Almonds, Chocolate and Lavender (CP Soap Tutorial)

  • Difficulty:Intermediate
  • Time:45 minutes
  • Yields:About 2 pounds

Remember when Amber did a guest post on the homemade Almond Milk (which also inspired a Blueberry Almond Smoothie and Strawberry Almond Thumprint Cookies)? She inspired us to make Almond Meal Soap with the leftover almond meal from her almond milk making. The almond milk byproduct of almond meal is a gentle exfoliant and a lovely way to get a little more cleaning power from your bar. The fragrance oil blend of chocolate and lavender is a gourmet candy like combination (think sophisticated foodie chocolate). Enjoy this luxurious recipe!

Ingredients

1.3 oz Castor Oil

5.7 oz Coconut Oil

8.8 oz Pomace Olive Oil

4.4 oz Palm Oil

1.7 oz Shea Oil

3.1 oz Lye

7.26 oz Distilled Water

Lavender and Herb Fragrance Oil

Dark Rich Chocolate Fragrance Oil

Super Pearly White Mica

Cappuccino Mica

Almond Meal

2 pound wooden loaf mold

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Directions

If you have never made cold process soap before, I strongly suggest getting a couple of  basic recipes under your belt before diving in. Check out Soap Queen TV on Cold Process if you want to get started with cold process. It’s a 4 part series that will take you through the basics (and be sure to watch the episode on Lye Safety). If you’re a book worm, Bramble Berry also has some helpful reading on the cold process technique.

ONE: Suit up! Make sure you’re wearing long sleeves, put on your goggles and gloves and make sure there are no small children or pets around. Carefully add the lye to the water (never the other way around!) and mix until the water is clear. Don’t breathe in the lye fumes.  Set aside to cool.

TWO: Melt and mix the Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Olive Oil, Shea Oil and Castor Oil. Slowly add the lye water to the oils, stick blending for about 10-15 seconds or until you reach a light trace. Not sure what trace is? Click here for the Soap Queen.Tv Cold Process video that shows trace.

THREE: Pour out a 1/2 cup of the soap batter into a separate container. Set the container aside for now. We’ll be back to it soon.

FOUR: Add 4 Tablespoons of the Almond Meal to the remaining soap batter and 1 ounce of Lavender and Herb Fragrance Oil. Give it a good mix with a stick blender until you have a nice thick trace. TIP: A thick trace is important since we’re going to be pouring another layer on top. The soap needs to to be thick enough to support the next layer.

FIVE: Pour the almond meal soap batter into the lined, 2 pound mold.

SIX: Make a vein in the finished soap using  a tea infuser.Fill your tea infuser with mica. Then, sprinkle a fine layer of Super Pearly White Mica (or mica of your choice) on the top layer of the soap batter by gently shaking your tea infuser. Sprinkle the mica as fine as you can. TIP: Too much mica in the vein may make your layers separate. If you accidentally sprinkle on too much, put your goggles on and blow the excess off. It’s messy but it works.

SEVEN: Now getting back to the 1/2 cup of soap batter. Mix in 1/2 teaspoon of Cappuccino Mica and 1/3 of an ounce of Dark Rich Chocolate Fragrance Oil. Since there’s so little soap batter to work with, a whisk will mix best!

EIGHT: Pour the chocolate scented soap on top of the first layer of almond meal soap.

Optional: Since my trace was pretty thick, I saw the opportunity to make a curly circle design on top. But texture the top with any design that inspires you.

NINE: Let the soap cool for 24 hours and it’s ready to cut!

TIP: To prevent the Chocolate fragrance from discoloring the base soap (like it did in my soap after a few months – see top photo versus the fresh soap loaf below) try mixing some Vanilla Color Stabilizer with the Dark, Rich Chocolate fragrance. It won’t prevent the browning forever but it will help with it for a few months at least.

The texture the almond meal provides is really interesting. It helps to provide a unique mottled texture. And in the shower, it gives a nice gentle soft scrubbiness.

45 Responses to “Almonds, Chocolate and Lavender (CP Soap Tutorial)”

  1. Mitchell says:

    That looks so awesome!

  2. Dawn Prewett says:

    Looks spectacular! I know what soap I am making next!

  3. Kate says:

    I like the discoloration!

  4. Michelle says:

    Your soap is AMAZING!! I notice that you don’t insulate your cold process soap and it still turns out great. When I didn’t insulate my cold process soap it didn’t gel all the way and has a discolored cirle in the middle…but this is when I did buttermilk soap.

    • Courtney says:

      We were working with a small recipe in a small mold so the wood naturally insulated the soap pushing it through gel phase. We usually insulate with bigger recipes in bigger molds. We love the look of gelled soap!

      Courtney from Bramble Berry

  5. Michelle says:

    This is a beautiful soap. Looks so delicious. I know its NOT edible…..Right???

  6. Linda says:

    I love this tutorial. I just have to try it. I love Bramble Berry’s Dark Rich Chocolate fragrance. It is a huge seller for me! It blows the competitors chocolate fragrance away, trust me I tried it once. The cappuccino mica is perfect.
    Anne Marie, you are the best!

  7. Linda says:

    Oh, one more thing. It smells so much like the real thing that one of my customers told me that she licked it just to be sure. So funny.

  8. Karen says:

    Why bring it to a light trace first? In my experience it’s easier (and gives you a lot more working time) to divide up the lye/oil mixture before you hit it with a stick blender. I hand-stir for 30 second or so, then divide it, and then stick blender/pour one portion at a time. A hand-mixed (but not stick blended) lye/oil mixture can sit for HOURS (about 4 in my tests) without turning into soap.

