It’s pumpkin time! My favorite time of the year. I thought I would kick pumpkin season off with a salt bar made with real pumpkin and coconut milk, scented with Bramble Berry’s Pumpkin Lager. If you are new to making salt bars, I highly recommend our eBook, Making Salt Bars for more recipes and detailed instructions.
This recipe sets up fast and gets REALLY hard so it is best done in individual cavity molds. It does not cut well if made in a slab or log.
Pumpkin Coconut Milk Salt Bar Recipe
- Coconut oil – 765 grams (85%)
- Shea butter – 135 grams (15%)
- Fine Sea Salt – 450 grams
- Pumpkin – 125 grams (canned pureed pumpkin)
- Coconut milk – 125 grams
- Lye – 125 grams (20% superfat)
- Fragrance Oil – 30-45 grams
Let’s make soap! If you are new to soapmaking, be sure to download our free guide, How to Make Cold Process Soap! Gear up in your gloves and your safety glasses.
Step 1: Make the lye solution. Weigh the coconut milk and pumpkin together into a container.
I like to mix this type of lye solution in a cold water bath. Both pumpkin and milk contain sugar and the solution can heat up real quick and sometimes even burn. So, to keep the temps down, use an ice water bath. Or you could even freeze the pumpkin and milk in ice cubes. Here I did an ice water bath.
Step 2: Weigh the lye into another container.
Step 3: Sprinkle the lye into the milk/pumpkin mixture. Mix and mix and scrape and scrape until no lumps are left. It will turn liquid.
Step 4: Measure out the coconut oil and shea butter and melt. To keep the temps lower I like to first melt the shea butter. Then add the coconut oil to the melted shea butter, mix and then if it needs a bit more heat to melt completely…add a bit more heat.
Step 5: Weight out the salt needed.
Step 6: Add scent to base oils. For fragrance I used Bramble Berry’s Pumpkin Lager. Its my favorite pumpkin scent.
Step 7: Pour your lye solution into the base oils and zap it with the stick blender just a bit until you get a light trace.
Step 8: Add the salt and mix it all up.
Step 9: Then pour it into your mold. I used Bramble Berry’s 9 cube silicone mold. This is a such a fun mold!
This mixture got thick because of a few things… the high coconut oil, the salt, the fragrance oil and I did a bit of a water discount. So I had to move fast.
I poured into the mold. Well, okay…there was more glopping going on than pouring. Then I used my spatula and smooshed it down into the cavities.
Bang it on the floor or counter top hard so that the soap will go all the way down!
The cool thing about salt bars is that they are ready to unmold in about four hours (depending on your recipe). They heat up real quick and then as soon as they are cool…they are rock hard and ready to be unmolded. I still had some air pockets because the mixture was so thick but I think it just makes them look a bit rustic or primitive.
Let them cure the standard 4 weeks.
Some general notes on salt bars:
- Salt kills lather so use 50-100% coconut oil.
- Since coconut oil can be drying you’ll want to superfat 10-20% for best results (I do a 20% superfat).
- Salt bars made with high coconut oil set up fast…like 2-5 hours fast…so it’s easiest to use individual molds. If you use a log mold be sure to cut as soon as it’s hard enough…usually after 2-5 hours.
- Don’t judge your salt bars the next day or even after week. Give it a nice long cure of 4-6 weeks and you’ll be surprised at how nice it is to use.
- I prefer a salt bar with 75% (of oils) salt but you can go as high as 100%.
- Use regular table salt or sea salt. Do not use dead sea salt or you’ll end up with a gloopy mess.