What’s more festive for the holidays than a tray full of sugar cookie cut-outs? How about Christmas cookie guest soap! With a few simple ingredients, you can stock your guest bathroom with adorable, festive and delicious smelling sugar cookie soap for the holidays.
Skill Level: Intermediate
Time: 2 hours
Supplies from NorthWood
- Christmas Tree, Gingerbread Man & Stocking soap mold
- Round or Square Silicone Guest Soap Mold (for making sprinkles – any silicone mold with a flat bottom will do)
- 1 fl oz of fragrance oil, such as one of these:
- 2 lbs white Melt & Pour Soap Base of your choice such as Detergent Free White Soap Base
- 1g jar Sea Green Shimmer Mica Powder
- 1g jar Scarlet Red Shimmer Mica Powder
- 1g jar Wheat Shimmer Mica Powder
- 1g jar Tan Shimmer Mica Powder
- Mix & Pour Funnel Pitcher
- Digital scale
- Two 3 oz measuring beakers
- Straight Edge Soap Cutter
- Face mask (for working with mica)
- 2 Micro Size Scoops (optional)
- Nitrile Gloves (optional)
- Mini Mixer (optional)
- Shrink wrap bags for packaging soaps (optional)
Supplies from Home
- Cutting board
- Small rubber spatula or spoon for stirring
- Measuring spoons
- Parchment paper, freezer paper or similar non-stick surface (Used when “frosting” your soap cookies)
- Rubbing alcohol (at least 91% isopropyl alcohol)
- Small spray bottle
- Butter knife or paring knife
We’ll start by making tan soap that is poured into cookie-shaped molds. Meanwhile, we will prepare sprinkles to go on top. Once the cookies and sprinkles are ready, we’ll be melting down white soap base to achieve a “frosting” look. Frosting is poured onto the cookies and sprinkles are pressed into the frosting for an authentic looking holiday cookie soap.
Choosing Your Supplies
Note that the fragrances suggested for this recipe all contain vanillin, an ingredient that can cause soap base to turn slightly brown over time as it cures. For other soap recipes, this can be a hurdle to overcome. However, for this soap, it's fine that the fragrance will cause the base to darken slightly.
In our design, we want the frosting to remain a pearly white color, so we won’t be adding the same fragrance that we used to make the cookie base. Although we left fragrance out of our frosting, you can use a vanilla-free fragrance that complements the cookie fragrance if you wish. Given that the frosting only makes up a thin layer, we found it’s not necessary for it to be fragranced anyway.
We used white soap base for this project, which creates a pastel appearance when colored with mica. This was the desired look for the base of our cookies, as well as our frosting. However, you can also use clear soap base for a bolder, less pastel appearance. If using clear soap base, you will want to add some white mica such as Floral White to your cart. This will be required for making white frosting.
Making the Soap Cookies
- Prepare silicone cookie mold by washing it to remove any dust or particles. Allow the mold to dry.
- Using your scale, weigh out 1 lb of Melt & Pour Soap Base. Set remaining soap base aside for later.
Tip: Put on dust mask to prepare mica. You may wish to wear gloves as well. Please note that some colors of mica powder can potentially stain fabric and porous surfaces such as wood. Working over a sheet of freezer paper or parchment paper can help.
- Add add 4 micro scoops Wheat mica and 4 micro scoops of Tan mica to a 3 oz measuring beaker (about ¼ tsp mica powder total). Add about ½ tablespoon of rubbing alcohol to measuring beaker and stir until mica is incorporated. This makes mica blend more easily with the soap base. Set aside.
- Using another measuring beaker, weigh out .25 fl oz of your fragrance oil. Set aside.
- If you don’t already have rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle, you’ll want to prepare it now. Simply pour a small amount of rubbing alcohol into a spray bottle and set aside for later. You only need a small amount for spritzing your soap, but it’s easier to spray if the bottle is full.
- Next, microwave the soap cubes you have in your Mix & Pour Funnel in 30 second intervals until fully melted. Be sure to check the soap at each interval and stir to prevent scalding.
- While soap is still hot, add the Wheat/Tan mica mixture you made. Whisk or stir until it’s fully combined.
- Now add the measured fragrance to your soap and stir until combined.
- Pour soap mixture into each cavity of the silicone mold until the cavity is about half full. Be sure to spritz the top of each cavity with rubbing alcohol as soon as it’s poured. This eliminates any air bubbles that may appear on the surface.
Tip: Hold your funnel pitcher in one hand and the spray bottle of rubbing alcohol in the other. This makes it easier to spritz each cavity immediately after filling it. Just pour, spritz, repeat!
- Let set for at least one hour, or until completely hard. Avoid moving or repositioning the mold while the soap is hardening.
Making the Soap Sprinkles
While cookie shapes are cooling, we will begin making the sprinkles to go on top. For our Christmas cookies, we made two colors of sprinkles. However, you can make as many as you want!
