Mexican cremacornqueso fresco



Recipe Yield

10 to 12 tamales

Cooking time

1 hour 20 minutes

Rate this recipe

4.84 from 6 votes


  • 10 large tender ears of corn with fresh corn husks attached
  • 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup corn meal or rice flour more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon ground canela or cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt
  • Fresh corn husks from the ears of corn to make the tamales or dried corn husks
  • Mexican crema optional topping
  • Queso fresco optional topping

To Prepare

To make the corn dough or masa:

  • Carefully peel the husks from the ears of corn. It helps if you slice 1/4-inch or so from the bottom part of the corn. Place the husks in a large bowl and cover with hot water. (If using dried corn husks, soak in hot water.)
  • Rinse the peeled corn thoroughly. Shave the corn kernels off and place in a food processor or blender along with the sweetened condensed milk. Process until you get as smooth consistency as you can. Incorporate the corn meal or rice flour until you get a moist, but not wet, dough consistency. Season with the cinnamon and salt and mix well.

To prepare the tamalera or steamer:

  • Place water in the bottom pan of a steamer (so that water is under the steamer) and bring it to a simmer. Line the steamer with one or two layers of soaked corn husks.

To assemble the tamales:

  • Lay out a corn husk with the tapering end towards you. If the fresh corn husks are too thin, use 2 or 3 fanned together. Spread about 3 tablespoons of dough or masa into about a 2 to 3-inch square, the layer should be about 1/4-inch thick, leaving a border of at least 1/2-inch on the sides.
  • Pick up the two long sides of the corn husk and bring them together and fold the folded sides to one side, rolling them in the same direction around tamal. Fold up the empty section of the husk, with the tapering end, from the bottom up. This will form a closed bottom and the top will be left open.
  • Prepare all the tamales and place them as vertically as you can in a container.

To cook tamales:

  • When you have all tamales ready place them, again as vertically as you can, into the prepared steamer, with the open end on top. If there is space left in the steamer, tuck in some cornhusks, so the tamales won’t dance around. Cover with more cornhusks, and steam covered with a lid anywhere from 55 minutes to an hour. You know the tamales are ready when they come easily free from the husks.
  • Serve hot, along with fresh Mexican cream and crumbled queso fresco on the side.


60comments inUchepos

  1. susan allyn

    Dec 17

    Aloha from Kauai
    Are these tamales sweet

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 20

      Yes, this ones are sweet Susan and if you serve them topped with crema and queso they become tangy and yummy!

  2. kathy roose

    Sep 02

    Can I use corn masa

    1. Pati Jinich

      Sep 19

      You could but then they become traditional tamales, not Uchepos anymore Kathy 🙂

  3. Veronica

    Aug 25

    Omg pati! I can’t wait to make them, I love the idea of the cornmeal! I grew up eating them and miss them so much! Thanks for this amazin recipe

    1. Pati Jinich

      Sep 18

      My pleasure Veronica, enjoy the Uchepos!


    Aug 25

    Pati…..your recipe sounds amazing, but somewhat confusing. When you stated cornmeal to me thats the one thats used to make cornbread.Are you actually referring to corn masa which Tamales are usually made of?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Sep 18

      Yep, it is cornmeal!

  5. Dixie

    Aug 25

    ???there is no filling???

    1. Pati Jinich

      Sep 18

      No filling, the tamal itself has all the flavor and then… toppings!

  6. Kay

    Dec 14

    Oh my! I first ate tamales de elote in Baja California 30+ years ago–SO glad to now have a recipe! Thank you, Pati. Love your recipes–they always work great and taste SO good!!! <3

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 21

      Thanks so much Kay! I hope these Uchepos won’t disappoint 😉 Un abrazo.

  7. Paty

    Jul 21

    Los uchepos no llevan leche condenada 🤢

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jul 26

      Hola Paty, a mi me gusta ponerles un poco porque me parece que los hace un poco mas dulces y menos secos, pero pronto voy a tratar de hacerlos sin ponerles leche condensada a ver que tal quedan. Un abrazo!

