The production process is more focused on the aesthetic appeal of the skull than on the taste or food safety of the product. Furthermore, many calaveras feature inedible decorations, such as beads, feathers, and foil. Some skulls were formerly decorated with sombreros, although these designs have mostly disappeared since the 1970s.
Other calaveras are producing to be edible. Most are cast as one piece from cane sugar, which can either be left unflavored or else flavored with vanilla. Some calaveras are also made from chocolate. The calaveras are typically colored with vegetable dyes. As with the more decorative calaveras, these will sometimes have names written on the foreheads, as well. Calaveras may be eaten, or kept for a few days and then thrown away.