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Chocolate dulce de leche empanadas

These chocolate dulce de leche empanadas are made with a homemade chocolate empanada dough and filled with creamy dulce de leche or caramel.

Chocolate empanadas

En Español

Dulce de leche is very popular in our house, sometimes we make it home from scratch, other times we buy it at the store; regardless it doesn’t last long around here. Empanadas are also another very popular food in our home. I wanted to combine these two favorites into one, but I also happen to love the taste of chocolate + dulce de leche so wanted to try making a chocolate empanada dough instead of the standard sweet empanada dough. I was a little bit concerned that adding cocoa powder to the dough would make it very fragile and hard to handle, however it worked out fine and tasted great when baked.

Chocolate empanadas filled with dulce de leche

In general, sweet empanada dough is more fragile than savory dough because of the addition of sugar, but it just needs a little extra care and it works great – plus, for any type of sweet dessert empanadas it is completely worth it to make your own homemade sweet dough. The taste is so much better than the store bought savory discs – which I do like for savory fillings, but not so much for sweet ones.

Chocolate empanada dough

There is high chance that these chocolate dulce de leche empanadas will leak out some of the caramel when baking. Most of it does stay inside in the empanada and all you need to do is just wait for them cool down enough to be safe to handle and scoop the leaked dulce de leche from around them. I tried making a couple of small cuts in the top of them, it still leaks out, but it at least leaks over the empanada.

Recipe for chocolate empanadas

I also noticed that the empanadas that were sealed with a fork were more likely to leak than those were sealed using a manual twist and fold repulgue technique. If you love the taste of chocolate and cinnamon you can optionally add a little bit of cinnamon powder to the empanada dough.

Dulce de leche empanadas

Also, if you are a fan of the salted caramel flavor you can add a sprinkle of sea salt to the dulce de leche filling. These empanadas are very rich and sweet, so I do prefer to make them on the smaller to medium size, but you can adjust based on your preference. They go really well served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or vanilla frozen yogurt.

Dulce de leche empanadas

Chocolate dulce de leche empanadas

Chocolate dulce de leche empanadas made with a homemade chocolate empanada dough and filled with creamy dulce de leche or caramel
4.87 from 152 votes
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Latin American
Keyword: Chocolate empanadas, Dessert empanadas, Dulce de leche, Empanadas
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Refrigeration time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 24 empanadas


Chocolate empanada dough

  • 3 cups flour all purpose
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder unsweetened
  • ¼ – ½ cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder – optional if you want a hint of cinnamon
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter or 8 oz/226grams cut into small pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • 4-6 tablespoons of water milk, or coffee

Dulce de leche filling and assembly

  • 32 oz dulce de leche store bought or homemade
  • Optional: Dash of salt if you like the salted caramel flavor
  • 1 egg whisked with 1 tablespoon water to be used as egg wash
  • ¼ cup demerara sugar to sprinkle on top of empanadas

To serve:

  • Sprinkled with cocoa powder
  • A scoop of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt


Chocolate empanada dough

  • Place all the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon powder and salt in a food processor and mix well.
  • Add the butter pieces and pulse until mixed.
  • Add the eggs and 4 tablespoons of water/milk/coffee, mix until a clumpy dough forms. Add the additional liquid one tablespoon at a time if needed.
  • Remove the chocolate dough from the food processor and knead it a couple of times.
  • Form dough into 2 balls, flatten into thick discs, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  • On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll out the dough into a thin sheet.
  • Cut out round disc shapes for empanadas, use a round dough cutter as a mold. If you don’t have a dough cutter you can also use a small plate or cup and then use a knife to gently cut around. You can also you other shapes (hearts, etc). Choose how large based on whether you want small or medium sized empanadas.
  • Use the empanada discs immediately or store in the refrigerator until ready to use. You can also layer them with wax paper and freeze to use later.

Chocolate dulce de leche empanada assembly

  • Place a spoonful of the dulce de leche on the center of the empanada disc.
  • Fold the empanada discs and seal the edges gently with your fingers, then use the tip of a fork to further seal the edges. You can also try to make a repulgue or churito which means to twist and fold the edges gently with your fingers, however sweet empanada dough is more fragile than savory empanada dough and it’s much easier to use a fork to seal the edges.
  • Lightly brush the top of the empanadas with the egg wash; this will give them a nice golden glow when baked.
  • Sprinkle each empanada with a little bit of the demerara sugar.
  • Chill the empanadas for at least 30 minutes or until ready to bake, this will help them seal better.
  • Bake the empanadas in a pre-heated oven at 375 F for 15-20 minutes. The exact time will vary based on your oven and size of the empanadas.
  • Serve the dulce de leche empanadas warm. They are still good served cold, but taste much better when eaten warm. You can sprinkle them with a little bit of cocoa powder and I highly recommend serving them with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.

Step by step preparation photos for chocolate dulce de leche empanadas

To make the empanada dough combine dry ingredients in food processor
Add the butter and mix well
Add the eggs and water or coffe, mix until the dough forms into small clumps
Knead the dough gently and form into discs, then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes
Roll out the chocolate empanada dough into a thin layer
Use a round mold to cut the dough into empanada discs
You can also use hearts shapes to make heart shaped empanadas
Place a spoonful of dulce de leche in the center of the empanada
For a salted caramel taste you can also add a sprinkle of sea salt to the dulce de leche
Use a fork to seal the chocolate empanadas or gently twist the edges with your fingers
Brush with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar and bake at 375F for 15-20 minutes
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  1. I made these they’re to die for! It’s quite a project but so worth it! A chocolate lovers dream come true! Thank you!

  2. ¡Sus chocolate dulce de leche empanadas eran muy bueno y delicious! El dulce de leche dentro de las empanadas de chocolate era una gran idea. Las empanadas eran muy dulce. Mi class de espanol amaba las empanadas. Me encantaria hacer las empanadas de nuevo en algun momento.

  3. Hi! I’m just curious… I’ve also read your dough recipe for the fried version. Can this recipe be fried as well?

    I haven’t tried to fry this chocolate dough, if you do let me know how it goes.

  4. I just made these . Fork method before I read your notes.. Leaked out. But, I made fresh cream, added some dolce to the top, they were stil yummy!

    1. I followed the recipe step by step but mine leaked too. Very frustrated. I served them with vanilla ice cream and a dollop of dulce de leche on top. Problem solved.

  5. Can I make the dough manual? I have neither a food processor nor a mixer.
    Thank you!

    Yes – just make it by hand as you would make dough for pie or a tart crust.

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