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how to make pumpkin cream cheese tamales

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Tamales

Pumpkin cream cheese tamales flavored with brown sugar, ginger, cloves, cinnamon are filled with a pumpkin cream cheese filling. Served warm with a dollop of whipped cream is the sweetest ending to your holiday meals.
Author Vianney Rodriguez


  • 18 corn husks
  • 2 cups instant masa harina
  • ΒΌ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 to 2 cups warm milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Whipped Topping optional


  1. Soak the dried corn husks in hot water for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  2. In a large bowl combine masa harina, brown sugar, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Stir to combine. With hands work in shortening, breaking up the small clumps of shortening to incorporate well into dry ingredients. Slowly add warm milk until masa comes together, similar to the consistency of peanut butter. Set aside.
  3. Combine pumpkin puree, cream cheese, sugar and cinnamon until creamy and all ingredients are fully incorporated.
  4. Spread about 3 tablespoons of masa into about a 2 to 3-inch square, the layer should be about 1/4-inch thick, leaving a border of at least 1/2-inch on the sides. Place 1 tablespoon of filling in the middle of the masa square.
  5. Pick up the two long sides of the corn husk and bring them together (you will see how the masa starts to swaddle the filling) and fold the folded sides to one side, rolling them in same direction around tamal. Fold up the empty section of the husk, with the tapering end, from the bottom up. This will form a closed bottom and the top will be left open.
  6. Place assembled tamales on a baking sheet or baking pan, cover with a damp towel until you are ready to place in a steamer.
  7. Once the tamales are folded fill a bottom of steamer with water. Carefully place each tamale standing up on the steam tray of the rack without overloading and cover with corn husks.
  8. Steam covered with a lid for 50 minutes to an hour. You know the tamales are ready when they come easily free from the husks.
  9. Serve warm with whipped cream, optional

Recipe Notes

Makes 18