Festive Honey Soap Recipe
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Festive Honey Soap Recipe

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Natural honey soap recipe made with simple layers of creamy colored and gold mica tinted soap batter and subtly scented with raw golden honey.

This natural honey soap recipe creates bars that look like fudge but have none of the calories. Naturally scented with honey, you make it by layering spoon fulls of uncolored and honey-tinted soap together in individual soap molds. If you make these at least a month before Christmas, you could even give them as handmade gifts.

Festive Honey Soap Recipe: natural honey soap recipe made with simple layers of creamy colored and gold mica tinted soap batter and subtly scented with raw golden honey #soapmaking #soaprecipe

Festive Honey Soap Recipe

This one pound (454g) recipe will create 5-6 standard sized bars. If you’re interested in getting the same soap mold, there’s a link below.

Lye Solution
124g (4.3oz) Water
69g (2.45oz) Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)

Solid Oils
150g (5.29oz) Coconut oil
75g (2.65oz) Shea Butter
10g (0.35oz) Beeswax

Liquid Oils
215g (7.58oz) Olive Pomace oil
50g (1.76) Castor oil

Extras
1/2 tsp Gold Mica
1.5 tsp Honey
6 drops Grapefruit Seed Extract

Special Equipment needed
Digital Thermometer
Digital Kitchen Scale
Stick (Immersion) Blender
6 Cavity silicone soap mold

Festive Honey Soap Recipe

Natural Soap making for Beginners Series

If you’ve never made soap before, I highly recommend that you look through my free natural soap making for beginners series. Beginning with Ingredients, the series will walk you through the materials and equipment you’ll need and an introduction to the soap making process.

1. Ingredients
2. Equipment & Safety
3. Basic Recipes and Formulating Your Own
4. The Soap Making Process: Make, Mold, and Cure

Festive Honey Soap Recipe
Layering creates the marbled, fudge-like effect

Step 1: Getting set up

To protect yourself from any oils or lye splashing onto you, wear closed-toe shoes, long sleeves, an apron, goggles, and gloves. The gloves can be latex, vinyl, or ordinary washing-up gloves. Learn more about lye and lye safety in this piece

Work in your kitchen but make sure that it’s properly ventilated. This could be as simple as having an open window or exterior door. It also helps to get completely set up before you begin — here’s a check-list to help you get organised:

  • Sodium Hydroxide and water measured into heat-proof containers: glass, pyrex, or polypropelene plastic
  • Solid oils measured into a small stainless steel pan.
  • Liquid oils measured into a bowl
  • Moulds set out and ready
  • Stick (immersion) blender plugged in and ready
  • Digital thermometer out
  • Utensils laid out: stainless steel spoon for stirring the lye solution, a small fine-mesh strainer, and a flexible spatula
  • Fragrance and extras at the ready: essential oil, Grapefruit Seed Extract, and Orange zest
  • Read all of the directions in this piece thoroughly before making your soap.
  • To read my free four-part series on natural soapmaking head over here
Festive Honey Soap Recipe
Rich honey gives a subtle scent to this soap

Step 2: Mix the mica with oil

In a small container, mix the powdered gold mica powder into about a Tablespoon of the olive oil. It will look like liquid gold! A small fork, mini wisk, or milk frother will help to blend it.

Step 3: Create the Lye Solution

Make sure your goggles, gloves, and apron is on before you make your lye solution.

  • Holding the jug of water away from you and towards that open window, pour the lye crystals into the water and stir well. Steam, fumes, and heat are the product of water and dry lye combining. Be wary of all three.
  • Place the steaming jug of lye-water in the sink. Next fill the sink with a little water to help the lye solution cool. Use a basin if you’re working away from your sink.

Step 4: Heat the solid oils

Move away from the lye and begin melting the solid oils together on the lowest heat possible on your hob. When there are just a few pieces of solid oil floating in the pan, turn off the heat and move the pan to a pot holder. Stir with your spatula until all of the oils are melted.

Step 5: Mix your oils

When the solid oils are melted, pour the liquid oils into the pan. Use the spatula to get as much of it in as possible (castor oil has a real tendency to stick). Now measure the temperature of your oils with your digital thermometer. You’re aiming to get it down to about 110°F / 43°C or slightly higher.

Step 6: Balance the temperatures

Once you have a read on your oil temperature, head back over to the lye solution and take its temperature too. It’s fine to go back and forth with the digital thermometer for both. The lye solution should be within ten degrees of the oils and can be either warmer or cooler.

Step 7: Stick Blending

When the temperatures are right, it’s time to mix the lye-solution with the oils. Pour the lye-solution through the mini strainer (to catch any pieces that might not have dissolved) and into the pan of warm oils.

Next, place the stick blender into the pan and use it to stir the mixture together gently. The head of the stick blender should be completely immersed in the oil-lye solution. If it isn’t, you need to use a smaller pan.

Bring the stick blender to a stand-still in the center of your pan and then press pulse for a few seconds. Then stir gently again for a moments and repeat the stand-still stick blending.

