Butternut Maple Empanadas with a Coconut Cornmeal Crust

This recipe was originally published on October 20, 2015 and has been modified and updated for our new website.

Butternut Maple Empanadas with a Coconut Cornmeal Crust



Prep Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hour, 45 minutes

Yields: 12 empanadas




Dough Notes

This hot water dough comes together very easily and can be made up to 3 days in advance, wrapped and kept in the refrigerator. 


If you do make it in advance you will have to let it sit at room temperature for at least an hour before rolling out. 


The coconut oil gets very hard when cold. If the dough is still stiff after sitting an hour, give it a couple good whacks with your rolling pin to soften it up before rolling.

Empanada Notes

Empanadas will keep up to 3 days at room temperature or wrapped tightly and frozen for up to 3 months.

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Dough Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

Filling Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds whole butternut squash

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Topping Ingredients

  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar or granulated sugar, for sprinkling

Preparing the Dough

  • Heat water and coconut oil in a small saucepan over medium heat just until oil melts, remove from heat.

  • Combine remaining dough ingredients in a large bowl. Pour water mixture over flour and stir until dough is evenly moist. Form into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours.

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Preparing the Empanadas

  • Heat oven to 375°F and arrange racks in the upper and lower third of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  • Remove dough from refrigerator and place on a lightly floured work surface. Roll out dough into a large circle, about 1/4-inch thick. Place a 6-inch plate on one edge of the dough and cut along the outside of the plate with a pairing knife to create a 6-inch circle. Repeat and re-roll the scraps until you have 12 circles. 
  • Lay circles out on the work surface and scoop 3 tablespoons of the filling into the middle of each circle. Fold each circle in half to enclose filling and press all around the edge with the tines of a fork to seal. 
  • Place empanadas on the two baking sheets. Beat egg with a bit of water until smooth. Brush the tops of the empanadas with egg wash then sprinkle with turbinado sugar. 
  • Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. 
  • Serve warm with ice cream or room temperature.

Preparing the Filling

  • Heat oven to 400°F. Remove stem from the butternut squash and cut squash in half vertically. Scoop out the seeds and lay squash, cut side up, on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and rub oil to coat the surface. Roast until very soft, about 1 hour. Let cool. 
  • Scoop flesh out of the skin and place in a food processor with remaining filling ingredients. Puree until smooth.
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About the Author

Kate Ramos

Kate Ramos is the author of Hola Jalapeño—a blog where she shares her take on Latin-inspired food. Kate spent many years as a chef, food editor, and recipe developer.



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