How to Make Sugar Skulls for Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)

How to Make Sugar Skulls for Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)
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What better way to celebrate Dia de los Muertos than by showing off your arts and crafts skills when making traditional sugar skulls to honor those departed souls.

The History Behind the Holiday

Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a Mexican holiday that takes place during November 1st and 2nd of every year. These are days when Mexican citizens attend special masses and partake in elaborate festivities to commemorate the dead.  In modern culture, Day of the Dead continues to evolve as large populations of Mexican Americans in the United States participate in their own celebrations while incorporating aspects of traditional Mexican festivities.

A Tasty Treat to Celebrate With

Sugar skulls are a popular treat offered during Day of the Dead and are commonly used when decorating the altars of those who have departed. With the help of Melissa Guerra, you too can make your very own sugar skulls for the occasion.

Melissa’s Recipe on How to Make a Sugar Skull


Sugar Skull

  • 4 cups of granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of meringue powder
  • 3 – 4 teaspoons of water
  • Royal Icing
  • 2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of meringue powder
  • 1 teaspoon of meringue powder
  • 1/3 cup of warm water
  • 2 – 5 Gel Colors


Step 1: Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper. Place the granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the meringue powder, and stir to combine. Add the water one teaspoon at a time, mixing with your hands. The sugar should feel like barely damp beach sand, forming a clump with finger indentations when squeezed in your hand.

Step 2: Pack the prepared sugar into the mold, and then turn over quickly onto the parchment. The formed skull should come out of the mold in once piece. Allow to dry overnight.

Step 3: Once the sugar skulls have dried, decorate using a piping bag filled with royal icing. Allow the decorated skulls to dry overnight. Sugar skulls will keep indefinitely, provided they are stored in a dry environment.

Step 4: (Note) If the sugar skull crumbles, return the prepared sugar to the bowl, and add one more teaspoon of water. Remix, then pack again into the skull mold. Unmold and dry overnight.

Step 5: To make the royal icing, combine the powdered sugar and meringue powder. Add the water one tablespoon and mix at a time until your icing is thick, yet smooth in consistency.

Step 6: If you would like colored icing, divide the icing into portions, and add the gel color of your choice, and mix well. The icing should be thin enough to pipe using a piping back, but not runny. You can adjust the consistency by either adding a bit of water to make thinner, or a teaspoon of powdered sugar to make thicker.

Step 7: Decorate the skulls with the royal icing and a piping bag. Allow to dry overnight.

Sugar Skull Molds Available at Melissa Guerra

Melissa Guerra Latin Kitchen Market has a variety of sugar skull molds available to help you start creating this traditional treat. We carry mini, medium, large, and x-large sizes so that you can make a variety of these fun and crafty sugar skulls. You can purchase your very own sugar skull mold in store or shop online at


By Samantha Salazar


What is a Tagine?

What is a Tagine?
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Traditional tagines are ideal for preparing a variety of savory meals and are carefully handcrafted to give off a stylish appearance while also providing for a better cooking experience.


History of the Tagine

The first traditional tagine (tajine) originated in Northern Africa and was used when making stews or cooking meats, fish, vegetables, and fruits over an open fire. Its shape was designed to accommodate a slow and even cooking for a rich and natural flavor. A fun fact is that the foods cooked inside a tagine also take the name of the pot itself, such as a vegetable tagine or fruit tagine, to name a few.


Tagine Meal Ideas

Because of the slower cooking method associated with a tagine, the best foods to accommodate this item are meats (including poultry), fish, vegetarian and fruit dishes. You can add in all of these ingredients for a nice stew or perhaps enjoy a delicious chicken or fish tagine slowly cooked to perfection. If you’re looking to cook up a slightly healthier meal, then a nice variety of fruits and vegetables can make for a savory tagine dish, as well.


The Benefits

There are many advantages found in using a tagine to cook and prepare meals in. Not only is a tagine a must-have for the kitchen for cooking up a variety of meats, fish, fruits, and veggies, but it also makes for a beautiful serving dish, as well. This helps keep your meals warm and moist for a better tasting experience. Another benefit is that a tagine reduces the need for adding extra fats and oils to a dish because it already retains the rich flavor of previously added herbs and spices.


Shop With Us

Our Hand Painted Spanish Tagines are handcrafted in Southern Spain and are an excellent cooking accessory to use when preparing a variety of meals. They include a lovely design painted that pairs great with the orange-colored base. They are available for purchase in both 20cm and 27cm so you can prepare a meal in a tagine that is best suited for you. Be sure to check out these beautiful, hand painted Spanish tagines at Melissa Guerra Latin Kitchen Market located at the Pearl Brewery or shop online at


By Samantha Salazar


New Recipes from Melissa Guerra

New Recipes from Melissa Guerra

If you enjoy Latin American cuisine, be sure to check out these delicious recipes courtesy of Melissa Guerra.

The following are just some of the many goodies made by Melissa Guerra featured on the Latin Kitchen website at If you have a taste for sweets and treats from south of the border, then you will certainly enjoy these recipes.


Flan de Rosas (Rosewater Flavored Caramel Custard)

Flan is certainly a delicious treat on its own, but Melissa Guerra adds her own unique touch to this dessert in her recipe for making Flan de Rosas. This flan is accentuated with a rosy aroma and includes creamy vanilla and toasted caramel for an interesting and great-tasting food experience. Flan de Rosas is great served as a dessert or for a special occasion and will definitely satisfy any sweet tooth.


Alcapurrias Tradicionales

Exactly what are Alcapurrias? Well, that’s a good question. Alcapurrias, or stuffed fritters, originate from Puerto Rico and are made from taro root and green plantains (a food which resembles a green banana). The middle is filled with a ground meat filling and makes for a great appetizer or snack. Melissa’s recipe for making authentic Alcapurrias Tradicionales (Traditional Puerto Rican Stuffed Fritters) will introduce you to this delicious treat and have you wanting more.


Leche Frita (Fried Milk)

Known as something simple yet delicious, Leche Frita is a classic among Spanish sweets. With a smooth and creamy filling and a breaded outer layer fried just right, you have yourself a little slice of heaven in your mouth. If you want to experience a sweet treat from south of the border, Melissa Guerra’s recipe for Leche Frita is definitely the way to go!

For more information on recipes submitted by Melissa Guerra, you can go to where you will be able to view photos of the treats, as well as the list of ingredients and easy-to-follow directions.


By Samantha Salazar