Chocolate Calavera Cake

Chocolate Calavera Cake

On Dia De Los Muertos I honor my dearly departed with Chocolate Calavera Cake made with my family’s favorite Abuelita Chocolate! I know my tio’s and tia’s are sure to come when I put these cakes on the altar. The lovely scent of marigold and chocolate is the welcome they have been waiting for. I pay great attention to the ornamentation in decorating the lovely calveras with royal icing, as my tio was an artist and will appreciate the small details. I pick up all my ingredients at Northgate Gonzalez Market and a bundle of Flor de Cempasuchil to decorate my ofrenda just so. My tia will be thrilled to find her mini skull chocolate cake and that’s enough for me to feel at peace.




  • 3 packets Abuelita instant hot chocolate mix
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup water


  • 1 ½ cups Abuelita Chocolate powder mix
  • 1 cup whipping cream


  • 3 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 7 tablespoons warm milk or water
  • Gel food coloring


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Add Abuelita instant hot chocolate mix, flour, baking powder, and sugar to a mixer and mix on low to combine. Then add in eggs, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and water. Mix on low to combine for 2 minutes, then move speed to medium high and mix for an additional 2 minutes.

Spray skull cake molds with a non-stick baking spray.

Fill small skull cake molds with ¼ cup of batter, and large skull cake mold with remaining batter.

Bake small skulls for 15 minutes.

Bake large skull cake mold for 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before removing cakes and placing on a cooling rack.

Make chocolate ganache by adding whipping cream to a small sauce pan over a medium low flame. Once little bubbles form around the edge of the pan add in the Abuelita Chocolate powder mix. Stir with a rubber spatula to completely combine and mixture becomes smooth.

Either dip each skeleton cake into the ganache or spoon ganache over each cake.

Allow chocolate ganache to harden for a minimum of 8 hours.

Prepare the royal icing by mixing meringue powder, powered sugar, and warm milk/water together until smooth.   Divide Royal icing into several smaller batches and add your favorite gel food coloring to make the color of your choice. Or you can just leave it white. Place in a disposable piping bags with a tip to decorate.