What could make a sweet roll even sweeter? Decorating it in honor of your dear loved ones for Día de los Muertos! Enjoy this fun and simple food craft featuring eye-catching conchas (pretty pastel-colored sweet rolls) decorated with colorful candy decorations created by Crafty Chica.
Día de los Muertos (or Day of the Dead) is a Mexican holiday celebrating the lives of our dearly departed family members and their trip between the land of the living and the land of the dead. The holiday takes place at the end of October and the first days of November, and traditional activities include making ofrendas (festively decorated shrines to honor the dead) and designing sweet treats, like sugar skulls, to please the spirits on their trip through the land of the living.
Ofrenda is a Spanish word meaning “offering”, and it is an important part of the Día de los Muertos celebration. Various items are placed on an elaborately decorated altar to celebrate deceased loved ones. Traditional items to include in ofrendas are the clothing of the departed, home-cooked versions of their favorite foods, toys (for children), and other items the family members enjoyed while in the land of the living. Another important item to include in an ofrenda is pan muerto (bread of the dead), and these conchas are a fun version of this traditional dish.
Decorated conchas are a perfect sweet treat to please spirits, as well as those of us celebrating their lives in the land of the living. Kids and adults alike will enjoy decorating conchas and embellishing them with tempting toppings.
Buy conchas at your local Mexican pastry shop, and the rest of the decorating supplies can be purchased in the baking aisle at your local grocery store. While you’re at the store, pick up a few tubes of premade frosting, colorful sprinkles and other edible embellishments like candy skulls to make your conchas look as festive as the celebration of Día de los Muertos itself.
Once the conchas are decorated, use them as part of your ofrenda, or serve them at a Day of the Dead party.
Using tubes of colorful frosting with various decorating tips, add a base layer of eye-catching swishes, swirls and stars to the top of the conchas. Or you can whip up a batch of your own buttercream frosting and tint it with gel-based food coloring to create delicious frosting in any color you desire.
Different decorator tips make different shapes and textures, so experiment with using star-shaped tips (for textured lines, shell-shaped flourishes or dots of frosting that look like stars), round tips (use them to make dots or smooth lines), or drop-flower tips (a quick and easy way to make small flower shapes on your conchas).
Practice your frosting piping techniques on a piece of wax paper to get a feel for how to use each decorator tip.
After the conchas are covered in icing, it’s time to go crazy with the edible embellishments. Start with larger decorations like candy skulls, bone-shaped candies or edible flowers.
Finish with sprinkles and incorporate this treat in your ofrenda
Toss on some colorful sprinkles. Then, place the decorated conchas on a festive plate and add them to your ofrenda for Día de los Muertos. The spirits will enjoy the festive colors and decorations on the conchas, as well as the delicious sweet aroma of the treats.
So colorful and festive!
Incredibly easy and fun
Makes for a tasty treat and fun activity for the kiddos!
Conchas in a variety of colors (available at Mexican pastry shops)
Colorful tubes of icing
Decorate the conchas with colorful icing and different types of icing tips.