This Day of the Dead cake or Dia De Los Muertos Cake is made with three layers of delicious vanilla white cake, topped with cream cheese frosting and decorated with Day of the Dead sugar skulls! This beautiful cake is colorful and super tasty!
This post/recipe was created for #HalloweenTreatsWeek! I was sent samples by some of the sponsor companies but as always opinions are 100% mine.
Living in Los Angeles for so many years, we got familiar with the celebration of the “Day of the Dead“. Although it’s not a tradition in our family, we never shy away from a good celebration!
Day Of The Dead Cake with Sugar Skulls
This beautiful Dia de los Muertos Cake always puts a smile on my face. Not only because it’s full of little details, but also because it’s a cake to honor your ancestors. As an added bonus, it’s a great treat to serve at any Halloween gathering.
Although you may think celebrating deceased family members and friends is a sad event, it is actually the opposite. In honoring your loved ones, you celebrate their life on this planet with joy, love, music and lots of food!
That is why this cake is so vibrant and colorful. In this Dia de Los Muertos Cake, the more decorations, the merrier! My dad passed away when I was a teenager. I think he would have loved a piece of this Dia De Los Muertos Sugar Skull cake.
Dia De Los Muertos Cake
This Halloween cake is incredibly easy to make. I use white cake mix combined with other simple ingredients like flour and egg whites to take the “boxed” flavor out of the mix! The cake is tender, moist and flavorful.
I created a color swirl effect in the cake batter with Color Right Concentrated Food Coloring from Wilton in purple, black and green. The colors are vibrant and bold.
The Cream Cheese Frosting:
A simple yet delicious cream cheese frosting makes this cool cake even more delicious! I decided not to color the cream cheese frosting so the decorations shine!
Day Of The Dead Decorations:
You don’t have to be an expert baker to create these colorful Dia De Los Muertos skulls. I used some Wilton candy eyes and flowers – and I think they look a bit like the day of the dead girl if I say so myself. I also used the cutest marshmallow sugar skulls from Treat Street. They are so beautiful.
What Is Dia De Los Muertos?
Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a Mexican Holiday in honor of those that have passed away. Small altars are created to celebrate their deceased loved ones. It is a happy celebration with flowers, colorful offerings, dancing, singing, food and of course cake!
You have questions? We have answers!
When Is The Day Of The Dead?
Dia de los Muertos is celebrated from October 31 to November 2nd.
What Kind Of Decorations Are Used For Day Of The Dead?
Dia De Los Muertos celebrations are filled with colorful decor and that includes cakes, cupcakes, cookies, bread and other pastries. Dia De Los Muertos skulls, day of the dead girl skulls, skeleton cakes and cookies, colorful flowers and swirls are some of the most popular items.
Sponsored Items Used In This Recipe
- TreatStreet USA – Marshmallow Sugar Skull
- Adam’s Extract– Vanilla extract
To Color The Cake Batter: Color Right Food Coloring Gel in black, electric green and electric purple.
To Decorate The Cake Bottom/sides: Sprinkles. Nonpareils in light green, Sparkling Sugars in black and purple.
To Decorate The Cake Top: Assorted Candy Eyeballs or Large Eyeballs, Orange Sparkling Gel, Black Decorating Icing, Wilton Black Gel, Wilton Mini Daisy (mulicolored), Wilton Royal Icing Flowers
Take A Look At These Other Halloween Recipes:
- Stuffed Crescent Rolls – Halloween Icky Intestines
- Sugared Prosecco Grapes
- Halloween No-Bake Cheesecake
Follow me on social media for more recipe ideas & inspiration!
Dia De Los Muertos Cake
For The Cake
To Make The Cake
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray three 8-inch round pans with cooking spray and line the bottom of the pans with rounds of parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix the cake mix, flour, sugar and salt. Add the water, oil, vanilla, sour cream and egg whites and using an electric mixer beat to combine.
- Divide the batter into 4 smaller mixing bowls. Color three of the batters with gel food coloring. One purple, one black and one green. Gently fold in the color until it is completely mixed through. You will have one bowl of each batter: white, purple, black, green.
