This is a soap Benjamin and I made for Prairie Soap Company’s holiday lineup. He makes a soap called Sweet Earth which uses juniper berries in the lye water. He grinds the juniper berries up using a coffee grinder. Added to the lye water they soften, produce a bit of color and impart a bit of aroma, like dark chocolate, which can add quite a bit of complexity to your essential oil blend. This recipe is a bit of a variation of Sweet Earth; we’re calling it Juniper Berry.
If you want to grab all of Benjamin’s recipes from his soap company, he shared them in his eBook:
Juniper Berry Soap Recipe
(fills two 8″ silicone soap molds)
Coconut oil – 540 grams (30%)
Shea butter – 180 grams (10%)
Olive oil – 540 grams (30%)
Castor oil – 180 grams (10%)
Avocado oil – 180 grams (10%)
Rice bran oil – 180 grams (10%)
Cocoa powder – 1 tablespoon
Lye – 252 grams
Water – 504 grams
Ground Juniper Berries – 2 tablespoons
Vanilla Oleoresin EO – 8 grams
Anise EO – 8 grams
Juniper Berry EO – 8 grams
Almond EO – 4 grams
Ylang Ylang EO – 4 grams
Patchouli EO – 4 grams
Sweet Orange EO – 16 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: Create a lye solution. Weigh the water and lye into two separate containers. Slowly pour the sodium hydroxide into the water while stirring. Stir until completely dissolved. Add 1 tablespoon of ground juniper berry. Adding the juniper berry to the lye water helps to soften it. I simply grind mine in a coffee grinder.
Step 2: Prepare the base oils. First, weigh any solid oils and butters into a container and melt. You can melt using the microwave or low heat on a burner. Next, weigh each liquid oil into the melted oils. The liquid oils will cool down the melted oils and leave you with a base oil mixture that is about at the correct temperature to make soap. It might still need to cool down a bit.
Step 3: Weigh your essential oil or fragrance oil into a glass or stainless steel container and add to your base oil.
Step 4: Prepare your mold. If you need to line your mold, line it.
Step 5: Check the temperatures. You should now have a container containing liquid base oils and a container containing lye solution. Take the temperatures using an infra-red temperature gun. Be sure to stir each mixture before taking the temp. You want your temperatures to be between 80-110° F.
Step 6: Once you have reached desired temperatures, pour the lye solution into the oil mixture and mix to medium trace.
Step 7: Pour into your molds! This recipe fits two 8″ – 10″ silicone loaf molds.
Step 8: I teased the top a bit for some texture and then added dried juniper berries on top for interest!
Step 9: Let your soap harden and saponify for at least 24 hours.
Step 10: Unmold and cut!
Cure your soap for 4-6 weeks.
This soap smells amazing! Earthy, festive and perfect for this time of year.
Thanks for reading!