This tutorial is brought to you courtesy of Leana Blacher.
Valentine's Day is coming up, and with it comes all of the sweets and treats! To celebrate the season, I'm sharing my take on a chocolate covered strawberry in soap form! (Chocolate covered strawberries are my very favorite thing to say "Be my Valentine!!" - Perfection!)
This chocolate covered strawberry soap involves making your own strawberry puree and grinding your own cacao nibs. However, you can choose to leave them out if you want to skip the extra work. If you want to leave out the prep work, skip down below to dive right into the chocolate covered strawberry soap tutorial!
Preparing the Ingredients
Before we can use fresh ingredients in our cold process soap, we need to prepare them! So, here's what you'll need to make our two fresh homemade ingredients: strawberry puree and ground cacao nibs.
- 1 cup Fresh Strawberries, with tops removed
- 1 tablespoon Cacao Nibs
- Distilled Water
I used these Cacao Nibs, but you can find different brands at your local market where organics and and health foods are sold.
Other Tools Used
- Cutting Board
- Blender or Food Processor
- Spice Grinder
Kenna uses this electric coffee grinder/spice grinder for soapmaking - lasts forever, easy to use, and cheap!
Making the Strawberry Puree
PREP THE STRAWBERRIES: Remove the tops of the strawberries and slice them in half. Then, place the strawberries into your blender with 1 to 2 tablespoons of distilled water.
PUREE: After putting on the lid, blend the strawberries on low speed until pureed.
Place the cut strawberries into your blender with just a little bit of distilled water. Blend until almost smooth, leaving a little bit of texture.
When your fresh strawberry puree is prepared for the strawberry soap portion, it should look similar to this photo.
When you are done, set your fresh strawberry puree aside. If you are not making your chocolate covered strawberry soap immediately, cover the strawberry puree with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to use it.
Making the Ground Cacao nibs
MEASURE: Measure approximately 1 to 2 tablespoons of cacao nibs and place them into a spice grinder. Grind until mostly powder with some coarser pieces.
If you don't have a spice grinder, you can crush the cacao nibs on a cutting board by placing a heavy pot on top of them and rocking it back and forth to break the nibs into smaller pieces.
A wonderful side effect of using the cacao nibs in your soap is their rich chocolate aroma!
Cacao nibs can be found at your local market where organics and and health foods are sold, or you can purchase them online. Measure out approximately two tablespoons.
After the cacao nibs are ground, they will have a nice texture variation from fine powder to coarse bits for your chocolate strawberry soap!
Making the Chocolate Covered Strawberry Soap
This chocolate covered strawberry soap recipe is sized for a 12" round PVC with 3" diameter mold that I made. If you don't have one, you can follow along with this tutorial to make your own. If you are using a different mold, you can resize this recipe using a lye calculator for whichever mold works for you.
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Soap Recipe Used
This chocolate covered strawberry soap was made as a single recipe, and then split in half with some ingredients going into the strawberry soap half and other ingredients going into the chocolate soap half.
Total Soap Recipe Oil Amounts
- 12.25 ounces of Coconut Oil (35% of the oils)
- 10.5 ounces of Olive Oil (30% of the oils)
- 3.5 ounces of Avocado Oil (10% of the oils)
- 3.5 ounces of Shea Butter (10% of the oils)
- 3.5 ounces of Rice Bran Oil (10% of the oils)
- 1.75 ounces of Castor Oil (5% of the oils)
- 4.75 ounces of Sodium Hydroxide (10% superfat)
- 7.15 ounces of Distilled Water (40% lye solution)*
* I know that this is a steep water discount. I like to do this so that my soaps harden quickly and cure quickly. Please feel free to adjust this recipe for more water: a 33% solution would use 13.2 ounces of water total.
Fragrance Oil Used
- 1 oz of Strawberry Fragrance Oil
Looking for essential oil blends to use instead? Check out the Essential Oil Blending Calculator!
