These easy tamale cakes are flavorful, festive, and a perfect party appetizer! My mom and I make them for parties because they are addictively sweet and spicy, and they are much easier to eat than a full-size tamale in a husk. Masa harina is corn flour, so look for it in the baking or ethnic food aisle of your grocery store. I recommend wearing gloves to avoid skin irritation from the jalapeños, but regardless, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before touching anything else— especially your eyes!
Make-Ahead Tip: The tamale dough can be made in advance, pre-formed, and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. You can pan-fry directly from the refrigerator or freezer.
- 1 1/2 cups frozen sweet yellow corn, thawed
- 1/2 cup vegan margarine
- 1/2 cup masa harina
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
- Sriracha Mayo
- Diced avocado
- Salsa fresca
- chopped fresh cilantro
For the tamale cakes
In a food processor, blend 1 cup of the corn until coarsely ground. Add the margarine, masa harina, flour, sugar, and salt and blend until a dough forms. Add the remaining ½ cup of corn and jalapeño and mix by hand. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Scoop out ¼ cup of the dough and using your hands, form it into a patty. Repeat to make 6 patties total.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. When the skillet is hot, working in batches if necessary, sear the patties for about 4 minutes on each side, flipping with a spatula, until lightly browned and crisp.
Serve the warm cakes with a drizzle of Sriracha Mayo and desired toppings.