It’s not Easter if you don’t get cascarones (confetti eggs) cracked on your head! This Southwestern tradition is fun for the whole family. The kids enjoy dying their own eggs in preparation for the big day, too. Learn how to make these festive Easter eggs from start to finish.
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What are Cascarones?
Cascarones are colorfully decorated chicken eggshells filled with confetti. Traditionally, families color the eggs using food dye, though some may choose to paint them instead.
You can watch my full YouTube video HERE to learn more about this tradition.
The name cascarón (singular) comes from the Spanish word “cascara” which means skin, peel, or shell.
In the Southwestern part of the United States, it’s an Easter tradition to crack cascarones on the heads of friends and family. Many argue this confetti release brings good luck, but those on the receiving end may beg to differ.
(Let’s just say the confetti gets everywhere!)
My family here in Texas has been making cascarones for well over 70 years. Each spring, we begin saving our eggshells from breakfast. Then, we gather as a family to beautifully dye them, load them with confetti, and cover the holes with tissue paper.
As a child, I always looked forward to an Easter egg hunt involving cascarones, followed by a series of attempts to sneak up and crack one (or four) on my brothers’ heads.
Where did cascarones originate?
The cascarón has roots in Asia where eggs were filled with scented powder and given as gifts, presumably to affluent women. The tradition then spread throughout Europe, thanks in part to Marco Polo, as legend has it.
When Maximilian and Charlotte (known as ‘Carlota’) arrived in Mexico in 1864, they introduced cascarones to the country, replacing the perfumed powder with confetti.
Today, Mexicans still use cascarones to celebrate special holidays like Carnaval (Carnival before Lent), Dia de los Muertos, Cinco de Mayo, and most commonly, Easter.
Given the proximity of Texas to Mexico, this Mexican tradition quickly spread to border towns in the U.S. and other parts of the Southwest. (That’s where my family picked it up!)
You’ll find cascarones as a staple during Fiesta San Antonio usually held in the last two weeks of April. (Note: This year, Fiesta San Antonio is postponed to the end of June.)
How to Properly Crack a Cascarón
Yes, there is a right and wrong way to crack cascarones. Take it from my decades of experience!
As a show of mercy, always crush the eggshell in your hand before smothering it on the recipient’s head.
Smashing the egg directly on someone’s head is painful and may require several knocks to break the shell open. (Ask me how I know.)
You want to get invited back to the Easter picnic, right?
I’ve also read a suggestion that you can fill cascarones with glitter instead of confetti. Um, no! That will also get you banned from future Easter celebrations.
Just stick with paper confetti, and crack your cascarón responsibly. (wink)
You might also like: Decoupage Easter Eggs
Pin it for later!
I hope you and your families have a blast making (and breaking) cascarones this year!
- Egg shells
- Food coloring
- 4 cups water
- 8 tablespoons vinegar
- Tissue Paper
- Optional: egg coloring kit (in place of food coloring and vinegar)
- 4 mugs or mason jars
- Spoon or whisk
Dyeing the Eggs
- Make a crack in the top of a chicken egg creating a small hole. Empty the egg contents.
- Rinse the eggshells completely, and let them dry face down on a drying rack or paper towel.
- Heat 4 cups of water in the microwave about 1-2 minutes, or bring to a low boil on the stove.
- Add 8 tablespoons of vinegar to the water. Then, pour the mixture into each mug or mason jar.
- Add 8-10 drops of food coloring to each container and mix well.
- Submerge an eggshell in each container, using a spoon or whisk to prevent the egg from floating.
- Dye the eggs for 10-20 until they reach the desired color. Then, remove them from the dye.
- Allow the eggs to dry upside-down for 1-2 hours. Tip: You can stand them upside-down by using straws or skewers in a jar or a drying rack or paper towel.
- Repeat the process with additional eggs, reheating the water as needed.
Filling the Eggs
- After the eggs have fully dried on the inside, fill the eggs about 1/3 full of confetti.
- Cut tissue paper into 2-inch squares or circles. Then apply glue around the edge of the eggshell opening, and cover with tissue paper.
- Let the tissue paper dry for 5-10 minutes before using your cascarones.
Tip: If using white mugs, you can remove any residue from the dyes with Bar Keepers Friend.
Feel free to experiment with different decorated egg designs using acrylic paint, rubber bands, or stickers.
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