Delicious Pina Colada Tamales for a Tropical Twist

Welcome to the delicious world of Pina Colada Tamales Recipe! As a chef passionate about blending Brazilian and American cuisine, I’m excited to share with you this sweet twist on the traditional tamale recipe. Imagine biting into the warm, sweet flavors of fresh pineapple chunks and sweetened flaked coconut, all wrapped up in a soft corn husk with a hint of lime zest.

This recipe brings together the flavor of the popular tropical cocktail, the piña colada, and the rich tradition of tamales. The combination may sound unusual, but trust me when I say that it is a match made in heaven.

Not only is this recipe mouth-wateringly delicious, but it is also versatile and perfect for any occasion. It could be an excellent addition to your Christmas Mexican table or serve as a sweet indulgence for dessert. Additionally, it’s vegan-friendly if you swap the milk for soymilk and vegetable shortening instead of palm shortening.

Get ready to surprise your taste buds with this fantastic Pina Colada Tamale Recipe. Let’s get started!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Pina Colada Tamales
Pina Colada Tamales

Looking for a unique and delightful dessert that will transport your taste buds to a tropical paradise? Look no further than this Pina Colada Tamales recipe! Trust me, once you try it, you’ll be hooked!

What’s not to love about creamy coconut-infused masa wrapped around juicy chunks of fresh pineapple, slivered almonds, and sweetened coconut flakes? One bite, and you’ll feel like you’re sitting on a beach in Mexico sipping on an ice-cold piña colada cocktail.

But the best part? These tamales are completely customizable. You can swap out the pineapple for another fruit or add in some tequila or lime juice to give them an extra kick. With every bite, you’ll discover something new and exciting.

This recipe is also incredibly versatile. It’s perfect for serving as a dessert at a dinner party or holiday gathering. It’s also a great way to switch things up from traditional sweet corn or Mexican pork tamales. Plus, it’s vegan-friendly and uses only natural ingredients like palm sugar instead of refined white sugar.

So whether you’re in West Palm Beach or anywhere else, make sure to give this Pina Colada Tamales recipe a try. Your taste buds will thank you!

Ingredient List

“Get ready for a tropical twist on a classic favorite with these Pina Colada Tamales!”

Let’s dive into the delicious ingredients that you will need to make these unique and tasty Pina Colada Tamales.

Corn Husks

You will need 22 corn husks, soaked in hot water until they are pliable. Be sure to rinse them thoroughly afterward to remove any grit or dirt.

Masa Harina

To make the tamale dough, you will need 2 cups of masa harina (corn flour). Make sure to use the sweet variety if you can find it.

Brown Sugar

Sweeten up your tamale dough with a 1/4 cup of brown sugar, packed.

Vegetable Shortening

For a classic taste and texture, you will need 1/2 cup of vegetable shortening.

Fresh Pineapple Chunks

Add a burst of tropical flavor with 2 cups of fresh pineapple chunks.

Sweetened Flaked Coconut

Get extra sweetness and texture with 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut.

Slivered Almonds

Add a crunch to your tamales with 1/4 cup slivered almonds.

Lime Zest

Enhance the flavors and fragrance of your tamales with the zest from one lime.

Milk or Soymilk

You will need 4 cups of milk or soymilk for the dough mixture.

Baking Powder and Salt

To help your tamales rise, use 1 tablespoon baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt.

Make sure you have all these incredible ingredients on hand, so you can start preparing your Pina Colada Tamales right away!

The Recipe How-To

“A perfect addition to your summer menu or for a fun dinner party!”

Now that we have rounded up all the ingredients we need to make our Pina Colada Tamales, it’s time to dive into the how-to. Don’t be intimidated by the process – it’s easier than you think!

Step 1: Prepare the Corn Husks

First, soak your corn husks in hot water for about 30 minutes or until they are pliable. This step is crucial because it ensures that when you are wrapping your tamales, they will be easy to maneuver.

Step 2: Make the Masa and Filling

In a large bowl, mix together masa harina, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together vegetable shortening and brown sugar. Gradually add the masa mixture to the wet ingredients, alternating with adding in soymilk or milk until you reach a dough consistency.

Then, fold in fresh pineapple chunks, sweetened flaked coconut, and lime zest to your masa mixture for a burst of tropical flavor.

Step 3: Assemble and Cook

Take one corn husk and lay it down so the wide edge is at the bottom. Using a spoon or an offset spatula, spread some of the masa mixture onto the top 2/3 of the husk, leaving some space at the top to fold over. Add additional toppings like slivered almonds or banana chips if desired.

Next up, roll up your tamale and fold over the bottom of the husk. Place your tamales in a steam basket with steamer facing upwards. Pour in water just below steamer insert.