- Add the colored cake batter to the cake pans. Starting with the white batter (I always start and finish with the white batter so you will have some white on the cake bottom and on the top). Continue with purple, black, green and top with the remaining white batter. Give the pan a little shake (side to side) to distribute the batter around a bit between each color. If you like a swirl effect, create swirls with a toothpick or skewer. However, don't overdo it – since you are using black color gel, you risk getting muddy colors instead of vibrant ones.
- Bake 35 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove cakes from the oven and let the cakes cool in the pans for about 15 minutes. Turn onto cooling racks, peel off the parchment paper and allow them to cool completely before frosting.
To Make The Cream Cheese Frosting
- In a large bowl using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Stir in the vanilla extract and beat on low speed until incorporated. Turn the mixer to high and beat for about 2 additional minutes.
- Stir in the powdered sugar and beat on low speed until well incorporated. Beat on high speed for a few additional minutes. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Frosting The Cake
- Place one layer of the cake on a serving plate or on top of a cardboard cutout on a cake turntable. Spoon a dollop of the frosting on the first layer and spread to cover. Place the second layer of cake on top. Spread another thin layer of frosting on top of the second cake. Add the third layer of cake. Spread frosting on the top and then down the sides of the cake to cover. Using an icing spatula or smoother make the frosting smooth. Decorate the cakes.
- When pouring the colored batter over the white batter, you can use a toothpick or skewer to create a swirl effect.
- You can use a piping bag to spread the cream cheese frosting.
- Nutrition facts are only an estimate and will vary depending on the brand of products used.
- Cake recipe inspired by this White Wedding Cake recipe by Recipe Girl.
Check out the amazing #HalloweenTreatsWeek recipes from our bloggers today!
- BloodShot Eyeball Chocolate Apple Slices from Big Bear’s Wife
- Halloween Sugar Cookie Bars from Fake Ginger
- Day of the Dead Mexican Hot Cocoa from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Gluten Free Graveyard Dirt Cake from Frugal & Fit
- Sugar Skull S’mores Cake from Cookaholic Wife
- Camp Crystal Lake Punch from Cheese Curd In Paradise
- Hocus Pocus Potion from Jen Around the World
- Halloween Puppy Chow from Daily Dish Recipes
- Halloween Spooky Finger Cupcakes from Everyday Eileen
- Ghostly Halloween Brownie Cupcakes from Sweet Beginnings
- Hocus Pocus Cauldron Fondue from For the Love of Food
- Halloween Chocolate Crack from Back To My Southern Roots
- Slime Lava Cakes from The Spiffy Cookie
- Monster Macaron from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Spider Cider Cocktail from Who Needs A Cape?
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- Halloween Pretzel Owls from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Eyeball Cupcakes from Strawberry Blondie Kitchen
- Haunted Gingerbread House from The Redhead Baker
- Black Cat Brownies from Jonesin’ For Taste
- Frankenberry Berry Hand Pies from Sweet ReciPEAs
- Bat-tastic Caramel Apples from The Beard and The Baker
- Haunted House Cupcake Tower from Pint Sized Baker
- Halloween Mummy Pizza Toast from Katie’s Cucina
- Sanderson Sisters Cocktails from Love and Confections
- Ghostly Pumpkin Custards from My Sweet Zepol
- Cinnamon & Sugar Pretzel Bones from Savory Moments
- Vegan Pumpkin Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Sprinkle Frosting from The Baking Fairy
- Halloween Candy Kabobs from Intelligent Domestications
- Halloween Hand Pies from A Blender Mom
- Halloween Dessert Board from Books n’ Cooks
Happy Halloween! It’s October which means it’s time for Spooky Season and this year’s #HalloweenTreatsWeek event! #HalloweenTreatsWeek is hosted by Angie from Big Bear’s Wife & its a creepy and haunting week-long event is filled with some amazingly wicked Halloween treats, recipes and some frightfully fun giveaways.
“When witches go riding, and black cats are seen, the moon laughs and whispers ‘tis near Halloween.”
Disclaimer: These posts and recipes are part of the week-long event, #HalloweenTreatsWeek but all opinions are 100% mine! We would like to Thank our amazing sponsors: Dixie Crystals, Adam’s Extract, Wilton, Sweets and Treats Shop, Treat Street USA and Litehouse! These wonderful sponsors provided the prize packs for our giveaways and also sent samples and products to the #HalloweenTreatsWeek bloggers to use in their recipes.