Easy Corn Tamales

Total Time:
1 hr 50 min
20 min
30 min
1 hr

20 tamales

  • 7 cups fresh corn kernels, from 7 ears
  • 1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 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

Working in batches, add the corn kernels to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until pale. Add the egg, salt, and baking powder. Mix to incorporate. Add the flour and pureed corn and mix until blended and forms a loose smooth dough.

Put a corn husk lengthwise in front of you with the wide side closest to you. Spread 3 tablespoons of the dough all over the bottom half (wide side) of the corn husk, leaving about a 1-inch-wide border on the left and right sides. 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.

Repeat with remaining corn husks and dough. Arrange the tamales, seam side down, in a steamer and add 1/2-inch of water. Cover with a tight fitting lid, bring to a simmer and steam for 1 hour, adding additional water, as needed to maintain 1/2-inch of water in the pan. Remove the tamales from the steamer to a serving platter and serve.

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    37 Reviews
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    I did two batches and the flavors are great, but I still have the tamales stick to the husk, it is like I get only half of the tamale, they are way to soft and they do not peal from the husk, what I'm doing wrong. 
    I eat them all they are yummy but I do not like to bring them to my office like this, any recommendations?
    Excellent and tasty! I followed the recipe as chef Marcela instructed, with the exception of adding an extra bit of corn flour. I made the mistake of not thawing my frozen corn completely that when I blended them, they were too course and not milky at all. So I added a bit of milk to the mixture, until I got the right consistency as chef Macela did. Remember to add extra salt and sugar if you are adding extra of the ingredients. I took all the reviews and tips in consideration. I ended up steaming my tamales for an hour and half, with the fear of having them come out "mushy" and I must admit they did. I opened one up right after I turned off the heat, big mistake! Well the simple solution is to WAIT! once you turn off the tamales, give it a half hour to hour to cool, than try one and you will be happy! The tamale is soft and firm. I added Mexican sour cream and queso fresco on top, yummy! I made this for a gathering and my guests were very pleased! Will make again!.
    Outstanding and easy!! about 15 years ago my daughter and I went to a Mexican all you can eat lunch, they had corn tamales, only 1 left, we both loved it, never had before, not until I saw this recipe on Food Network, a couple years ago, I had no idea how to make. This is the exact taste we had! Now, I will be making these at her wedding, that taste, created a wonderful memory for her and I, now we will wow everyone at her wedding. Thank you! and BTW, did I mention..EASY?
    These are sweet, not like typical US Mexican restaurant tamales. We loved them. I used 1 1/2 cups masa harina (not Maseca. Thanks Marcela!
    Can someone confirm the brand of flour they used and were happy with results. I am using Maseca and I'm not happy with results.
    Followed recipe exactly. Turned out very soupy. Perhaps that's the intent? We've made tamales many times and thought this method sounded interesting. We watched the t.v. episode, invested in the ingredients, anxiously awaited the results, and, fed the garbage disposal. Any ideas?
    U hear you, while I was watching I was thinking that the corn flour was not enough. Try it with maybe 1cup of corn flour
    Too bad I cant give it more then 5 stars!!..It was the best sweet corn tamales i have ever had. They were sweet and moist and just perfect!...I was soo hooked on this receipe that I made this receipt and doubled and tripled the receipe 3 times in a week.
    I like the way you explain it. Its so easy for me to learn how to cook Mexican food. Thank you.
    I made these for christmas and it was my first attempt at tamales. They came out very tastey! I used 5 ears of corn instead of 7 and 1 cup of harina and they turned out just right. The perfect texture. Thank you for making my first attempt at tamales so simple! I will definately make these next year. My guests loved them as well YAY
    So yummy! They tasted just like the tamales at my favorite mexican restaurant. I also used 1 1/2 cups of harina de maiz instead of just a 1/2 cup since most of the reviews said they did as well, and it turned out perfect. Will definitely make them again!