- Prepare your other silicone mold (round or square guest soap mold is recommended) by cleaning it and placing it on your workspace. Clean and dry the 3 oz measuring cups you used to mix your mica and measure your fragrance oil.
- Take your remaining slab of soap base and cut off a cube that’s approximately a 3” square (Measurement does not need to be exact).
- Cut this piece into small cubes. Divide the small cubes evenly between your two measuring beakers. Each beaker should have an equal amount of soap base.
- Wearing a dusk mask, open the Scarlet Red and Sea Green mica jars so they’re ready when your soap comes out of the microwave. Don’t add mica yet.
- Microwave beakers for 5-10 seconds. You can place them both in the microwave at the same time. Soap melts very quickly when working with such a small amount.
- With one of your micro sized measuring scoops, measure out 1-2 mounded scoops of Sea Green and add it to one of the beakers. Repeat by adding Scarlet Red to the other beaker. Stir each beaker until the mica is fully incorporated. You may add another scoop of mica to achieve a richer color. Avoid adding too much, as this can cause colored suds when the soap is used.
Note: It’s usually easier to incorporate mica if you mix it with rubbing alcohol first, as we did with the tan mica for coloring the cookies. However, when working with such a small amount of soap, as with the sprinkles, we found it is just as easy to add the mica directly to the soap base.
- Pour each beaker into a separate cavity of your other silicone mold. If you want, spritz with rubbing alcohol to remove surface bubbles. These soaps will be cut into tiny pieces, so you don’t need to worry about perfection. Let set for 45 minutes to an hour.
- Meanwhile, clean the 3 oz beakers. We’ll be using one of these to make frosting.
- Once hard, remove red and green soaps from the mold and begin cutting them into very thin slices with your straight edged soap cutter. Cut each slice into tiny pieces resembling sprinkles, separating any pieces that are stuck together. Set sprinkles aside.
Making Frosting & Assembling Cookies
Once your cookie shapes are hard and your sprinkles are prepared, we can start assembling them! Frosting your soap cookies is a little tricky, but we have some tips to help you breeze through it.
The frosting look is achieved by pouring melted soap base over the cookies at just the right temperature and then pressing sprinkles into the frosting. Pouring the frosting at the right temperature is the key to success. Too warm, and it might melt your cookies or slide right off and not stick. Too cool, and it will be difficult to add sprinkles.
We found it works best to frost and sprinkle each cookie individually. This is because the frosting cools very quickly, and it needs to be somewhat warm when we add the sprinkles in order to make them stick. It’s easiest to melt just enough soap base each time to frost an individual cookie.
- If you haven’t already, remove your soap cookies from the mold. Lay each cookie out on parchment paper (or another nonstick surface) a few inches apart from one another.
- From your remaining block of soap base, cut off approximately a 1” square and cut this piece into small cubes.
- Put the small cubes into a 3 oz measuring beaker and microwave for 5 seconds. You can microwave it for another 5 second burst if needed. Remember soap melts incredibly fast when there’s such a small amount.
- Swirl or stir the beaker to help the soap cool down without hardening on top. Once the soap begins to cool and thicken slightly, pour it slowly over one of your cookies. Start in the middle and drizzle it slightly towards the edges. Some of the soap will drip over the edges and pool around the cookie – that’s okay! We will be trimming excess frosting later. If all your frosting slides off and none sticks, the soap is too hot and you should keep stirring it just a bit longer.
- Immediately after pouring your frosting on top, begin pressing sprinkles into the frosting. You have to press slightly in order to get them to stick, but not so hard that they get mushed. Place them randomly for a more authentic look. If you find that your sprinkles have fingerprints on them, try wearing gloves.
- Repeat steps 2-5 for each cookie. If there is any melted soap left in your beaker, you can remelt it along with the new cubes you add. Remelting soap multiple times can eventually affect its consistency. However, we found it works just fine to reheat the remaining soap as many times as needed during the frosting phase.
- Once frosting is set, trim excess that may have pooled around cookie with a butter knife or paring knife.
Finishing & Packaging
Once your cookies are completely set, you’ll want to package them to prevent any sweating that may occur. The glycerin found in all soap is a humectant, meaning that it naturally draws moisture to itself. You can prevent this sweaty look by wrapping your soaps in plastic once they’re done. Plastic wrap works fine in a pinch, but if you’re selling or gifting your soaps, shrink wrap bags look more polished.
Whenever you make products for sale or for gifts, it’s a good idea to include a warning label that says “Do Not Eat.” This is especially true for products that look like food! As the maker, you of course know it’s not edible. But if your soaps look super authentic, customers or gift recipients might not be able to tell.
Once you master this soap frosting technique, you can use it for any cookie design you can think of! Change the cookie shape or sprinkle color to make soap cookies for any occasion, such as Independence Day cookies with red & blue sprinkles or Valentine’s Day cookies made with a heart-shaped silicone mold. The possibilities are endless!