Tamal de elote can refer to two different foods:


A cake made with sweet corn, golden in color and with a spongy, moist texture is called "tamal de elote" in many places. It has nothing to do with the standard definition of tamal: it contains no meat, is baked instead of boiled, and doesn't use plantain leaves.

Some chefs and academics argue[1] that the correct name for this food is "pan de elote", since it's analogous to cornbread. But most restaurants will sell it as "tamal de elote".


In some places you can find tamales, similar to the tamales made at Christmastime, but with sweet corn and added sugar. They're wrapped in plantain leaves and boiled, and the result is a tamale that's sweet. These are also called "tamal de elote"