    I made these tamales for mothers and they were a big hit! I too thought they were super easy to make...and they were very delicious! Being that my family is Mexican and they love tamales (which makes them hard critics) they loved them... these are true Mexican tamales made easy...we loved them thank Maricela!
    I made this recipe yesterday. I adjusted the recipe based on the reviews I read for the harina (1 1/2 cup harina de maiz). They are delicious. A co-worker said, "It is the Mexican version of corn bread".
    I've made tamales all my life, but I've never made corn tamales before. I decided to try them because they seemed so easy. I was disappointed. I followed every single direction. Unfortunately the tamales came out very mushy, even after I added more masa harina than what it needed and even after I let them steam for about 3 hours longer than what they needed to be. They tasted great but it was just a big mushy mess.
    Not for me. Baby food is the analogy seemed to suite this one best. I was looking for a corn tamale recipe but sugar and corn puree with no cheese or peppers is just not a hit for me. This is not what I consider a savory dish really more of a corn desert dish or something. Will not try again or even attempt to modify. Would have used a lower rating if it had been possible.
    These were the best tamales ever!!!!! My family loved them too! You have to try it! But make it how the recipe says, like I did. They came out perfect! Not too hard not too soft! PERFECT!!!!! P.S I know your problem! Your in California, where it's very moist ( I should know, I lived there for some years so since it's so moist out there, the moisture in the air makes it mushy, but when I made these, I was not in California, that's why they worked out perfectly for me. :
    1. It takes 1.5 cups of the corn flour. 
    2. I used 2lbs of super sweet frozen corn from costco. 
    They are the BEST corn tamales. I've made it 5 times! Yumm-yy!!
    total mushy flop. Even tried baking after steaming. Very disappointed.
    I made this recipe using 1 1/2 cup masaharina; worked very well and enjoyed the tamales, next time I will add 1 tsp. vanilla and increase sugar to 3/4 cup. Very easy to put together.
    This recipe cannot possibly be correct. I spent 3 1/2 hours today making these tamales and they never firmed up. They came out just as mushy as hey went in. This recipe was a big dissapointment and not worth the time or effort. And it was definitely not easy as the recipe is titled.
    Yeah I had the same problem like most. They came out mushy too. I too believe the masa harina is written wrong. It needs more than 1/2 a cup. I put aside some corn just in case this batch didnt come out so I will put more masa on the next.
    This is very delicous. Everything this wonderful chef cooks is delicious. Please give her primetme and take put INA and PAULA on the early spot. This young lady is classy which the other two are not.
    I made the corn tamales foe the 2nd time and they still came out muchie added 1 cup of corn mass total 1 1/2 total and been cooking for 4 hours and are still to soft anyone have any i deas how to fix the problem or do they harden as they cool please help !!!!!!!!!!
    They are very delicious and organic. However, I had a difficult time when I would cook them because they would never harden. Until I read the reviews and realized that the recipe is wrong and needed to put more corn flour. They came out really good when I put 1 1/2 cups of corn flour. Everyone loves them! When I mention that I made tamales, they look at me with surprise because most of the tamales take sooooo long to make. I have made them many times after I fixed the amount for the flour and I will make them often.
    is the dried corn flour "Maseca"?
    I was looking for this recipe and I finally found it. Yay! Me encantaron y la receta es muy fácil.
    me encantan estos tamales, deliciosos
    She said 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, not 1/2 tablespoon, and GENTLY mix in the pureed corn.
    The recipe does not have the same baking powder measurement as the episode. And the instructions are not the same as well. So that was a little confusing. My tamales were mushy and I steamed them for 2 hours. Next time I will have to try adding more masa harina and see if that helps. The flavor itself is good.
    Perfect! Nice balance of sweetness with the corn. Very easy to make. This was the hit of our dinner party the other night. Will definitely make again. I cut the recipe in half. Not sure if one hour is needed to steam the tamales. Mine were cooked in about 40 minutes, but maybe also because I cooked half the recipe.
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    Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen