Just over here, writing about life.  

Dia De Los Muertos Skull Cakes

Dia De Los Muertos Skull Cakes

I was going to buy the fancy $50 Nordic Ware skull cupcake molds to execute this idea, but I stopped myself. You see, I know me. I love to impulse buy things for the sake of my creative indulgence. And then I feel wildly guilty because it ends up being a one-time thing. I opted for this skull cookie cutter instead and am so glad I did. Much more versatile and much much cheaper. And as a result we have these adorable little skull mini cakes!

Now, for the actual cake - it’s a spice cake with cream cheese frosting. It’s warm and traditional and makes your home feel like a Hallmark movie set. YES. PLEASE. The eyes are pansies which we grow in the garden, and are completely edible (stamen and stem included). Edible flowers are all the YESSES. And lastly, I have hidden a full zucchini in here. PRAISE.

Here are all the details for my Dia De Los Muertos Skull Cakes


For the Skull Cakes:

2 9”x13” glass baking pans

2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1 cup vegetable oil

1 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 cup applesauce

4 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup shredded zucchini

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

2 cups powdered sugar

1 block of room temperature cream cheese (8oz block full fat)

1 stick of room temperature butter (1/2 cup)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For decorations:

36 pansies

Icing bag and tip (I used a ziplock)


Preheat oven to 350.

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and all spices in a large bowl, then set aside. In another bowl mix oil, sugar, applesauce, eggs, zucchini, vanilla. Combine both bowls adding the wet ingredients to the dry. You don’t need a mixer for this, just some good old fashioned weak mom biceps like me.

Pour your cake batter into two 9”x13” glass baking pans and bake for 20-30 minutes. It only took mine 20 mins, but we’re at sea level. Be sure a toothpick can come out clean to determine doneness.

Let your cakes cool on a wire rack while you make frosting.

Use a mixer to mix frosting, adding all ingredients together, scraping the sides down as you go. Took me about 5 minutes to mix this using my KitchenAid and the whisk attachment.

Once the cakes are cool, I used the skill cookie cutter and got about 9 cakes per pan. I then iced each cake individually, placed fresh pansies* on, and piped on little skull mouths and noses using the leftover icing in a ziplock bag.

I also tried using dried pansies and they looked much less festive, so I recommend using fresh blooms cut same day.

There you have it, some Dia De Los Muertos Skull Cakes!


Easy Homemade Gnocchi in Cream Sauce

Easy Homemade Gnocchi in Cream Sauce