Tamales, Oh Sweet Tamales, ¡Tamales de Dulce! When making savory Tamales, some families separate a small amount of the masa to make sweet tamales. There’s the simple version that just has some sugar, but you can also add one of the following fillings: raisins, pineapple chunks, shredded coconut, dried fruits, berries, prunes, and fruit jams.
Add to this the very sophisticated versions with fillings like chocolate, berries, guava, cream cheese, dulce de leche, pecans, pine nuts, and even Nutella nowadays.
Sweet Tamales | Tamales de Dulce
Tamales are a meal for celebration, a special treat for parties and birthdays, or ritual times like the Day of the Dead. In Mexico, February 2nd is the day when the lucky people who found the little baby inside the Rosca de Reyes (Three Kings Bread) will invite their friends and relatives over to eat tamales (you can read about that here).
In Prehispanic times, the second day of the second month of the year was the beginning of the Mexicas Calendar “Atlcahualo”, and they used the Tamales as part of their offering to their gods. The Tamales they used to make were different according to the celebration or rituals.
Not everyone dyes their sweet tamales with food coloring, but it is common to make them like that, especially in central Mexico. They’re usually made with fresh masa, but this recipe calls for Masa Harina since that’s not available everywhere. The dry corn flour/masa harina is readily available here in the States, with brands like Maseca or Minsa.
How to make Sweet Tamales
- Place butter and sugar in a medium-size bowl and, with the help of a mixer, beat for a couple of minutes until it has a creamy texture. About 2 minutes. (Please check the ingredients list below)
- In a larger bowl, mix Masa Harina, Baking powder, and raisins. Stir well and then add the warm water little by little.
- While mixing the dry ingredients with the water, add the drops of Food Coloring. Mix well to have a uniform color.
- Once you’ve incorporated the food coloring into the dough, it will look slightly pink. Now add the butter and sugar mixture.
- Beat the dough with your hands or a wooden spoon, as the dough is somehow too heavy to work within your mixer unless you have a Heavy Duty Stand Mixer like Kitchen Aid. The dough will be ready when it looks fluffy and creamy, like very soft ice cream. If your dough seems too dry, add a little more water. The consistency has to be very soft.
- Drain the corn husks from the soaking water. Place about ⅓ cup of the dough over the corn husk and wrap the tamal. Keep assembling the rest of the tamales.
- Place the tamales standing up in your steam pot (Tamalera), add about an inch of hot water, cover with corn husks, aluminum foil or a plastic bag, and then cover with the pot lid. Cook for 1 to 1 ¼ hour at medium heat.
What is your favorite tamal filling?
I hope you make them... If you do, please come back to let me know your experience.
Share on your social networks; it only takes 5 seconds. THANKS!
Receta en Español Tamales de dulce.
Sweet Tamales (Tamales Dulces)
- ½ cup of unsalted butter at room temperature*
- 6 Tbs. sugar
- 1 ½ cup of Masa Harina
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 Tbs. raisins**
- 1 ½ cup warm water
- 6 drops of red food coloring***
- 10 large Corn Husks soaked in warm water.
- Optional Extra corn husks to make thin strips to tie the tamales.
Prep corn husks
- Add enough warm- hot water in a large bowl or clean sick to cover your corn husk. This step takes a few minutes to make the corn husk pliable.
Make masa dough
- Place unsalted butter and sugar in a medium-sized bowl and, with the help of a mixer, beat for a couple of minutes until it has a creamy texture. (About 2 minutes)
- In a different bowl, mix masa harina, baking powder, and add raisins. Stir well, and then add the warm water little by little.
- While mixing the dry ingredients with the water, add drops of red food coloring. Mix well to have a uniform color.
- Note: Once you’ve incorporated the food coloring into the dough, it will look slightly pink.
- Now, add the butter and sugar mixture.
- Beat the dough with your hands or a wooden spoon, as the dough is sometimes too heavy to work within your mixer unless you have a Heavy Duty Stand Mixer like Kitchen Aid.
- Tip: The dough will be ready when it looks fluffy and creamy, like very soft ice cream. If your dough seems too dry, add a little more water. The consistency has to be very soft.
Assemble the tamales
- Drain the corn husks from the soaking water; use a kitchen towel to dry the excess water.
- Now place about ⅓ cup of corn masa over the extended corn husk.
- Then, fold the edge of husk around the filling, then fold the bottom up like the pictures below.
- For a decorative presentation, you can wrap a string in the tamal.
- Keep assembling the rest of the tamales.
Steam sweet tamales
- First, fill the bottom of the steamer with about 1 to 2 inches of water. Then, insert the steamer rack of your tamalera.
- Now, place the tamales standing up in your steam pot (Tamalera).
- After you are done placing all your tamales, cover them with remaining corn husks, aluminium foil, a plastic bag, or a damp towel, and then cover them with the pot lid.
- Steam boil for 1 to 1 hour 15 minutes at medium heat. Add more hot water if needed to avoid burning the tamales.