[VIDEO] How To Make Small Batch Flaky Empanada Dough

This recipe is the simplest and easiest way to make Empanada Dough from scratch. The dough is light and flaky, the steps are simple and the ingredients are basic.

Featured Video: How To Make Homemade Empanada Dough

My Homemade Empanada Dough is the same recipe that was used  in my Homemade Puff Pastry. Let me show you how easy it is to make your own Empanada Dough using Simplified Puff Pastry recipe.

Empanada Dough

I used to by a puff pastry or a pie crust whenever I like to make Empanada. But since I started making my own bread, I realized that Empanada dough is not a difficult dough to make. In fact, it is much simpler than a regular bread dough. There is no need to let it rise and there is no much kneading needed except when you are rolling it out to cut into desired shape.

Small Batch Empanada Dough

This recipe is super easy and only 5 ingredients with very simple steps. This Empanada dough is super buttery and flaky. This is one of my for keeps recipe that I keep on using over and over again, and it never failed me even once. It always came out perfect and flaky, just like how I want my Empanada to be. This is very simple, so let’s get started!

Tips for a Successful Flaky Empanada Dough

  1. Freeze the butter minimum 2 hours but overnight freezing is better
  2. Freeze the flour and the mixing bowl the same time you freeze the butter. This one it doesn’t have to be overnight but the colder the better
  3. Add lemon juice in the water – the addition of lemon juice helps produce a flaky crust, it doesn’t affect the taste at all
  4. Grate the Butter as this produces a more even sieze of butter that easily distributes in the dough. Plus, it is the manual easier way, faster than using a pastry cutter. Do NOT break the butter using your hands and hands have natural heat that could warm up the butter
  5. Use ICE COLD Water not just cold from the fridge. Add some ice cube in the water before using. Warm water could warm the butter and will make it melt. You want the butter, flour, bowl and water all cold so they are insync
  6. Add the Liquid Gradually – Flour differs from country to country and from one brand to another although they are all called All-Purpose Flour. Some brand are more moist while others are drier. The amount of liquid could also slightly vary for reasons like condition of the flour you are using. Older flour requires more liquid as compared to new flour that has more moisture. Humidity always plays role. So add gradually, and feel the dough. It should not be too wet
  7. Chill the Empanada Before Baking – this empanada dough uses a short cut puff-pastry dough. So the colder the Empanda before it hits the oven, the better flaky result you will get because the butter in the dough will only starts to melt once it starts baking. The butter will melt and creates a steam, and that steam produces the layers in the dough

Small Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 (1 stick) Unsalted Butter, FROZEN (in the freezer minimum 2 hours to overnight)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt (I used fine salt in this measurement)
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 7 tablespoon Ice-COLD Water, or more as needed

Big Batch Ingredients:

  • 2 1/3 cups (11 ½ oz/ 350g) All-Purpose Flour
  • 14 tablespoons (7 oz/210g) unsalted Butter, FROZEN (in the freezer minimum 2 hours to overnight)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 12 – 14 tablespoon Ice COLD Water, or more as needed

TIP: Put the butter in the freezer minimum 2 hours but preferably overnight before use for a more flaky and buttery dough.


