Apple Cinnamon Tamales

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Just thinking about sweet apple cinnamon tamales makes me happy. I’m sure that’s reason enough to make them, don’t you agree? Learn how to make them at home, with less sugar with our easy recipe.

apple cinnamon tamal on a white plate

In partnership with Truvia®

I’ve noticed some friends and acquaintances act a bit surprised when I mention sweet tamales. I guess they consider those beautiful chile verde or other savory tamales first when they think of tamales.

But growing up, we always had both kinds, savory and sweet, and I loved them all.

When I was a child, my mom would buy tamales from her favorite vendor of tamales for our merienda, or evening snack. I mention this because that vendor was passionate about her creations, and she always had a fantastic assortment of tamales.

She would sell beef, pork, chicken, chile verde, poblano chile and cheese, as well as sweet tamales like pineapple-coconut, guava and strawberry. 


You may know that many Mexican families make tamales of all sorts this time of year. That’s true.

They are perfect for Las Posadas, for instance, a festival we celebrate for nine consecutive days before Christmas. We also commonly have them on Christmas, and for Dia de Candelaria, also know as Candlemas, in February.

For these, or any other occasion, anytime the weather gets cold is the perfect time for tamales.

A Secret Blend

Before I get to the recipe, I’ll let you in on a little secret. You’ll notice I used  Truvía Brown Sugar Blend to sweeten these tamales. It’s a blend of stevia sweetener and brown sugar. I did this because it has 75% fewer calories per serving than regular brown sugar.

The sweetness in stevia sweetener comes from the leaf of the stevia plant, and so the tamales have all the flavor and sweetness you’d expect, but with significantly fewer calories.

RELATED POST: Pumpkin Atole

To give you just one example, ½ cup of Truvía Brown Sugar Blend (afiliate link), like in this recipe, has around 210 calories, and replaces 1 cup of regular brown sugar, which has about 830 calories.

Apple cinnamon tamal bite

Apple Cinnamon Tamales’ Variations

My recipe calls for pecans, they are my preference because I like their crunchiness balanced with the softness of the apples, but if you are not a fan, you can omit them.

If you like, my husband prefers raisins to pecans, so you can add them instead of the pecans. You can also leave both of them out, if you choose.

Finally, if you are looking for vegan tamales, sweet tamales are ideal. Just substitute the butter for vegan butter or vegetable oil. That’s it!

apple cinnamon tamal with apple compote on a corn husk

If you make these apple-cinnamon tamales, be sure to snap a photo and share it with us on social media using the #mamalatinatipsrecipes hashtag. I’d love to see it and have a chance to share it as well.

Apple Cinnamon Tamales

Makes 18 tamales – Prep time 10 minutes – Start to finish 1 hour 50 minutes


  • 25-30 dried corn husks 
  • 8 tablespoons softened unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 green apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup packed Truvía Brown Sugar Blend
  • 2 cups corn (tortilla) flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups of lukewarm water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 oz  (30 gr) chopped pecans (approx 12 pieces) or raisins, optional
A bag of Truvia Brown Sugar Blend and other ingredients for making tamales like sugar, masa, water, corn husks.

You will also need (affiliate links)


Place dried corn husks in a bowl and cover with boiling water. As they tend to float, I recommend placing a heavy pot filled with water on top of them to keep them submerged. See photo. 

Dry corn husks submerged in water

Melt one tablespoon of butter in a warm pan. Add chopped green apples and cook over medium-heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover and set aside.

In the mixer, beat the other 7 tablespoons of butter with Truvía Brown Sugar Blend until completely integrated and fluffy, approx 7 minutes. You may need to stop your mixer a couple of times to scrape mix from walls in the bowl and to remove mixture that may be stuck in the beater. 

In a small bowl mix corn (tortilla) flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.

corn flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in a glass bowl

Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients and a little bit of the warm water to the butter mixture. Keep mixing while adding a little bit more of the dry ingredients and water, repeat until the masa is moist and completely integrated.

Pour vanilla in and beat at a medium-high speed for another 7-8 minutes. An easy way to know if the masa is ready is by putting a small amount in a glass with water. If it goes to the bottom, return to the mixer and beat for 2 more minutes. If the masa floats, it is ready.

Add apples and pecans (if you like, you can also use raisins instead) and using the spatula mix well.

tamales masa, pecans and chopped apples

Dry corn husks with a kitchen towel.

Take a corn husk and spread about one heaping tablespoon of masa in the center of the wider part of the leaf, from the middle down (see photo). 

spreading tamal masa on corn husk
masa on corn husk

Fold over the corn husk left and right to cover the masa.

folding apple cinnamon tamal

Then fold down from the top to create the package.

folded tamal

Pour water into the bottom of the steamer or tamalera, place the rack inside, cover with half the corn husks you have leftover. Stand tamales vertically making sure the folded crease faces the bottom. Place the rest of the corn husks on top of the tamales. 

tamales in steamer

Cover and cook over high heat until water starts boiling (approx 6-8 minutes), lower temperature to medium and steam for approx 55 minutes. You will know the tamales are ready when they come off the leaf easily. 

A bag of Truvia brown sugar blend and apple cinnamon tamales

More Ideas

Be sure to check out more sweet reduced-sugar recipe ideas below:


Print the Apple Cinnamon Tamales Recipe below

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blanca chavez

I used regular brown sugar. They came out good, but the dough always sunk to the bottom of the cup, it never floated.

Vanessa Mota

What a creative way to eat tamales (:

Patricia Zerpa

Perfect for breakfast!!!


Oh man how I love sweet tamales. These look amazing with the caramelized apples on top!

Patricia Zerpa

Wow muero por probar estos tamales. Ya guardé la receta en mi file de recetas por probar. Gracias!!!

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