How to Make Flower Cupcake Soap
Materials and Tools:
handheld (stick) blender
ice cream scoop
glass jar or other glass bowl
rubber or silicone spatulas
regular-size muffin pan
32 ounces of olive oil
30 milliliters of essential oil
1 teaspoon of turmeric
18 ounces of Red Devil lye
1 quart glass measuring cup
1 quart plastic or glass measuring cup
dried lavender buds
dried mint leaf
dried yarrow flowers
dried jasmine flowers
mask, goggles, and rubber gloves (preferably chemical-resistant)
*A postal scale with a 5-pound maximum works fine. It must measure to tenths of an ounce.
1. Turn on a slow cooker to begin heating.
2. Measure 27 ounces of olive oil by weight into a 1-quart plastic or glass measuring cup, using the digital scale.
3. Measure 9 ounces of distilled water by weight into a 1-quart glass measuring cup, using the digital scale.
4. Wearing a mask, gloves and goggles, weigh out 3½ ounces of lye by weight into a separate glass container.
5. Add the lye to the distilled water slowly, stirring the entire time. Stir until completely dissolved Caution: Work in a well-ventilated area, and don't breathe the fumes that come up off the lye water as it dissolves.
6. Add the olive oil to the slow cooker, scraping the measuring cup to get all the oil out.
7. Add the lye water to the slow cooker.
8. Neutralize the measuring cup and spoon used to mix the lye water, using vinegar and soapy water.
9. Add one teaspoon of turmeric to the slow cooker.
10. Using a handheld blender, blend the oil-and-lye water mixture in the slow cooker. Be careful not to splash, keeping the end of the blender under the surface of the oil at all times. It will become creamy and start to thicken after a few minutes.
11. Once it has reached a pudding-like consistency called trace (because a line you trace in the soap will remain there), put the lid on the pot and allow it to sit and cook at a medium temperature.
12. The soap will begin to bubble on the sides, and then the middle will begin to sink into the bubbles coming up from the sides. It may take 30 to 45 minutes until the center portion of the soap has been totally consumed under the bubbles, depending on the slow cooker's temperature. It's better to cook slowly than to cook at too high a temperature and burn the soap. Continue to cook for 20 more minutes or until the entire mixture resembles translucent, warm petroleum jelly (with some liquid floating on top).
13. Turn the slow cooker off and allow the soap to sit and cool with the lid on until it drops to a temperature of about 80 degrees C.
14. While the soap is cooling, prepare the muffin pan. Put two cupcake papers in each muffin slot in the pan.
15. Once the soap has cooled, set the slow cooker on a low setting to retain heat. Take the lid off and add 30 milliliters of the desired essential oils. Mix thoroughly. If the soap seems to be a little stiff or is forming a skin on the surface, add a little extra water to keep it moist. Water evaporates as the hot soap sits exposed, so you may wish to keep a spray bottle handy to mist it.
16. Scoop the gooey, warm soap into the prepared muffin pan with an ice cream scoop, working quickly so that it remains warm throughout the process. Mist the soap mixture remaining in the slow cooker if it becomes too dry.
17. Once the cupcake papers are filled, tap the pan against a table or the floor a few times to help the soap settle fully into the shape of the cupcake papers. If it cools too much while you're scooping, it won't fill the papers well, so if you are having trouble moving quickly enough, you can do a few at a time and then tamp.
18. If the surface of the cupcakes is not the ideal shape, reshape the surface with the back of a clean plastic spoon.
19. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely and remove cupcakes from the pan.
20. For rosebud soaps, use five or six rosebuds per soap. The stems of these are usually strong enough to poke directly into the soap. Place one in the middle and surround the center with the rest. For lavender- and mint-sprinkled soaps, put some lavender buds or mint in a dish. Moisten the top of the soap, using a paintbrush and a little water, and press the top of the soap into the lavender or mint, being careful not to crush the top edges of the cupcake paper. This works best if the soap is slightly mounded on top. Use your finger to press the buds in a little more securely, and then place a rosebud or other individual bloom in the middle of the soap. For yarrow and jasmine soaps, cut the blooms into small sections. Using a needle or other pointed object, make a pilot hole in the soap for each bloom section, and then insert the sections.
21. For best lathering results, allow the soaps to cure for a week or so.