Sweet Potato Cheesecake Empanadas


Puerto Rico and the American South intersect deliciously in this unique dessert empanada from Boricua Soul in Durham, North Carolina, which combines the flavors of marshmallow-topped sweet potato casserole with spiced pumpkin cheesecake, encasing it all in caramel-drizzled, crisp pastry. Thanks to the smart use of store-bought shortcuts like empanada wrappers and canned sweet potatoes, the creamy filling comes together in minutes.

Sweet potato cheesecake empanadas at Boricua Soul
Photo: Lauren Vied Allen
Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 15 mins
16 empanadas


  • 1 (15-ounce) can cut sweet potatoes in light syrup (such as Princella), drained and mashed

  • 1 pound cream cheese, softened

  • .50 cup packed dark brown sugar

  • .50 teaspoon kosher salt

  • ¼ cup marshmallow creme

  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1.50 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 16 (5 1/2-inch) frozen empanada wrappers, thawed

  • Neutral oil (such as peanut oil or vegetable oil), for frying

  • Sweetened whipped cream and caramel sauce (optional)


  1. Combine mashed sweet potatoes, cream cheese, brown sugar, and salt in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until fluffy and mostly smooth, about 3 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Add marshmallow creme, vanilla, and cinnamon. Beat on medium speed until well combined, about 1 minute. Cover and chill filling until firm, at least 2 hours or up to 1 day.

  2. On a clean work surface, roll out 1 empanada wrapper into a 6-inch circle. Spoon about 1/4 cup filling onto center of wrapper. Fold wrapper over filling, and press to seal; crimp edges using a fork. Repeat process using remaining wrappers and filling.

  3. Fill a large Dutch oven with oil to a depth of 2 1/2 inches; heat over medium to 350°F. Working in about 4 batches, fry empanadas in hot oil, turning occasionally, until golden brown and crisp, about 4 minutes per batch, letting oil return to 350°F between batches. Using a spider, transfer empanadas to a baking sheet lined with paper towels; let cool 15 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream and caramel sauce, if desired.


Find empanada wrappers in the freezer section at most Latin markets.

Make Ahead

Empanadas can be prepared through step 2, frozen in an even layer on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet, and transferred to a resealable freezer bag. Freeze up to 2 months. Fry directly from frozen.

Related Articles