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Pan de Muerto de Chocolate Day of the Dead


4 hours 45 minutes
Skill Level
2 loaves

This chocolate pan de muerto is a twist on a traditional Day of the Dead sweet yeast bread. HERSHEY'S Cocoa adds a rich flavor, while a bright orange glaze gives this amazing dessert an extra boost.

Ingredients & Directions

Prep Time
3 hours
Bake Time
35 minutes
10 minutes
Cool Time
1 hour


  • 1/2 cup
    butter (1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup
  • 1/2 cup
  • 1 tsp
    anise extract
  • 5 cups
    all-purpose flour plus flour for dusting work surface, divided
  • 3/4 cup
    granulated sugar
  • 2 packages
    active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp
  • 4
  • 1/2 cup

ORANGE GLAZE (recipe follows)

Powdered sugar  (optional)

Step-By-Step Directions

Equipment Needed 
cookie sheet cookie sheets
paper parchment paper
saucepan saucepan
mixing bowl mixing bowl
measuring cup measuring cups
rubber scraper rubber scraper
wire rack wire rack
oven oven

Line two cookie sheets or baking pans with parchment paper; set aside.


Combine butter, milk and water in small saucepan. Heat on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture is very warm (do NOT boil) and butter is melted. Remove from heat; stir in anise extract.


Stir together 1/2 cup flour, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, yeast and salt. Gradually add butter mixture, beating until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing thoroughly. Stir together remaining 4-1/2 cups flour and cocoa; gradually add to butter mixture, mixing well until soft dough begins to form.


Place dough on lightly floured surface. Knead 10 minutes (dough will be smooth and elastic). Form dough into large ball. Place dough into a lightly greased bowl; flip the dough so that all sides are greased. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about 2 hours).


Heat oven to 350°F. Punch dough down. Cut away about 1/4 of the dough; set aside. Divide remaining dough in half; shape into two round loaves. Place one loaf on each prepared baking sheet. Divide reserved dough into 14 equal balls. Roll 12 balls into stips ("bones") and place 6 across top of each loaf. Place remaining balls in center top of each loaf. Cover loosely with plastic wrap; let rise in warm place until doubled.


Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when tapped. Cool slightly. Make ORANGE GLAZE; brush over tops. Cool completely. Just before serving, dust tops with powdered sugar, if desired.


1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons freshly grated orange peel

1/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice

Combine sugar, orange peel and orange juice in small saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture just comes to a boil and sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat.

Additional questions?