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Pan de Muertos (Mexican Bread of the Dead)

"This is a version of the bread that is made for the November 2 celebration known as the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in Mexico. You can also mold the bread into different shapes like angels and animals."
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servings 166 cals
Serving size has been adjusted!
Original recipe yields 15 servings (1 large round loaf)


  • Calories:
  • 166 kcal
  • 8%
  • Fat:
  • 4 g
  • 6%
  • Carbs:
  • 28.5g
  • 9%
  • Protein:
  • 3.8 g
  • 8%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 25 mg
  • 8%
  • Sodium:
  • 124 mg
  • 5%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

See full nutrition

Nutritional Information

1 Serving
Servings Per Recipe:
Amount Per Serving
  • * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  • ** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.
  • (-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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  1. Heat the milk and the butter together in a medium saucepan, until the butter melts. Remove from the heat and add them warm water. The mixture should be around 110 degrees F (43 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl combine 1 cup of the flour, yeast, salt, anise seed and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Beat in the warm milk mixture then add the eggs and orange zest and beat until well combined. Stir in 1/2 cup of flour and continue adding more flour until the dough is soft.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.
  4. Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size. This will take about 1 to 2 hours. Punch the dough down and shape it into a large round loaf with a round knob on top. Place dough onto a baking sheet, loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until just about doubled in size.
  5. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven for about 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven let cool slightly then brush with glaze.
  6. To make glaze: In a small saucepan combine the 1/4 cup sugar, orange juice and orange zest. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for 2 minutes. Brush over top of bread while still warm. Sprinkle glazed bread with white sugar.

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Read all reviews 96
  1. 122 Ratings

Most helpful positive review

Nov. 2, "Day of the Dead," was also my Dad's birthday. I made a batch of Pan de Muertos and my sister and I took it out to the cemetery, where we sat beside my Dad's grave and shared the bread a...

Most helpful critical review

I'm not sure if I did something wrong. I followed the recipe exactly, but the bread was very dry and not enjoyable. Smelled great while cooking and the blend of tastes was interesting, just to d...

Most helpful
Most positive
Least positive

Nov. 2, "Day of the Dead," was also my Dad's birthday. I made a batch of Pan de Muertos and my sister and I took it out to the cemetery, where we sat beside my Dad's grave and shared the bread a...

My daughter made this for her Spanish class. It was so easy. She got it right on the first try!

Although I am not a big fan of licorice in bread, this was pretty good. I had to make it for a class assignment and everyone liked it. This was a lot easier than the one found in the newspaper...

Once again, need it for my son's spanish class, 25 extra credit points. I baked a practice loaf but didn't need to as it turned out excellent. Good texture and flavor. I also used my bread ma...

I have been making Pan de Muertos for years, using different recipes, this year I both decided to use a new recipe and use my bread maker. I used the recipe with two minor changes, a little extr...

Delicious! I baked two small loafs - hoping that would help with the dryness; I also doubled the yeast (used one pkg. of yeast). If you are worried whether it is done or not, temp it - bread sho...

I made this for my Spanish class. It is sweet on the outside and a wholesome taste on the inside. I've had it once before, and my proffessor who lived in spanish speaking countries said it wase ...

I love this bread sooooo much! I make it on the dough setting in my bread machine, then bake in the oven. It is great for snacking, breakfast, or whatever. Smells amazing while baking. Can't...

I wanted to give this five stars, but I've made this a few times and tweaked the recipe to taste more authentic. Most importantly, I use a 50/50 combination of bread flour and all-purpose flour ...