Pumpkin Pie Tamales

by Erin

Imagine the filling of pumpkin pie stuffed into a corn husk and that’s a pumpkin pie tamale! Served with chocolate caramel sauce.

Pumpkin Pie Tamales #tamales #pumpkin

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I used to be so intimidated by the process of making tamales. That was until I finally learned how to do it.

A couple years ago, Bob and I attended a tamale cooking class where we not only learned how to assemble and cook tamales, but also traditional sauces such as mole to add to the meat/filling. Turns out the meat and sauces are the hard part, but assembly and cooking are actually quite easy as long as you have a tamale steamer!

Tamale Steamer

As a result, tamales have become one of my favorite ways to use leftover meat, especially shredded. 

Recently Bob smoked a pork butt, which means with only two of us living in this house we either had to freeze some or figure out a new purpose for it. And thus BBQ tamales we born. I even threw some macaroni and cheese into some of them. Totally not traditional but still quite delicious!

Pumpkin Pie Tamale Filling

Another tamale we learned to make was a sweet cinnamon brown sugar cane tamale. Who knew tamales could be sweet? It was just processed corn, brown cane sugar, milk, and spices. Since that moment I knew I had to try making a pumpkin version.

What better time than #PumpkinWeek to unveil them!

Pumpkin Pie Tamales in the steamer

The filling is a blend of corn flour and the usual pumpkin pie filling suspects: pumpkin puree, spices, brown sugar, and milk. And of course butter and lard.  Weirded out by lard? Use more butter. Or would rather a vegan alternative? Use shortening or a butter substitute (and non-dairy milk). 

The result is a tamale filling that taste like slightly less sweet pumpkin pie! All it needs is a dollop of fresh whipped cream on top.

But instead I decided to change things up a bit and top it with a Mexican chocolate caramel sauce and toasted walnuts. I considered still adding the whipped cream but it was delicious just as it was.

Pumpkin Pie Tamale Pile

Pumpkin season is here, and we are celebrating our love of pumpkin with #PumpkinWeek hosted by Terri from Love and Confections and Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures. All week-long 26 bloggers will be sharing over 80 pumpkin-filled recipes for all your Autumn celebrations, including breakfasts, baked goods, savory pumpkin recipes, desserts, and drinks.

Savory Recipes

Dessert Recipes

Pumpkin Pie Tamales #sweettamale #pumpkinpie

One year ago: Pumpkin Herb Cheese Ball

Three years ago: Buckeye Stuffed Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Five years ago: Apple Pecan Praline Bread

Six years ago: White Chocolate Apple Blondies

Seven years ago: White Chocolate-Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Sandwiches

Nine years ago: Healthier Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Pumpkin Pie Tamales #tamales #pumpkin


Yield: 20-30 tamales Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat



  • 20-30 dried corn husks
  • 3-1/2 cups masa/corn flour
  • 1-1/2 cup packed brown cane sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 (29 oz) can of pumpkin puree (or 2 cups homemade)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter*, melted
  • 1/2 cup lard* (or more butter)
  • 1 cup milk*


  • 1/2 cup prepared caramel sauce (or dulce de leche)
  • 2 Tbsp semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/8 tsp ancho chile or cayenne powder
  • Chopped walnuts, for garnish


  1. Fill a large bowl with warm water and soak corn husks until softened, about 30 minutes.
  2. Fill a tamale steamer with water just below the fill line and place the steam tray on the rack. Bring water to a simmer.
  3. In an large bowl, whisk together the corn flour and the rest of the dry ingredients. Stir in all of the wet ingredients. Add more milk or flour if needed until it resembles the consistency of peanut butter.
  4. Assemble the tamales: Place corn husk with pointed end towards you. Using a rubber spatula to spread 1/2-1 cup of dough mixture onto the center of the corn husk. Fold sides of the corn husk over the filling in the middle, and fold up the pointed end (leaving top end open). Lay fold-side down to keep closed. Repeat with remaining filling and husks.
  5. Place tamales standing up on the steam tray without overcrowding. Put on lid and steam for 90 minutes.
  6. Remove with tongs and let rest for a few minutes before serving.
  7. Meanwhile in a small bowl, microwave the caramel for 30 seconds. Add chocolate and chile powder, stir and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth. Serve with tamales, topped with walnuts if desired.


* Want to make it vegan? Substitute the lard/butter for a shortening/butter substitute and the milk for non-dairy milk.

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Source: Adapted from IMUSA and a class I took with Pibil. Sauce adapted from my Baked Peanut Butter Churros with Chocolate Caramel Sauce.

Did you make this recipe? I want to see!
Tag @THESPIFFYCOOKIE on Instagram and hashtag it #THESPIFFYCOOKIE

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Christie October 12, 2020 - 8:08 am

I’m a sucker for a tamale. These look perfectly delicious. Especially with that sauce! YUM!

Marcelle September 27, 2020 - 2:25 am

This is such a fun recipe! Tamales are a huge part of the holidays where I live (South Texas), and I’m gonna have to give your pumpkin pie tamales a try! They look delicious!!

Erin September 28, 2020 - 8:07 am

Hooray! It will be a tasty holiday

Rebekah Hills September 24, 2020 - 2:43 pm

Ohhh that sounds divine!! Love this recipe!

Clara Sandel September 24, 2020 - 10:25 am

A friend of mine makes tamales every Christmas, along with her sisters. It is more fun and you have an assembly line production. This works well when you are making LOTS of tamales. They make the traditional, but sometimes they do some sweet ones, too. One of our favorites had raisins.

Erin September 25, 2020 - 9:51 am

That does sound like fun!

ronald vasicek September 24, 2020 - 8:27 am

Of course you know I would leave out the cayenne powder!

Erin September 25, 2020 - 9:51 am

Yup, totally optional!


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