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Soap Challenge 2014: Rainbow Drop Swirl Video + Coconut Oil Free Soap Recipe

It’s been awhile since I did one of Great Cakes Soapworks’ Soap Challenges, but the drop swirl was something I’ve been wanting to revisit. Plus, I broke out a coconut oil free soap recipe for this little ditty.

Swirled Soap Swap 2011
Swirled Soap Swap 2011

I was wanting to recreate an older soap from the Amathia Soapworks arsenal, a rainbow drop swirl.

This soap was made for a swap way back in 2011, and was among my favorites (despite the heavy stearic spots from soaping my formula too cool!)

While I didn’t recreate the soap spot on, I did craft up a coconut oil free recipe by request and use that formula for this challenge.

Watch the Rainbow Drop Swirl Soap Video

Rainbow Drop Swirl Soap with Coconut Oil Free Soap Recipe
Rainbow Drop Swirl Soap 2014

The first reason the soap didn’t turn out the same is that I poured the 2011 swap soap at a thicker trace.

The second reason is the colors were poured in two passes in the 2011 swap soap batch, instead of the multiple passes in this batch.

I still think it turned out nice, though!

The Coconut Oil Free Soap Recipe

When lovely soapmakers sign up for my newsletter (you can get on board below this blog post!), I always ask what they are looking for or struggling with in their adventures.

A couple recent soapmaking superstars were struggling with creating a coconut oil free soap recipe. Like always, I’ve got your back! Plus, this one is a palm free soap recipe, too!

  • 13 ounces Babassu Oil
  • 8 ounces Rice Bran Oil
  • 5.5 ounces Apricot Kernel Oil
  • 7 ounces Mango Butter
  • 3.5 ounces Castor Oil
  • 5 ounces Sodium Hydroxide
  • 10.2 ounces Distilled Water

This coconut oil free soap recipe is sized for a Brambleberry 10″ silicone loaf mold, with a 7% superfat and 33% lye solution. It has a tighter creamier lather than most of the recipes I share (but is actually more how I like soap!)

Looking for other soap recipes? I can help you craft the best soap recipe ever, or you can check the archives for more!

Did you participate in the Soap Challenge Club this month? I’d love to see your soaps! Leave a comment below!

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59 Responses

  1. Hi Kenna,

    This is Pooja ,I am participating in the drop swirl challenge. , but my soap is still in the mold 🙂 your soap is awesome. I am not an expert in social media ( bit shy) but I love love to make soap, you can see some of my soaps on Facebook though as ( bluenectarsoaps).

    1. Hi Pooja! Didn’t you snag SoapQueen’s Facebook photo of the week recently? 😉 Very nice job! I look forward to seeing your drop swirl!

  2. Hi, I am relatively new to soapmaking and recently started selling to friends. This post is very timely because I have a friend who is allergic to coconut oil. I was going to make her some 100% Olive Oil soap, but now I can try this instead. Thanks!!

    1. Loving hearing that the blends are being put to work! 🙂 I used a mix of Brambleberry’s Energy + Kumquat, consistency across the board for challenge soaps! 😉

    1. Congrats on your win, Lisa! 😉 Stunning soap!

      I used Brambleberry’s Energy + Kumquat together, as I’ve done in the past for other rainbow soaps. 🙂

  3. Love your colors and the swirls are great. Thanks for sharing your recipe too! It’s been added to my to-do list

  4. Beautiful swirls and colors! You and Amy from Great Cakes Soapworks are 100% responsible for my ridiculously large collection of micas from The Conservatorie. 🙂

  5. Hi, I would love to try out this recipe but in Australia we do not have Babassu oil. I often see recipes with oils that we don’t have here in Australia. Is there a website I can go to to find out which oils to substitute.

    1. Babassu is similar to palm kernel, palm, and coconut – it’s a hard lathering oil. You’ll want to check Soap Calc and the fatty acid profiles of the oils you are wanting to sub out. 🙂

  6. I’ve read Babassu oil comes from the Babassu palm tree in Brazil. Is this palm different from the palm oil that is such a hot topic regarding the environment?

    1. Hi Fuchia!

      Yes, it’s a different species of palm tree and growing environment. It’s important to remember that a palm is a type of tree while palm oil comes from a specific species of palm tree. Babassu and coconut are also from palm trees, just different species grown in different places.

