Making Sunshine Cold Process Soap

Today’s episode is a 4 pound cold process recipe scented with 10X Orange Essential Oil and Yuzu Fragrance Oil. It’s a bright, effervescent and citrusy combination. I’m also going to show you how to use the Vertical Soap Mold, which is a great way to add variety to your cold process recipes. I split the batch and added Calendula petals to one half and Fizzy Lemonade Colorant to the other half, giving it a natural and bright look.

If you have never made cold process soap, stop right now and watch the first four videos on cold process soapmaking. It’s important to learn how to safely use lye safely and get a couple of basic recipes under your belt before you dive into the vertical mold soap, which is an advanced technique.

Learn to Make Sunshine Soap with Orange and Calendula from Soap Queen on Vimeo.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Soap Recipe:
1.3 oz Castor Oil
17.6 oz Coconut Oil
4.4 oz Palm Oil
17.6 oz Rice Bran Oil
3 oz Shea Butter
6.2 oz Lye
14.5 oz Distilled Water

Colors, Additives and Scents:
1/4 oz Calendula Petals
2 oz Yuzu Fragrance Oil
1 teaspoon Fizzy Lemonade Colorant
9 ml oil from the batch
2 oz Orange 10X Essential Oil

Vertical Wood Mold

  Get everything you need to make this soap here.

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  1. Fungai says

    I am new to soap making and I am so excited to come across this forum. I have made few batches just for family use, now I want to try this recipe. I can’t find orange 10x essential oil here in the UK. Is it possible to use orange 5x then double the amount for it to last?

    • says

      Hi there!

      You can definitely use a different essential oil for this recipe. I would recommend using slightly more, but doubling the amount may be irritating for the skin. For this recipe, we used a usage rate of .7 ounces per pound of soap. I would recommend using slightly more, 1 oz. per pound of soap would work well :)

      -Amanda with Bramble Berry

    • says

      Hi Tamory!

      The easiest way to resize this soap recipe (and any others) is to enter it into the lye calculator and resize the batch amount. To do that, enter all the ingredients in to the lye calculator ( and select a superfat of 4% and click the submit button.

      Once you’ve clicked the submit button, it will direct you towards a page where you can resize your batch. Go to the Current Batch (total oil weight) section and stick in a lower oil weight. Keep experimenting with this until it gives you the final yield you are looking for.

      For this recipe, a 1 lb batch would look like:
      Castor Oil – .33 oz
      Coconut Oil – 4.41 oz
      Palm Oil – 1.1 oz
      Rice Bran Oil – 4.41 oz
      Shea Butter – .75 oz
      Lye – 1.59 oz
      Distilled Water – 3.63 oz
      1 teaspoon Fizzy Lemonade Colorant
      .5 oz of Yuzu Fragrance Oil
      .2 oz Orange 10X Essential Oil
      1/8 oz (or less) or Calendula Petals

      I hope this helps! Be sure to tell us how your batch turned out. =)

      Happy Soaping!
      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  2. Molly says

    I’m curious about the calendula petals, do they make the bar exfoliating? I haven’t used any exfoliants as I personally find many of them to be pretty abrasive. But this looks so pretty! Can anyone provide info on the feel of a finished bar with calendula petals?

    Or what would a good usage rate be PPO for the look but not much abrasion?

    Thanks so much!

    • says

      They do … a little bit. The herb gets pretty wet in the shower so that softens it up. I have one bar of a similar project left actually (a trial run I did before I decided I really wanted two colors). Are you ordering from Bramble Berry any time soon? If so, I could put it in your box for you to try? Just let me know because it will require some extra TLC on my part (pull your order out of line, put it in a special bin with the soap so no one misses it). =)

      You can still get a beautiful look with this project with half of the herb used (instead of the full amount the recipe suggests). =)

  3. Barb says

    I am a bit confused with the measurements… When I add the ounces of oils I get 43.3 -> wouldn’t this be 2.74 lbs not 4? I was under the impression that a 4 pound batch of soap would be 4 x 16= 64? Ideas???
    Thanks, Barb

    • says

      Hi Barb!