    • Anne-Marie says:

      In my experience, every so often, the mixture doesn’t split all that evenly (too much oil in one, too much lye water in the next one). With experienced soapers, like you, that’s an easy eyeball fix but with new soapers, I think a light trace is easier to eyeball than a light oil mixture. So, that’s why I don’t teach it because I’m trying to cater to all soapers, which means the newest of them, but totally love the way you do it too =)

      • Karen says:

        True, that’s definitely a problem; since it’s a water/oil mix, the oil will float to the top pretty quickly if you let it sit. I re-hand-stir it if it’s been sitting for more than 10 seconds or so.

  9. Leilani says:

    I make an almond chocolate soap much like this and use dutch cocoa to color the chocolate part instead of the mica. It turns out a great chocolate color.

  10. Wow, I always just toss my almond meal after making almond milk, I am going to start adding it to my soaps now, thanks!

  11. Jasper says:

    I just tried the recipe without the fragrance oil. I added a little lavender eo to the main soap and orange eo to the chocolate. When I checked the soap the next morning it had a terrible odor. I’ve never had this happen, I was wonder it it was maybe the almond meal? I used it right after I made the almond milk. Did you let your almond meal dry 1st?

  12. Glenda says:

    Can I use hp in still of cp soap?

  13. Samantha says:

    Curious if you can use shea butter instead of shea oil and, if possible, in what amount. This soap looks amazing and I really want to make it :-)
    Thanks :-D

  14. andrea says:

    i noticed that the shae oil is out of stock, can you substitute shae butter? I’d love to try this recipe!
    thanks
    andrea. :)

    • This is something you can definitely do! You just need to remember that oils have different saponifcation values (how much lye you need to saponify your oils). All you need to do is run the recipe through the lye calculator!
      http://www.brambleberry.com/Pages/Lye-Calculator.aspx
      -Becky with Bramble Berry

      • Would it be better than to add a different oil? Do you have a suggestion that we be appropriate? I’m new, so substituting is not my forte! ;)

        thanks for your time and awesome help!
        andrea.

        • When substituting oils, you always want to substitute with another oil, and the same with butters! Sorry I didn’t make that more clear.

          I ran the recipe through the Lye Calculator for you with the Sweet Almond Oil being substituted for the Shea Oil.

          Castor Oil – 1.3 oz
          Coconut Oil (76 degrees) 5.7 oz
          Olive Oil (Pomace) – 8.8 oz.
          Palm Oil – 4.4 oz
          Sweet Almond Oil – 1.70
          Lye (at a 4% Superfat) – 3.1 oz
          Distilled Water (or other liquid) – 7.23 oz.
          http://www.brambleberry.com/Pages/Lye-Calculator.aspx
          -Becky with Bramble Berry

          • andrea says:

            Wow, thank you so much. Now that you say to replace butter with butter and oil with oil it makes sense. Almond oil is perfect because I have some left over from the loofa soap of yours that i made :)

            Thanks! .. I’ll post once I’ve made the batch
            Andrea

  15. Tabitha says:

    Question, If you are allergic to almonds and when you eat them they make you break out in hives, but will it bother you on your skin in soap? I do use a shampoo with alomd in it but don’t know for sure if it the real deal or not because it dosen’t bother me at all.

    • Hi Tabitha!

      If you are allergic to almonds, I’d definitely talk with your doctor or physician first because they would better be able to tell you if it would bother your skin better than we could, but it it always better to be safe than sorry!
      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  16. Tabitha says:

    What about using the ground walnut shells instead of almonds?

    • Hi Tabitha!

      You could definitely use walnut shells in this recipe instead of the almond meal, but it will change the consistency of the soap and it will be a little ‘scratchier’ because the walnut shells are a natural exfoliant! :)
      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  17. heidi says:

    Vanilla color stabilizer can be used? I thought it was only for melt and pour soap. Does the BB version accomodate both?

    • Bramble Berry’s Vanilla Color Stabilizer is specifically designed for melt and pour, but does work for a short period of time in Cold Process! It will not stave off the discoloration permanently in CP though, so over time the soap will still discolor. -Kristen with Bramble Berry

  18. Blanca says:

    Hi,

    I want to make this recipe, and just realized that forgot to add Shea oil to my order, what can I replace it with?
    Thanks!

  19. Tiffany says:

    Hello,
    I made this with a 2 pound mould and it was so so so yummy. I just purchased your 10″ silicon mould, and though I understand to “run it through the calculator”, Im not confident on what the new oil amount totals should be to recalculate. (I don’t normally adjust recipes or work with ounces), i would hate to get it wrong.
    Can you let me know what it would be and in future how to go about deciding the new oil amount? as i also want to change a few recipes for the column mould I purchased form you as well :)
    Thank You

  20. Sly says:

    RE: Almond, Chocolate, Lavender CP Soap Recipe:
    1.3 oz Castor Oil
    5.7 oz Coconut Oil
    8.8 oz Pomace Olive Oil
    4.4 oz Palm Oil
    1.7 oz Shea Oil
    3.1 oz Lye
    7.26 oz Distilled Water
    1 oz Lavender and Herb Fragrance Oil
    1/3 oz Dark Rich Chocolate Fragrance Oil
    Super Pearly White Mica
    Cappuccino Mica
    4 TBSP Almond Meal

    I love the look of this soap and would love to make it, but I am allergic to almonds. Can you recommend something to replace the almond meal with? I was thinking of coconut shavings, but not sure if that will go black after a time.

    Thank you!

  21. Jennifer says:

    Just made this recipe today (and doubled it) and it smells good enough to eat! Thank you for your awesome tutorials… Now I have to figure out what other creations I can make with the chocolate scent :)

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