Colorants and Additives Used
Used in Chocolate Soap Half
- 2 teaspoons of Cocoa Powder
- 1 tablespoon of Ground Cacao Nibs
Used in Strawberry Soap Half
- 1 teaspoon Firecracker Mica (Nurture Soap Supply)
- 1 ounce Strawberry Puree
Used in Both Portions
- 2 teaspoons of Sodium Lactate (Soaper's Choice)**
- 2 teaspoons of White Kaolin Clay (Wholesale Supplies Plus)**
** Optional ingredients
PREP IT UP: Prepare your oils, lye solution, and additives. I premixed my mica into 1 tablespoon of sweet almond oil to disperse it easily in the soap later. You could also use a tablespoon of oils from your soap pot to premix your micas.
Line your mold, if you wish. I like to line my mold with some freezer paper, and cover the end with plastic wrap before adding the end cap.
I like to line my PVC molds with freezer paper, and cover the end with plastic wrap before adding the end cap. Whatever mold you are using, make sure it's ready to go before you start your chocolate covered strawberry soap!
MAKE THE SOAP: Slowly pour your lye solution into your premixed oils. Personally, I add my kaolin clay and sodium lactate to my oils and stick blend before adding my lye solution, but you can add it later if you want!
Stick blend until you reach a light to medium trace. When thoroughly mixed, add your fragrance oil and stir to incorporate. (You can also add your fragrance oil before your lye solution, if you'd like.) Next, divide your raw soap into two portions - half for the strawberry soap and half for the chocolate soap.
Add the mica and the strawberry puree to one half to create the strawberry soap. Then, add the cacao nibs and cocoa powder to the other half to create the chocolate soap. (You can add a brown colorant such as mica to your chocolate half, if you wish!)
After splitting your soap in half, add the mica and the strawberry puree to the strawberry soap half and add the cacao nibs and cocoa powder to the chocolate soap half.
Stick blend each half of the soap to thoroughly incorporate the additives. Be careful to clean your stick blender between uses, so you don't muddy the pink strawberry soap! (And try not to overmix so it doesn't get too thick on you!)
With the added pink mica, the strawberry soap portion is a gorgeous pink/red color!
The chocolate soap portion will be a beautiful chocolate-y color from the cacao nibs and cocoa powder, but you can use brown mica in this half to make the chocolate color more intense, if you wish.
SWIRL IT UP: Once you've stick blended both the chocolate soap and strawberry soap, it's time to pour your soap into the mold! Alternate between each color of soap, pouring one at a time in the mold. When pouring, count to three with each pour to help you split the soap evenly.
If possible, do your best to pour into the center of the mold to make a bullseye pattern!
Alternate pouring your chocolate soap and strawberry soap in the mold, by pouring in the center of the mold and counting to three.
Continue alternate pouring your chocolate soap and strawberry soap in the mold. Pouring into the center of the cylinder PVC mold will create a bullseye pattern that we'll swirl later!
Next, I used a bamboo skewer to swirl the soap in the mold, starting in the center and going in a spiral pattern.
Optional: Use a skewer or thin dowel to swirl the chocolate covered strawberry soap in the mold!
Allow your chocolate covered strawberry soap to hang out in the mold for at least 12 hours, and then slice it up, cure, and enjoy! Remember: it's soap, not food! ;)
I left the chocolate covered strawberry soap in the mold overnight, uncovered to saponify. The next day, I sliced it up and was so happy to find little hearts in some of the bars!
Love the lather on this recipe! Smells delicious, but remember: it's soap, not food! ;)
I loved making this fun twist on a Valentines classic, and enjoyed the final soap! Plus, it is always fun to think of ways to turn food into soap. I would love to hear what you think!
Please me know in the comments below if there is a food item or liquid you'd like to see in my next Using Food in Soap tutorial!
Want to build your own soapy success story, but aren't sure where to start?
One of the most common mistakes that soapmakers make when starting a soap business is diving in before taking stock of the details.
Owning a soap business isn’t easy, and there’s no cakewalk to be seen!
This free workbook will give you a strong foundation to build your soap biz on so it can withstand tornado-strength challenges rather than crumbling under a light breeze.
By signing up for this free workbook, you'll also snag weekly advice on building a successful soap biz directly in your inbox.