Tamales de elote (sweet corn tamales)

Soft and fluffy, these tamales de elote (sweet corn tamales) are perfect for breakfast or as a dessert. If you don’t know the sweet version of tamales, this might be the recipe for you.

My granny Elvira was originally from Michoacán (Mexico) and she taught me to prepare these sweet tamales. She loved serving them with sauce on top and Queso fresco (mexican cheese).

Tamales de elote mexicanos. Receta de tamales dulces.

What are tamales de elote

Tamales de elote (corn sweet tamales) are a traditional recipe from the states of Michoacán and Guerrero in Mexico. This consists of a tamale prepared with fresh corn, milk and butter.

The taste is sweet, mostly from the corn itself. The texture is very soft and fluffy and, unlike the other types of tamales, this kind has not filling at all.

It is normally served accompanied as breakfast, snack or dinner. But in recent years it has become popular as a dessert, served with condensed milk or cajeta drizzle over on top.

This type of tamale is also known as Uchepo, which is traditionally served with green tomatillo sauce.

Although these tamales originate from the aforementioned states, today they are popular and consumed throughout the country.

recipe tips

  • If the corn is very juicy and the dough results too liquid, place it in a colander for 10 to 15 minutes to drain the excess of juice.
  • In the recipe I have used tortilla flour and polenta corn flour (cornmeal). Both can be substituted between them, it only changes the texture of tamales a little.
  • My family never used vanilla or cinnamon on the dough. But if you want an extra flavour go ahead and add some.
  • If you are going to use dried corn husks, is necessary to hydrate them in warm water for 20 minutes; then dry them very well before using them.

Tamal de elote – my notes

What was more challenging for me was wrapping them up. The fresh husks were very small and curled quite a bit.
It was practically impossible and frustrating for me to use them; so I tried two methods: wax paper and dried corn husks.

The first was a failure. The dough of these tamales is kinda runny, almost liquid and it can be hard to handle. So the best option was using dry husks but doing so I missed the particular flavour of fresh corn husks.

Decisions, decisions.

Making tamales de elote outside Mexico was a real challenge, mostly because the fresh corn we can find here in Italy is very different than the one used in my home country.

But overall, I think I did a good job and we really enjoyed having those with a large glass of cold milk in the morning. It reminds me so much of my lovely granny.

how to make tamales de elote

The ingredients list can be found in the recipe card.

Cut off the two ends of the corn cob. This is to make it easier to remove the husks for wrapping the tamales.

preparando tamales de elote dulces (cortando la punta de las mazorcas)

With a sharp knife, remove the kernels. Cut from the base downward with a gentle sawing motion. If it is easier for you, do this operation into a large bowl so that the kernels won’t spill all over the counter.

tamales de elote dulces (cortando los granos de elote)

Working in batches place the corn in a food processor or blender and grind them lightly. The tamales texture depends how finely you grind the corn, so pay special attention to this step.

Place the corn into a large bowl. If you notice that the mixture is too runny, place it in a colander and let it drain for a couple of minutes.

Masa para tamales de elote dulces

Beat the butter with the sugar until fluffy and almost white. the butter should be at room temperature and very soft.

Add the butter to the bowl with the ground corn, mix in the flours until everything is combined. You can add both flours or only one type, whatever you decide just make sure the dough is not too liquid, so, if necessary add a little bit more flour.

Put about three tablespoons of the corn mixture in the middle of a husk. Fold in carefully so the dough won’t come off.

haciendo tamales de elote dulces

Arrange the tamales in a steaming pot (I use a normal one with a grid on the bottom). Steam for approximately 80 to 90 minutes.
Once cooked, the tamales have a very smooth consistency, it almost seems that they’re undercooked.
So the best way for testing if they’re ready is to open one (carefully, they can be very hot), put on a plate and let it cool for about 8-10 minutes; then taste it to check out the texture changes to a firmer one.

More mexican recipes

tamales de elote dulces. receta mexicana

Tamales de elote (sweet corn tamales)

Soft and fluffy, these tamales de elote (sweet corn tamales) are perfect for breakfast or as a dessert. If you don’t know the sweet version of tamales, this might be the recipe for you.
PREP 1 hour
COOK 1 hour 30 minutes
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Servings: 12
Author: Maricruz

Ingredients 

  • 2.2 lb corn kernels (about 5 or 6 cobs)
  • ½ cup butter (softened)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup masa harina (Maseca or any other brand)
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions

  • Cut off the two ends of the corn cob.
  • With a sharp knife, remove the kernels. Cut from the base downward with a gentle sawing motion. If it is easier for you, do this operation into a large bowl so that the kernels won’t spill all over the counter.
  • Working in batches place the corn in a food processor or blender and grind them lightly. The tamales texture depends how finely you grind the corn.
  • Place the corn into a large bowl. If you notice that the mixture is too runny, place it in a colander and let it drain for a couple of minutes.
  • Beat the butter with the sugar until fluffy and almost white.
  • Add the butter to the bowl with corn, and mix in the flours until everything is combined.
  • Put about three tablespoons of the corn mixture in the middle of a husk. Fold in carefully so the dough won’t come out.
  • Arrange the tamales in a steaming pot. Steam from 80 to 90 minutes (read notes).

NOTES

  • You can add both flours or only one type, whatever you decide just make sure the dough is not too liquid, so, if necessary add a little bit more flour.
  • Once cooked, the tamales have a very smooth consistency, it almost seems that they’re undercooked. So the best way for testing if they’re ready is to open one (carefully, they can be very hot), put on a plate and let it cool for about 8-10 minutes; then taste it to check out the texture.
Nutrition
Calories: 209kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 484mg | Potassium: 153mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 386IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg
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10 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I always wanted to make tamales by myself, and I recently purchased a steamer, so I was very happy to try this recipe! They turned out so good. Perfectly sweet and fluffy, and even my husband who normally doesn’t care for tamales enjoyed them. Thank you for the great recipe, and I’m going to make again soon.

  2. 5 stars
    Thank you so much, the recipe is very straight forward and I could finally make tamales de elote with the ingredients I can find here in Poland. They were soft and very tasty, we ate them for dessert with caramel drizzle over.

  3. No había comido tamales de elote en muchos años, pero después de haber visto esta receta me animé a hacerlos yo mismo. Resultaron absolutamente deliciosos, afortunadamente aquí en Illinois donde yo vivo el elote es super dulce, un poquito de exceso de líquido pero los pude dejar escurrir un rato y el resultado fue espectacular. Después de haber colectivo varios miles de huitlacoche un buen tamalito de elote como postre me hizo sentir como en mi bello país México,
    Muchas gracias Maricruz de ahora en adelante seguire tus recetas
    Salvador Islas

  4. 5 stars
    Thanks For Sharing this amazing recipe. My family loved it. I will be sharing this recipe with my friends. Hope the will like it.

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