      1. Fher Carrera

        Aug 25

        Si puedes ponerle nata de la leche con esos quedan más rico en lugar de la crema

        1. Pati Jinich

          Sep 18

          Muy buena idea Fher, gracias!

    2. Anonymous

      Aug 25

      No era necesario el emoji, ay muchas maneras de hacerlos, yo por ejemplo crecí comiendolos sin el cornflour y me gusta la idea! Definitivamente los boy a tratar de hacer, se ven deliciosos!

  8. Cathy

    Nov 21

    You don’t put baking power ,i thought you do my mother puts baking power

    1. Pati Jinich

      Nov 30

      I don’t use any…but everyone has their own recipe 😀.

  9. Liz Baldon

    Sep 09

    Pati – I made these tamales today and it brought me back to my childhood in El Grullo, Jalisco. I could not wait to taste them and call my mother to let her know I made them. My mother is in Arizona and I live in Buffalo, New York. You don’t find many people here in Buffalo if any that make these tamales de elote. I couldn’t wait to eat them! They were delicious!!! Gracias Pati!!!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Sep 10

      I’m SO happy to hear that you called your mom about these tamales and that they brought you back to your childhood, Liz!!!

  10. Julie Medina

    Aug 28

    Pati!! Thank you, I made these tamalitos de elote,and my husband said they were PERFECT!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Aug 29

      Thank YOU for trying the recipe and sharing your husband’s awesome reaction.

  11. Pamela

    Aug 23

    can you place tamale mixture in a casserole dish and water bath and bake in the oven? and serve like a cake ?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Sep 03

      Sure! But you might also like this recipe, Pamela:

  12. Laura Matson

    Aug 23

    Pati, Could you place the filling in custard cups and bake in the oven in a water bath? I have a picky eater who just won’t do tamales because corn husks. Love your show!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Sep 03

      You could do that with the water bath, but you can also give this recipe a try: Enjoy, Laura!

  13. Hannah Viveros

    Aug 22

    I love your recipes. They always turn out great just as I remember from my childhood. Thank you for the happiness you’ve brought to me and my family. Hannah Viveros from Riveride, California 😉

    1. Pati Jinich

      Aug 23

      I hope my recipes bring back many more happy childhood memories for you, Hannah!

  14. Mariquita Masterson

    Aug 22

    I already subscribe to your email, and enjoy receiving it very much. I have found that the corn in the US does not make proper Uchepos… what do you suggest?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Sep 03

      What I try to do is find the very tender summer corn… if the mix is not coming together, you can add a bit of masa harina as well, Mariquita.

  15. Tom Windelborn

    Jul 31

    This says the recipe makes 10-12 tamales, but this would only be 2 cups of filling, and just the corn will be 7.5 cups (8.5 cups with everything added). Will this make only 10-12 tamales, or is it more like 30-40? I just don’t know if I want to make 3 recipes of this to fill my steamer pot with 36 tamales or if just 1 recipe will fill the steamer.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Aug 09

      The recipe makes 10-12 well-stuffed tamales, Tom, so to fill your steamer, triple the recipe.

  16. Rosa Shearer

    Dec 07

    So if you can’t find fresh corn can you substitute frozen or canned? I wouldn’t want to but if all else fails. Also, what kind of yield do you get from 10 ears approximately (in cups)? Thank you for your recipes! I love your cookbooks….working on a collection here and have made plenty…..still need to try your guava cheesecake!


    1. Pati

      Dec 17

      You can, Rosa! I plan for about 3/4 cup per ear when I get the thawed or already shaved kernels. Enjoy the uchepos and the cheesecake 😄

  17. Lydia G.Ellis

    Dec 02

    Pati- Thank You for this recipe! I had these years ago in Cuidad Guzman (outside of Guadalajara).There was one lady that made them every Saturday & they sold out very quickly. Love your show! Keep up the great work!

