Pan De Meurete (Bread of the Dead) or Sugar Skull Cake

Total Time
2hrs 30mins
Prep 2 hrs
Cook 30 mins

From my Bread Maker's Bible, this looks like a really cool and extravagant sweet bread. It immediately conjured up images of festivities and sugar skulls to me so a quick Googling revealed that this bread is traditionally baked in Mexico in the weeks preceding Dia de los Muertos (11/2.) It is often decorated with bone-like pieces, so raid the Halloween clearance for bone sprinkles! Book recommends pink sugar crystals. See How to Make Lemon / Lime / Orange Zest for how to hydrate dried orange rind or make your own zest!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Dissolve the yeast in the water, then add 1 cup of flour.
  2. Stir to make a soft spongey texture, cover with a dishcloth, and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30-40 minutes.
  3. Set aside 1/2 cup flour.
  4. Add the remaining 3 1/2 cups flour, salt, and sugar to the yeast mixture.
  5. In another bowl, mix the cooled butter, eggs, anise water, orange blossom water, and orange rind.
  6. Mix this butter mixture with the yeast-flour mixture, incorporating well.
  7. Pour the reserved 1/2 cup flour onto a clean board or sil-pat. Then pour the completed dough onto it. It will be very soft, so keep your hands floured and knead lightly.
  8. Place into a greased bowl and set in a warm place (like the oven turned off) for about 90 minutes to rise.
  9. Shape into a round loaf in a lightly greased and flour 9-inch pie pan.
  10. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.
  11. Make the glaze with the icing sugar, vanilla, and just enough milk to make a glaze of frosting consistency.
  12. Glaze only the top of the bread when it has cooled. Sprinkle with pink sugar crystals, bone sprinkles, fondant sugar skulls, whatever tickles your fancy!

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