Sweet Pineapple Honey Raisin Tamales

Do you love Mexican food? Mexican holiday foods are among my favorites. This holiday season Disney’s California Adventure is celebrating “Viva Navidad” with all the best Mexican holiday foods. From now until January 6th you can get tamales, pozole, sopes, buñuelos, champurrado, and Mickey shaped pan dulce right in California Adventure. Isn’t that amazing? I got the opportunity to learn to make assistant pastry chef Nubia Renteria’s sweet pineapple honey raisin tamales, we even filmed a mini video together doing so. She was so nice, she even allowed me to share her recipe here on Babble with you all. The fun doesn’t stop there … wonderful mariachi’s serenade the crowd, and dancers twirl their dresses escorted by men in sombreros — it’s all happening for Viva Navidad!

  • Viva Navidad 1 of 9
    Viva Navidad

    Scroll through for a tasty look at some of the amazing food I had while celebrating Viva Navidad!

  • Sweet Pineapple Raisin Tamales 2 of 9

    Wrapped and ready to be served. Traditionally made sweet tamales filled with pineapple and golden raisins. Recipe below. 

  • Pozole 3 of 9

    A nice hot bowl of pozole is exactly what you need on a cold day at the park. Spicy broth filled with chunks of pork and hominy, then garnished with cabbage, onion, cilantro and lime. Yum!

  • Sopes De Barbacoa 4 of 9

    Sopes made with barbacoa and chorizo beans. Garnished with a little bit of cabbage, cotija cheese and crema. Absolutely wonderful. 

  • Bunuelos 5 of 9

    Crispy cinnamon sugar crusted fried flour tortillas served with a side of cajeta. 

  • Mickey Shaped Pan Dulce 6 of 9

    I had to take a bite of this pan dulce before I could even snap the photo. So good. Love that this concha is the shape of Mickey!

  • Dancers Fill The Streets 7 of 9

    The streets come alive with folklorico dancers. A festive celebration for all to enjoy Viva Navidad!

  • Unwrapped Tamales 8 of 9
    Screen shot 2013-11-25 at 3.58.27 PM

    A photo of me about to dig into my sweet tamale that Chef Nubia and I prepared together. Get the recipe below. 

  • Viva Navidad! 9 of 9

    My friends and I had a wonderful time! Viva Navidad!

 Ingredients for sweet pineapple raisin tamales:

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 1/2 cups pineapple juice
  • 1 cup honey
  • 3 1/2 cups masa harina
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 3/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups golden raisins
  • 1 1/2 cups finely diced fresh pineapple
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil or a cooking spray
  • 22 dried cornhusks (soak in boiling-hot water for 1 hour)


  1. In a large bowl combine pineapple juice, water, and honey. Mixing until completely combined. Set to the side.
  2. Add masa, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix until completely combined.
  3. Add in shortening. Mix until shortening is evenly incorporated through masa.
  4. Add salt, and baking powder to masa mixture, then whisk to combine all ingredients.
  5. Add pineapple juice/honey mixture, a little at a time, until mixture resembles the consistency of mashed potatoes. (You may have a little juice left over)
  6. Mix in raisins and pineapple. Set aside for 1 hour.
  7. Remove cornhusks from water and drain.
  8. Place 1/3 cup of tamale dough inside the center of a cornhusk. Using your hands, shape dough into a rectangle in the lower, wider part of the husk. Fold right side, then left side over tamale dough. Fold up bottom edge. Repeat with remaining tamale dough and cornhusks.
  9. Add a few inches water to a large stockpot, and place a steamer basket inside. Place tamales in steamer, stacking no more than 2 high. Place pot over high heat to bring water to a boil, then lower heat to medium-low.
  10. Steam tamales about 2 hours, or until the tamales start to separate from the cornhusks. Check water level periodically, and add more water if needed.
  11. Remove tamales from the pot and let cool for 20 minutes before unfolding.
  12. Serve warm.

For more recipes from Nicole Presley click over to her blog: Presley’s Pantry 

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Article Posted 3 years Ago

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