Comida Latina, Recipes

Super Easy Sugar Skulls for Dia de los Muertos

October 27, 2014

Things are getting spooky around here. 

With Day of the Dead just around the corner I thought I’d share these soooooper easy sugar skulls or calaveras. I know a lot of blogs toss around terms like easy or simple and then you look at the list of ingredients and it includes things you’d have to drive to Cambodia for, “but once you get that home this recipe only takes 5 seconds!!!”


I swear to you that this little project is legitimately easy. You can trust me because I do not have a crafty bone in my body and I actually enjoyed this activity. All you need to do is drive to Mexico and pick up a skull mold….just kidding you can buy them at a Mexican market if you live in any largish-sized city or you can order it here. Then combine a cup of granulated sugar with a couple teaspoons of water. Rub the water into the sugar really good with your hands then pack it super tight into the mold. Flip the mold over onto a baking sheet and let dry in a low oven for 10 minutes. Let cool completely and decorate.

We used markers, glitter glue, and gems to decorate ours but you can get as fancy or simple as you please. Some people use food coloring, paint, frosting, or colored foil to decorate the skulls but I wanted to use things the kids could easily use on their own, while simultaneously keeping the mess to a minimum.

The molds I used were large molds, about the size of a softball with a flat back. 1 cup of sugar was enough to fill 1 of these molds. You can adjust the size of the batch depending on the size of your mold and how many you want to make. A lot of recipes for the skulls call for meringue powder which I’ve never used but I assume makes for a harder, more durable finished product, but the skulls we made with just sugar and water worked beautifully and have now survived a week with a very passionate two-year-old which is more than I can say about most things.

Super Easy Sugar Skulls for Dia de los Muertos


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons water


  1. Heat oven to 200°F.
  2. Mix sugar and water together until sugar is damp throughout (this is easiest with your hands so you can really tell if all the granules have gotten wet).
  3. Press mixture into the mold taking time to press really well into all the crevices. Firmly pack it in as hard as you can.
  4. Very carefully invert the mold onto a parchment lined baking sheet, letting the sugar skull slip out.
  5. Bake skull to harden the sugar for 10 minutes. Let cool completely, then decorate.

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