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.
4.5 from 2 votes
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: day of the dead recipes, dia de los muertos recipes, Halloween recipes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Resting: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 1
Calories: 774kcal



  • 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.


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


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

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