      When you are trying to get the final yield of any soap batch, you would add the water + lye + oils which would equal final weight. In this case, adding the oils & butter (Castor Oil, Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Rice Bran Oil and Shea Butter) at 43.9 ounces to the lye and water amounts (20.7 ounces) would yield you 64.6 ounces of soap which turns out to be 4.04 lbs. I hope that this helps! :)

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  4. Susan says

    I just made this recipe this a.m. – and I’m not sure if it will turn out ok. It came to a trace very quickly within three minutes and thickened up to the point where I was scooping it out of the pot rather than pouring it out of the pot, (I had not added any colorant or fragrance at this point, so I can’t blame it on fragrance or color).

    I am not new to soaping at all, and have never had a recipe come to trace so quickly. My oils were 119 degrees, the lye was 117 degrees. I’ve never used rice bran oil or shea butter before, so I don’t know if it’s those oils or something else.

    I used nettle leaf powder for coloring and BB’s green tea FO, Bergamot EO, and Lime EO; and the soap was already a thick pudding consistency when I added the color and fragrance.

    Any thoughts?

    • says

      Good morning, Susan!

      I am so sorry to hear that you are having so much frustration with this recipe. When you were mixing your oils, butters and lye water together, how long did you stick blend it before it started tracing? I’d also suggest lowering the temperatures about 10 degrees to see if that helps with trace. Did you change anything about the amounts in this recipe? We’d love to hear a little bit more about what happened so that we can help you troubleshoot! :)

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

      • Susan says

        I made a 5 lb mold batch but ran the recipe though a soap calculator first to the conversions for the oils, water & lye. I use my stick blender in 30 second bursts with 30 second rests for the stick blender. The soap started tracing in 90 seconds. At first I thought it could be a false trace but it wasn’t.

        I really didn’t think my temperatures were that high at 117 & 119. This is the first time I’ve used rice bran oil, usually I use olive oil. It’s also the first time I’ve used a recipe that called for that much coconut oil and it was the first time I used Shea butter.

        Usually I prepare my lye water the night before, use it at room temperature and add it to my oils when they’re at 120 degrees, so maybe that was the issue. But in the past if I prepare my lye water the same time I’m melting the oils, I usually mix both together when they’re about 120 degrees.

        The soap seems to be fine actually now that it’s been unfolded and cut. I’ve just never had a batch trace so quickly and thicken so much. Some of the soap has air pockets (not really bubbles) because it was so thick going into the mold, as if it folded over on itself since it wasn’t a pourable consistency going into the mold.

        • says

          Good morning, Susan!

          I am so happy to hear that the soap looks like it is doing okay — we definitely want you to be able to use this batch as long as it is not lye-heavy. If you are used to using Olive Oil (which traces slowly), using another oil can be a bit of a change. I would definitely keep the temperature around 110 to see if that helps your soap from tracing to fast. I’d also suggest always keeping your oils and lye water within 10 degrees of each other (like you did).

          Was there anything else that you added into your soap before it started to accelerate trace? I do really want to get to the bottom of this so we can help prevent this from happening again! :)

          -Becky with Bramble Berry

          • Susan says

            No, it was just the oils (castor, coconut, palm, rice bran, and shea butter) with the lye water.

            My only additives (which I added after trace – and they did not accelerate the already accelerated trace process) were the Green Tea FO, Bergamot EO, Lime EO and nettle leaf powder.

            My reason for choosing this recipe was that I had some rice bran oil and shea butter that I wanted to try. While the soap is a bit green from the nettle leaf powder :) it smells really good and several people who’ve sniffed it can’t wait for it to cure.

  5. Delores says

    I tried this recipe using the quantities supplied and it exceeded the capacity of the vertical mold. I hope it turns out ok. Lesson learned is that at very, very, very thin trace I should stop and add the fragrances and colorants. I had a whole lot of oil and lye mixture left over and just improvised and am oping for the best.

    • says

      Hi Delores!

      This recipe should all fit in the mold and you might have a little left over for a small mold. Did you follow this recipe or increase any of the amounts?

