Traditional Day of the Dead Sugar Skulls are always decorated with multiple colors of icing.
Sugar Skulls (makes 4 medium 3-D skulls)
- Gel food color
- 1/4 cup meringue powder
- 6 cups granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 7 1/2 teaspoon meringue powder
- 6 teaspoons water
- 1 pound powdered sugar
- Add Royal Icing
1 – Mix the sugar, meringue powder and water together until all the granules of sugar are wet. Pick up a handful of the mixture and squeeze in your hand. If it holds together, its ready. If it falls apart, it will need a tiny bit more water.
2 – Fill your skull mold with the wet sugar, pressing down on the sugar, compacting it as you go. Fill both the front and back skull cavities with the sugar. Scrape off the excess sugar.
3 – Cut a piece of parchment paper and a piece of cardboard just a bit bigger than your mold. Set the parchment paper down on top of the mold. Set the cardboard on top of the paper. Grab onto the mold and cardboard, and carefully flip the whole thing upside down. Set it on the counter, then carefully lift the mold up off the sugar skulls. The mold should pop right off. If the sugar sticks, it’s too wet. Scrape it out of the mold, clean the mold, and add some more dry sugar to the mixture and try molding it again. If your sugar skulls do not hold together, the mixtures needs more water.
4 – Your sugar skulls now need to dry. Midway through the drying cycle you need to carefully flip them over so the back sides can dry out at well. They should be ready to decorate in 12-24 hours.
5 – Make royal icing. Beat together powdered sugar, meringue powder, and water until its shiny and will hold stiff peaks.
6 – Once your skulls are dried, spread a thin layer of royal icing on the flat part of the back side of each skull. Press the front and back sides together. Use your finger to wipe off the icing that oozes out from in between the two pieces. Allow the skulls to dry for at least an hour.
7 – After your skulls are dry, they are ready to decorate. Color small bowls full of royal icing using food coloring. If you wont be using the icing right away, be sure to cover each bowl with plastic wrap.
8 – Pipe royal icing onto the skulls. Any simple or elaborate designs. Get as creative as youd like and use lots of bright colors on each skull for a dramatic appearance.
9 – Allow your sugar skulls to dry for several hours before using them as decorations for your Day of the Dead event!