How To Make Calaveras For Dia De Los Muertos: Sugar Skulls

 This is the first time I have ever tried my hand at making my own homemade calavera. It really forced me to step out of my comfort zone. For as long as I could remember I have always built my alter in memory of my uncle and then once it was complete I would run out and buy a calavera / sugar skull where ever I could find them. Not this time….. I wanted to personalize my calaveras in memory of my loved ones lost.

 

Ingredients for sugar skulls / calavera:

  • 6- cups granulated sugar
  • 6 – teaspoons meringue powder
  • 6 – teaspoons water

 That amount made 5 large skulls total. A little bigger then my clinched fist.

Ingredients for royal icing:

  • 4 – cups powdered sugar
  • 3 – tablespoons meringue powder
  • 6 – tablespoons warm water

Other supplies you may use:

  • colored foil paper
  • sequins
  • beads
  • soda pop tops
  • seeds
  • feathers

Directions:

  1. First mix granulated sugar and meringue powder together.
  2. Then slowly drizzle with water. The mixture should feel like beach sand.
  3. Firmly pack sugar into mold, making sure there are no bubbles.
  4. Scrape the back of the sugar mold with a knife for an even surface.
  5. Invert the sugar mold onto a hard surface.
  6. Let the skulls dry for 8 hours.
  7. Once the skulls are hard enough to touch, use a spoon and scoop out the middle, it should still be soft enough to scoop. Leave a 1/2 inch thick wall around the edge. (I made more calaveras with the extra sugar)
  8. Allow the hollowed skulls to dry for an additional 15 hours or overnight.
  9. Make royal icing: Mix powdered sugar, meringue powder, and warm water together. A thick paste will form. According to the amount of colors you’d like to use, divide the icing into that amount of separate bowls and color with concentrated paste food coloring of your choice. Then place each color in it’s own disposable piping bag fitted with a decorative metal tip.
  10. Then using a white royal icing trace along the lines of the two pieces of skull that come together. Make sure no to pipe the neck with royal icing.
  11. Align the two pieces together and allow to dry before decorating.
  12. Decorate the face as you desire. Some calavera have decorative eyes, and other use an inside down heart for the nose.
  13. Enjoy!

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