Because I’ve been so addicted to all things pumpkin lately, I just had to make a pumpkin soap! Full of great-for-skin vitamins A and D as well as antioxidants, pumpkin is a beautiful color and such a wonderful fall fragrance. Since I can’t wait to show you, take a first look!
There are several pumpkin soap recipes floating around in cyberspace, so I basically scoured and combined them, making up my own version. I decided to make a large double batch of this soap since I think it will be popular (if not with other people, then with me).
I began by making my lye solution with a slightly discounted amount of water, taking into consideration that I’d be adding in pumpkin puree which adds some liquid to the soap. I also added a small amount of sodium lactate to ensure that this soap hardens appropriately. Using my favorite recipe, I melted my oils and butters and let them cool to about 100 degrees. Then I added canned pumpkin puree (just pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling) and stick blended until smooth.
When the lye solution and oils were at room temperature, I combined and blended them to very light trace. Because the fragrance oil contains a bit of vanilla which will turn brown over time, I separated off a bit of soap to leave unscented and color white. Then I added the lovely, spicy pumpkin fragrance to the rest of the soap and mixed it by hand in hopes that it wouldn’t accelerate trace too much. The soap turned out to be a soft orange color thanks to the pumpkin puree.
Next, the fun colorful swirls began! I colored one cup of soap a lovely bright orange, and another two cups of soap a deep red-orange. I added the bright orange to the deep orange cup, creating an in-the-pot swirl of the two colors. I poured about half of the main batter into the bottom of my mold, then added the orange colors from high above down the length of the mold. Right above the orange pours, I added in the white soap and then some more uncolored main batter. I added on the last bit of orange, white, and uncolored soap, then finished by swirling the top with a bamboo skewer. After a spritz of alcohol, I put the soap to bed in the slightly warmed oven. My house smelled like I was baking pumpkin pie! Yummy!
It was such a joy to make this soap! Unlike my other soaps of late, this soap did not accelerate too quickly. It was the perfect consistency to work with, giving me lovely fluid swirls until the very end of the molding process. AND… I remembered to add every single ingredient that I’d planned to add! Haha! Triumph!
There was one small hiccup, and it was during incubation. I was away from home, so I couldn’t check on my soap! It overheated a bit and cracked down the center in the middle of each mold.
The overheating also caused the white portion of the soap to crackle, and I love the effect it created!
The final product turned out quite beautiful. The in-the-pot orange and red-orange swirls topped with white looks similar to the Holly Swirl technique.
I’m hoping that if the small amount of vanilla in the fragrance causes the soap to turn brown, perhaps it will still be different tones because of the colors. The white should remain white since I left it unscented. As usual, time will tell.
Since this project was so fun, I’m really excited to start using more foods in soaps! What foods would you like to see? I’m thinking strawberries and cream, or maybe bananas and blueberries, or how about oranges? Maybe something that combines them all…