Afterwards, bring water to boil over high heat then reduce heat to low; Cover and steam tamales until set (~1 hour). To check doneness, unwrap one tamale and see if it separates easily from the husk.

Serve hot and enjoy the fusion of Mexican and tropical flavors in every delicious bite!

Substitutions and Variations

“The combination of pineapple, coconut, and corn masa is a match made in culinary heaven.”

Looking to put your own spin on this delectable recipe? Let me give you a few ideas on how you can make it even more delicious.

Let’s start with the filling. Instead of using fresh pineapple chunks, you can use canned pineapple, which is available all year round. You can also add in other fruits like mango or papaya to give it a tropical twist.

For the coconut flakes, you can swap them out with dried coconut or shredded coconut for a different texture. If you’re not a fan of coconut, you can use chopped nuts like pistachios or hazelnuts instead.

If you want to add a kick to your tamales, why not throw in some tequila? Mixing pineapple juice and tequila together will create the perfect piña colada cocktail inspired flavor. Don’t worry, the alcohol will evaporate during the cooking process so it’s safe for everyone.

If you want to make vegan piña colada tamales, swap out the vegetable shortening for coconut oil and use soymilk instead of regular milk. You don’t need any animal products for this tasty treat!

Finally, if corn husks aren’t available in your area, try using banana leaves instead. They’re sturdy and will keep the tamale together just as well. Plus, they’ll add an extra layer of flavor to your tamales.

No matter which substitution or variation you choose, remember to stay true to the essence of the recipe – sweet tamales made with love and inspiration from pina colada cocktail!

Serving and Pairing

“These tamales are a fusion of Latin and Caribbean flavors that will leave you craving more!”


Once you’ve mastered creating these flavorful Pina Colada Tamales, it’s time to decide how best to serve and pair them. This recipe is a fantastic option for a unique dessert or even as part of a brunch spread.

One of my favorite ways to serve these tamales is with a drizzle of coconut milk and a sprinkle of brown sugar. The creamy coconut milk perfectly complements the sweet pineapple chunks and flaked coconut within the tamales. Alternatively, try serving them with freshly squeezed lime juice and lime zest for an added hint of acidity that balances out the dish’s sweetness.

When it comes to pairing Pina Colada Tamales, you have a few options. I recommend sticking with fruit-forward or tropical cocktails such as Piña Colada or Tequila Sunrise. However, if you prefer non-alcoholic beverages, try serving with a refreshing agua fresca such as watermelon or strawberry. For brunch settings, think about pairing Pina Colada Tamales with a light salad or fresh fruit platter.

With this recipe, the possibilities are endless in terms of serving ideas— get creative and make it your own!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

“The aroma of coconut and pineapple will fill your home as you prepare these tamales.”

One of the great things about these Pina Colada Tamales is that they can be made ahead of time! It’s perfect for those times when you need a delicious dessert or snack but don’t have the time to prepare it right then and there.

To make these tamales ahead of time, simply follow the recipe instructions until step 5, where you would place them in a large steaming pot. Instead of steaming them right away, wrap the tamales tightly in plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

When you’re ready to enjoy your Pina Colada Tamales, unwrap them from the plastic wrap and place them back in the steam basket. Steam them for an additional 15-20 minutes until they are heated through completely.

If you find yourself with leftovers, storing these tamales is straightforward. Wrap them in plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze them for up to a month. To reheat frozen tamales, thaw them overnight in the refrigerator; then steam them for an additional 10-15 minutes.

Now you can indulge in your delicious Pina Colada Tamales anytime you want without having to spend extra time preparing. So whether you’re reheating a batch of leftovers or making a fresh batch ahead of time, have no fear – these tamales will still be just as scrumptious as when they were first made!

Tips for Perfect Results

“Have a little fun while cooking and sip on a Pina Colada while you make these tamales.”

If there’s one thing I’ve learned while cooking, it’s that even the smallest details can make a big difference in achieving the perfect results. Here are some tips that will help you get the most out of your Pina Colada Tamales:

Firstly, when soaking the corn husks, use hot water to soften them up. This will prevent them from tearing apart as you wrap the tamales.

Secondly, make sure to spread the filling evenly on each tamale. Doing so will ensure that each bite is filled with mouthwatering flavors and textures.

Thirdly, before putting them in the steamer, make sure there is enough water in the pot. It’s important to never let it dry out, otherwise your tamales may become too dry or even start to burn.

Fourthly, don’t be afraid to get creative with your fillings! While this recipe calls for pineapple and coconut flakes, you can also try using other fruits such as strawberry or mango for a delicious twist.

Fifthly, keep an eye on baking time and temperature. Depending on your oven type and altitude levels, slight adjustments may need to be made.

