Strawberry Tamales

Active: 45 mins, Total: 2 hrs 45 mins, Yield: 8



8/16/20221 min read

Strawberry Tamales

Active: 45 mins, Total: 2 hrs 45 mins, Yield: 8


  • 1/2 cup evaporated cane sugar

  • 8 large dried cornhusks

  • Boiling water

  • 1 3/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill masa harina

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, preferably cultured, at room temperature

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 vanilla bean—split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved, pod reserved for later use

  • 1 cup Strawberry Margarita Preserves

  • Eight 10-inch squares of thin sandwich paper, moistened

  • Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream with lime zest, for serving


  1. In a large bowl, cover the dried cornhusks with enough boiling water to completely submerge them; weigh them down with a plate. Cover and let stand for 15 minutes. Drain well and pat dry with paper towels.

  2. In a medium bowl, combine the masa harina with 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of water and mix until a dough forms.

  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter with 1/2 cup of sugar at medium-high speed until whipped and smooth, about 3 minutes. Beat in the baking powder, salt, and vanilla seeds. Scrape the butter mixture into a bowl.

  4. Add the masa dough to the bowl of the stand mixer and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in Strawberry Margarita Preserves, 1/3 cup at a time, and scraping down the bowl, until incorporated. Beat in the whipped butter in 3 additions, scraping down the bowl, until smooth. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  5. Lay 1 cornhusk smooth side up on a work surface and spoon 1/2 cup of the tamale dough in the center. Roll the husk around the dough to make a compact cylinder, folding in the sides as you roll. Tie the tamale with kitchen string and wrap it tightly in a sheet of the sandwich paper. Repeat to form 7 more tamales.

  6. Arrange the tamales in a steamer set over a pot of simmering water. Cover and steam until firm, 90 minutes. Let rest for 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature with Strawberry Margarita Preserves and ice cream or whipped cream.

Make-Ahead: The uncooked tamales can be frozen for 2 weeks; steam from frozen. The cooked tamales can be refrigerated for 2 days and rewarmed to serve.