  1. Freeze the Butter: Place your butter in the freezer for a minimum of 2 hours but preferably overnight.
    • TIP: For extra flaky dough, freeze the flour and the bowl as well, although not a must but it makes a difference.
  2. Water + Lemon Mixture: Add ice cubes in a glass then add the water and lemon juice and set aside. The lemon will not leave a taste in the dough. The addition of lemon helps produces a flaky crust but it doesn’t affect the taste.
  3. Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, mix flour and salt. This is going to sound like home economics book but you need everything to be cold to produce a flaky pastry. Feel free to put the bowl of flour in the fridge to chill, around 15 minutes or you can leave it overnight too.
  4. Grate the butter: On the larger side of a cheese grater, grate the frozen butter directly into the flour mix. Stir the butter into the flour, do this as you go. It is easier to mix it several times than doing it at the end when you are done grating everything. Frozen butter is the secret ingredient of this recipe. The colder the butter the flakier the pastry. So remember, this is a shortcut short crust pastry, so we aren’t folding and doing that whole process so the flaky texture will depend mostly to the state of the butter you are using.  I’m all for process but if you get a great result with less work then I’m all for that.
  5. Wet Ingredients: Add in the liquid, holding a little back just in case you don’t need it all. Using your hand bring your pastry together gently. You want to add just enough water to bring the pastry together. Too much water will not yield you a flaky dough. I normally starts at 4 tbsp, then I am gradually adding 1 tbsp at a time. The sign to stop is when you can already form the dough into a ball. When your dough gets too sticky, you went too far adding much liquid. You can remedy this by adding a bit more flour. So start adding the liquid gradually and monitor so you do not have to add extra flour.
  6. Chill the Dough: Bring the dough together to form a ball. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour. You can refrigerate it for up to 3 days or freeze 2-3 months to use at a later day. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight when ready to use.
  7. Shape & Cut the Dough: When you are ready to use it, unwrap, roll, knead  and cut into desired shape. As this stage, you now have Empanada dough ready for filling.
    • TIP 1: You can use this to make sweet or savory empanada. Use any filling of your choice. Minced meat, shredded chicken, sauteed mushroom and cheese, Jam, fresh fruit slices, nutella or any chocolate spread, scarmbled egg and MORE! so many choices
    • TIP 2: You can also freeze the filled Empanada for future baking. No need to thaw when ready to bake. Bake straight from the freezer, you might need to add 2-3 more minutes in the baking time.
  8. Eggwash (optional): Eggwash is optional but it makes a nice browning and looks better. It doesn’t affect the taste even if you do not do it. Simply mix 1 beaten egg + 1 teaspoon water then brush it on top of the Empanada before baking
  9. Baking: Fill and Bake at 350F for 50 – 60 minutes or until brown and flaky.
    • Alternatively, you can also deep fry or even use air-fryer to cook it

Large Batch makes 12 pieces of about 34 grams each

Nutrition Information

Nutritional Information was calculated using Veryfitwell Recipe Calorie and Nutrition Calculator. For details about Nutritional Information in this website, please read the Nutrition Disclaimer page.

Interested on how you can use this to make empanada? Get the Full Recipe of Chicken Empanada or Beef Empanada

Small Batch Empanada Dough

Featured Posts:

Readers Feedback:

  • Shirlgirl – These empanadas are so good
  • Marina Christine – Super easy and delicious! They were gone before I could take a picture next time I make empanadas I’ll make sure I take a picture before the family gets to them!!!
  • MORE feedback HERE

Homemade Beef Empanada

Here is a shirt video on how I used this Empanada dough to make my Beef Empanada. You can use different filling, like chicken or even potato to make it vegetarian. Watch and see.

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20 replies »

    • Hi Wanda,
      I haven’t made it using whole wheat flour but I do not see why it is not possible. The only thing that you have to adjust is the amount of liquid that you add. You may need a little bit more because whole wheat flour are drier. Add the liquid gradually, about 1 tablespoon at a time so that you can monitor the dough consistency. I am interested to know how it will turn out, please let me know when you try it.


  1. when I make my pot pies from scratch, which I must do since I am deathly allergic to peas! I use vodka would that work here as a substitute for the ice water? the shredded butter is a great idea! also since I am disabled can I use my cuisinart 14 cup food processor or kitchen aid standing mixer to work the dough until smooth?


    • Hi Davey,
      I haven’t tried using vodka as substitute for water, but I think it will work. I had seen pie recipes that uses vodka as substitute for the liquid in the recipe.
      yes, you can use food processor to make the crust. Use the food processor pulse setting, and make quick pulses for pie crust but do not let it run continuously because the heat from the movement will cause the butter to melt. You want the butter to stay as cold as possible. Stop as soon as it clumps together when you squeeze it with your hands. Hope this helps. Let me know how it goes, I am really interested how the vodka works as substiute.


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Hi, I'm Marilou. Welcome to my website SweetNSpicyLiving. My website is where I share my passion for baking, cooking, photography and traveling. It's a small piece of my Sweet & Spicy Life that I like to share with you.

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