Monday, January 27, 2014

Blackberry Vanilla Cobbler

Blackberry Vanilla Cobbler Soap
I have wanted to make some fruity soaps and this is one of the ones that I have been looking forward to.  It has been on my list and I just couldn't wait any longer.  Unfortunately because my soaping space is unheated it requires more forethought and planning.  I have to turn the heaters on a couple of hours beforehand as well as start any oils melting.
Warming my oils and my space

I started by measuring out the water and lye for my batch.  I did not mix them however.  I wanted the lye water to be as hot as possible to help finish melting the oils.  I started by melting my coconut oil in the microwave.  It took 6 minutes before I got enough oil melted for a batch.  I had put the olive oil on top of the heater and enough of it was melted for the batch but not any extra.

I got all of my oils measured out.  I got the lye mixed.  Warning - do NOT mix lye in a small closed space.  It created some really nasty fumes.  I thought that my space was ventilated enough.  IT"S NOT.  Wow, I thought that I was going to choke, before I got the window opened a little bit.  I got it to the point where I could no longer see vapor coming from the container before I poured the lye water into my oils.

All of my colors
In the pot swirl
After getting everything to a medium trace, I poured off about 10 ounces to be colored brown before adding my fragrance oil to the remainder of the batch.  I poured off about 1/3 for white and 1/3 for natural, that I hope will discolor brown from the vanilla.  The final third I colored with alkanet oil.  I used about 30 ml of brown oxide to color the little bit of unscented soap.  You can see all of the colors here.

I molded my samples first like I usually do, before pouring the white and uncolored into the purple.  I went with 12,3,6, and 9 as well as pouring into the middle.  I offset the uncolored from the white, so that I would get a better swirl.  This swirl is called an "in the pot swirl."  I made a couple of passes through the soap with the skewer.  I poured the soap into my lined mold.  Once I had all of the soap into the mold, I used a skewer, my swirling tool of choice, to swirl the top into a pretty design.

Top Swirl ready for  piping
After I got the swirl to my satisfaction I got the  brown ready to go for piping on the top.  I used my stick blender to get the soap to a thicker trace.  I used a disposable piping bag and a flat/basket weave tip without a coupler.  I filled the bag with the tip folded over to keep the soap from flowing out.  I filled the bag with all of the brown soap.  I did have to let it sit for a few minutes, but it definitely could have been thicker.  I ended up being a little bit drippy, but I got the job done.  I used the flat side of the tip to pipe a crosshatch pattern on the top of the mold.

My space works even if it is cold ;)
After I had the soap in the mold done to my satisfaction, I still had brown soap in my piping bag.  Since it is a pretty shade of brown I decided to fill my shell molds.  I we able to put a little bit of white in a few of the cavities for contrast.  I used the skewer to swirl the white a bit as well.

I have now made 2 batches of soap in my new space.  I have to say that while it is cold, it is actually a very workable set-up.  I brought all of the soap into the house.  Since I wanted the soap to gel completely, I put it on a hot rice bag and insulated it well.  I think that it didn't split because the soap was cold from the shed.

All piped and molded
I really like the way that the swirls turned out.  Since the purple part of the soap looked a little grey I was a little concerned about how the colors would turn out.  I am glad that it turned a better purple.  I think that I would actually add a little more alkanet oil to the next batch and make the purple a little more purple and less dusty.

I love the swirls even from the side

I am linking with the following blogs:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you so much. I think next time I will use a smaller tip to give a finer design.

  2. Pretty and yummy smelling! I have yet to try making soaps, but I really want to take a class. It's something that has always interested me.

    If you're interested in sharing more tips, tricks and ideas, I host a homesteading blog hop every Friday. You can enter as late as the following Thursday, so you still have time to join in on this one. Hope to see you there!

    1. Thanks so much. I may start doing classes, but not until I have more experience under my belt. I have done a few classes but they were not for people who wanted to make soap themselves. They just wanted a firsthand look at the process.

  3. Looks good enough to eat :)
    Thanks for sharing at the HomeAcre Hop

    1. It smells amazing! I love the fragrance oils from Brambleberry!

  4. Really badly wish my computer had a smell setting right now! Thanks for linking up at My Favorite Things!

    1. I know what you mean! My house smells like a bakery sometimes for several weeks at a time while soap cures.

  5. I have always wanted to try soap making. This combo sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing at the My Favorite Things Party! Theresa co host I'm @DearCreatives Hope to see you next week too!

    1. It is a lot of fun, but be warned, it is also addictive. ;)


Thank you so much for stopping by.