Saturday, August 3, 2013

Adventures in Soap Making: Cupcake Soap

I've seen it a few times: these adorable soaps in the shape of cupcakes. So cute you could almost eat them! Then i decided to try my hand at making some of my own. This was a very long and perilous journey, especially for my first time. You first start off with the cupcake mold. This creates the base of the cupcake, the kind of crinkled cupcake wrapper look. Something like this:

My mold only has the cupcake base itself.

The next step was to melt the Shea Butter soap. Shea butter is always good for the skin, especially for those with dry or sensitive skin. I have psoriasis so my skin is both dry and sensitive. Shea Butter helps bring back some of that moisture that we lose on a daily basis. You can purchase you own Shea Butter soap base instead of making it from scratch. The base looks like this:

Shea Butter Soap Base

I cut just a few cubes in order to make the first color base-pink. You melt the soap base blocks in a glass container or measuring cup. I have a set glass measuring cup for my soapmaking but if you use your measuring cup for other purposes it's still ok, after all this is soap. The worse it can do is clean your glassware. My microwave is pretty bad so i melt the soap in about 45 second to 1 minute bursts. Normally you would do about 30 second bursts. Peek in occasionally to stir the soap and make sure all the blocks have dissolved. Once the soap is completely liquefied you add your essential oils or "flavors" as i like to call them. I obviously used vanilla cupcake scent to match the theme! Now you add the colors. There are special soap dyes you can purchase. DO NOT use food coloring as it will stain the skin. Sometimes gel food coloring works but not the liquid. Either way i prefer the dyes intended for soapmaking. Food coloring can have certain types of sugars in them that aren't safe for all over body soap usage.

For pink i did about 35-45 drops of red soap dye 
Yellow was about 35 drops of yellow soap dye
and for orange you should use about 35 Yellow, 25 red.

My Orange turned out a bit salmon-orange because i did not get the right ratio and added too much red. To make each batch of different colors just clean out your glassware and melt the desired amount of cubes again.

Now here comes the tricky part, soap frosting. Its seriously a thing! A very hard thing especially if your not familiar with piping techniques. The Soap frosting came in two parts. One was a gelatinous base and the second part was a powder substance similar to meringue powder. You mix these two together quickly with a whisk then add melted shea butter soap base as well as more cupcake scent and whatever color you'd like for the frosting(i chose light blue) Then you whip the mixture together until u get nice peaks. Now it's time to put it in the piping bag.
Now i didn't believe the instructions when it said you have 5 minutes to work and frost your cupcakes. Any time after that and It seizes up and isn't as smooth and easy to pipe. My frosting did this and it struggled to come out of the star pipe tip. Then the plastic piping bag popped! Frosting oozed out the side instead of out of the star tip. I had to push the frosting mess through the tip manually which was messy as hell! Try and pipe your frosting as fast as you can so it's smooth and as perfect as possible. If not you can frost it like you would a regular cupcake and give it that "rustic" look.

In the end i think my cupcake soaps are still really cute! They create a really great foamy lather and you can use it from handsoap to body soap. They're not too bad in their little packages either!

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