Milk Chocolate Mint Soap Recipe
This recipe builds upon my milk soap making tutorial, which you can find HERE. With a few simple tweaks, you can turn a plain, unscented bar into a deliciously scented milk chocolate mint soap!
To make this, you’ll need:
- 22 ounces olive oil (71%)
- 8 ounces coconut oil (26%) (if allergic to coconut oil, see substitution note below)
- 1 ounce castor oil (3%)
- 10 ounces milk (cow, goat, almond, coconut, etc) (use 9 oz if using a silicone mold)
- 4.3 ounces of lye (6% superfat)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons peppermint essential oil
- 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
Tip: To keep the cocoa powder from clumping or streaking in the soap batter, mix it very well with a couple teaspoons of oil until smooth. Just use some of the olive oil that you weighed out for the recipe above, so your measurements stay accurate. Set the cocoa mixture aside until trace is reached.
Note: High olive oil soaps like this one take a little longer to set up and cure. Olive oil is a soft/hard oil. It starts off causing the soap to be on the softer side, but once it cures for an extended time, the bar will grow very hard, yet extremely gentle on your skin. You can reduce the amount of milk by an ounce or two, if you’d like to speed up the process. Reducing liquid is also helpful when using silicone molds.
Substitution: If you’re allergic to coconut oil, you may be able to handle babassu oil instead. Although it’s a relative of palm, according to the rainforest group I contacted, there aren’t any known sustainability issues with it. (Yet.) It makes a great substitute for coconut oil in most applications! If you use babassu oil in this recipe instead, the lye amount will barely change, from 4.3 ounces down to 4.25 ounces, if using a 6% superfat.
Remember, in order to keep the sugars in milk from scorching, it needs to be icy cold or even frozen, before adding lye. I like to weigh out the amount of milk needed into a heat proof plastic pitcher and pop it in the freezer the day before I plan to make soap. You can also freeze your milk in ice cube trays or put it in the freezer until slushy.
Follow the steps and recipe just as the Milk Soap Making tutorial says, until you get to step 9.
At that point, as soon as you reach trace, stir in the cocoa powder and peppermint essential oil before pouring into a mold.
I only used a small amount of cocoa powder, so the bar is a light milk chocolate color. You can add more for a darker look, but be aware that if too much is added, it could leave unattractive marks on a soap dish or in your tub.
There you have it – a fun bar with a yummy scent combination!
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About how many bars will this recipe make? It sounds great, I’m just wondering about the cost and if it’s worth it and such. Thanks!
Hi Jessica! I made this batch in an 8″ x 3.5″ x 3.5″ wooden mold, so likely got 7 bars from it. (8 inch loaf length, minus a bit trimmed from each end for smoothness = seven 1″ thick bars.)
I was delighted to receive this email with this amazing looking soap. Looking forward to trying something new in the ‘new year’! I also like it’s a fairly small size batch, esp when trying a new recipe. Thanks for all of your insight and recipes!! :)
Hi Rose, I’m glad you like the recipe and I hope you have a happy new year! :)
PS I guess you would still follow the steps of putting the mold in the fridge if you don’t want it to go really dark brown? or does it not matter as the chocolate will colour it anyway?
I did refrigerate the batch shown, but that’s because it was sharing a mold with a plain milk batch as well & I wanted that one to be white. You’re right though! You can skip the refrigerating for chocolate if you’d like. (You still want to keep the mold uncovered/uninsulated.)
Ahhhh one more question…I wonder what spearmint would be like instead of peppermint or a mix of both? Make it sweeter?
Hi Rose, I use a lot of peppermint essential oil, so am sometimes running low on supply. When that happens, I throw some spearmint in to help stretch it. I like the combination, as long as the peppermint ratio is higher than the spearmint. (But, that’s probably a personal preference thing – everyone will like different things!) :) You could certainly try spearmint out in the recipe!
Today I tried making this soap but I did not reach trace the soap batter did not get thick. I stirred for over 5 mins. what should I do?
