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Piloncillo y Canela -Masa Para Empanadas(Empanada Dough)

Achieve La Panaderia-style Mexican empanadas! A soft yeast dough sweetened with piloncillo(or brown sugar) and freshly grated Mexican cinnamon. 
Course Dessert
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 24 empanadas



  • 4 cups bread flour sifted, plus more for later
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup grated piloncillo or dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/3 cups warm milk at least 110 degrees F



  • Sift the flour into a large bowl. Cut in the shortening until you have small crumbles. Cut in the piloncillo sugar and yeast until well incorporated.
  • Mix in the eggs and cinnamon. Gradually add in the warm milk until dough forms. Transfer to a flat surface and knead for 6 to 8 minutes. If dough is too dry, add a little more milk. If it's too sticky, mix in a little more flour. Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise at room temperature for 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
  • Once dough rises, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside. Pull off enough dough to make a 1 1/2 ounce dough ball. Roll out to about 4 inches in diameter. Fill with 2 tablespoons of filling. Fold over and press gently around the filling to take out any air. Gently press with the palm of your hand.
  • Leave as is or you can pinch and fold over to seal. Repeat until done and transfer onto lined baking sheets. Brush the tops of empanadas with milk. Bake for 20-22 minutes on the middle rack until golden brown. For a darker brown, turn broiler on high for less than one minute. Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Eat within a few days for fresher empanadas.


If you have a stand mixer, follow the recipe as written. I use the paddle attachment and mix on low or medium/low speed most of the time. After all the milk is added and dough is very sticky, set timer for 8 minutes and continue mixing on low. This will build up the gluten in the dough making it more flexible. After that it will still be real sticky, mix in 1-2 tablespoons of flour  at a time, until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Follow directions for proofing and finishing empanadas.