Delicious & Nutritious: Pumpkin Tamales Recipe

Are you in the mood for a taste of Mexico with a twist of autumn? Look no further than these delicious pumpkin tamales! Made with sweet pumpkin puree and a range of spices including cinnamon and mace, these tamales are sure to satisfy your cravings for something sweet and savory. As a chef specializing in Brazilian and American cuisine, I am excited to share my take on this classic Mexican dish that puts a seasonal spin on it.

Tamales are a staple of Mexican cuisine and typically filled with savory meats or cheese, but these pumpkin tamales bring a new level of flavor to the table. Not only do they incorporate delicious seasonal ingredients, but their vibrant orange color makes them an eye-catching addition to any spread.

Whether you’re looking for a new twist on your favorite Mexican dishes, or just love everything pumpkin-flavored, this pumpkin tamale recipe is sure to impress. Let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Pumpkin Tamales
Pumpkin Tamales

If pumpkin and tamales are two of your favorite things, then you’re in luck! Because when you combine them, something magical happens. This pumpkin tamales recipe is what dreams are made of.

Firstly, let’s talk about the pumpkin puree. It adds a natural sweetness to the masa dough, making each bite taste like a delicious and comforting pumpkin pie. In addition, it also gives you some much-needed vitamins and antioxidants.

Secondly, this recipe provides the perfect balance of sweet and spicy. The warming spices like cinnamon and mace are a match made in heaven with the sweet pumpkin filling. And if you’re feeling brave, add some chopped jalapeno seeds into your pumpkins for an extra kick.

Lastly, this recipe is perfect for celebrations or just a cozy night at home with family and friends. With every bite, you experience the unique flavors of Mexican cuisine while enjoying the comfort of a hearty meal.

So why not give this pumpkin tamales recipe a try? You won’t be disappointed.

Ingredient List

 Introducing the perfect fall dish: Pumpkin Tamales!
Introducing the perfect fall dish: Pumpkin Tamales!

Before we get started on this Pumpkin Tamales recipe, let’s make sure you have all the necessary ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:
* 2 cups of masa harina flour
1 cup of brown sugar
1 tsp of baking powder
* 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
* 1/2 tsp of ground mace
* 1/2 tsp of salt
* 2 tsp of vanilla extract
* 3 cups of pumpkin puree
* Corn husks for wrapping tamales
* Kitchen twine for tying the tamales

Aside from these basic ingredients, there are a few more that will help elevate the flavors of these pumpkin tamales! Keep reading to see which substitutions and variations you can make to customize this recipe to your liking.

The Recipe How-To

 The vibrant orange hue of these Pumpkin Tamales will make your taste buds dance.
The vibrant orange hue of these Pumpkin Tamales will make your taste buds dance.

Now that we have gathered all the ingredients, let’s get to making some scrumptious Pumpkin Tamales! Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Soak the corn husks

First things first, soak the corn husks in hot water to make them pliable. Set them aside in the water until needed.

Step 2: Make the pumpkin filling

In a mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of pumpkin puree, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Gradually add in 1 cup of granulated sugar, stirring constantly. Then, mix in 2 teaspoons of ground mace and 1 teaspoon of baking powder until fully incorporated. Set aside.

Step 3: Make the masa dough

In a separate mixing bowl, mix together 2 cups of masa harina flour with 1 cup of brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and ½ teaspoon of salt. Add in 1 ¾ cups of butter (room temperature) and gradually add in warm water (around 2-3 cups), kneading until you get a soft dough.

Step 4: Assemble the tamales

Pick up one corn husk and shake off any excess water. Spread a spoonful of dough onto the husk using a spatula or spoon, leaving space around the edges. Add about two tablespoons of pumpkin filling onto the center. Roll up the tamale by folding over both sides along with the bottom, encasing the filling into dough inside.

Step 5: Steam the tamales

Fill a large pot with water and place a steamer basket at the bottom. Once steam rises from the basket, arrange your tamales on top with their sealed side down – open-side up. Cover the pot tightly and steam for 1 to 1-½ hours or until the dough is cooked.

Step 6: Serve and Enjoy!

