Go Back
+ servings
Dia De Los Muertos Cake with Sugar Skull Topper on a cake stand.
Print Pin
5 from 1 vote

Dia De Los Muertos Cake

This 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!
Course Baking, Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Dia de los Muertos Cake
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Cooling 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 5 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 822kcal


For The Cake

  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1 cup all purposed flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 egg whites

For The Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 3 sticks unsalted butter softened
  • 3 (8 ounces) packs cream cheese full fat
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • Purple, black and green food coloring (I prefer gels)


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.


Calories: 822kcal | Carbohydrates: 88g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 29g | Cholesterol: 133mg | Sodium: 663mg | Potassium: 166mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 62g | Vitamin A: 1587IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 179mg | Iron: 2mg