Pan de Muerto

For a sweet snack or a unique dessert, this caramel-filled bread hits the spot. You can also serve it as an ofrenda (offering) on your altar.

Serves: 6Prep: 1 hour 45 minutesCook: 40 minutesTotal: 2 hours 25 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 6


  • 1 orange rind, peeled into ¼” long and ⅛” wide strips
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
  • 1⁄4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1⁄2 cup plus 1 tsp. Domino Pure Cane Granulated Sugar, divided
  • 5 Grade A Large Eggs, divided
  • 1 1⁄2 sticks Unsalted Butter, melted and divided
  • 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier Liqueur or orange blossom water
  • 4 cups Bleached All-Purpose Enriched Flour, sifted, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bottle (13.1 oz.) Coronado Cajeta Quemada
  • 1 teaspoon red sprinkles, for decorating


  • Prepare bowl by lightly coating with baking spray.
  • In small skillet over high heat, combine orange rind and 1 tablespoon sugar; cook until sugar is melted and rind is translucent, about 1 minute. Reserve.
  • In small bowl, whisk together yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar and water until dissolved. Cover and allow yeast to activate for 5 minutes until very foamy.
  • In medium bowl, beat 4 eggs until lightly foamy, about 1 minute. Mix in 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier Liqueur or orange blossom water and 1 stick melted butter.
  • In mixing bowl with hook attachment, combine flour, salt and 5 tablespoons sugar. Running at low speed, steadily and simultaneously combine yeast liquid and egg mixture into flour mixture. Add candied orange rind.
  • Adjust speed to the next setting and beat until sticky, about 1.5-2 minutes. Dough should separate from the sides of the bowl and there shouldn’t be any dry flour visible.
  • Using a rubber spatula, scrape sides of bowl. Quickly transfer dough to prepared bowl; cover with plastic, tightly sealing the edges. Let rest 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray round 9” pan with baking spray. Lightly dust wooden cutting board with flour. Separate and reserve about ½ cup of dough.
  • Using your palms, roll large portion of dough into disk smaller than pan. Arrange in pan; set aside.
  • Working with reserved portion of dough, divide equally into 5 parts. On cutting board, roll four parts into individual thin sticks about 4” long. Using your fingers, create bone-like shapes. With remaining dough, make small ball.
  • Over large dough ball, align bones symmetrically and vertically to meet at the top; secure them by pinching together tightly. Place small ball on top of pinched seam and secure in place.
  • In small bowl, beat together 1 egg and 1 tablespoon water. Brush surface of bread thoroughly with egg wash.
  • Bake until shiny and golden, about 35-40 minutes. Cool slightly. Using a serrated knife, slice bread horizontally. In center of bread, carefully spread an even layer of Coronado Cajeta Quemada (caramel topping). Replace top round.
  • Brush bread with remaining melted butter and coat top in red sugar.