Allow the tamales to cool for a few minutes, then serve warm! You can serve your Pumpkin Tamales with some fresh corn or black bean salsa, a dollop of pumpkin cream cheese or vegan butter, oaxacan pumpkin sauce, sweet tamales or any other toppings you like. Be creative and enjoy!

Substitutions and Variations

 Tamale lovers unite! This pumpkin twist on a classic favorite will surely impress.
Tamale lovers unite! This pumpkin twist on a classic favorite will surely impress.

Are you looking to spice things up with your pumpkin tamales recipe? There are plenty of substitutions and variations you can make to customize the dish to your liking. Here are a few ideas:

– Swap out the raisins for your favorite dried fruit, like cranberries or chopped apricots.

– Use ground nutmeg, cloves, or allspice in place of the ground cinnamon and mace to add some extra warmth and complexity to the spice blend.

– Experiment with different types of cheese for a savory twist. Try substituting cream cheese for one-third of the amount of butter in the recipe, or use queso fresco or cotija crumbled on top of the tamales before serving.

– For vegan tamales, swap out the butter for coconut oil, and replace the cream cheese with vegan cream cheese or silken tofu blended with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.

– Instead of pumpkin puree, try using canned sweet potato puree for a different flavor profile.

– If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try making other types of tamales, such as black bean tamales or Oaxacan pumpkin tamales. Just search online for these specific tamal recipes and be sure to adjust ingredient amounts and cooking times accordingly.

– Feeling spicy? Add some chopped jalapeño peppers to the filling mixture for a little extra heat.

– Want to add a unique twist? Consider making spiced butter by mixing equal parts softened butter with pumpkin pie spice or orange-ginger seasoning.

Remember that there are endless possibilities for customization when it comes to food. Don’t be afraid to experiment with flavors and ingredients until you find your perfect pumpkin tamal recipe!

Serving and Pairing

 Sweet pumpkin paired with savory masa - a match made in culinary heaven.
Sweet pumpkin paired with savory masa – a match made in culinary heaven.

Once your pumpkin tamales are cooked to perfection, it’s time to enjoy them with your favorite toppings and side dishes. The sweet and savory blend of flavors in these tamales make them a versatile option for pairing with an array of foods.

One classic option is to serve your pumpkin tamales with a side of refried beans, which will balance out the sweetness of the pumpkin filling. You can also add a dollop of sour cream or guacamole on top for some extra creaminess.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try pairing your pumpkin tamales with a spicy salsa or some pickled jalapenos for a tangy kick. The sweetness of the tamales will complement the heat nicely.

For a more indulgent option, you can serve your pumpkin tamales with a drizzle of caramel sauce or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. This will enhance the pumpkin spice flavors and make for a comforting dessert-like dish.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with different pairings based on your taste preferences. The beauty of these tamales is their versatility and ability to adapt to any flavor profile. Whether you’re serving them as a main dish or as an appetizer, your guests are sure to enjoy this unique twist on traditional Mexican cuisine.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 These tamales are so good, you'll want to savor every last bite.
These tamales are so good, you’ll want to savor every last bite.

One great thing about this pumpkin tamales recipe is that it can be made ahead of time, stored properly and reheated to enjoy later. This makes it a perfect dish for meal-prepping, entertaining or simply for those days when you don’t feel like cooking.

To make the most out of this recipe’s make-ahead potential, prepare the tamales in advance, wrap each one individually in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They can stay fresh for up to five days.

When it’s time to reheat your pumpkin tamales, there are two main methods you can use: steaming or microwaving. Steaming is the traditional way to reheat tamales since it allows them to retain their moisture and texture. To steam your tamales, place them in a steamer basket over boiling water for 15-20 minutes or until warm.

If you’re short on time and prefer a quicker option, you can also reheat your tamales in the microwave. Simply place them on a microwave-safe plate, cover them with a damp paper towel and heat on high for 1-2 minutes per tamal or until warm.

It’s important to note that if you’re reheating frozen tamales, you should defrost them first before reheating. This will help ensure that they cook evenly and retain their flavor and texture.

