Delight your taste buds with Sweet Tamales recipe

Are you in the mood for something sweet and indulgent? Look no further than my Sweet Tamales Recipe. These tamales are a delicious dessert made with sweet masa corn dough filled with a variety of fruit, nut, and sugary fillings. They’re an authentic Mexican dessert that is perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth.

What sets sweet tamales apart from savory tamales is the difference in flavor and preparation. While savory tamales are typically filled with meats and spices, sweet tamales made with a sweet masa corn dough are much more versatile. You can stuff them with anything from pineapple and coconut to mango or apple. Pink tamales made with strawberry and red corn make for a lovely presentation, and sweet raisin tamales are equally delicious.

To make these delectable treats, you’ll need to use corn husks to wrap the tamale masa, along with various ingredients such as walnuts, raisins, vanilla extract, sweetened condensed milk, water, salt, ground cinnamon, granulated sugar, yellow cornmeal, masa harina flour, shortening, and dulce de leche. With just some simple steps and careful measuring, you’ll have a light and fluffy dessert that’s perfect for any occasion.

I’ve spent years perfecting this Sweet Tamales Recipe to share it with everyone just how delicious they can be. So whether you’re looking for a new Mexican dessert to try or simply want something tasty to snack on, give these sweet tamale recipe a try- you won’t be disappointed!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Sweet Tamales
Sweet Tamales

Do you have a sweet tooth? Are you a fan of authentic Mexican and Latin American desserts? If yes, then you are in for a treat! Introducing the Sweet Tamales Recipe – a dessert made sweet by combining corn masa, sugar, butter, and other tasty ingredients to create a light, fluffy, and flavorful masa dough.

Sweet tamales made with corn dough filled with a variety of fruit and nut sugary fillings such as pineapple, coconut or walnut raisins are an excellent way to end your meal. The difference between sweet and savory tamales is that the former is a dessert made sweet by adding sugar to the masa corn dough. You can enjoy sweet tamales on their own or in combination with savory meat-filled tamales for a truly authentic culinary experience.

What makes these sweet tamales so special is the variety of fruit and nut filling options available. From strawberry tamales to dulce de leche tamales to apple, mango, pineapple, or even pink tamales – the possibilities are endless. Apart from their delicious taste, these Mexican sweet tamales provide essential nutrients from the addition of fruits like strawberries or nuts like walnuts.

Moreover, this Mexican dessert is not only famous for its taste but also its cultural significance as it is served during festivals and holidays. Sweet tamales are an excellent way of sharing cultures; they show the diversity of recipes originating from ethnic heritage.

Don’t hesitate to bring some variety into your dessert selection in every fiesta or family gathering using Simply Mamá Cooks’ Sweet Tamales Recipe. They will undoubtedly make your guests gather around the table and praise your cooking skills while enjoying this unique delicacy!

Ingredient List

 Sweet tamales: A delightful twist on a traditional favorite
Sweet tamales: A delightful twist on a traditional favorite

Let’s take a deep dive into what you need to create these Sweet Tamales:
For the Tamales Dough

  • 2 cups of yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup of masa harina flour
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon of shortening
  • 1/4 cup of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

For the Filling

  • You can pick any fruit, nut or sugary filling you like; some popular choices include walnuts, raisins, pineapple, mango and apple.
  • Dulce de leche and sweetened shredded coconut or strawberry tamales are among some Mexican sweet flavors enjoyed.

To Wrap the Tamales

  • Corn husks – about 32 dried corn husks (soak in water for at least an hour before using)

Note:* When buying corn husks, check for quality. Select husks that have no tears or holes, and that are pliable enough to fold without cracking.*

For Decoration and Flavor

  • Granulated sugar
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Mexican chocolate (for an additional treat)

Note:* Since Mexican chocolate adds a unique flavoring to the tamales, if you opt to use it in your recipe, add it before steaming the tamales. Also, strawberries and red corn are naturally sweet and make tamales de dulce look beautiful!*

Now, let’s cook some Sweet Tamales!

The Recipe How-To

 A burst of flavor in every bite with these sweet tamales
A burst of flavor in every bite with these sweet tamales


  • 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 2 cups masa harina flour
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 cups hot water
  • Corn husks reserved for tamales


You can use any fruit or nut filling available. For this recipe, we will be using the classic raisin and walnut filling.

  • 1 cup raisins, cooked and drained
  • 1 cup walnuts, crushed
  • 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 can (7 oz) dulce de leche

Note that you should cook and drain the raisins in advance.

Step 1: In a large bowl, mix together the shortening and room temperature butter until light and fluffy.

Step 2: In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients; yellow cornmeal, masa harina flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt.

Step 3: Combine the dry mixture with the fluffy butter mixture. Gradually add hot water to make masa corn dough which is pliable enough. Mix well with your hands until it becomes smooth.

Step 4: To make a masa dough-filled variety of fruit or nut fillings such as raisins and walnuts, simply add them at this point. Make sure everything is blended properly for even distribution of ingredients.

Note that you can also try other fruit or nut sugary fillings such as pineapple-coconut or mango, apple, strawberry or pink tamales.

