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Empanadas de camote on a blue plate, cup of coffee and cinnamon stick. The top empanada is cut in half showing the filling.
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Empanadas de Camote (Sweet Potato Empanadas)

These beautiful freshly baked empanadas de
camote are filled with sweet potato, slowly simmered in cinnamon and anise.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings 16 empanadas
Calories 321kcal
Author Dora S.


Sweet Potato Syrup:

  • 2 ½ cups Water
  • 2 Ceylon cinnamon sticks, 2 inches long
  • 1 ½ tsp. Anise seed
  • 1 ½ cups Sugar, granulated
  • 1.6 lb. Sweet potato, peeled, cut into large dice (About two large ones)

Empanada Dough:

  • 17.6 oz. All-Purpose flour
  • 2 ½ tsp. Baking powder
  • cup Melted refined coconut oil (the original recipe used shortening)
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • 1 tbsp. Ground cinnamon
  • 1 ⅓ cup Sweet Potato Syrup (see above)
  • 2 tbsp. Almond milk
  • 1 tbsp. Maple Syrup


To make the syrup:

  • Combine the water, cinnamon sticks, anise seed, and sugar in a small pot. Bring to a simmer over low heat and simmer softly for 30 min. Strain. Reserve 1 1/3 cups of the syrup and set aside.
  • Pour the rest of the sweet potato syrup in a small pot and add the sweet potato. Bring to a very low simmer, cover, and let cook for 45 min. (It’s going to seem like it’s not enough liquid to cook the sweet potatoes, but we’re basically going to steam them in the syrup. As they cook they will release liquid as well.) Drain and mash with a fork.
  • While the sweet potatoes are cooking, in a large bowl mix the flour, baking powder, sugar, and cinnamon. Add the melted coconut oil and mix well.
  • Add half of the reserved sweet potato syrup to the bowl while mixing with your hands. The dough will begin to come together. Add the rest of the syrup gradually if needed so youtr dough is moist but not overly sticky or wet.
  • Transfer dough to a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes or until the dough becomes elastic and smooth, but not sticky. Let it rest for 45 min.
  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Divide the dough into 16 equal portions and roll them into balls ( 2 oz. each). On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough 1/4 inch thick.
  • Place 1 tbsp. of the filling in the middle of the dough round. Fold the dough over to enclose the filling, and crimp the edges with a fork to seal or seal them decoratively as the Argentinians do. Pierce each empanada three times with a fork near the crimped edge.
  • In a small bowl combine the almond milk and maple syrup. Use this to brush the empanadas and bake for 35 – 40 min. or until the empanadas are golden brown on the bottom.



The original recipe called for vegetable shortening, but I have substituted it for coconut oil, but you could also use melted vegan butter.
I also reduced the amount of sugar (believe it or not!), but you can sub with piloncillo, sugar in the raw or muscovado sugar.


Serving: 1empanadas | Calories: 321kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Sodium: 29mg | Potassium: 275mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 6435IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 2mg