The Day of the Dead
It’s the Day of the Dead, known as Día de los muertos in Spanish. This is the day in Mexican culture to remember ancestors who have passed on. In the process, they turn a reflection on death into a celebration of life. To celebrate and to remember loved ones no longer with us, my daughter and I created an easy Day of the Dead cake today.
Day of the Dead is a beautiful tradition. In the United States, Christians celebrate All Saints’ Day on November 1. It’s always the day after Halloween, to remember those amazing individuals who served or sacrificed for the church. For everyone, regardless of tradition, the Day of the Dead/All Saints’ Day is a wonderful time to recall happy memories of those we miss.
For me it was important that my kindergartner have the opportunity to help every step of the way with our cake, from mixing and baking to frosting and decorating. We weren’t striving for perfection, but we were very happy with how this turned out.
The first thing you’ll need is a skull cake pan. We found this great one from Wilton at the A.C. Moore craft store. You can likely find skull cake pans on clearance now that Halloween is over.
We used a dark chocolate cake box mix. Here’s a cool tip: to help the cake come out of the mold completely after baking, grease the pan with shortening, and then sprinkle with cocoa powder. Move the pan around to distribute the powder evenly. After baking, let the cake cool completely before removing. Cut around edges gently with a cake knife, then place a plate over the mold and invert, allowing the cake to come out onto the plate.
White wedding cake frosting recipe
We decided to make wedding cake frosting from scratch. You can use this classic recipe:
1 cup solid vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon clear vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
2 tbsp. milk.
Whip the shortening until creamy, add vanilla and milk, then gradually add in the powdered sugar. Stir all together till blended.
The frosting is a bit stiff, feel free to add a little more milk to soften. Use an icing spatula to frost. It’s delicious, if a little hard to spread.
Decorating our Day of the Dead cake
We did a Google search on Day of the Dead images and found some really beautiful images. Of course my daughter wanted something with plenty of pink. We used Wilton Sparkle Gel in pink and black as well as Celebration Pearls Candy in pink and lavender, also found at A.C. Moore. Feel free to use any decorations that strike your fancy!
My daughter was so excited to help with the cake, that she even drew a picture of it after the fact.