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  6. Tracy says

    What would you recommend for a natural way to get the nice yellow on the one side?

  7. Wansada says


    I would like to know how to making 2 pound of this recipe.
    Thank you very much……

    • says

      Good morning, Wansada!

      The easiest way to make this a 2 lb. recipe is to use the lye calculator and resize the batch. All you need to do is enter this recipe into Bramble Berry’s lye calculator and play around with resize batch button until you yield is 2 lbs. (32 ounces). In this case, I was able to get the recipe to yield 32.47 ounces at a 3% superfat, here are the measurements:

      Castor Oil: 0.65 oz.
      Coconut Oil: 8.82 oz.
      Palm Oil: 2.21 oz.
      Rice Bran Oil: 8.82 oz.
      Shea Butter: 1.50 oz.
      Lye Amount: 3.206 oz.
      Ounces of liquid recommended: 7.26 oz.
      Yields 32.47 oz.
      Essential Oil: 1.95 ounces

      I hope this helps! :)
      -Becky with Bramble Berry

      Lye Calculator:

  8. Joe says


    Will this recipe turn out well if I substitute olive oil for the rice bran oil and walnut oil for the castor oil?

    Thank you!


  9. Cherie says

    Hi there,

    You explain in this video that I need to use mineral or cyclomethica to grease the mild… making it easier to remove the soap. I there any product which I could use rather then these? As I do not have them.


    • says

      Good morning, Cherie!

      If you don’t have any Cyclomethicone handy, you should be able to purchase mineral oil at your local grocery store to ‘grease’ up the mold to make it easier to unmold. If you grocery store doesn’t have a natural health food store should. I hope this helps.

      Happy Soaping!
      -Becky with Bramble Berry

      P.S. You can always purchase Cyclomethicone on Bramble Berry’s website.


  10. G0424 says

    I’ve started making cp soap recently and I love doing it but I don’t know if my recipe is moisturizing enough. My recipe is as follows:
    30% olive oil
    30% shea butterbutter
    20% coconut oil
    20% palm oil
    8% superfat

    It still feels drying on my skin. Is it me or is the recipe inadequate? Please help.

    • says

      That sounds like a great moisturizing recipe to me, but you can always up the Olive Oil and Shea Butter if you are finding it to be a little to dry. Try upping it by about 10% seeing if that helps out any. :)
      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  11. Grace says

    I finally worked up the courage to make cp soap. I was told that i have to use less water when using eo and more when using fo. How do I know how much to use if I want to create my own recipe or how to I calculate my recipe?

  12. Teri Wilmarth says

    I’m doing this soap right now…except I’m using the Black Amber/Lavender blend and coloring purple and a darker yellow!! Can’t wait to see how it turns out!! I may have messed up my oil measurements, but I’m sure it’ll all be fine!!

  13. sparkle says

    or can i use a normal wood mold and not a vertical one and still get the same effect

  14. sparkle says

    hi i want to try the “making sunshine soap” but i dont have that color i have yellow oxide can i use that and is there another scent i can use in it i have an orange essential oil but i know i dont have the other scent, is there another scent i can use

  15. says

    Hi Anne-Marie,

    You can get the same two-layer look using the 9 bar birch mold and the guest-size soap dividers. Just pour the soap in rows, alternating the layers. When finished, remove three of the five dividers.

    – Desert Rose

  16. sOUTHERNbLISS says

    I am so loving this idea. I can think of a variation with Peppermint, Lavender (not with the lavender buds but with maybe lavender jojoba beads), vanilla (vanilla seeds) Etc. Ideas are popping in my head. Gonna get that mold too!

  17. Faith says

    HI Anne-Marie.

    I just made my first CP soap today….fingers crossed that its comes out!!!!! I want to try this soap, but need to get few things first. Thank you for you for web site and blogs, etc loads of info for a newbie!!!

  18. Linda Hunt says

    Is there a print out for this soap..I can’t run a video on my computer. Thanks. Linda

  19. says

    Love it!