Step 5: Soak the corn husks for a few minutes to make them flexible. Lay them on a flat surface and pat dry with a clean cloth or paper towel.

Step 6: Start with an amount of masa dough which is equivalent to the size of a golf ball, then flatten it out evenly inside a corn husk.

Step 7: Fill each masa dough filling with 1-2 tablespoons of sweet raisin and walnut filling. Fold the sides of the corn husk to make sure that it covers the filling properly. Be sure not to overstuff as this can cause imbalances in cooking time.

Step 8: Tie both ends of the tamale with strips of the reserved corn husks. Do this for every tamale you make.

Step 9: In a large pot or steamer, place them flat and make sure they are not overloaded. Steam the tamales for 40-50 minutes on medium heat.


Substitutions and Variations

 Upgrade your tamales with this sweet version
Upgrade your tamales with this sweet version

When it comes to tamales recipes, there are endless possibilities for substitutions and variations. For those who prefer a more savory tamale, you can swap out the sweetened condensed milk and sugar with chicken broth and chili powder. Add in some shredded chicken or pork with a variety of vegetables like zucchini, carrots or spinach for a delicious and filling meal.

If you prefer your sweet tamales to have a more nutty texture, you can add chopped walnuts or pecans to the masa dough or filling. Alternatively, you can use raisins or dates as well for that extra sweetness.

For those feeling adventurous, try experimenting with different types of fruit fillings like pineapple, mango or apple tamales. Or try adding ingredients like cinnamon, ginger or nutmeg to the masa dough for a warm and spicy twist.

For those with dietary restrictions, you can also try using alternative ingredients such as gluten-free masa harina flour or coconut oil instead of vegetable shortening.

Finally, if you want to add an aesthetic element to your tamales, try using colored corn husks or even adding food coloring to the masa dough itself for unique and vibrant pink tamales! The possibilities really are endless with this recipe.

Serving and Pairing

 Breakfast, brunch, or dessert? These sweet tamales fit in anywhere
Breakfast, brunch, or dessert? These sweet tamales fit in anywhere

Now that your sweet tamales are ready, it’s time to dig in! These delicious treats can be enjoyed both hot and cold. If you’re eating them hot out of the oven, it’s best to let them cool down for a few minutes before biting into them to avoid burning your tongue.

Sweet tamales are versatile and can be served as dessert or snack any time of the day. They’re often enjoyed during holidays and festive occasions in Mexican cuisine.

To make your sweet tamales even more delectable and visually appealing, serve them with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. You can also sprinkle some cinnamon or chopped walnuts over them.

Looking for a beverage to pair with your sweet tamales? A cup of hot chocolate or Mexican coffee would complement the flavors of the tamales. Alternatively, you can also enjoy them with a refreshing glass of horchata, which is a traditional Mexican rice drink flavored with cinnamon.

By following these tips for serving and pairing your sweet tamales, you’ll impress your guests and elevate your dining experience to another level. So why not give it a try today?

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Master the art of sweet tamales with these easy steps
Master the art of sweet tamales with these easy steps

Making sweet tamales can be time-consuming and requires a bit of patience, but it’s totally worth it. If you’re planning on serving them on a special occasion, it’s know-how to make them ahead of time, store them properly, and reheat just before serving. In this section, I will provide some tips to help you make-ahead, store, and reheat tamales.


Sweet tamales can easily be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator or freezer. To make them ahead of time, you’ll need to follow these simple steps:

1. Cook the tamales as stated in the recipe.

2. Allow them to cool completely.

3. Wrap each tamale tightly in plastic wrap.

4. Place the wrapped tamales in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag.

5. Store them in the refrigerator for up to two days or in the freezer for up to three months.


Knowing how to store your sweet tamales is crucial for keeping them fresh and delicious until you’re ready to reheat and serve them. Here are some tips for storing your tamales:

1. Keep the tamales wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.

2. Place them in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag.

3. Keep them in the refrigerator for up to two days or in the freezer for up to three months.


When it comes time to reheat your tamales, there are various ways to achieve warmth without drying out their texture or sacrificing their taste. Here are some easy reheating methods:

1. Steaming: Steam your tamales for 15-20 minutes until heated through.

2. Oven: Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C) and wrap individual tamales in foil. Bake for 20-25 minutes until heated through.

3. Microwave: Remove the plastic wrap and place a wet paper towel over the tamales. Microwave at 30-second intervals until heated through.

Overall, storing and reheating sweet tamales is relatively easy, as long as you follow these simple tips. This way, you can prepare ahead of your event and ensure that your guests get to savor this delicious treat as if it was just freshly made.

Tips for Perfect Results

 The perfect recipe for a cozy night in
The perfect recipe for a cozy night in

When it comes to sweet tamales, you want to ensure that the masa dough is light and fluffy, and the fillings are perfectly cooked. Here are some tips to help you achieve perfect results every time:

1. Soak the corn husks properly

Soaking the corn husks is a crucial step in making tamales, as it makes them pliable and easy to work with. Make sure to soak them in warm water for at least an hour before using them.

