Enjoy this sweet gluten-free bread with coffee or hot chocolate on Día de los Muertos!

Try this recipe for Gluten-Free Pan de Muerto (Day of the Dead Bread), converted from a traditional pan de muerto by Herdez Brand by KC the G-Free Foodie (with a little help from the Herdez chef!).


Día de los Muertos, November 1 & 2, is a special time to honor the dead and celebrate life in the Mexican culture, similar to the All Saints or All Souls days in the Catholic tradition. Pan de muerto, or Day of the Dead bread, is a sweet bread many enjoy with coffee or hot chocolate during this time of year.

I took a traditional pan de muerto recipe and converted to gluten-free, so everyone can celebrate. After a couple of tries and not getting it quite right, I jumped on the phone with the Herdez team, and their head chef talked me through the finer points of pan de muerto – and we figured out I had a moisture problem. If your dough is super-tacky (like you can’t get it off your fingers at all) add a little more flour.

Gluten-Free Pan de Muerto (Day of the Dead Bread)

Try this gluten-free version of Pan de Muerto, a sweet bread traditionally served on Día de los Muertos, November 1 & 2, in Latin cultures.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Resting time3 hrs
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Servings: 6
Author: K.C. Cornwell


  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup warm water 110 degrees F/45 degrees C
  • 3 cups Gluten Free flour blend sifted together with 2 teaspoons xanthan gum & divided
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons anise seed
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest


  • Heat the milk and the butter together in a medium saucepan, until the butter melts. Remove from the heat and add the warm water. The mixture should be around 110 degrees F (43 degrees C).
  • In a large bowl combine 1 cup of the flour blend, yeast, salt, anise seed and 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.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly with floured hands.
  • 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.
  • Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven for about 40 to 50 minutes. Remove from oven let cool slightly.
  • Sprinkle the top with sugar or cinnamon as desired.

Recipe converted to gluten-free from an original by Herdez Brand with permission.


  1. This looks beautiful! Any recommendations for a egg free version? Do you think it would work to just omit the eggs?

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