A sweet tamale might seem a little bit odd, but these strawberry tamales are going to change some hearts and minds! They’re light, sweet, fruity and perfect for breakfast or dessert.
This recipe for strawberry tamales is from Dora Stone’s cookbook Vegan Tamales Unwrapped. The book is packed with recipes for both sweet and savory tamales, and she does a really great job of making the tamale-making process accessible.
Tamales aren’t my typical kind of from-scratch food to make. They are not quick, but they’re easier to make than you’d think. The hardest part is finding the ingredients. If your local grocery store doesn’t carry masa harina (used to make the tamale dough) or corn husks (the outer wrappers), you can find both online. I was able to find masa harina at my local grocery store, but the employee I asked about corn husks thought that I was just over-explaining corn tortillas.
The book walks you through how to make the dough, how to wrap your tamales, and how to steam them correctly including helpful step-by-step photos for all parts of the process. Once you have the technique down, you’re ready to wrap!
This book review is part of the Vegan Tamales Unwrapped book tour. If you want to see more recipes from the book, check out:
- Red Chile Jackfruit Tamales at Bake and Destroy
- Potato Adobo Tamales at Go Dairy Free
- Chocolate Tamales at Chic Vegan
All of the tamales in this book look and sound amazing, and now that I have a guide to making the perfect dough, wrapping like a pro, and steaming properly, I am totally going to make tamales part of my family’s food routine!
Making Tamales In Advance
Making tamales is time-consuming, so I did a little research to see whether I could do any of the steps in advance. It turns out that you can make the dough up to two days before you plan to cook, and you can keep uncooked tamales for up to two days in the fridge.
Our Everyday Life has instructions for storing both pre-made dough and uncooked tamales, and I used her directions to store my strawberry tamale dough. I make it the night before to cut some time off of my day-of cooking needs. It worked like a charm!
Notes from My Kitchen
I made the dough for these strawberry tamales the night before and refrigerated it in a glass container with an air-tight lid, like Our Everyday Life suggested, and re-beat it the next day. It had thickened up considerably in the fridge, which she said would happen.
I only made a half recipe, because I didn’t think my family would be able to eat two dozen tamales before they went bad (that was before I tasted one!). For a half recipe, it took me 1/2 cup of water to get the dough nice and soft again. I’d add water by the 1/4 cup, beating with your electric hand mixer in between each addition, until you get the consistency you want. You want the dough to be spreadable but not pourable.
Honestly, I’m not sure I saved much day-of cooking time by making the dough ahead, since you have plenty of time to make the dough while the corn husks are soaking. Next time, I’m going to assemble the tamales the night before, so all I have to do on the day is steam them. That would have been a real time-saver!
The dough for these tamales is insanely delicious, even before steaming. My three-year-old son was hanging out while I made it, and he licked the beaters AND the bowl. Then asked for more raw dough to eat. I’m definitely going to be making these again soon!