Introduction: Dia De Muertos Sugar Skulls / Dia De Muertos Calaveritas / Halloween
sugar skulls or calaveritas are a mexican tradition for dia de muertos sugar skulls are part of the Ofrenda (offering altar) along with other items.
Two of my uncles died during covid and we wanted to remember them during dia de muertos and put them in the ofrenda.
Not gonna lie. even though i'm mexican i never done an ofrenda in my entire life. My grandma and other family members did one but i was extremely poor and we never got to do one.
Anyways, there is couple of traditional items that you suppose to put on an ofrenda, a bowl of salt, food and drinks that the dead relatives enjoyed, water, marigold flowers, ojaldras (day of the death bread), pictures of the deceased, fruits, candy, cut paperdecorations and calaveritas aka sugar skulls.
there suppose to be 7 levels and a bunch of other stuff that comes from mexican native traditions. However, we went simple with 3 levels.
One of the main things i remember were the sugar skulls, mainly because as a kid we used to eat them after day of the death.
I went to like 10 mexican stores in the florida and i couldnt find them. you might have better luck outside of the south but i coudn't find one so i decided to make some
Step 1: 3D Printed Sugar Skull Molds
you can buy skull molds online but most of them come with only half and are huge. those molds are usually for cakes or cookies.
Luckly i design 3d printed prototypes for a living and was able to bang out molds quick.
I made these with the ability to be resized in your printer and made them so they can be printed with minimal or no support.
anyways i made some bigger ones but honestly smaller ones dry quicker and use less sugar. also the ones i bought and i eat in mexico were often small
here is a link to the molds
anyways you need to mix sugar with water. ad water little by little until you squish the sugar and retains shape. if it's too wet it will stick to the mold and if itss to dry it will fall apart. so just play with the amount of water.. it's always better to begin with little water and adding water instead of the other way around
i push the sugar into the mold and leave flat edges so both halfs can be glued together. i also push the sugar and try to leave a little round gap in the middle to save sugar and help it dry.
you can also add egg whites or merengue powder but i wouldnt do that as it will be questionable if you try to eat it. ( also i couldnt find merengue powder)
i usually slam the molds on aluminum foil and a tray. it should come out in shape if ti doesnt you got to play with the water sugar ratio
once you have enough skulls you put the skulls in the oven at 200 degrees fahrenheit for about 20 minutes
dont touch the skulls until they cool down and dry out. they will be fragile for about 10-20 minutes.. more if the skulls are larger
once they dry you can glue them together with white icing.. once it dries it is almost like glue.
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of water
Optional - 1 teaspoon of merengue powder
until it feels like beach sand
after that make your icing or buy some at the craft store. i recommend making your own royal icing as the one from the store usually drips down
Step 3: Different Icings
so i had some icing from christmas and bought black icing at the store.
icing goes a LONG way so you dont need much
honestly i went crazy making skulls and i had a bunch of icing left. so dont go nuts
immediately after using the store bought icing i noticed that it started dripping. not big deal if you dont want to do anything complicated but honestly i wanted to do very fine and puffy lines.
i soon learned that i had to make my own icing. royal icing is the best for this. i was scared to make it because i thought it was complicated. ITS NOT
Step 4: Royal Icing
you only need an egg white and powder sugar.. some food coloring and flavoring.. but honestly you dont even need flavorings.
put the egg white and powder sugar in the mixer or use a hand mixer. just batter it until it becomes fluffy. when you pick up the mixer and the icing becomes stiff.. thats when it's ready.. they call it stiff peaks
anyways mix small batches in different little bowls with different colors. LEAVE white icing.. you need this to glue the skulls together.. i didnt do this and i had black seams in some of my skulls
i got piping bags from the dollar store and wrapped them around some glasses in order to fill them up. tie them and cut a very small cut at the bottom.
you can use piping tips but i didnt like them because my tips were too big for the small lines i wanted to make
Step 5: Stiff Peaks
i didnt have plans when making these so i just made them as they went. you should have a plan or you can do whatever you want. i liked spiky hair and spiky eyebrows as you can see above
Step 6: Have Fun
i didnt know what i was doing and honestly not very happy with my skulls but i'm looking forward to next year because practice helps
please vote for me. if i win ill make the molds free on cults.
if you see someone relleting them please let me know so i can send them a cease and desist.
Participated in the
Edible Art Challenge