El Dia de los Muertos–Cupcakes!

Hi there–happy Friday!   I’ve received several requests recently for a cake or cupcake tutorial in honor of El Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead.  For those of you who are not familiar with this holiday, this is a Mexican celebration (which is also observed in certain parts of the US & Central America) that takes place on November 1st and 2nd.   It is a time to celebrate the memory of those who have passed, and  is believed to be a time when spirits return to the Earth  to be with their families.

Celebrations and traditions  of El Dia de los Muertos vary from location to location, but often involve making elaborate altars honoring loved ones who have passed,  colorful decorations, special foods including sugar skulls and pan de muertos,  dancing, parades, and graveside reunions.

If you celebrate El Dia de los Muertos, I would love to hear about your traditions!


Now, onto our cupcake tutorial!…………

Since Halloween is upon us, I didn’t have to look any further than Target for an idea–  ( a very easy idea) —

I bought a pack of silicone ice cube trays in the shape of skulls and bones!  The flexibility of these trays make them great for chocolate molds–so whenever you see ones that you like, make sure to grab them!

I started by piping melted Wilton white candy melts into each of the skull molds.

I popped the ice cube tray in the freezer for about 5-10 minutes, until the skulls were firm.   The chocolate skulls were very easy to remove.

Next, I dusted over the skulls with super pearl dust.  (I’ve never found anything that didn’t look better with super pearl dust and white disco dust!)  ;0)

Okay– so that’s pretty much it!  The rest is up to you.  I decorated my skulls with brightly colored shades of buttercream and colored dragees.  I outlined the skulls with buttercream using a small round tip 2….and everything else was piped with small star or round tips.  The petals in the cupcake below were piped with a tip 104.


Here’s another shot of my decorating tools  :0)   I cut some small flowers from fondant so that we could have even more raised elements, using a small Wilton daisy cutter.  I gave the skulls rosy cheeks with pink luster dust (CK Super Red)– and some of them are wearing dragee earrings ;0)

I had a lot of fun with the bright colors and flowers–(and of course, glittery disco dust!).

If you are unable to find Halloween ice cube trays like mine, you can always pipe simple melted chocolate skull shapes onto parchment lined cookie sheets and chill until firm.   Then, pull out your colorful buttercream and sprinkles and decorate away!

Here is the group shot!

Thanks for stopping by the blog today!  I hope that you enjoyed the tutorial.  If you ever give these a try,  make sure to send me a picture!  I would love to see.  Have a good weekend!

Category: Blog Tutorials, Chocolate Techniques, Cupcake, Cake Pop, etc. Methods, Custom Toppers & Figure Modeling, Fall, Seasonal & Holiday


  1. trisha says: #1

    this is beyond cool Melissa…love the colors! PINNED and stumbled and tweeted this gem!

  2. Melissa Diamond says: #2

    Yay! Thanks so much Trisha ;0)

  3. Ivette says: #3

    oh my Goodness I was in desperate need for a tutorial for el dia de los muertos, I was asked to do a cake with cupcakes for this occasion, you are a life saver!!!

  4. sweetcakes says: #4

    Awesome, as always!!

  5. Gabriela Osornio says: #5

    One of my favorites yet! I’m full Mexican and celebrate Dia de los muertos. These will certainly be at the altar! will send pictures!

  6. Carmen Konigsbach says: #6

    Love your blog…thanks Mayen for the tip. 😉

  7. Sami says: #7

    Love it! You always do such a great job :)

  8. ibakethecakes says: #8

    Beautiful and fantastic idea!

  9. Rebecca BrownVarda says: #9

    Melissa, you’ve done it again and thanks you so much!

  10. Jenn says: #10

    Very nice… Creative

  11. Thelma says: #11

    They are beautiful… I love them!

  12. Marianna says: #12

    Cool cupcakes, Melissa – right in the tradition of the sugar skulls we use to celebrate this wonderful holiday (my favorite, right alongside Christmas).

  13. Cinners Cakes says: #13

    OMG You are so so talented!!! I just love these and so will my granddaughter. Thank you so much for making this site for all of us to enjoy and learn.

  14. LAURA says: #14

    Melissa, OMG, I am mexican & just loved your brilliant idea. These are awsome. They also have this skull tray at Walmart for $7.00.

  15. Melissa Diamond says: #15

    Thanks so much for your comments, everybody!! — Laura—thanks for the Wal Mart tip!! (Glad that you like the cupcakes!) ;0)

  16. LOVE the ice cube tray idea! So smart!

  17. Tanja says: #17

    I love these…wow!!!

  18. Tammy says: #18

    I love these, can’t wait to try them. Thanks for all the great ideas!!!

  19. Kristen Sheets says: #19

    Using this idea with Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes for our neighborhood Halloween Block Party!! Making the chocolate skulls this weekend!! Wheee!

  20. Susy says: #20

    OMG These are so cute! I’m gonna attempt to make them today. =)

  21. PHCALEF says: #21

    Excellent idea. And yesterday I discovered I had some silicone skull ice trays. This will make excellent use of them.

  22. Caren Konigsbach says: #22

    😮 El Dia De Los Muertos cupcakes tutorial is a killer. Mayen….you’ve got to do a few of these. I am. Thanks Melissa.

  23. Aaron says: #23

    Thanks so much for the idea of the ice cube trays! I was trying to do something like this as an activity for my Spanish club, but could not fathom piping 70 skulls. I actually found just skull ice cube trays at the store “Deals” for $1 each. They had 10 in each one for anyone who is interested!

  24. Melissa Diamond says: #24

    Thanks everybody! I’m so glad that several of you have found some skull ice cube trays & will be making these! Aaron–WAY better than piping 70 skulls :0) –have fun!

  25. Vanessa says: #25

    Hi, your blog is amaising!!! I follow it since march, I`m from Mexico city…. yes , your blog is read in Mexico too!!!, and I loved you Dia de Muertos Cupcake, thanks for mention our culture, now I`m a loyal follower…

  26. mykangaroocakegirl says: #26

    Well I loved it so much that I went to about 3 target stores in different areas and was not successful with the ice trays. but the tutorial is awesome and very artistic. the brightness of the colors bring the Dia de los muertos alive. I certainly appreciate.

  27. Francesca says: #27

    Simply wonderful!

  28. Ivette says: #28

    I bought this Ice cube tray at the Dollar Tree :)

  29. Stacey Mcdonnell says: #29

    So cool Melissa as usual you out do yourself every time. Noah my son and his class just won a fiesta in Nov for earning the most Euros for their class behavior and class grades in spanish class. So I made dia de los muertos cookies. Umm wished iwould have seen this first. i never ever have used so many icing colors on one cookie in my entire life. Cool thing is that being5th graders you do not usually get much reation out of them on anything. They saw them and their eyes lit up. Made me feel better about all the hard work I put into them and they were so thankful. Tahnk God. Happy Turkey Day girl. Thanks for helping make my year special. Thankful for having your class in my life as I reflect on what makes me thankful this yr. You have been and your class has been a God send for me. Thanks for everything. Best.Stacey P.S. Tell BB thanks too and Gobble Gobble as well

Leave a Comment