- Sugar Skulls
- 3 cups of Zulka granulated sugar
- 3 tsp. meringue powder
- 3 tsp. water
- Royal Icing for Sugar Skulls
- 2 lb Zulka powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup meringue powder
- 1/2 cup water
- gel food coloring
- large plastic sealable bags
(Adapted from Wilton’s recipe)
Directions for Sugar Skulls
- Measure ingredients into a mixing bowl.
- Combine thoroughly with your hands, evenly working the water through the sugar and meringue powder.
- After the ingredients are mixed and you have scraped the bottom of the bowl to make sure there are no clumps of sugar or meringue powder remaining, start adding the sugar mixture to the skull mold.
- Begin by sprinkling sugar into the details of the face, then finish by filling the rest of the mold and pressing sugar down during the process.
- After the mold is full of sugar, level the top with your finger.
- Place a small cutting board on the back of the mold and carefully but quickly flip it over.
- Set the cutting board down onto a flat, sturdy surface and remove the mold.
- Let the sugar skulls dry for at least 24 hours at room temperature.
- If the sugar falls and does not hold its shape when you remove the mold like dry sand when you build a sand castle, put the sugar back in the bowl and add ½ tsp. water to the entire sugar mixture. Combine completely with your fingers and then try again.
- If pieces of sugar remain in the mold, put the sugar back into the bowl and add 1 tbsp. sugar. Combine completely with your fingers and then try again.
- This recipe makes two full skulls and you will have some of the mixture left over.
- Before you begin making the royal icing, create a small, shallow bowl using foil just big enough to fit the back of your sugar skull. Make one foil stand for each complete skull and place a clean dish towel over the foil. This will hold your skull after you attach the front and back together and will make a really good stand for decorating.
Directions for Royal Icing for Sugar Skulls
- In the bowl of a stand mixer add powdered sugar, meringue powder and water.
- Mix on medium speed using the whisk attachment until the ingredients are thoroughly mixed together.
- Now increase the speed slightly to medium high and whisk until soft peaks form.
- Using a butter knife, spread icing on the flat surface of your sugar skull. This will act like glue, holding the front and back of your sugar skulls together.
- Gently lay your skull, icing side up, onto your foil holder.
- Carefully place the other half of your sugar skull onto the icing so it makes a complete skull.
- Let it set for 1-2 hours or until the frosting has dried.
- Repeat with the remaining skulls.
- While the sugar skulls set divide the remaining frosting into 5 bowls, one bowl for each color.
- Add food coloring to the icing and stir until no streaks remain and all the dye is mixed in. Add more coloring if necessary and mix again.
- After all the icing is colored grab one of the sealable plastic bags and fold the edges over.
- Spoon the contents of one bowl into the bag.
- Remove the excess air and seal the bag.
- Continue to do this with the remaining icing colors.
- Leave them in a cool place until the skulls are ready. Just in case: If the icing is left in a warm place, it may separate and become too runny. If this happens, place the icing in the fridge until firm for about 30 minutes. Knead the bag to mix the icing again after refrigerating.
- Now that the sugar skulls are assembled, it’s time to decorate them.
- Cut a very small hole in the tip of one icing bag. Start very small and remember you can always make the hole bigger if you want.
- Using a small plate or cutting board, test each icing by drawing a small design before you decorate your skulls.
- And now you can decorate! I recommend leaving them on their foil holders while you decorate them. It will help hold them in place.
- Once you are finished, let the icing set for 6-8 hours. Overnight is best.
- While these sugar skulls are made with edible ingredients, these are not intended for consumption. These are for decorative purposes only.
- Have fun!