Pineapple Tamales With Pecans and Raisins

Pineapple Tamales are a sweet Mexican treat so delicious and fun to make. The soft and fluffy tamale’s dough is loaded with pineapple bites, pecans and raisins. A perfect hearty treat to celebrate holidays and special events!

Pineapple sweet tamales piled on a plate, photo from above.

Mexican Sweet Tamales

Sweet Tamales are made with the same corn dough as regular tamales: Corn masa. They are served mostly as a dessert or treat in Mexican holidays and parties.

There are many types of sweet tamales in Mexico, ingredients vary from family to family or between regions in the country. Pineapple tamales are specially easy to make because unlike savoury tamales, these aren’t filled; instead, the masa is mixed with pineapple bites, chopped pecans and raisins.

Sweet tamale's texture close up.

Other versions of sweet tamales are the ones made with fresh, sweet corn (tamales de elote) and pumpkin tamales, made with homemade pumpkin puree and spices.

Ingredients notes

Gather all your ingredients (listed below, in the recipe card) before starting and most important, remove the butter from the fridge because it needs to be soft before creaming it with sugar.

Remember, corn husks are not strictly necessary for wrapping tamales, instead, you can use parchment paper or aluminium foil. So, prepare those too before starting.

ingredients for pineapple tamales.

How To Make Pineapple Tamales

Start soaking the corn husks by placing them into a large bowl and covering with warm water. Leave them to soak while you continue with the recipe.

Place the raisins in a bowl and cover with hot water. Let them soak for about 10 minutes then drain the water and set aside.

Soaking corn husks on a bowl. Adding hot water to raisins on a bowl.

Place the butter and sugar on a large bowl. Using and electric mixer beat until creamy and fluffy (about 3 minutes).

Add masa harina, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

Creaming butter with sugar, then adding flour and other ingredients to the bowl.

Pour in pineapple juice and start mixing with your hands or with an electric hook, until everything is combined and you will have a dough that stick slightly to your hands.

Starting to knead the dough. The dough already knead.

Add some drops of yellow food colouring (optional) and knead until you achieve a uniform color.

Add chopped pecans, raisins and diced pineapple. Mix with a spatula until combined.

Coloring the dough with yellow food colouring. The dough mixed with the rest of the ingredients.

Assemble the tamales

Drain the corn husks and pat them dry with a kitchen towel or paper.

Using a large spoon or spatula, spread a spoonful of the tamales dough onto the middle of a corn husk.

Fold the husk to close, then fold the pointy edge as pictured below.

Assembling sweet pineapple tamales.

Steam

Prepare a large stock pot with a steamer basket. I personally use one of those folding petal basket. Fill the pot with water just before it touches the basket and place the pineapple tamales in layers.

Bring the water to a boil, cover the steamer and cook for about 1 hour, checking occasionally and adding more water when is needed.

Tamales piled inside a steamer.

Recipe Notes

  • If you can’t find corn husks where you live, use aluminium foil or parchment paper instead. Cut sheets of about 8×6 inch (20x15cm) to use them as wrappers.
  • If you want an extra flavour, use piloncillo instead of regular sugar. If you can’t find piloncillo where you live, use molasses instead.
  • Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • To reheat leftovers you can do it by unwrapping the pineapple tamales and heating in the microwave, or leave the husks on and reheat them in a steamer.
  • Many people (specially children) doesn’t like raisins, so feel free to leave them out if you’re one of those :)
  • Food colouring is optional, feel free to leave it out.

How To Serve

You can served those pineapple tamales for dessert, drizzled with cajeta or condensed milk. Or you can enjoy them for breakfast or merienda pairing with champurrado or your favorite atole.

Tamales de piña, aka pineapple tamales piled on a blue plate. Front view.

Storing & Reheating

Pineapple tamales can be stored with the husks on in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. If you want to freeze them, wrap them individually with cling film and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

For reheating you can place tamales (with the husks on) in a steamer or unwrap them and reheat in the microwave with 1 minute intervals. In the stove you can slightly fry them with a little bit of butter.

Watch The Video

Hungry for more Mexican sweet recipes?

Pineapple Tamales

Those delicious pineapple tamales are soft, moist, and perfectly sweet. The pecans adds a nice crunchy texture alongside with the moist and plump raisins.
PREP 30 minutes
COOK 1 hour
TOTAL 1 hour 30 minutes
Print Pin Rate
Servings: 12
Author: Maricruz

Ingredients 

  • 2 ⅔ cup Masa Harina (Maseca, Naturello or any brand you prefer)
  • 1 cup Butter (softened)
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Canned Pineapple (chopped)
  • 1 ½ cup Pineapple canned juice (or water, room temperature)
  • ½ cup Pecans (diced)
  • cup Raisins
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • Yellow food coloring (optional)
  • 12 Corn Husks (or parchment paper)

Instructions

  • Soak the corn husks by placing them into a large bowl and covering with warm water.
  • Place the raisins in a bowl and cover with hot water. Let them soak for about 10 minutes then drain the water and set aside.
  • Place the butter and sugar on a large bowl. Using and electric mixer beat until creamy and fluffy (about 3 minutes).
  • Add masa harina, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
  • Pour in pineapple juice and knead with your hands or with an electric hook, until you achieve a dough that stick slightly to your hands.
  • Add some drops of yellow food colouring (optional) and knead until you achieve a uniform color.
  • Add chopped pecans, raisins and chopped pineapple. Mix with a spatula until combined.

ASSEMBLE THE TAMALES

  • Drain the corn husks and pat them dry with a kitchen towel or paper.
  • Using a large spoon or spatula, spread a spoonful of the tamales dough onto the middle of a corn husk.
  • Fold the husk to close, then fold up the pointy edge (see video).

STEAM

  • Prepare a large stock pot with a steamer basket. Fill the pot with water just before it touches the basket and place the pineapple tamales in layers.
  • Bring the water to a boil, cover the steamer and cook for about 1 hour, checking occasionally and adding more water when is needed.

NOTES

  • If you can’t find corn husks where you live, use parchment paper instead. Cut sheets of about 8×6 inch (20x15cm) to use them as wrappers.
  • If you want an extra flavour, use piloncillo instead of regular sugar. If you can’t find piloncillo where you live, use molasses instead.
  • Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • To reheat leftovers you can do it by unwrapping the pineapple tamales and heating in the microwave, or leave the husks on and reheat them in a steamer.
  • Many people (specially children) doesn’t like raisins, so feel free to leave them out if you’re one of those :)
  • Food colouring is optional, feel free to leave it out.
Nutrition
Calories: 326kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Sodium: 314mg | Potassium: 183mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 743IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 2mg
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