Impressive looking, but simple enough for beginners, this easy pumpkin spice soap smells divine, and would make a perfect autumn gift.
Now that autumn has finally arrived, along with its cooler nights and shorter days, I’m already thinking about Halloween and Thanksgiving and all of the pumpkin and apple spice recipes that accompany them.
Last year, around this time, I had begun playing with making different types of soaps, and had a great idea for making an easy pumpkin spice soap, but couldn’t find the ingredients, mainly some spice essential oils, that I wanted to use anywhere nearby. I figured that if I ordered them online, pumpkin spice soap time would have already passed by the time that I could actually use the soap. My reasoning? While the saponification process, the process in which all of the lye and oils have chemically combined and made soap, completes within the first few days after making soap, you should wait a few weeks, for your soap to harden, before you actually use it. Otherwise the soap will be soft and will get used up too quickly.
This year, though, I’m better prepared. I bought the oils that I wanted to use to spice up my soap, and made a lovely soap with pumpkin and goat milk to bring in autumn.
Pumpkin and goat milk both add a little color to the soap, and they also add some hydration and richness. As for the spices, I chose to use both the dried spices themselves and the essential oils. The spices add a dark color to the soap, along with a beautiful aroma, and also add a very mild exfoliation. While I love this soap, and the way it smells, it is worth mentioning that the spices and their oils may be irritating for some people with sensitive skin.
If you have never made soap before, don’t worry. This soap is very simple to make. I purposely based this soap recipe on my beginner soap recipe. My beginner soap is a tried and true recipe that only uses simple, easy to find oils, and has a relatively long working time, so you should have plenty of time to add in your oils, spices, and can try to swirl them together like I did. Because you are working with milk, and are swirling two parts of the soap together, it is a bit more complicated than the other recipe. So, if you are nervous about it, begin with the other recipe. If you are adventurous, though, give this one a try! If you follow the directions carefully, even as a beginner, you shouldn’t have any problems.
As with all soap recipes, be very careful when working with lye and solutions using it!
Use protective eyewear and gloves, and mix your lye into your water, and not the other way around! It’s also a good idea to mix the ingredients outside or in a well ventilated area. You can read more tips on my beginner soap recipe.
OK, with all of that said, let’s make some easy pumpkin spice soap!!
Easy Pumpkin Spice Soap
Easy Pumpkin Spice Soap
- 100 g sweet almond oil 3.5 oz.
- 100 g coconut oil 3.5 oz.
- 400 g olive oil 14.1 oz.
- 80 g lye 2.8 oz.
- 100 ml goat milk either fresh or reconstituted from powdered
- 100 ml water
- 45 g pumpkin 1.6 oz., I made my own puree
- 1 tsp. coconut sugar or any brown sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 tsp. ground cloves
- clove essential oil & cinnamon and ginger essential oils
Mix together the water and goat milk. Then make your lye solution by adding the lye into the mixture of water and goat milk. Because adding lye causes the temperature to rise quickly, to prevent the milk from scalding, mix them together over a pan of ice and water. I also froze the goat milk, just to be sure, but if you are careful about mixing over ice, that shouldn't be necessary. Your solution will probably turn slightly orange-yellow; that is a normal reaction of goat milk and lye.
Once your solution is thoroughly mixed, allow it to rest while you get together your other ingredients. We want the heating and cooling process to complete before adding the lye solution into the oils.
Mix together your almond, coconut, and olive oil in a large bowl. If you don't have almond oil, you can substitute it for 100g of one of the other oils.
Prepare your molds by oiling them. You don't need to use professional soap molds. My favorite mold is a silicone loaf pan, but I have also successfully used plastic food containers.
Add the sugar and salt to the lye solution.
Add the lye solution to the oil mixture, and gently mix them together.
Once you have the lye solution incorporated into the oils, you can begin to carefully mix them together with a hand blender. While you can do this part by hand, it would take much longer. We are looking to have the mixture thicken up like mayonnaise. If your lye mixture is cold when you begin mixing them, it will take a little longer to get the mixture to thicken. That will give you a little extra working time, too, if you are new to soap making.
Partway through the mixing process, begin to mix in the pumpkin pureé.
Now is the time to add in the essential oils or you can use fragrance oils, if you prefer. Certain essential oils, like clove oil, will cause your soap to thicken much more quickly, so be prepared, just in case. The amount of oil you add will depend a lot upon the oils you use, and your personal taste for how fragrant you want your soap to be. I added in somewhere between 5-10ml of oils overall, using mostly clove essential oil, a little less cinnamon, and a little less ginger, because that is my order of preference for those oils. You can experiment here, and use your nose to help guide you. 😉 If you are using a pumpkin spice blend, it may have vanilla, which will darken your soap, so you may choose to add it to only the half of your soap with the spice mixture.
Once you start to get to a mayonnaise like texture, separate out ⅓ to ½ of your mixture. You will be adding your spices to part of your soap, creating a swirled soap with two different colors. Add in your spices to the ⅓ to ½ that you separated out.
Begin to pour about half of the un-spiced soap into your molds.
Add a layer of the spiced soap, followed by the rest of the un-spiced, and finishing up with the rest of the spiced soap.
Using a spoon or some other utensil, poke into the soaps, reaching for the bottom layer and pulling the soap out over top, trying to gently swirl the soaps in certain places. You can also zigzag your way through the soap in places, to have the soaps gently swirl together, without mixing them into each other.
Once you are happy with your swirling, allow the soap to rest for at least 24 hours. Your soap will heat up during this time. After 24 hours, you can begin to check on your soap to see if it can be gently unmolded. If it is too soft, wait another day or two and check on it again. Gently unfold it as soon as you can, and cut your bars into your desired shapes.
Let your soap continue to set, dry out, and harden for about a month. To help the process, turn your soap every couple of days.
Enjoy using it! It smells wonderful!!
Don’t want to use goat milk? Just switch it for another 100ml of water.
I love this soap, and think it would make a great present for someone this fall, especially given in a beautiful soap saver exfoliating bag. You could buy one, or maybe we’ll just have to make one someday soon. 😉
Too many ideas, too little time…
This post is also available in Español.