Chocolate Tamale

Tamales aren't just for dinner. These moist, sweet and slightly spicy chocolate treats taste even better with caramel sauce.


  • 10 to 12 dried corn husks
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3 cups masa
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • Caramel sauce:
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/3 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. Submerge dried husks in hot water for 30 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk shortening until fluffy and smooth.
  3. In a large bowl, add masa, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. Whisk until well blended, then gradually add milk and stir until combined. Stir in shortening until fully combined.
  4. Once dough is mixed and spongy, add pecans, coconut flakes and mini chocolate chips; stir until combined.
  5. Remove husks from water. Drain and pat dry.
  6. Add 1/4 cup chocolate masa to the smooth side of the husk. Place a plastic baggie over the masa, and flatten with hands. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of milk chocolate chips in the middle, then fold the husk over to cover the chocolate chips with the chocolate masa. Roll up the husk, folding the bottom part of the husk upward. Repeat with remaining husks and masa.
  7. Place tamales in steamer with the open side of the husks facing up. Cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until tamales are firm to the touch.
  8. Meanwhile, in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan set over medium heat, combine butter, sugar, water and salt, stirring occasionally. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in coconut milk and vanilla. Let cool.
  9. Unwrap tamales, drizzle with caramel sauce and sprinkle with toppings. Serve warm.