Sweet tamales

Sweet tamales

Tamales dulces

My Abuelo's Mexican Feast

For the filling


Quantity Ingredient
250g fresh strawberries, hulled
or 120g pineapple pieces
55g sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
60ml water

For the tamale wrapping

Quantity Ingredient
24-30 dried corn husks
cooking twine or strips of corn husk

For the tamale dough

Quantity Ingredient
10 corn cobs
or 750g corn kernels
30g powdered coconut cream powder, (to make coconut tamales)
300g lard or butter
110g sugar
1 teaspoon salt
20g masa harina for tamales, (see note)


  1. For the filling, place all the ingredients in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Bring gently to the boil, and then reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer until the fruit has softened and the mixture is bubbly. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  2. To prepare the dough, if using corn cobs, remove the kernels using a sharp knife.
  3. In a bowl, mix together the corn kernels with the coconut cream powder (if making coconut tamales), lard, sugar and salt. Process with a hand-held blender until almost completely puréed.
  4. Add the masa harina and mix well using a wooden spoon. The mixture should be the consistency of toothpaste. Set aside.
  5. To assemble the tamales, take 2 or 3 corn husks and shape them together like the hull of a canoe. Spread a large tablespoon of the corn mixture into the corn husk ‘canoe‘, then a tablespoon of the puréed fruit and finish with another tablespoon of corn mixture.
  6. Wrap the overlapping corn husks to form a parcel, adding extra leaves if necessary. Secure with cooking twine or strips of corn husk.
  7. Place the tamales in a bamboo steamer and steam for about 40 minutes. Serve when cooled in the husks, but remove the husks before eating.


  • Masa harina is a special flour made from corn, available at specialty delicatessens. If ‘tamale‘ masa harina is not available, just use regular masa harina.
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