Overall, this pumpkin tamales recipe is not only delicious but also convenient thanks to its make-ahead and reheating capabilities. So go ahead and indulge in some Mexican comfort food without worrying about spending hours in the kitchen every time.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Snuggle up with a warm blanket and a plate of these Pumpkin Tamales for ultimate autumn coziness.
Snuggle up with a warm blanket and a plate of these Pumpkin Tamales for ultimate autumn coziness.

Making pumpkin tamales may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tips, it can be a delicious and rewarding experience. Here are some helpful tips to ensure that your pumpkin tamales come out perfectly every time:

1. Soak the corn husks – Soaking the corn husks in warm water for at least 30 minutes before assembly will make them easier to work with, preventing them from tearing or breaking when folding.

2. Masa consistency – The perfect masa consistency should be like soft Play-Doh. It shouldn’t be too dry or too moist because if it is too dry or too moist, the tamales may not cook properly.

3. Filling distribution – When adding the filling, make sure you distribute it evenly in each tamale to ensure that every bite has some of the delicious pumpkin taste.

4. Use a steamer – Steaming the tamales helps to cook them evenly while keeping them moist and tender. Using a regular pot with a strainer or colander will work as well.

5. Leave space in the pot – When placing the tamales in the steamer, don’t overstuff the pot; leave enough room for each tamale to have space to cook properly without getting squished.

6. Resist the urge to peek – Opening the lid to check on your tamales repeatedly allows heat and steam out of the pot and can prolong their cooking time.

7. Taste as you go – Taste test your masa dough for salt, sweetness and spiciness before filling your tamales so flavors are balanced.

8. Add topping just before serving – Adding fresh toppings such as pumpkin cream cheese, a dusting of cinnamon-sugar, whipped cream or black bean salsa just before serving gives seasonal freshness and adds texture.

By following these tips carefully, you’ll be sure to impress your friends and family with perfectly cooked pumpkin tamales every time. Happy cooking!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this recipe for pumpkin tamales is a delicious and flavorful combination of Mexican and American cuisine. You can taste the rich history of the tamales, while also enjoying the sweet and spicy flavors of pumpkin and cinnamon. The filling is creamy and rich, while the masa is light and fluffy. This recipe can be enjoyed as a dessert or a main dish, making it a versatile option for any occasion.

I urge you to give this recipe a try, whether you are a seasoned chef or a beginner in the kitchen. With its simple ingredients and instructions, it is accessible for anyone who wants to try their hand at making authentic Mexican food. Not only will it impress your friends and family, but it will also introduce you to new flavors and techniques in cooking.

So go ahead and try this recipe for pumpkin tamales. I guarantee that you will love the combination of sweet pumpkin and savory masa, and you will appreciate the depth of flavor that these spiced butter tamales bring to your table.

Pumpkin Tamales

Pumpkin Tamales Recipe

This is a simple recipe for sweet pumpkin tamales. Sweet tamales are not served as a dessert in Mexico but along with savory tamales or other savory dishes. Posted for Zaar World Tour II '06
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4 dozen
Calories 319.6 kcal


  • 12 -15 cups masa harina flour
  • 1 (26 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground mace
  • 2 cups raisins (dark or golden)
  • 36 -48 dried corn husks, soaked, washed, and drained plus more for ties


  • In a large bowl combine the masa, pumpkin and sugar. Add the vanilla, mace, cinnamon, and raisins and mix until well blended.
  • To assemble the tamales, place 2 - 3 heaping tablespoons of the masa mixture in the net of the smooth side of the corn husk.
  • Fold the sides of the husk in toward the center and tie the tamale at both ends.
  • Prick the husk several times using the tip of a very sharp knife. Repeat for the remaining tamales.
  • Steam the tamales for 45 - 50 minutes.
  • Serve with a dollop of crema.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 119gCalories: 319.6kcalCarbohydrates: 72gProtein: 6gFat: 2.4gSaturated Fat: 0.3gSodium: 4.9mgFiber: 4.3gSugar: 25.2g
Keyword < 60 Mins, For Large Groups, Healthy, Low Cholesterol, Mexican, Vegetable
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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.