Mexican Chocolate Skull Cakes
Rich, moist, and flavorful mini chocolate skull cakes with notable undertones of vanilla, chili powder, coffee, and cinnamon.
These mini chocolate skull cakes are the perfect way to celebrate Halloween or Día de los Muertos! The idea for these came from skull cake pans I found online. As soon as I spotted it, I knew I needed it to celebrate both Halloween and Día de los Muertos.
How to make mini skull cakes
I adapted the suggested recipe from the producer of the cake pan to incorporate Mexican chocolate flavors instead of dark chocolate and swapped out the sugar for my favorite zero-calorie sweeteners – Truvia Sweet Complete Granulated All-Purpose Sweetener and Truvia Sweet Complete Brown.
I used both Truvia Sweet Complete Granulated and Brown sweeteners in the batter, making this dessert not only delicious but also diabetes-friendly. Truvia Sweet Complete Sweeteners sweeten and measure cup for cup like sugar in recipes, so the swap couldn’t have been simpler.
The best part is that these are perfect for both your Halloween and Día de los Muertos celebrations! Serve with spooky roasted berry sauce for your next spooktacular Halloween party or dust with Truvia Sweet Complete Confectioners, white writing gel, or sprinkles for a calavera (skull).
Prepare the pan for the batter
If you follow me on Instagram, you saw me make these chocolate skulls three ways. All are fun looks, depending on the look you want to achieve.
- Nonstick spray: Easiest option — spray the skull cake pan with baking spray.
- Flour: I used non-stick spray and dusted with flour. The flour creates a marbly, spooky effect when it gets into the crevices.
- Cocoa powder: My mom (and many IG amigos) gave me the idea of brushing the skull cake pan with melted butter and dusting with cocoa. Genius! This was my favorite look. The cocoa powder still highlights the cervices, but in an elegant way.
Don’t overfill batter
Don’t be tempted to overfill with batter. Fill pan no more than 3/4 full in each well (about 1/2 cup each). Tap pan on top of counter to evenly distribute batter and eliminate air bubbles from the batter.
Removing the skulls from the pan
Flipping a cake over always makes me nervous, but this pan was quite impressive. Removing the skulls from the pan is easy — especially because you’ve prepared them (read tips above). I recommend setting the timer for 15 minutes before you flip the pan over. This allows enough time to have the skulls cool down without giving them too much time to stick to the pan.
Decorate the cakes for Halloween
In my home we celebrate both Halloween and Día de los Muertos. If you are unsure the differences between the holidays, I encourage you to read this blog post.
The spooky berry dipping sauce
I knew I wanted a chocolate cake with some sort of dripping berry sauce. I am obsessed with Ina Garten‘s roasted berries recipe paired with chocolate cake! In my recipe, here again I used Truvia Sweet Complete Granulated Sweetener for a more diabetes-friendly recipe.
The sauce could not be easier. You need three ingredients that are combined and roasted together.
Roast blueberries and raspberries in a baking dish and toss with Truvia, vanilla bean and seeds but feel free to use the berries of your choice.
The sauce can be served on the side or drizzled on top to drip down into all of the intricate crevices of the skulls, making the skulls have a creepy and eerie feeling to them.
Decorate the cakes for Dia de los Muertos
Dust with Truvia Sweet Complete Confectioners or garnish with white writing gel or decorating sprinkles for a calavera (skull) to celebrate Dia de los Muertos.
More festive posts to celebrate Halloween and Día de los Muertos
If you tried my recipe for these Mexican Chocolate Skull Cakes, please be sure to rate and review it below! And don’t forget to tag me on Instagram if you come up with any fun decor ideas – show me your creations!!
Mexican Chocolate Skull Cakes
- 6 ounces blueberries
- 6 ounces raspberries
- 1/4 cup Truvia® Sweet Complete™ All-Purpose Sweetener
- 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds removed
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons instant coffee
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
- 1 cup Truvia® Sweet Complete™ All-Purpose Sweetener
- 3/4 cup Truvia Brown Sugar Blend, packed
- 4 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Place blueberries and raspberries in a baking dish and toss with sugar and vanilla bean and seeds.
- Roast for 20 minutes. Cool to room temperature before filling or topping cake.
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Prepare the Skull Cakelet pan with baking spray or brush with butter and dust with cocoa. (the cocoa dusting gives the skulls a fun look).
- Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon, instant coffee, and salt together.
- In a separate bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugars together until creamy and lightened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Add the vanilla extract.
- Put the mixer on low speed and add the buttermilk alternately with the dry ingredients in 4 additions. Mix until smooth. Add hot coffee slowly until well combined.
- Fill pan no more than 3/4 full in each well (about 1/2 cup each). Tap pan on top of counter to evenly distribute batter and eliminate air bubbles from the batter.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Allow cakelets to cool in pan 15 to 20 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack. Repeat with remaining batter.
- Serve with roasted berries, dust with Truvia Sweet Complete Confectioners for a powdered sugar affect, or garnish as desired with royal icing, writing gel, candy decorations, or decorating sprinkles.
- Don’t be tempted to overfill with batter. Fill pan no more than 3/4 full in each well (about 1/2 cup each).
- Truvia measures cup-for-cup like sugar.
Photography by Jenna Sparks
This post is in partnership with Truvia® sweetener. 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.