Day of the Dead Appetizer – Decorated Sugar Skull made out of Cheese


Our Day of the Dead themed Halloween party is coming up soon, and you’ll notice my blog posts will be getting shorter and shorter, as I’m running out of time to decorate and cook for our big bash.
We have decided to go the easy route this year in preparing and serving food to our 100+ guests, and are going to have a big taco bar featuring crock pots full of beef, chicken and pork, as well as, all the toppings. Our dessert buffet will be over the top, but I don’t want the food table to look too plain. I have to add a few dishes that are festive and fun, so I used Velveeta Queso Blanco to create this very colorful Dia de los Muertos Sugar Skull. It is going to look amazing on our Mexican buffet.
Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) Cheese Skull
You’ll Need:
Velveeta Queso Blanco
Large sugar skull mold (or chocolate mold)
neon  food coloring
non-stick baking mat like a Silpat or some large zip top bags
optional: rolling pin
black food coloring
food use only paint brushes, 1 fine tip, 1 medium tip
small metal fondant cutters and/or plunger cutters
Cut Velveeta Con Queso into small chunks. Melt in the microwave, stirring often. You want the cheese completely melted and smooth.

Pour melted cheese into sugar skull mold. If you want a full skull, fill both the front and back cavity. Tap the mold down several times to remove air bubbles. Being I only filled the front of my mold, it wouldn’t sit level, so I placed a bowl under the skull to hold it flat.


Carefully lift the filled skull mold up over your head, keeping it perfectly level, to see if there are any big air bubbles. If there are, poke the back end of a skewer or knife into the mold and pop the air bubbles. You can’t fix these once the cheese sets.
Place mold in freezer for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, use your left over melted cheese or melt more to make the colorful decorations. I melted way more cheese than I needed for one skull. You’ll probably only need about a tablespoon of cheese per color, depending on how many colors you want to use. I ended up with pink, blue, green, and purple.
Divide the cheese into small bowls. Color with various food colorings. If your cheese is liquid enough, spread it on a non-stick baking mat. If not, just roll it into a ball and flatten it out.
I set the cheese in between two non-stick mats and rolled it out using a rolling pin. You can also just fold the mat over the cheese and roll it out. A zip top bag would work in place of the non-stick mat.
Freeze your colored cheese for about 10 minutes until it’s still flexible but not sticky. If it gets too hard, just let it sit at room temperature for a minute or two and it will soften up.
Remove your sugar skull mold from freezer, turn it upside down over your work surface, press down on the plastic mold, releasing the cheese and allowing it to gently fall onto the counter. If it wont come out, you can pull away around the edges of the mold to see if that helps. If not, freeze for another 10 minutes and try again.
Paint black food coloring into the eye and nose sockets.



Use small metal cutters and plunger cutters to cut decorations out of the colored cheese. Press the decorations onto the cheese skull. They will stay in place without any “glue.”
If you’ve not ever used a plunger cutter, go out and get some, now! They are the best tool for making small decorations out of fondant, modeling chocolate, or cheese.
I cut blue stars, pink hearts, green dots, and blue and purple petals out of cheese to decorate my cheese skull.
I had decorated another cheese skull using green petals over the eyes and similar decorations. I ended up ruining it, by adding black around the mouth. Just as I was taking this picture I pressed the marker up against the cheese and it bled. I tried to cover it up and made an even bigger mess. In the end I like the new design better, but you can see there are unlimited options for decorating these skulls.
Use black food coloring to put some finishing touches on your cheese sugar skull.
Something really cool will happen as the black food coloring seeps into the cheese. The edges will begin to turn pink. I had wrapped up my skull and stored it in the refrigerator overnight. When I pulled it out to show my friend, I noticed the pink glow around the black. I love it.
I’ve wrapped the skull in plastic wrap and stored it in the freezer for our party. I’ll thaw it in the refrigerator a day before our event. If you don’t need to freeze it, just store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about a week. Serve with crackers.

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– Beth

Items used to create this project that are available on (commission earned for sales)

More Halloween Snacks made using Cheese

Baybel Cheese Moons

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  1. says

    This is SO great! How creative, too. And you can't go wrong with crockpots full of delicious food. I need to find some occasion to give this cool cheese mold a try!

    • says

      I did actually freeze this after I had decorated it. I defrosted it in the refrigerator the day before our party and then served it. It was in the freezer for 2 weeks, but I think you could freeze it up to a month.

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