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