      The environmental devastation around palm oil is specific to the species and it’s growing practices in Indonesia and Malaysia where 85% of palm oil comes from, including endangering species of animals and massive deforestation. All ingredients that we use have the potential to carry environmentally devastating risks. In my opinion, it’s important to research each ingredient and it’s impact as part of research and development.


      1. Thank you okay I didn’t realize Coconut oil came from palm trees. I appreciate you explaining this to me because the whole palm oil issue is confusing because some use Certified Sustainable and others say there is no such thing. Not trying to create a hot topic here just trying to learn what I can.

        1. I completely understand. 🙂 It is a hot button topic for some, but I don’t mind talking about it! I’ll actually be doing a blog post about palm free products in the next month (as well as one for vegan products). 🙂

          1. Hi Kenna, If I don’t have any Babassu Oil, could you recommend another good oil to use? Also, if I wanted to resize this recipe to a larger batch, would that be okay or would it throw off the ability to work with the colors longer? Also, on the topic of Palm Oil, I feel completely neglectful for not paying closer attention to the harvesting practices. I would love to receive more recipes that are Palm Free. I hate the idea of using something that is so hurtful to the environment & the animals that live there. Is it just one species of Palm, that is the problem? What about Coconut Oil? I guess I really need to do some homework on this subject! Thank you for bringing it to my attention. I want to make a beautiful soap that helps the environment, not hurt it! Again, I also want to take this opportunity to say a huge THANK YOU for all the work you do on this web site & for all the information that you share to help all us soapers make better & healthier soaps!
            All my best,
            Joanne from CLIFF ISLAND SOAPWORKS
            P.S. I’m definitely getting one of the Laser Soap Stamps!!!

  7. Hi,
    I am new to soap making. Have only made one basic cold process recipe. I stumbled upon your website and videos. Fantastic!!! Are all your micas from TC? How do you know which ones will work? I called them and they could not help me. Do you by chance have a list of their micas that work in cold process? I can not really afford the trial and error method with color at this point. Thanks for any help you can give.

      1. A majority of that list was compiled by me. 😉 There are some colors on there that are outdated, however, it is a decent reference if you don’t need the visual. 🙂

        1. Ha, ha…I told you that you and Amy are responsible for my mica addiction! 🙂 I’m going to have to start Micas Anonymous. You’re right about testing every new mica. Even if the company shows a picture of the mica in CP soap, I still test it a .25 tsp in 5 oz of soap and let it cure for at least 10 weeks before I use it in my batches since I want to see how it preforms in MY soap. If it does anything weird, I want to know about it before I use it in a large batch of soap. Plus it’s nice to have a color swatch of samples to put together to see how they look next to each other before I use them in a batch of soap. It’s kind of a dry run to see how the colors look together before you actually make soap.

          1. LOL 🙂 You entered in the current giveaway for micas, rrrriiiiight?

            Yes, it’s totally important to test in your formula, as some formulas have an undertone of yellow or green and it can change the way colors settle out. 🙂 You can always make confetti soap with the samples, that’s what I do! 🙂

      1. Don’t know how I missed that, but it’s been CRAZY here…I set up my website/store last month and have been making soap like a mad woman since I have 7 arts and craft festivals over the next 8 weeks….ha, ha, I’m hoping I didn’t bite off more than I can chew. 🙂 I will definitely enter your give a way next. Mad Oils has some beautiful micas. I’ve tried a handful, but they have a bunch I haven’t tried yet including some that you are giving away. I love the Bazooka Joe pink one. It’s my favorite pink!

  8. Thank you for this recipe as my mom is allergic to coconut and nuts in general so can’t use Babassu. Do you think I could use Olive oil in place of the Babassu oil?

  9. Kenna,
    I got excited because I thought I’d finally found an answer to my soap problem as I’ve just learned I am allergic to coconut. But I didn’t. Babussu Oil is not safe for most of us with coconut allergy as it is made from a very close relative to coconut that my doctor informed me to avoid. Thought you’d like to know as this recipe comes up with a ‘coconut allergy soap’ search, don’t think you want to be responsible for an allergic reaction.
    Perhaps update your post ot inform people to ask their doctors if Babussu is safe for their coconut allergy.

    Cobalt Blue

  10. Hi, I’m new to soap making. I would love to try to make the coconut oil free soap. At what temperature do you need to have the oils when mixing it with the lye/water
    solution? Also, what temperature should the lye/water solution be when mixing with oils? How long do you need to age the soap?

    Thank you so much,

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