Juniper Berry Soap

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.

Juniper Berry Soap

Juniper Berry Soap Recipe

(fills two 8″ silicone soap molds)

Coconut oil – 20 oz
Shea butter – 6 oz
Olive oil – 15 oz
Castor oil – 8 oz
Avocado oil – 8 oz
Rice bran oil – 8 oz
Cocoa powder – 1 tablespoon

Lye – 9 oz
Water – 18 oz
Ground Juniper Berries – 2 tablespoons

Vanilla Oleoresin EO – .5 oz
Anise EO – .5 oz
Juniper Berry EO – .5 oz
Almond EO – .2 oz
Ylang Ylang EO – .2 oz
Patchouli EO – .2 oz
Sweet Orange EO – 1 oz

Step 1 – Make your lye solution by weighing the lye and water into two separate containers.  Pour the lye into the water and stir.  Add 1 tablespoon of ground juniper berry.  Set aside to cool.

Juniper berry soap

juniper berry in lye water

Step 2 – Weigh out the coconut oil and shea butter.  Melt.

Step 3 – Weigh out the liquid oils and add to melted oils.

Step 4 – Add the essential oils and the cocoa powder to the oil mixture.  Stick blend to un-clump the cocoa.

Step 5 – Time to stick blend!

Gear up in your goggles and gloves if you took them off to prepare the oils.

Touch the outside of both the oil container and the lye container. They should feel warm but not hot. If they feel hot, then let them sit for a bit longer. Aim for a temperature of 80-100 for the oils and lye. If the lye is a bit cooler you shouldn’t have any problems…you just don’t want it too hot.

Pour the lye solution into the melted oils and stickblend to trace.

Pour into your molds. I stuck some juniper berries on top for decoration.

juniper soap earthy

After 24 hours, remove from mold and slice!  Cure 4 weeks.  juniper berry soap

This soap smells amazing!  Earthy, festive and perfect for this time of year.

Happy Soaping!

– Amanda

 

 

 

About the Author:

I am a soapmaker, author and blogger! I started blogging in 2008, sharing soap recipes, design tutorials and publishing articles on various topics of soapmaking.

10 Comments

  1. Cid March 6, 2016 at 9:52 am - Reply

    I am late to this party, but very much enjoyed making this soap. I have a question about the naturally acidic juniper berries. When I pH test different mixtures of juniper berries in distilled water, I get a reading of 5. Rosehips and hibiscus are also acidic, and I did have very odd soap results once when I added rosehip powder.
    Anyway, do the juniper berries in lye solution cause enough of a change that we need to compensate? At first I thought, “Well, I will just end up with a greater superfat,” but then I wondered about the results in a larger batch of soap.
    Because I know that you and Benjamin work with many natural additives, I wondered whether you adjust your recipes for pH, or whether it’s so small that you haven’t encountered a problem.
    Thank you very much! (I also want to say that your newsletter is the best format ever, and the one I always read. 🙂

  2. ESTELLA April 10, 2015 at 6:37 am - Reply

    Hy! Thanks ..

  3. Amanda January 13, 2015 at 7:13 am - Reply

    I believe ours comes from Liberty Naturals. It can be a bit pricy but it really adds depth and sweetness to blends. You could try it without and it would still be a nice smell. -Amanda

  4. Kerry January 12, 2015 at 11:22 pm - Reply

    Hi Amanda, this looks amazing! I’ve just started making soap and this one is on the “to make” list for when I have a few more basic batches under my belt.

    Where do you buy your bitter almond essential oil from? The supplier that I normally purchase essential oils from has it, but it seems to be quite pricey.

    Thanks for your time.

  5. Julia December 26, 2014 at 11:13 pm - Reply

    Amanda, Merry Christmas!

    Best wishes from Moscow))

    Thank you! i love your site

  6. Beth December 8, 2014 at 1:18 am - Reply

    This sounds lovely! Something I’ve never tried.

  7. moya December 6, 2014 at 11:52 am - Reply

    I love this Amanda 🙂 will have to make it 🙂

  8. Adrienne December 6, 2014 at 2:52 am - Reply

    HI
    I’m trying to click through to see the T shirts but cant get to the page, is there any other link to them?
    Cheers

  9. Amanda December 5, 2014 at 7:11 pm - Reply

    They are 8″ silicone molds from Wholesalesuppliesplus.com 🙂
    http://www.wholesalesuppliesplus.com/products/regular-loaf-silicone-mold.aspx

    I LOVE these molds! So easy and no lining!

  10. Jenn Curtis December 5, 2014 at 5:47 pm - Reply

    Very nice soap but would love to find out where to purchase one of the molds you have used for this soap. I’ve looked just about everywhere I can think to but so far, not much luck. Any help would be appreciated.
    Again, gorgeous soap !
    Jenn

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