Sweet Almond Tamales with Pastry Cream


The masa of these tamales is a mixture of cornmeal and rice with chopped almonds. They are filled with pastry cream flavored with a touch of vanilla. [Recipe originally submitted to Allrecipes.com.mx]

Prep Time:
35 mins
Cook Time:
1 hrs 25 mins
Additional Time:
1 hrs 15 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 15 mins
24 tamales


Pastry Cream:

  • 2 cups milk

  • 1 cup white sugar

  • 5 egg yolks

  • 2 tablespoons masa harina (such as Maseca®)

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • corn husks


  • 1 cup whole raw almonds

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 ¼ cups white sugar

  • 2 cups masa harina (such as Maseca®)

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 ½ cups milk, or as needed

  • 1 ½ cups rice flour


  1. Combine 2 cups milk and 1 cup sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.

  2. Whisk egg yolks and 2 tablespoons masa harina together in a bowl until well combined. Add to milk, stirring constantly, until pastry cream thickens, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to cool for 1 hour.

  3. Place corn husks in a bowl, cover with boiling water, and soak for 30 to 60 minutes. Drain, place on a work surface, and cover with a clean, damp towel.

  4. Place almonds in a heat-proof bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand for a few minutes until cool enough to handle. Slip the almonds out of their skins one by one, leaving the remaining almonds in the warm water. Drain almonds in a colander and finely chop.

  5. Beat 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter in a bowl with an electric mixer until creamy. Add 1 1/4 cups sugar and continue to beat until mixture is very fluffy. Add 2 cups masa harina and baking powder and continue mixing dough by hand. Add milk, 1/4 cup at a time, until dough has a soft and fluffy texture. Mix in rice flour and if necessary, add more milk. Keep kneading dough until it is smooth and moist. Add almonds and continue kneading until dough is smooth and elastic.

  6. Select 1 wide corn husk or 2 small ones. Spread about 2 tablespoons of dough onto the the corn husk, filling it up to 2 inches from the bottom and 1/4 inch from the top. Add 1 tablespoon of pastry cream down the center of the dough. Fold sides of husk together, one over the other. Fold the bottom of the husk over the seam of the 2 folded sides. Repeat with remaining husks.

  7. Place a steamer insert into a saucepan and fill with water to just below the bottom of the steamer. Bring water to a boil. Add tamales with the open side up and cook until filling is heated through and separates from the husk, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let tamales rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

286 Calories
14g Fat
38g Carbs
5g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 24
Calories 286
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 7g 33%
Cholesterol 68mg 23%
Sodium 59mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 38g 14%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 21g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 101mg 8%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 141mg 3%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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