2. Use room temperature ingredients

When making the masa dough, make sure all ingredients are at room temperature before mixing them together. This will ensure that the dough comes out smooth and evenly mixed.

3. Prepare the masa dough correctly

To make sure your masa dough turns out perfect, add a bit more water than called for in the recipe. The dough should be soft and spreadable but not too wet; it should stick together easily without sticking to your hands.

4. Mix your filling thoroughly

Whether you’re using fruit or nut fillings or dulce de leche, mix everything thoroughly so that all of the flavors are evenly distributed throughout the filling.

5. Fold and tie your tamales carefully

Tying tamales is an art itself, but it’s not complicated. You want them to maintain their shape during cooking while also ensuring that each one gets cooked evenly inside.This ensures that they don’t unravel during cooking and that they cook uniformly.

6. Steam your tamales properly

When steaming your tamales, arrange them vertically in a steamer basket rather than flat on top of one another – this allows the steam to circulate more efficiently which cooks them faster without drying them out.

7. Let your tamales rest after cooking

After removing from steam, let your tamales rest for at least five minutes before serving or handling.Seal tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil for best results.

By following these tips, you’ll be sure to make perfectly delicious sweet tamales every time!


Now that you have learned how to make sweet tamales from scratch, you may have some pressing questions in your mind. Don’t worry, I’m here to help you with that. Let’s take a look at some frequently asked questions about sweet tamales!

What are sweet tamales made of?

A popular treat originating from Mexico is sweet tamales, which consist of a sweet corn dough filled with a variety of sugary and fruity fillings. Some of the typical fillings for this dessert are pineapple, raisins, dulce de leche, fruit preserves and cajeta.

What is the secret to moist tamales?

When it comes to preparing tasty and juicy tamales, one should not be hesitant in including fats in the recipe. The traditional ingredient used for this purpose in Mexico is lard. However, if you prefer a vegetarian option, you may substitute it with either shortening or softened butter.

What is the difference between sweet and savory tamale?

The sweet tamales that I will be sharing with you today have distinct ingredients compared to their savory counterparts. Instead of using savory staples like salt and broth, we will be using cocoa powder, butter, and milk. Furthermore, sweet tamales are made differently than the traditional savory tamales. While savory tamales usually have a filling wrapped inside the masa dough, sweet tamales do not have a filling.

Are tamales sweet or salty?

Tamales are a popular dish that can be enjoyed as a sweet or savory treat. These treats are typically made using corn husks, masa harina, and a variety of fillings, resulting in each tamale having its own unique taste and appearance.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the sweet tamales recipe is a unique and delicious dessert that combines the flavors of corn masa and sweet sugary fillings. This Mexican dessert is perfect for those who love to try new things and enjoy sweet treats. The recipe is easy to follow and allows for various substitutions and variations, making it a versatile recipe that can be customized to fit anyone’s taste buds.

By following my step-by-step instructions and tips, you can make authentic sweet tamales that are light, fluffy, and bursting with flavor. Whether you choose to add fruit, nuts, or a dollop of dulce de leche, your sweet tamales will surely impress your guests or satisfy your sweet tooth.

I encourage you to give this recipe a try and experience the difference between sweet and savory tamales. Not only will you elevate your dessert game, but also gain a new appreciation for authentic Mexican cuisine. So go ahead, wrap yourself in a corn husk cocoon of sweetness and taste the magic of my sweet tamales recipe.

Sweet Tamales

Sweet Tamales Recipe

Posting for Zaar World Tour 2006 I did not know they made two types of tamales, sweet and savory. I think these sound really good!! From Nestles
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 24 tamales
Calories 244.9 kcal


  • 1 (8 ounce) package dried corn husks
  • 1 cup lard or 1 cup shortening, divided
  • 2 1/2 cups masa harina flour (mexican corn masa mix)
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts


  • Sort corn husks, setting aside any torn ones.
  • Soak intact husks in warm water for at least 1 hour or until softened and easy to fold.
  • Beat 2/3 cup lard in large bowl until creamy.
  • Combine flour, corn meal, sugar, cinnamon and salt in medium bowl.
  • Alternately add flour mixture, water and sweetened condensed milk to lard, mixing well after each addition.
  • Melt remaining lard and gradually stir into masa mixture, mixing until consistency of thick cake batter (masa).
  • Stir in vanilla, raisins and nuts.
  • Spread 1/4 cup masa, using back of a spoon, to form a square in the center of one husk.
  • Fold right then left edge of husk over masa.
  • Fold up bottom edge.
  • Repeat with remaining ingredients.
  • Place vegetable steamer in pot with lid and add water to just below steamer.
  • Arrange tamales upright in steamer rack.
  • Cover top of tamales with reserved dry husks and a damp towel and cover.
  • Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low.
  • Steam, adding water as needed, for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until masa pulls away from husks.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 1715gCalories: 244.9kcalCarbohydrates: 31.4gProtein: 3.6gFat: 12.3gSaturated Fat: 4.5gCholesterol: 13.7mgSodium: 219.2mgFiber: 2.2gSugar: 14.9g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Dessert, Mexican, Stove Top
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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.