Lastly, once they’re done cooking and have cooled slightly, let them sit for a few minutes before unwrapping them. This will ensure that they remain intact and retain their shape.

By following these tips and keeping an eye on details such as water level and filling distribution, you’ll achieve perfect results every time you make Pina Colada Tamales.


Now that we’ve walked through the steps of concocting a heavenly batch of pina colada tamales, let’s move on to addressing some frequently asked questions that may arise during your journey. These inquiries range from clarification on recipe ingredients to tips for achieving perfect results, so read closely and welcome the answers to keep you on track to producing a scrumptious batch of tamales.

What is the secret to moist tamales?

To achieve delicious tamales with a tender texture, it’s important to not hold back on the fat. Traditional Mexican tamales rely on lard for this purpose, but if you prefer a vegetarian alternative, you can substitute it with shortening or softened butter.

What are sweet tamales made of?

Sweet tamales, a beloved dessert in Mexican cuisine, are created by combining a sweet masa corn dough with a variety of sugary and fruity fillings such as raisins, pineapple, fruit preserves, cajeta, and dulce de leche.

What do Mexicans wrap tamales in?

When it comes to tamales, it’s important to know that they are traditionally cooked and wrapped in corn husks or banana leaves, but they are carefully unwrapped before consuming. For an authentic and delicious experience, consider serving them with a topping of pico de gallo and a side of guacamole and rice.

What to serve with tamales on Christmas Eve?

For starters, appetizers are a great way to satisfy your hunger before tackling the main course. With all the delicious sides and extras, they can definitely fill you up. One classic appetizer that is always a crowd-pleaser is chips – whether it’s the classic yellow corn, blue corn, or white corn tortilla chips, they are an excellent option to have on hand. Another popular option is chicharrones, which is basically fried pork rind that is salty and crispy. Of course, you can’t forget the dips – salsa, guacamole, queso, pickled and candied jalapenos are all great options to complement any dish.

Bottom Line


In conclusion, this Pina Colada Tamales recipe is the perfect fusion of American and Brazilian flavors that will delight your taste buds. With its unique ingredients like fresh pineapple chunks and sweetened flaked coconut, it’s sure to impress your guests and leave them asking for more.

But this recipe is also versatile. You can customize it to your liking by trying substitutions or variations suggested in this article. Not a fan of soymilk? Use regular milk instead! Don’t have slivered almonds on hand? Try chopped pecans instead!

And don’t forget about the nutritional benefits of this recipe. It uses vegan-friendly ingredients like vegetable shortening and soymilk, making it a great option for those with dietary restrictions or preferences. Plus, you can control the amount of sugar you use, making it a healthier alternative to traditional desserts.

So what are you waiting for? Get ready to make some delicious Pina Colada Tamales! Follow my detailed instructions, use my helpful tips and recommendations, and take advantage of the variations to make each batch different and exciting. Whether you’re hosting a summer barbecue or a winter holiday party, these tamales will add a tropical twist to your menu that your guests won’t forget. Trust me, they’ll be begging you for the recipe!

Pina Colada Tamales

Pina Colada Tamales Recipe

Sweet tamales, good for breakfast!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Fusion
Servings 16 tamales
Calories 164.3 kcal


  • 1/2 cup dried banana pieces
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 22 corn husks, soaked
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 cup fruit juice
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup whipped cream (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest

Masa for Sweet Tamales

  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 cups masa harina
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 3/4 cup milk or 3/4 cup soymilk
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder


  • Use a food processor to finely chop the dried banana; combine the banana, almonds and coconut in a bowl.
  • Use 2 husks to make strips for tying the tamales.
  • Take about 1 cup of the pineapple and puree it with the fruit juice and brown sugar.
  • Cream the shortening and sugar.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the masa and salt.
  • Alternately add the masa and juice to the creamed shortening to make a firm dough; beat in the baking powder last.
  • Assembly: Spread 1 tablespoon filling in the center of a husk; sprinkle 1 to 2 teaspoons of the banana/almond mixture over the dough and press a pineapple chunk into the dough.
  • Spread another tablespoon of the dough over the the filling and fold and tie the tamale.
  • Steam for about 1 hour 15 minutes.
  • To Serve: Open the tamale and top with sauce, whipped cream, and lime zest.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 894gCalories: 164.3kcalCarbohydrates: 21.9gProtein: 1.8gFat: 8.3gSaturated Fat: 2.5gSodium: 103.1mgFiber: 0.5gSugar: 9.9g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Breakfast, Fruit, Mexican, Steam, Sweet
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Dora is a chef well-versed in Brazilian and American cuisine. After a hard day's work in the kitchen of her restaurant, she finds the time to jot down recipes for her food blog. Her recipes are sure to delight foodies everywhere, as she strives to make each one unique and enjoyable to read.