Tamales de Manzana y Canela (Sweet Apple Tamales)

Time: Serves: 6 
Servings: Prep: 25 minutes plus standing Cook: 55 minutes 

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This season, we invite you to add a sweet twist to this age-old tradition with our delightful recipe for Tamales de Manzana y Canela, where the comforting aroma of apples and cinnamon takes center stage. These Sweet Apple Tamales are a perfect fusion of tradition and innovation, embodying the spirit of the holidays in every delicious bite.


Tamales have been an integral part of Hispanic Christmas celebrations for generations. The process of preparing tamales is a labor of love, often bringing families together for a communal cooking experience. The rhythmic sound of masa being spread on corn husks, the laughter echoing in the kitchen, and the anticipation of the final culinary masterpiece—all contribute to the rich tapestry of holiday memories.

This year, let the aroma of sweet apples and warm cinnamon fill your home as you embark on a culinary journey that pays homage to the essence of Christmas in Hispanic culture. Gather your loved ones, roll up your sleeves, and create Tamales de Manzana y Canela to share not just a meal, but a celebration of heritage and the joy of the holiday season.


20        corn husks

1/2      cup plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2          large green apples, halved, cored and chopped

1/2      cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar

3          tablespoons chopped pecans plus additional for serving (optional)

2          tablespoons dried currants

2 1/2   cups masa flour

1          teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2      teaspoon baking powder

1/4      teaspoon salt

1 1/2   cups apple cider or juice, warmed

            Cajeta caramel sauce for serving (optional)


  1. Line rimmed baking pan with parchment paper. In large saucepot, add corn husks and enough hot water to cover; let stand 30 minutes and drain.
  1. In large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add apples; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add 2 tablespoons sugar, pecans and currants; cook 2 minutes or until apples are golden brown, stirring frequently. Makes about 2 cups filling.
  1. In large bowl, whisk flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. In separate large bowl, with mixer on high speed, beat remaining 1/2 cup each butter and sugar 3 minutes or until light and fluffy, scraping down sides of bowl; reduce speed to low. In 3 batches, alternately add flour mixture and warm cider, beating until incorporated and scraping down bowl occasionally; beat on medium speed 3 minutes. Makes about 3 cups dough.
  1. Place 1 corn husk, short end facing you, on work surface. Spread 1/4 cup dough into 3 x 4-inch rectangle over corn husk; place about 2 1/2 tablespoons filling lengthwise down center of dough. Fold long ends of corn husks over filling, then fold bottom end of corn husk over center of tamale; place on prepared pan. Repeat with 11 corn husks, and remaining dough and filling to make 11 more tamales. Makes 12 tamales.
  1. In large steamer pot, add 4 cups water; place steamer rack in pot and line with 4 corn husks. Heat to a boil over high heat. Shingle tamales, open side up, in pot; cover with remaining 4 corn husks. Cover pot; reduce heat to medium-low and steam 45 minutes or until tamales easily come away from corn husks. Serve with drizzled with caramel sauce and sprinkled with pecans, if desired.

Approximate nutritional values per serving (2 tamales): 502 Calories, 22g Fat, 11g Saturated Fat, 46mg Cholesterol, 147mg Sodium, 76g Carbohydrates, 6g Fiber, 35g Sugars, 20g Added Sugars, 5g Protein

Chef Tip(s):

Use 3 corn husks ripped into thin strips to tie the corn husks closed around the tamale filling for a more traditional and festive look.

This recipe and more can be found on https://vallartasupermarkets.com/en/recipes.