Skull Candies

Mexican sugar skulls
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During Dia de Los Muertos, or “Days of the Dead” a favorite among the children are the candy sugar skulls. You can make them yourself at home, and they are also great for Halloween parties. You can shape the skulls by hand, or purchase molds to press the candy into. 

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 10 minutes to make the candy dough

What You Need

  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 egg white from an extra large egg, or 2 from small eggs
  • 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Cornstarch (about a half cup, for powdering surface)
  • Colored sprinkles
  • Food coloring
  • Fine paintbrush
  • Colored icing
  • Optional: Candy sticks 

Here's How

  1. Sift sugar into a large mixing bowl.
  2. In another bowl, mix the egg whites, corn syrup and vanilla.
  3. Slowly pour the liquid into the powdered sugar. Mix with your hands until sandy dough forms.
  4. Form dough into a ball. At this point, you can continue or you can refrigerate the dough for later use.
  5. Lightly dust surface with cornstarch as well as your hands. Pinch off a heaping tablespoon of dough and shape it into a skull.
  6. Press the candy sticks into the bottom of each skull.
  7. If you're using them, lightly press colored sprinkles into the soft candy.
  8. Let the candy dry overnight.
  9. When candy is dry, use the paintbrush with food coloring to decorate the skulls. Or you can use frosting (one that will dry hard) with a fine tip to decorate them.
  10. Hand them out as is, or wrap in a small cellophane bag tied closed with a small ribbon.


  • The skulls may not dry completely on a humid or rainy day.
  • If you use the molds, you should follow each manufacturer's instructions as some molds only work with certain recipes.
  • The "dough" should be the consistency of damp sand. Just moist enough to hold together. If "dough" is too dry and crumbly, add 1 teaspoon of water at a time to moisten.
  • If "dough" is too moist, add sugar one tablespoon at a time until "dough" is the right consistency.
  • If the candy has trouble drying completely, place in a 125 F oven until dry.