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How to make sugar skull-inspired cake pops

Chelsea is the author of the food blog Chelsea's Messy Apron where she shares a wide variety of recipes including family-friendly and easy meals, lots of baked goods and desserts, and plenty of healthy eats. She received her BA in Exerci...

These skeleton cake pops are the perfect Dia de los Muertos treat

Not only are these skeleton cake pops bright, colorful and super fun, but they are very simple to make. No expensive molds or pricey food coloring is needed to make these sweet treats for your Dia de los Muertos celebration.

Without using those expensive molds I mentioned, these can be made simply by starting off like you would to make regular cake pops. In case you haven't made cake pops before, they are super simple and pretty fun to make.

Basically you bake a cake and then get to crumble it into pieces. My little boy likes helping with that part. Once you have tons of crumbs, you mix frosting into them to get a thick and sticky doughlike mixture. This will form the cake pops.

These skeleton cake pops are the perfect Dia de los Muertos treat

Once the cake and frosting are well mixed, form a ball with the dough on top of a cake pop stick. You can also use a cute, decorative ice pop stick or straw instead of a cake pop stick — whatever you have around.

Squeeze this "dough" with your hands to get it to hold well to the stick. This is where you would be finished with a regular cake pop, but since we are making skeletons, you'll start to form that dough (while it's on the stick) into the shape of a skeleton. Form a circular head and then a square jaw to get the general shape of a skull.

These skeleton cake pops are the perfect Dia de los Muertos treat

Now it's time to melt some white chocolate and dip the skulls into it. White chocolate can be a bit touchy and tends to harden a lot more quickly than dark or milk chocolate. However, if you use a high-quality white chocolate and are patient, it can make some beautiful skeleton cake pops.

I separated the white chocolate into 2 batches, melting 1 cup at a time. I used vegetable oil to thin out the chocolate, but you can also use shortening. I have had the most success in melting white chocolate in the microwave. That said, it can burn and get ruined very easily. If you are patient and stir it frequently, you can avoid it burning. I like to microwave it for 30 seconds and then stir for at least 30 seconds. A lot of melting will happen outside of the microwave; it just requires patience for that melting to happen.

These skeleton cake pops are the perfect Dia de los Muertos treat

If it starts to harden while you are dipping, then just microwave it for another 5 to 10 seconds, and add a little bit more vegetable oil if needed.

Dip the cake pop into the white chocolate, and coat it until the whole thing is covered. Then tap the cake pop against the edge of the bowl to remove any excess white chocolate.

Place the cake pop onto a sheet of parchment paper to dry before decorating it.

These skeleton cake pops are the perfect Dia de los Muertos treat

Once the white chocolate has completely dried on all the cake pops, it's time to decorate these with tons of colors and fun decorations.

Grab your edible food markers, and draw dots or circles or lines all over the skulls. Get creative, and decorate them however you please.

These skeleton cake pops are the perfect Dia de los Muertos treat

If you don't have edible food markers, then you can pipe on extra melted chocolate (that has been dyed) using a frosting bag and a #2 frosting tip. This will require a lot more effort and time, but it is definitely an option for decorating these skull pops. I did all the light blue chocolate this way to showcase this alternative method.

These skeleton cake pops are the perfect Dia de los Muertos treat

DIY sugar skull cake pops recipe

These bright and fun sugar skull cake pops require no special molds and are simple to make. Grab some edible food markers, and have fun decorating for a great addition to any Dia de los Muertos party.

Yields 13-15

Prep time: 45 minutes | Bake time: 25 minutes I Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 1 white cake, prepared
  • 1 cup white frosting
  • 1 (12 ounce) bag high-quality white chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil or shortening
  • Cake pop sticks
  • Edible color markers


  1. Prepare the cake according to the package directions. Bake, and allow it to completely cool.
  2. Crumble the cooled cake with your hands until it resembles fine crumbs. Add in frosting a little bit at a time until the cake is moist and can hold a ball shape yet is still slightly crumbly. Use your hands to incorporate the frosting into the cake crumbs, like you are kneading the mixture.
  3. Use a cookie scoop to scoop out balls of cake mixture, and form them around the cake pop sticks.
  4. Form the cake ball into the shape of a skull. Repeat until all the cake dough is used up.
  5. Melt the chocolate 1 cup at a time with 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil at a time.
  6. Dip the skulls into the chocolate, and tap off any excess white chocolate on the side of the bowl.
  7. Allow the chocolate on the skulls to completely dry and harden.
  8. Using edible markers, draw on the skulls, designing them however you want.

More fun and festive treats

Chocolate witches' hats
Bloody vampire cake
Cheesy mummy

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