    1. Pati

      Dec 03

      Oh what a great memory, Lydia. Enjoy the Uchepos!

  18. Julie

    Aug 02

    I am in love with your tamale recipes, always successful for me. However, when I attempted to make these I could not manage to get the correct consistency. After adding 2 1/2 cups of corn meal I finally decided to just wrap the filling and see what happen, concerned they would be too dry upon steaming. They were still leaking liquid all over the bottom of the bowl once i finished wrapping in the corn husks…haven’t steamed them yet but what do you think I could be doing wrong? I watched the video for this episode and the filling seems to be pretty thick. I waited about 5 minutes between each addition of corn meal to give it time to absorb the excess liquid as suggested on the video. Any input would be welcome, thanks Pati!

    1. Pati

      Aug 08

      It is tricky because this dough really depends on how watery the corn is… try mixing it with some corn masa harina flour!

  19. Ed Naimon

    Feb 08

    Hola, Pati.

    We recently visited Morelia and dined at Lu’s wonderful restaurant at the Hotel Casino. We loved the tarascan soup and the poblano stuffed with uchepos. Would your uchepos recipe be a good filling for poblanos? If so, what sauce would you drizzle on top?

    Lastly, do you happen to have a sopa de tarasca recipe that you’d recommend? Gracias.

    1. Pati

      Feb 19

      They would make a perfect filling for poblanos, Ed, but they have to be baked or steamed, so the uchepo masa cooks. And I would drizzle Mexican crema and sprinkle the stuffed poblanos with crumbled queso cotija​. And here’s my recipe for Tarascan Soup: Enjoy!

  20. Ivy

    Jan 14

    Hello, Dear One! I think it would be helpful to know how many actual cups of corn you are using. Sometimes you get big ears of corn and sometimes small ones and that would change how much corn or rice flour you are using. Just a thought. I LOVE YOUR FOOD. You are adorable and so are your boys.

    1. Pati

      Jan 30

      Thank you! And yes indeed, I plan for about 3/4 cup per ear when I get the thawed or already shaved kernels 🙂

  21. IRENE

    Oct 19


    1. Pati

      Oct 20

      Seguro que te quedan deliciosas, Irene!

  22. IRENE

    Oct 17


    1. Pati

      Oct 20

      Gracias 🙂

  23. Jorge

    Sep 18

    Can frozen corn be substitued for fresh corn?

    1. Pati

      Sep 20

      For Uchepos, fresh is really best…

  24. Healthy Florida

    Aug 01

    ¿Hay una diferencia en la calidad de la masa fresca? Tenemos una tienda local que tiene fresco.

    1. Pati

      Aug 01

      Claro, mejor usar masa fresca para la mayor parte de os tamales. Pero los Uchepos no se hacen con masa nixtamalizada, si no con elote tierno fresco. Lo puedes combinar!

      1. Healthy Florida

        Aug 02

        Gracias por su ayuda, en la Florida tenemos muchas familias Cubanas. Tal vez un espectáculo en recetas de fusión de Cuba y México.

  25. Rocio

    Jun 27

    Can I use corn masa instead of corn meal?

    1. Pati

      Jul 05

      Yes you can, you can also use rice flour.

  26. Maria

    Jun 14

    Hola Pati, I tried making the tamales, but they came out to sticky. They were good, but they stuck to the corn husk after they cooked. Any idea what I did wrong? Help?

    1. Pati

      Jun 14

      You can try adding a bit more cornmeal or rice flour, and also wait after they are ready, they should settle in the pot for 10 to 15 minutes…

  27. Gris

    May 25

    Pati, puedo usar elotes de bote ?

    1. Pati

      May 27

      No quedan igual….

  28. Jessica

    May 17

    Hi Pati,
    Can I use American yellow corn meal for this or is it a particular Mexican corn meal? Thanks for this recipe!

    1. Pati

      May 20

      American yellow corn meal works perfectly, Jessica, hope you enjoy!

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