Print this Post

Guatemalan Empanadas de Manjar de Leche (filled with custard)

Photo by Rudy A. Giron AntiguaDailyPhoto.com Creative Commons License

The Empanadas de Manjar de Leche are typical of Guatemala and are usually eaten during Lent and Holy Week.

 Ingredients for the Empanadas

  • 1 lb of rice flour or salpor corn flour
  • 1 lb wheat flour
  • 12 onz sugar
  • 1 lb vegetable shortening
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of baking soda
  • 6 medium eggs
  • 1/ teaspoon achiote or annatto* (or a few drops of red food coloring)

Spiced Custard Filling


  • 1 lt whole milk
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 12 onz sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup of cornstarch dissolved in ½ cup of whole milk


Mix the dry ingredients and make sure to sift them as this will give the dough it’s soft texture.  Add the shortening (reserve a little bit of shortening to dissolve the annatto or achiote) and the eggs and mix with a fork incorporating all the ingredients.  Add the annatto or achiote dissolved knead with your hands until the dough is smooth. Cover the dough with a moist cloth so that is doesn’t dry out while you prepare the filling.

In a mediym saucepan boil the milk with the cinnamos, sugar and salt.  Move constantly and when it starts to boil add the cornstarch little by little while vigorously mixing in order to avoid sticking and the formation of lumps.  Cook without while constantly moving for 3 minutes, remove from heat and let it cool.

Preheat the oven to 350F. With the empanada dough form small balls and flatten them into circles measuring between 6-8”.  In the center place about ¼ cup of filling, fold in two forming a half circle and press the edges together with a fork to seal.  Sprinkel the empanadas with confectioners sugar and put them in cookie sheets covered with parchment paper and bake for approximately 30 minutes.  Baking time may vary and these Guatemalan empanadas should not brown on top, just a little on the bottom.

For an easier version use store bought empanada dough, brush with beaten egg yolk and sprinkle with sugar.

¡Buen Provecho!

I post recipes that are either typical dishes from my home country of Guatemala, recipes from other Latin American countries or interesting and fun recipes with ingredients that give them some sabor Latino. If you have any suggestions or would like a specific guatemalan recipe let me know in the comments section.




About the author

Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz

Paula moved from her native Guatemala to SW Florida with her husband and two children and together they are discovering what it means to live life between two languages.

Paula studied architecture who now makes a living as a freelance writer, traveler and amateur photographer. She started her writing & publishing career as the editor of Bebé y Mamá, the first parenting magazine in Guatemala. She is the founder of www.GrowingUpBilingual.com and www.365thingsswfl.com and writes articles in Spanish and English for both magazines and the web on travel, food and bicultural and bilingual parenting .

When she is not on a plane or road trip she likes to create recipes inspired in the flavors of her native Guatemala.

Permanent link to this article: http://growingupbilingual.com/2012/latino-parenting/empanadas-de-manjar-de-leche-filled-with-spiced-cooked-milk/


1 ping

Skip to comment form

  1. Sandra

    What is harina de salpor
    Thank you

    1. Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz

      Sandra harina de salpor is corn flour

  2. jose a arroyo

    gracias por todo lo que usted hace por guatemala siga adelante.pregunta que es en si la arina de salpor,no se si la venden aqui en usa. aqui en chicago no la he encontrado, gracias atten: jose

  3. marta

    Hi Paula, las empanadas son deliciosas, yo hago para vender, y mis amigas las aman, Gracias por la receta es la mejor que encontre, Marta.

  4. Patty Krol

    Hola, Soy Patty y vivo en Holanda, soy Guatemalteca con mucho orgullo, se me antojo esta receta, voy a probar tu receta de Empanadas con Manjar de leche, me parecio la mas buena. Saludos

    1. Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz

      Hola Patty! Yo soy Guatemalteca y vivo en Florida. Que bueno que te gustó la receta, cuéntame como te quedan si las haces. 🙂

      1. Lila

        Hola yo también vivo en florida y soy guatemalteca si las haces para vender podrías darme tu dirección gracias😊

  5. Angelica

    ¿Cuántas empanadas se pueden cocinar en esta receta ?

  6. Nicole K

    How many servings does this make?

  7. Miriam Ramirez

    I tried the empanadas and they are in the oven as I write this comment…I have no idea how they are going to come out…since I do not consume any dairy products I used the coconut/soy milk…I messed up on the manjar cause it lumped on me so I strained what I could….it tasted good…the dough was a bit loose…I am just a bit bumped…waiting for the .30 to finish so that I can take them out…
    Thank you so much for your page…I live in San Antonio, TX and we don’t have many Guatemalans here…

  8. Judith Hernandez

    Hola Paula gracias por la receta es muy congruente la mejor que encontre . La probare y te cuento soy guatemalteca amo nuestra cocina y soy muy buena cocinando. Te contare como salen. Felicidades y Bendiciones.

  1. COMIDAS TIPICAS DE SEMANA SANTA | Solo lo mejor de Guatemala

    […] Foto por growingupbilingual.com […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge