How to Make Sugar Skulls for Day of the Dead + Video

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These Sugar Skulls are a folk art decoration. I do not recommend eating sugar skulls  – once decorated with sequins, feathers, beads, and glitter are NOT edible.

sugar skulls on a platter with marigolds how to make DIY

I love to celebrate Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). When I celebrate this holiday I feel my ancestors closer. As I tell my children – we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for our grandparents and our parents. It is because of them, we have life and family, and it is up to us to keep their spirit alive.

Every year I love to teach my children new ways to honor and celebrate our departed. I’m sure it might sound odd, “celebrate our departed”, but to me, it truly is healing. This holiday is a time to reflect and remember all the happy memories you had with your loved ones who have passed away, and take the time to share stories.

sugar skull mold to make sugar skulls at home DIY

You don’t have to visit their gravestone to do this – you can celebrate and honor them in your home and build a home altar or make a traditional Dia de los Muertos craft like sugar skulls. Besides being cute and colorful, sugar skulls are a beloved icon because they represent a soul – a departed loved one.

sugar skull ingredients

Supplies needed to make sugar skulls

You might have already seen the video on my YouTube channel. It is by far my favorite video yet! 

sugar skulls drying overnight on cardboard squares

But before you decorate sugar skulls, you need to learn how to make sugar skulls.

Here is a short video to show you how easy it is to make them at home. For detailed instructions be sure to scroll down.

Want to celebrate Dia de Los Muertos?

How to Make Sugar Skulls (Calavera de Azúcar)

Traditional Day of the Dead Sugar Skulls are decorated with colored royal icing. These are for decoration and are not meant to be eaten.
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Ingredients

Instructions

  • Pour sugar into a large mixing bowl.
  • Add meringue powder.
  • Mix dry ingredients well.
  • Sprinkle sugar mixture with water
  • Combine sugar, meringue powder, and water with hands until fully combined.
  • Consistency should be similar to beach sand.
  • Tightly pack mixture into mold.
  • Scrape excess mixture and create a smooth, flat back of the mold.
  • Press cardboard onto back of mold and flip over. You should be able to easily slide the mold off to reveal a perfectly shaped sugar skull.
  • Set aside and allow to dry overnight.
  • Once you’ve made all the front of the skulls, repeat steps to make the back of the skulls.
  • Once all pieces have dried, spread a thin layer of royal icing on the back of the skulls, and attach the second piece to create the full shape.
  • Remove excess icing
  • Set aside 30 minutes, allowing the icing to dry and bind the two sugar skull pieces.
  • Once dry, your sugar skulls are ready to decorate.

Notes

Makes 2 medium flat back sugar skulls and 1 large 2-sided skull mold
 

Nutrition

Calories: 774kcal, Carbohydrates: 200g, Sodium: 3mg, Sugar: 200g

I’d love to see what you cook!

Tag #MUYBUENOCOOKING if you make this recipe.

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This post is in partnership with Kroger. As always, thank you for reading and for supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. All opinions are always my own.

Originally published: October 2016

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