Best Mexican Chocolate Tamales Recipe

Make your holiday table more festive. Include the best Mexican chocolate tamales paired with a cup of gourmet hot cocoa with hints of vanilla, cinnamon, and orange!

a plate served with chocolate tamales and hot cocoa

This post was sponsored by AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central, and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

My holiday menu always includes savory and sweet tamales. But this year, I went all out preparing the best Mexican chocolate tamales stuffed with dulce de leche and pecans. And for those that love hazelnut chocolate spread, I made a batch including it as a surprise.

a bag of dark chocolate or gourmet hot cocoa

Nothing screams holidays like serving festive meals, and tamales are a big part of our celebration at home. I make tamales once a year, and it is a family tradition to serve them during the holidays. Every year I bring a new flavor, and this time I used Chef Yuri de Gortari’s chocolate tamales recipe as the inspiration to create my version. And I can say these are the best Mexican chocolate tamales you will taste.

a plate with the best chocolate tamales paired with a cup of gourmet hot cocoa

The sweet tamales texture is soft. And the dulce de leche combined with the pecans makes the chocolate tamales a delight.

a hand holding a red bag with gourmet dark chocolate

My secret for the best chocolate tamales is AMERICAN HERITAGE Chocolate!

For achieving that unique chocolatey flavor characteristic of the chocolate tamales, I used AMERICAN HERITAGE Finely Grated Baking Chocolate. It comes grated and is ready to use. No need to be chopping tablets!

The flavor of this baking dark chocolate is fantastic, and I love the fact that it has hints of vanilla, orange, and cinnamon. All are complementing my version for the best Mexican chocolate tamales very nicely.

Ingredients for the chocolate tamales

Making savory or sweet tamales requires effort, and I like using versatile ingredients to help when embarking on the labor of love for making tamales for the whole family. Whether making the chocolate tamales recipe or baking other desserts, you must try AMERICAN HERITAGE Chocolate products this holiday season!

A bag of chocolate and bowls with pecans and spices

This kosher chocolate is 57% cocoa, Rain Forest AllianceTM Certified, with no preservatives. And you can buy it on Amazon using this link.

Tips for making the best Mexican chocolate tamales recipe.

Many think preparing Mexican tamales is difficult, but it is not. However, it is laborious. Many steps are needed to create the best results, and having help from other family members is a good idea.

a step by set collage on how to prep the corn husks

When I was young, all the women would reunite to make an assembly line of tamales while my grandmother would be in charge of whipping the lard and making the fluffiest tamales dough. She was an expert on her tamales dough craft. Below I share what I learned from her and my experience all these years making tamales for the holidays.

Clean the corn husks by removing any debris and soaking them with hot water for a minimum of thirty minutes.

Step by step on how to make blue corn tamales with chocolate

If the corn husks broke, do not discard them either use them to create strips to close the sweet tamales or use two husks to make one chocolate tamale by layering one on top of the other.

Measure all the ingredients using a scale. While I provide measurements with cups as an option, more accurate measurements require a scale.

Collage on how to proof tamales dough

All ingredients must be at room temperature. The butter must be soft like cold cream, and the milk must not be cold.

Traditional tamales called for whipping by hand. But I use an electric mixer instead and a large bowl.

Step by step on how to fold tamales

Whip the butter first at medium to high speed. Adding air is what makes tamales tender, and do not skip this step.

The best Mexican chocolate tamales recipe does not need tamales corn flour. Use nixtamalized masa harina use for tortillas. I opted for blue corn masa.

Use good quality chocolate. Again, I recommend AMERICAN HERITAGE Finely Grated Baking Chocolate. For an intense chocolate flavor, add instant coffee and cinnamon powder.

three bowls with pecans dulce de leche and hazelnut spread

You can replace the condensed milk with brown sugar if desired. Use fresh milk instead of evaporated canned milk. Be mindful the milk needs to be lukewarm, not cold.

Test the masa dough by dropping some masa into a glass with water. If it floats, the tamal masa is ready to use.

Add enough masa to the corn husk. Make sure to use the soft corn husk side, not with texture, allowing the tamal to release easily when cooked.

a hand holding a tamal

Savory tamales are moist and have meat and sauces for texture and flavor. The best Mexican chocolate tamales use homemade dulce leche and chopped pecans as the stuffing.

Other alternatives include cream cheese, coconut, hazelnut cream, raspberry jam, or vanilla/chocolate pudding.

Tamalera set up collage

Cook the chocolate tamales using a steamer or tamalera. Add a coin to the bottom of the steamer, add water and place the steamer basket.

Add some corn husks to the bottom and place the tamales upright. Cover the chocolate tamales with more corn husks and a clean tea towel. And put the lid. Steam the tamales for 1.5 hours.

a hand holding a fork with food

The best pairing for the Mexican chocolate tamales is a delicious gourmet hot cocoa!

We are in love with the AMERICAN HERITAGE Chocolate’s Gourmet Hot Cocoa Mix. It is super easy to make. Add hot water, stir and garnish with festive marshmallows and sprinkles.