Continue pulsing and stirring your soap batter until it hits a light ‘Trace’. This means that the batter thickens and if some of it dribbles down from the stick blender, it will leave a mark on the surface of your soap-batter before melting back in. It’s important for this recipe that the trace is not too thick, otherwise it will be difficult to create the effect.

Step 8: Add the honey and GSE

When your soap batter has thickened to a ‘light trace’ it’s time to stir in the honey and the Grapefruit Seed Extract. Grapefruit Seed Extract is an antioxidant and will help keep the oils in your soap from going rancid.

Pour each of them into the soap and gently stir until they are dispersed. Give it a good 20-30 seconds of stirring.

Step 9: Divide the soap batter

Pour about a third of the soap batter into a separate container and then pour add the gold oil to it. Stir well.

Step 10: Pour the honey soap into your mold

Now the fun part! To get the same effect you’ll need the same 6 Cavity silicone soap mold that I’m using. You can adapt the technique for a larger loaf mold but it will turn out looking a bit different.

You are going to alternate pouring a Tablespoon of the uncolored soap batter into one corner of each cavity, with pouring a teaspoon of the gold directly on top. A Tablespoon of the white batter, a teaspoon of the gold in the same exact spot until it’s filled.

I actually filled all six cavities at the same time instead of focusing on just one. It might speed up the process.

Step 11: Decorate the tops of the honey soap

To finish the soap, I used a chopstick to lightly swirl the tops of the bars and then dusted them with gold mica. Use a fine sieve to dust the soap just as you’d dust a dessert with icing sugar.

Step 12: Curing the honey soap

After 24 hours you can pop your soaps out of the mold. It’s relatively soft to begin with but as it cures, it will harden.

Next is the hard part — waiting for your soap to ‘Cure’. Keep your bars in a cool, dry, airy, and dim place for four to six weeks. Place them on a book-shelf on a layer of grease-proof or baking paper. For full instructions on how to cure handmade soap head over here

After the time is up, your soap is ready to be used. For the holidays, wrap the soaps in festive paper and string — I recommend red and white bakers twine. This festive honey soap is pretty, natural, and an extra special gift because it’s handmade by you.

18 Comments

  1. Hi,
    thank you for sharing your fabulous recipes Tanya. We have had our first foray into soap making using your chamomile recipe, and are hooked! Just a quick question, is the grapefruit seed extract an essential ingredient in your festive honey soap and as you state that it helps to prevent the oils in soap from going rancid, why is it not suggested for every recipe?

    Thank you

    1. Grapefruit seed extract (GSE) is optional and not usually needed if your ingredients are well within their best-by date. GSE helps keep superfat (free-floating) oils in your soap from going rancid, but they tend only to do this if your oils are old, or if you superfat with oils that go rancid easily. For example, hemp seed oil or sunflower oil.

  2. Hi Tanya! I’ve made this soap two times today, both batches set up a lot quicker than I expected. First batch, my oils and lye water cooled to 105 before I started mixing. So, I thought that it was too cool since you said 110 or higher. So, the 2nd batch, I mixed with the oil at 115 and the lye water at 120. Same result. It traced a lot faster once I added the honey/GSE. Question, I pulled 1 TBLS of the Olive oil to mix with the mica. Was I supposed to use an additional TBLS of Olive oil or pull it from the amount in the recipe?
    LOVE this recipe, and so excited to give as gifts at Christmas!
    Thanks!
    Vicki

    1. Hi Vicki, the soap set quickly because it’s a beeswax recipe. I’d advise that you’d stick to the higher temperature for next time though — just to make sure the beeswax doesn’t slightly solidify before you’ve had a chance to add the lye solution. As for the olive oil, you were right to pull it from the recipe instead of adding extra :)

  3. Thank you for sharing this wonderful soap recipe! I’ve made it twice now, the first time I mixed it too long and it was too thick to make nice looking swirls of any kind! But I tried again and made sure I was at a much thinner trace and they came out great, I did do an in the pot swirl instead of pouring separately but they look great! Thank you so much! I love making my own soap!

  4. Im obsessed with the Honey I Washed the Kids from Lush, can you tell me if this is similar? Also is there a link somewhere to subscribe to your page? Im not seeing it if there is….

    1. Hi Amanda! I’ve not used Honey I washed the Kids but think I’ve smelled it before in a shop. It has sweet orange and bergamot essential oils as well as honey. The scent won’t be the same as my recipe but you could always use your own choice of essential oils when making the batch.

  5. I just discovered all of your newsletters in my junk folder, because they begin with “Tanya at lovely” . I’m certain this is happening to other people also. “Garden Living with Tanya” maybe?

  6. isn’t this temp a bit cool for the beeswax? I thought you were supposed to soap over 160 degrees if using beeswax.

    1. Though the melting point of beeswax is 144-147 F (62-64 C), it will stay in a melted state with other oils down to much cooler temps. This means that you can soap at normal soaping temperatures.

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