Nibbles and Feasts »

Menu Menu

Sweet Raisin Tamales with Pineapple, Coconut & Pecans


One of the best things about the holidays is making tamales. The love and labor of the day is worth unwrapping the steamy cornhusk with a tasty reward waiting inside just for you.  This year, I prepared extra-special dessert tamales because I tucked a variety of raisins in the masa.  Like sweet little gems, the raisins complimented the pineapple bits, coconut shreds and pecan pieces in what seemed to be bliss the moment I savored each and every bite, enjoying the medley of sweet flavors and textures of my hard days work.


The masa can be prepared with the fruit of your preference.  Raisins are customarily used to sweeten dessert tamales because they provide a burst of flavor with the cinnamon spiced masa. Serve them with a hot cup of champurrado by their side and you’ve got yourself a traditional Mexican dessert that will make your holidays complete.

Sweet Raisin Tamales with Pineapple Coconut and Pecans
Yield 20-24 tamales


5 cups Maseca corn flour
1 cups shortening
4 teaspoons baking powder
5 tablespoons powdered cinnamon
1 cup California raisins
½ cup sweetened coconut, shredded
1-14oz. can of condensed milk
1-20oz can of cubed pineapple in syrup (drained but save syrup)
¾ cup pecans, chopped
20 cornhusks, soaked in water


In a large mixing bowl, mix corn flour, cinnamon, baking powder and shortening with a wooden spoon, adding the syrup from the canned pineapple until mixture becomes smooth. Continue adding the raisins, pineapple, coconut, condensed milk and pecans, folding until all ingredients have been well combined.

Drain the cornhusks. Spread out one of the cornhusks and spoon approximately 2 tablespoons of masa mixture on the rectangle side of the soaked cornhusk. Fold in one of the sides of the husk then, fold the other side. Fold up the pointy side and turn the tamale to keep from unfolding. Repeat with remaining cornhusks.

Fill a tamale steamer with 3 inches of water and carefully place the steamer rack back in the steamer. Arrange tamales upright on steamer rack and cover with a damp towel or leftover soaked cornhusks; cover. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low, adding water as needed. Steam for 1 hour or until cornhusks pull away from the masa intact.

While you wait for your tamales to cook, check out a this video by Presley’s Pantry on how she prepares her own special tamales for Christmas.  Enjoy!

Otra vez… en español!

  • Presley's PantryDecember 21, 2012 - 12:33 am

    Thanks for sharing my video…. Those sweet tamales need to make their way to my house. Let’s trade. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Kelsey ApleyDecember 21, 2012 - 11:32 am

    Sounds like a very unique creation!ReplyCancel

  • Amber KillmonDecember 21, 2012 - 11:35 am

    My kids wont eat our regular tamales, but I think they’d go crazy for these. Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Erika @Musings From a SAHMDecember 21, 2012 - 12:36 pm

    That looks delicious!ReplyCancel

  • DanielleDecember 21, 2012 - 12:56 pm

    These look amazing! I’ll have to try them. I’ve only had savory tamales so these would be a great change.ReplyCancel

  • AngelaDecember 21, 2012 - 1:46 pm

    I’ve never made anything like this. It looks amazing!ReplyCancel

  • brandDecember 21, 2012 - 8:53 pm

    Just a fast hello and also to thank you for discussing your ideas on this page. I wound up in your weblog right after researching physical fitness associated things on Yahoo guess I lost track of what I had been performing! Anyway I’ll be back once again within the future to check out your blogposts down the road. Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Peru DelightsDecember 20, 2013 - 3:41 pm

    You should write a tamale cookbook, it would be a best-seller. Love your recipes, lady!ReplyCancel

    • nibblesandfeastsDecember 20, 2013 - 11:19 pm

      You are too sweet! Sound like a great idea, though. 😉ReplyCancel

      • dolorasOctober 17, 2016 - 9:25 am

        This recipe seems to leave out the water, my mixture seems dry, what should I do?ReplyCancel

        • Ericka SanchezOctober 19, 2016 - 9:59 am

          Hi Doloras,
          If your mixture is dry, add water or milk by the tablespoon until desired consistency. Usually, the condensed milk is liquid enough but if you are in a dry area, you can add a little bit of liquid to create a spreadable paste. Hope that helps.ReplyCancel

  • […] an apple mixed with a pear and is essential to authentic ponche. This drink along with buñuelos, sweet tamales, and steaming bowls of pozole are all Mexican Christmas favorites that are commonly eaten during […]ReplyCancel

  • mary blackDecember 16, 2014 - 4:31 pm

    I lived in Mexico for 18 months and loved the food, especially the sweet tamales.ReplyCancel

  • JanesDecember 28, 2014 - 7:07 pm

    I tasted my first Sweet tamale back in the early 80’s and dreamed of learning to make them one day. IJust attended a tamale making party and had so much fun. Can’t wait to try your recipe ! Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • norma amburnDecember 31, 2014 - 8:38 pm

    I will be making sweet tamales with my good friend this weekend….can’t wait….ReplyCancel

    • Ericka SanchezJanuary 2, 2015 - 7:47 pm

      How fun! Enjoy!ReplyCancel

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *