Smile Politely

See how sugar skulls are made

Three small sugar skulls sitting on a black cloth surface.
Julie McClure

This week Maize is celebrating Dia De Los Muertos in a variety of ways, and I got a sneak peek at the process of making sugar skulls, used as decoration during the celebration which honors those who have passed. Owner Armando Sandoval walked me through the process of making the skulls, using just water, sugar, and lime.

A mixture of sugar and water is bubbling in a metal pot, as it is stirred with a flat wooden utensil.
Julie McClure

The ingredients are boiled until they just begin to carmelize, then taken off the heat.

One large and two small clay molds are sitting on a black cloth. They are filled with a bubbling mixture of sugar and water and wrapped with rubber bands.
Julie McClure

Clay molds are used to form the skull shape.

The inside of a clay mold filled with sugar water that is beginning to crystallize.
Julie McClure

Once the portion touching the mold begins to harden, the center can be reused and poured into other molds.

A hand holding half of a small clay mold with a formed sugar skull inside.
Julie McClure

After just a few minutes, the mold can be pulled apart to reveal the skull.

November 1st and 2nd, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., kids can decorate one of the skulls with the purchase of a kids meal. On November 2nd, beginning at 6 p.m., Maize is hosting an adult sugar skull decorating event. For $20 you can get the skull and a Don Julio Blood Orange Margarita to sip while you create.

Julie McClure

Also, you are invited to honor your loved ones at the beautifully decorated altar they’ve created in the dining area. Bring a photo, or just leave a note recognizing someone in your life that has passed away.

Maize at the Station
100 N Chestnut
Champaign

Managing Editor

More Articles