping and butter.
  4. Unroll the pie crusts and roll out to be just a smidge thinner than it already is. Use a cereal bowl to trace and cut out a circle of the dough. You should be able to get 2 circles out of each pie crust.
  5. Spoon 1/4 of the apple mixture onto one half of each of the circles, leaving about 1/2 inch of the edges uncovered.
  6. Wet the edges of the pie crusts with a little water, and fold over the circle in half. Use a fork to press and seal the edges.
  7. Brush the egg whites over the top of each hand pie. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
  8. Place each empanada on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 400º for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm!
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20 thoughts on “Taco Bell Caramel Empanada Recipe”

  1. parchment paper saves my baking life!! I stood outside in the cold for an hour yesterday – it was terrible. Of course, it was like the coldest day of the season so far. Such luck. ๐Ÿ™

    I want one of these right now! They are simply gorgeous Ashton. apples and caramel are one of my favorite flavor combos in the world. ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh and today I am thankful for coffee lol. It has been a stressful week at work and I could not get through it all without COFFEE!!!!

  2. Okay, these turned out gorgeous! I think they look ever better than the real thing. These would definitely be a great pick-me-up after a stressful day/week—which I seem to be having a lot of lately at my 8-5 job. So these need to get in my face NOW. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Hi there, MMMM MMMM this recipe looks delish. I love those little treats from taco bell.
    Do you think they would have held up to being fried. Everytime I bake empanadas the filling spills out on the baking sheet. EW and so time consuming to clean up. Parchment paper to the rescue. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I really do like the crispy-ness of the fried dough on little pies and was wondering if you knew a recipe for crust that would stand up to frying without losing it’s insides. Thanks

    • I’m totally with you on the fried thing! What would REALLY work the VERY best would be some of those raw tortillas you can buy at the grocery store. When I lived in Utah, you could find them pretty much everywhere (Costco, Walmart, etc). But since I’ve moved to VA, no luck ๐Ÿ™ Anyway, that would be my first recommendation. But, if you can’t find that, I do think that pie crust would hold up to deep frying ๐Ÿ™‚ Let me know how it goes!

  4. I made these tonight, they are in the oven…problems it had was the pie crust breaking and turning to mush (probly too thin) and the sauce that the apples made was too gloppy (probly too much flour…I still can’t wait till they are done…


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