Authentic Mexican Tamales Right at Home

I went 26 full years of my life without having a tamale, and on the off chance that someone had tricked me into trying one, it wasn’t a good one. Last fall, I had my first real, honest to goodness tamale straight from some of my students’ grandmas sold out of an ice cream truck. I will never go back!

These tamales claim to be authentic, and I looked at the ingredients closely, it looks like they are. These don’t take three days to make, but the ingredients are at least authentic enough to get the flavors and textures right. 

Tamales are amazingly filling. I can eat a lot, and I do eat a lot. When I was working 3 jobs M-F and one job on the weekend, I was eating upwards of 2500-3000 calories a day and still losing weight. I thought I could eat 4 tamales at once one day during that time. NOPE! I got through about two and a half, and they held me for about 3 or 4 hours. Tamales are incredibly filling and delicious.

Thanks to Sarah at Must Have Mom for this Intriguing recipe!


  • 7 cups fresh corn kernels, from 7 ears
  • 1½ sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup harina de maiz (dried corn flour) *
  • 20 dried corn husks, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes*
  • *Can be found in Hispanic grocery stores


  1. Working in batches, add the corn kernels to a blender/food processor and puree until smooth.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until pale.
  3. Add the egg, salt, and baking powder. Mix to incorporate.
  4. Add the flour and pureed corn and mix until blended and forms a loose smooth dough.
  5. Put a corn husk lengthwise in front of you with the wide side closest to you.
  6. Spread 3 tablespoons of the dough all over the bottom half of the corn husk, leaving about a 1-inch-wide border on the sides.
  7. Pick up the 2 long sides of the corn husk and bring them together. Roll both sides of the corn husks in the same direction over the filling.
  8. Repeat with remaining husks and dough.
  9. Arrange the tamales, seam side down, in a steamer and add ½-inch of water.
  10. Cover with a tight fitting lid, bring to a simmer for 1 hour, adding additional water, as needed to maintain ½-inch of water in the pan.
  11. Remove the tamales from the steamer and serve.

Check out the original source for this recipe with step-by-step photographs and helpful tips as well as many other delicious recipes at: Must Have Mom.

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