    My 5 year olds give it a mixed review though: One said, “That soap is booootiful! Let’s make it!” The other said, “I don’ like that soap. Let’s make princess soap.” LOL!

  20. Liz says

    This recipe seems really drying to me at 40 percent coconut oil. I would have to superfat this at 10.

    • Anne-Marie says

      I love the recipe – and find it bubbly, nice lather, rinses cleanly and hard – but if you want to try it before you make it, on your next order at Bramble Berry (if it’s soon), ask in your NOTES section for a sample and we’ll toss in a bar of it so you can try it. I made SO much soap prepping for the video and shooting it that I have a lot extra =) If you superfat up to 10%, you’ll probably end up with a softer bar that might take longer to get out of the mold so keep that in mind if you make the recipe. Or, design your own recipe and just use the color scheme and technique. The mold works great with most CP recipes =)

  21. Pelin says

    Again another beautiful soap!

    I don’t have access to Yuzu Fragrance oil, so wanted to ask if there is an EO combination close/similar to its scent?


    • Anne-Marie says

      Lemongrass or Litsea would be great alternatives that would last in CP soap.

  22. DRadig says

    We actually just used a disposable ZIPLOC type container. We made a small loaf. Used yellow mica for the bottom layer and poured it, then spritzed with alcohol ad poured the top layer with the calendula in it. Used the same fragrance and essential oils. It is a little lighter on the bottom but I think it looks good!

  23. DRadig says

    Hi – We don’t have everything for this, so we made a M&P imitation!! We used BB’s Like CP M&P. It is the best M&P soap!! I have tried several other types from other SUppliers and they are horrible! Go with BB’s supplies!

  24. Mellifera says

    Great recipe! I make a similar one with calendula and orange oil on one side, and coffee/milk/cocoa on the other in that mold. Really nice! I also find some sodium lactate helps harden it up for easy removal.

    • says

      That sounds like a fabulous soap recipe Mellifera! You are absolutely correct, Sodium Lactate does help to harden up the soap so well and it’ll help it pop right out of the mold. :)
      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  25. Michelle says

    Great video, I too like vibrant scented soaps. The highest ratio I’ve used per pound of oils is 10%. What is the highest amount you can use per pound? The video showed 2 oz for each half.

    Loved the tip of using a sponge to spread the cyclo on the mold.

  26. Margo says

    This soap will definitely be on my to do list. I love your little inspector at the end, he is a doll!

  27. Wendy says

    I’ve had trouble with calendula petals turning brown and ugly after a few weeks in CP soap recipes. Am I doing something wrong??

    • says

      The calendula petals always stay yellow for us in our CP soap, you can email us a photo at info(at)brambleberry(dot)com and we’d be happy to help you troubleshoot! :)
      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  28. Angel says

    Hi Anne-Marie,

    If I wanted to make a trip strength oil, how do I re-infuse the oil? I have been looking at youtube vids and some people use crockpots to infuse. Would I keep taking the oil I have infused and just keep adding more herbs and oil? Would I use the previous herbs or would I use a new batch of herbs to re-enfuse?

    Thank you.

    • says

      Hi Angel!

      Yes, you would keep taking the oil that you have infused and add a new batch of herbs to re-infuse your triple strength oil. Let us know how it turns out! :)
      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  29. says

    Hi Anne!!!

    I would like to try this cute calendula/ Orange cold process recipe it looks super cute , but I would like to know what oil I can use instead of Rice Bran Oil and the amount of it because I could not find it in Barcelona. Thanks!!!
    Happy weekend
    from Mar D Jabones

  30. says

    There was a time I tried making homemade soap, it was not easy! I’m in awe of your skills, and inspired. You are very creative.

  31. LaQuetia Gilliard says

    This is my favorite type of soap. I love, love, love the look of calendula in soap.

  32. says

    Love the video and I can almost smell the orange! This actually gave me an idea on how to change one of my soaps to this look :) Now, you mentioned that the soap has to stay in the mold for 3 days. Is that because of the high Rice Bran Oil content or because of the mold (vs. a slab mold or log mold – surface area type of thing)?