10 Sugar-Skull Recipes to Complete Your Day of the Dead Celebration

One of the biggest traditions families incorporate when hosting a Day of the Dead gathering and building an altar is making homemade sugar skulls. The classic recipe is simple: sugar, meringue powder, and water.

Once you have your molds ready, you can go plain, adorn them with traditional designs, or add special touches and details to make your skulls truly unique for the person they are meant to honor. We've rounded up a variety of recipes with unique decorating options, and even a couple of different flavor selections, if you choose to make them edible.

Robin Grose/The Spruce

Tint homemade frosting with food coloring to decorate these skulls with bright and vivid detail.

Muy Bueno Cookbook

Keep these beautiful molded skulls clean and simple.

Sugar and Charm

Flowers, gold accents, and plastic jewels add eye-catching style to this recipe.

Sprinkle Bakes

How adorable is this Frida Kahlo sugar-skull variation, complete with fake roses in her hair?

Try Anything Once

Pink and purple are some of the most traditional colors of Day of the Dead, symbolizing celebration and grief, respectively. Use this recipe to highlight these themes.

Live Colorful

Take it up a notch and go for a chocolate sugar-skull recipe, like this one.

Hola Jalapeño

For an easy (and kid-friendly) option, decorate your sugar skulls with (nonedible) glitter and paint pens.

Presley's Pantry

Go crazy with the color detail and design, even adding giant jewels for the eyes, like this recipe suggests.

All Roads Lead to the Kitchen

These basic sugar skulls have a grainy, sugary texture, which just adds to the skulls' authentic look. They can be decorated with a homemade egg-white icing, as well as whatever craft supplies you have on hand, such as sequins, jewels, glitter, and feathers.