Soaping is so much fun, especially if you’re into the DIY crafty lifestyle and love creating with unpredictability! No matter how close you follow a recipe, you’ll have slightly difference results every time, and I love it! The biggest problem I’ve encountered is that I can’t stop soaping! Luckily, Christmas is just around the corner so I have an excuse to make loaf after loaf! It takes 4-8 weeks to cure cold process soap, so now is the time to start if you’re interested in giving homemade soap as gifts.
The recipe I’m sharing today is none other than fall’s favorite… Pumpkin Spice Soap! Although not edible, this soap looks delectable and has just the right balance of sweet, earthy, cinnamon & ginger scent! If you’re roasting pumpkins or making pies, save some puree for your pumpkin spice soap!
Pumpkins are not just good for decorating and eating, they’re also great for your skin! This makes it an excellent addition to cold process soap. Pumpkin has enzymes and alpha hydroxy acids, vitamins A & C, fatty acids, and more to help keep our skin glowing. You can read more about pumpkin and your skin at the International Dermal Institute.
I like all things natural, so my soap recipes are made with organic herbal infused oils (calendula, of course!), food-based or herbal colorants, and essential oils for fragrance. Because lye can be intimidating, I superfat my soap at a hefty 7%. This means I add 7% more fat than the lye can saponify (turn into soap). Superfatting ensures a safe soap and adds additional conditioning benefits for your skin. My pumpkin spice recipe uses “hot” essential oils such as cinnamon leaf, ginger, and clove as fragrance. These essential oils, with the addition of pumpkin puree and cinnamon spice, will make your soap come to trace VERY quickly!
To be completely transparent, I didn’t work fast enough on the first attempt and wasn’t able to swirl my soap the way I had planned. So, I chopped it up, “melted” it, and swirled it the following day. I also added the white “frosting” as an additive following the re-batch. This was my first attempt at re-batching and I’m very impressed with the outcome, despite the fear and panic that instilled from what seemed like a complete failure. No worries, I edited the instructions to ensure a successful outcome for you – and the picture above shows the great outcome!
NOTE: If you’ve never made soap before I highly recommend reading about it, understanding it, and watching videos about cold process soap making. Understanding the soaping process and terminology beforehand will make you more comfortable, give you the tools you need to troubleshoot any issues, and will help you create successful bars of soap without having excessive experience. The links below are great places to start.
Soap Making 101 – The Nerdy Farm Wife
Equipment – SoapCalc
Lye Safety Guidelines – Soap Queen
Glossary of Soap Making Terms – Soap Making Essentials
How to Make Cold Process Soap – YouTube Video – How2Soap
Soap Calculator – SoapCalc – great if you’re looking for soap bar quality and fatty acid composition
Pumpkin and Spice Soap Mixture (2 lb – 7% superfat)
- 10.56 ounces water (I reduced to 33% water due to the addition of pumpkin puree)
- 4.5 ounces lye
- 1/2 tsp salt (Salt will help harden the bar and possibly lessen curing time)
- 11.2 ounces coconut oil – 76 degree
- 6.4 ounces avocado oil
- 2.24 ounces shea butter
- 12.16 ounces olive oil – mine is infused with calendula
- 3 ounces pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp cocoa powder
*These oils can be irritating to the skin and should be exceptionally diluted.
- .5 ounce ginger essential oil
- .16 ounce clove essential oil
- .25 ounce cinnamon leaf essential oil
“Frosting” Soap Mixture (1/4 lb – 20% superfat)
- 1.52 ounces water
- .59 ounces lye
- 4 ounces coconut oil – 76 degree
*This post contains affiliate links. I receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you, if you purchase through the links on this page. However, I only recommend products that I personally love and use myself! Thank you for supporting life infused.
- Start with the pumpkin and spice soap. With your protective gear on, and using a non-reactive, heat proof container, slowly stir the lye into the water and salt until it dissolves. Place it in a safe place. I use my kitchen sink, it’s deep, out of the way, and will contain any possible spills. I also use a fan behind me, while stirring the mixture to blow any wafting fumes through an opened window.
- Combine and warm your fats (coconut, olive, avocado, shea) until melted. I like to use a make-shift double boiler. Remove from heat and pour into the large bowl you’ll be using to mix your soap. I use a 1 gallon pail, leftover from my coconut oil purchases.
- While waiting for your lye solution and your fat mixture to cool to about 90-100 degrees, you can start on the “frosting”. Mix your lye solution and set aside. Melt your coconut oil and remove from heat. Set these aside until you have completed the steps below for the pumpkin and spice mixture.
- Add the lye solution into your oil. Using your immersion blender, stir and pulse alternately, until you’ve reached a very light trace.
- Add your essential oils and pumpkin puree. Hand stir to help prevent accelerated trace.
- Pour about 2 cups of this mixture into a smaller container and add your cinnamon and cocoa colorants. Mix until combined.
- Working quickly, pour the brown mixture back into the original mixture, use a small spatula to fold into each other without over mixing. Pour into your prepared mold and tap out any air bubbles. (I had attempted to layer the colors originally and “failed”. Combining the two before pouring is much simpler and creates a beautiful swirl.
- Back to the “frosting” – Mix your lye into your oil and pulse until a light trace has been reached. Pour over your pumpkin and spice loaf. You can use a spatula to form peaks at the top or help swirl the “frosting” into the pumpkin and spice batter.
- Let sit for 24 hours before un-molding and cutting. Allow to cure for 4-6 weeks before use.