Gourmet hot cocoa served on a Santa red mug
Two Christmas mugs with hot cocoa

The flavor is delightful, with hints of cinnamon, vanilla, and orange. If you are a chocolate bomb lover, make sure to buy this hot cocoa mix here on Amazon. You can get inspired to cook delicious recipes with chocolate at americanheritagechocolate.com.

American Heritage and the best chocolate tamales
a full tray with tamales

Best Mexican Chocolate Tamales Recipe

Chef Adriana Martin
Make your holiday table more festive. Include the best Mexican chocolate tamales paired with a cup of gourmet hot cocoa with hints of vanilla, cinnamon, and orange!
5 from 28 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Desserts
Cuisine Mexican Cuisine
Servings 15 tamales
Calories 454 kcal

Equipment

  • Stand Mixer or an electric hand mixer
  • Scale
  • Tamalera or steamer
  • Soup pot
  • Measuring Cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Wooden paddle

Ingredients
  

  • 250 grams butter at room temperature approx. 1 cup
  • 250 grams rice flour approx. 1 1/4 cups
  • 1 can condensed milk 14 oz can or 250 grams of sugar
  • 250 grams blue corn masa harina approx. 2 1/4 cups
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee
  • 50 grams AMERICAN HERITAGE Chocolate Finely Grated Baking Chocolate approx. 1/2 cup
  • 1 can evaporated milk 12 oz can use as much as needed
  • 15 corn husks soaked in hot water

Optional

  • 1/2 cup pecans chopped
  • 1/2 cup dulce de leche
  • 1/2 cup hazelnut chocolate spread

Instructions
 

  • Cream the butter at medium-high speed until it fluffs.
  • Add the rice flour one spoon at a time and continue mixing.
  • Incorporate the condensed milk and mix for another minute at medium speed.
  • Start adding the masa harina in stages. And continue mixing.
  • Finally add the baking powder, cinnamon, and coffee. And continue mixing.
  • The dough will start forming but needs liquid to a softer texture. Add the milk in stages and continue mixing for another minute.
  • Incorporate the finely grated dark chocolate and add more milk as needed. Mix for another minute at high speed.
  • Add water to a glass and drop a dollop of the tamal dough. If the masa floats, it is ready to use.
  • Pat dry the corn husks to remove excess water with a paper towel.
  • With a spoon of a wooden paddle, spread some tamal masa to the corn husk. Use the flat side.
  • Stuff the tamal with your choice of flavors: Dulce de leche or hazelnut chocolate spread.
  • Close the tamal and secure it with corn husk strips.
  • Place the tamales upright, cover with corn husks and a tea towel. Place the tamalera lid and cook for 1.5 hours.

Notes

  • Clean the corn husks by removing any debris and soaking them with hot water for a minimum of thirty minutes.
  • If the corn husks broke, do not discard them either use them to create strips to close the sweet tamales or use two husks to make one chocolate tamale by layering one on top of the other.
  • Measure all the ingredients using a scale. While I provide measurements with cups as an option, more accurate measurements require a scale.
  • All ingredients must be at room temperature. The butter must be soft like cold cream, and the milk must not be cold.
  • Traditional tamales called for whipping by hand. But I use an electric mixer instead and a large bowl.
  • Whip the butter first at medium to high speed. Adding air is what makes tamales tender, and do not skip this step.
  • The best Mexican chocolate tamales recipe does not need tamales corn flour. Use nixtamalized masa harina use for tortillas. I opted for blue corn masa.
  • Use good quality chocolate. Again, I recommend AMERICAN HERITAGE Finely Grated Baking Chocolate. For an intense chocolate flavor, add instant coffee and cinnamon powder.
  • You can replace the condensed milk with brown sugar if desired. Use fresh milk instead of evaporated canned milk. Be mindful the milk needs to be lukewarm, not cold.
  • Test the masa dough by dropping some masa into a glass with water. If it floats, the tamal masa is ready to use.
  • Add enough masa to the corn husk. Make sure to use the soft corn husk side, not with texture, allowing the tamal to release easily when cooked.

Nutrition

Calories: 454kcalCarbohydrates: 51gProtein: 8gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 139mgPotassium: 381mgFiber: 3gSugar: 22gVitamin A: 761IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 207mgIron: 3mg
Keyword chocolate, desserts, dulce de leche, tamales
Tried this recipe?Mention @adrianasbestrecipes or tag #abrecipes on Instagram

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25 Comments
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silvia

5 stars
I love sweet tamales and I had not tried chocolate tamales before. They were absolutely delicious.

Kayla DiMaggio

5 stars
These mexican chocolate tamales were so delicious! What a fun spin for a sweet recipe!

Jacqueline Debono

5 stars
I’ve never had tamales, sweet or savoury but goodness these chocolate tamales look amazing! I’m drooling and so impressed! It’s difficult to find the masa harina here in Italy. Can I sub with polenta?

Jessica

Wowza!!! I am over the moon knowing that chocolate tamales exist. If I could I’d be in the kitchen preparing these right now. Unfortunately, it will have to wait until after the holidays. I’m pretty sure I’ll be dreaming of these tamales until then.

Amanda Dixon

5 stars
These tamales were wonderful! I’ve only had savory tamales before, so this was my first time trying chocolate tamales. I just loved the chocolate with the cinnamon and coffee flavors. So decadent and wonderful!

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