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Pumpkin Tamales combine the best flavors of both Mexican and American cultures.
Tamales can take a while to assemble. These, though, are easier!
Just like Tamales Dulces and Cajeta Tamales, there’s no filling.
The mixture is made and added to corn husks, thereby saving you an extra step and time. YES!
- Masa Harina – look for the kind that says “tamales” on the label.
- Pumpkin Puree – to make things easier, we are using canned pumpkin here.
- Mazola® Corn Oil – see below for the exact amount you’ll need to measure out.
- Walnuts – Swap out for slivered almonds or chopped pecans.
- Coconut- will add sweetness to the tamales.
- Water – You’ll need more than shown. See the recipe card for the exact amount.
- Corn Husks – Since this recipe doesn’t make a huge number of tamales, take out the corn husks that you need and store the rest.
- Ground Clove – Substitute for ground allspice or ground ginger.
- Ground Cinnamon- will add a lovely warm and earthy flavor to your tamales.
- Brown sugar- for sweetness.
- Baking Powder- will make your tamales puff up.
- Vanilla extract- will add spice and depth to the tamales.
Remove the corn husks from the package and separate. Discard any corn hair that linger.
I like to rinse them at least three times. Then soak in hot water for 20 minutes, or until pliable.
- In a large bowl, add the dry ingredients and stir.
- Add the wet ingredients and mix.
- Then add the coconut and walnuts. Stir again until fully mixed.
- Get your assembly station together.
These are not your typical tamales. Traditional Masa for Tamales is made with lard or shortening.
Here, we are using Mazola® Corn Oil. It’s a heart-healthy* cooking oil that has multiple purposes – baking, grilling, even good for marinades. Plus, it’s neutral in flavor which is perfect for this dessert.
How to Assemble Tamales
- Smear a generous amount of the pumpkin mixture to the corn husk.
- Fold one side in.
- Fold the other side over.
- Lastly, fold the pointy top toward the center.
Corn husks come in different sizes. The bigger the corn husk, the bigger the tamal.
Use your best judgment as to how much pumpkin to add.
The pumpkin mixture will resemble the texture of peanut butter and slightly dry. That’s totally normal.
How to Steam Tamales
- Once they are assembled, place upright in a steamer pot.
- Add water to the bottom of the steamer pot.
- Steam for 1 ½ hours.
After one hour, add more water. Even if you think you added enough water, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Some people will add the remaining corn husks on top of the tamales while they are steaming. That’s totally up to you.
Frequently Asked Questions
When the tamal peels away easily from the corn husk, they are ready.
No. Unwrap the tamal from the corn husks and discard.
Pour water into a steamer, and add your tamales. Steam for 20 minutes.
Or, place in the microwave for 2 minutes.
An additional and favorite way to reheat tamales is by placing them on a griddle until the corn husk is toasted. Flip and toast the opposite side.
Tamales last up to 5 days in the fridge and up to 6 months in the freezer. Make sure to wrap them in a sealable freezer bag, removing all the air.
More Mexican Tamales
There’s nothing better than biting into one of these warm Pumpkin Tamales. Serve with a cup of coffee.
They are a taste of fall with a Mexican twist. Provecho!
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Did you make this recipe? Please rate the recipe below!
- 2 cups masa harina
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 3/4 cup Mazola® Corn Oil
- 1 15-ounce pumpkin puree (can)
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup walnuts (chopped)
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 12 corn husks
- Water (enough to fill the steamer pot)
- Water (for rinsing and soaking corn husks)
- Separate and rinse the corn husks.
- Soak the husks for 20 minutes in hot water, or until pliable.
- Once ready to use, discard the water.
- In a large bowl add the dry ingredients and mix.
- Add the oil, pumpkin puree, water, and vanilla.
- Mix well.
- Add the walnuts and coconut.
- Mix again.
- Take a corn husk and add some of the pumpkin mixture.
- About 1-2 tablespoons, depending on the size of the corn husk.
- Fold both sides of the corn husk in.
- Fold the pointy top toward the center.
- Repeat until there is no more pumpkin.
- Add water to a steamer pot.
- Place the tamales upright, open side up.
- Steam on medium-low heat for 1 ½ hours.
- Add more water after 1 hour.
- Remove the corn husk when serving.
- Serve and enjoy!
Loreto and Nicoletta Nardelli
Saved on my recipe list to try! These pumpkin tamales look absolutely amazing and your instructions are easy to follow!
Hope you do. You won’t regret it.
This is a tasty recipe with curb appeal. For me anytime a dish includes pumpkin it’s special.
We’re big pumpkin fans at my house too. 🙂
I love Tamales. Wow! These Pumpkin Tamales were fantastic. The recipe turned out perfect—a total game-changer recipe for this time of year. Have a great day!
So glad you enjoyed them! Thank you. 🙂
Tamales season and autumn all in one delicious little pocket. Such a brilliant idea for sweet tamales. I love, love the flavors you’ve combined. Quiero uno…unos 6 mejor y con un cafecito.
Thank you. I love all these fall flavors too!
Loved the addition of the pumpkin! Really great and I enjoyed the change from my typical tamale recipe! Thanks for this one…I’ll be making this in the fall going forward!
It’s a combination that works. Hope you enjoy!
A unique recipe for me to get going. Bursting with spice flavors and all the combinations sounds yummy too. Thanks for all the detailing.
It is unique. Glad you enjoyed the pumpkin tamales!
I love the fall and pumpkin season. These tamales look amazing, can`t wait to try them, thanks!
There’s so much to love about fall and all the fall flavors.
Lauren Michael Harris
What a delicious idea for tamales! These are perfect for the season and the whole family LOVED them!
Super delicious. Happy to hear your family loved them.
I loved the flavor combination of these tamales. They turned out so good. They are perfect for Fall. I will be making again.
The flavor combination is so good. Happy to hear you enjoyed them too!
I’ve only ever really had savory tamales but this sweet recipe for theme seems super tasty and unique.
I don’t know why sweet tamales are not more well known.
So excited to try these tamales. The weather is getting cold so we are really looking forward to preparing this soon!
Perfect for cold weather with a cup of champurrado. 🙂
Journa Liz Ramirez
Pumpkin tamales are one of our favorite fall recipes! Would be making one again. Highly recommended!
So glad you enjoyed them!