Hi Brigitte, I’m sorry I didn’t see this earlier! Since this is a high olive oil soap, it might take longer than 5 minutes to thicken – possibly up to ten or fifteen if using a stick blender. (Hours if stirring by hand.) Did you go ahead and pour in the mold or stir longer?
Thank you for replying back. I ended up pouring it in the soap mold, and stuck it in the freezer. But it did not reach trace. I used a stick blender. Today when it’s been 24 hours ill take it out, and let it rest another 24 hours at room temp. Tomorrow I will have an idea if it worked if it didn’t i will try the link you listed. :)
I’m hoping and wishing that it turned out for you! :)
Sorry for all the questions. But this is my first time making soap. :) So I had it rest at room temperature for 24 hours, and it did not separate or do any weird thing. LOL But I notice its really soft. It’s not falling apart. Will it get harder during the 6 weeks curing time?
No worries – questions are how we learn! :) Not separating is a really really good sign. Soft is okay – since it’s high in olive oil it might do that. I would just leave it completely undisturbed for a few more days or even a week. Then try slicing a bar and see how it does. It should harden up as the moisture evaporates from it during cure time. Keep me posted on how it goes!
I have tried several hot and cold processed recipes. I have found that baking the soap after it’s been poured helps cure it faster. However I have not made any soap with milk, would you recomend baking?
Hi Mariana! This thread has some really great info in it: https://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=33859 I like this idea from it: “I’ve done CPOP milk soaps, but I do it a little differently than most, I’m sure. After making my soap, I pop it in the freezer for about 2 hours & then put it in the oven. I haven’t had any issues that way, even with honey & milk in the same recipe.”
I have to ask: 2-3 *tablespoons* of peppermint essential oil?! That seems a touch excessive, I’m curious if it’s a typo. Even my stuff that’s (according to my cousin) like “sticking your nose in a York patti” doesn’t have more than a couple teaspoons.
Hi Kerstin, Thanks for pointing that out! I tried to pull up the Bramble Berry fragrance calculator to double check my numbers (I use that to figure out ballpark amounts to start with), but it doesn’t seem to be working fully, no matter which browser I try. Hopefully, that’ll resolve soon and I can check it. But, that amount is for when I use the NOW brand of peppermint oil. I’ve found their oils tend to be weaker across the board, so it’s very likely on the high end. I’ll go in and edit the post to reflect that, so people are aware. I have some peppermint EO from Bramble Berry on the way that I’ll test out in the next few weeks and see what the difference is. I’m only just now experimenting with their essential oils for soap making and have to say, I’m loving them so far! (Especially the price…) What brand of peppermint do you use for your soap?
I actually just started making soap, so I’m not using any EOs just yet, just learning techniques, and figuring out which oils are easiest to work with. But for everything else, I’ve used therapeutic grade EOs, usually Doterra or Young Living. They’re CRAZY expensive, and I’m debating using them in soaps for that reason. Let me know if Bramble Berry’s EOs are any good!
i just made this soap yesterday and froze it for about 12 hours unmolded it and let it sit for another 12. I tried cutting it and it is still quite soft and it breaks apart where the cocoa has been swirled in. Almost like it is separating from the cocoa or can’t bind to it. It still zaps, and the reason I unmolded it was because it started sweating a lot. I put it under a fan and the sweating has stopped. So I guess I’m wondering if i should have left it to firm up longer in my silicone mold and I wouldn’t be having any issues?
Hi Melissa! I think perhaps it didn’t sit in the mold long enough. I find that some of my silicone molds require several days to firm up enough before I can unmold the soaps in them. I like the silicone ones a lot, but sometimes the wooden loaf ones are less fussy in that respect!
Thanks for a great recipe! I was wondering if I can leave our castor oil. Is it a must ingredient or can I replace it with something else?
Let me know.
Hi Natalie! Usually when you replace an oil in a soap recipe, you need to reconfigure the lye amount. However, I ran several substitution ideas through the lye calculator and since the amount of castor oil (1 ounce) is so small, the lye was within the same range each time. So, in this case, you can either take out the one ounce of castor oil and put in one more ounce of olive instead, or you can use another type of oil if you have it on hand – like sunflower, avocado, sweet almond, etc. The main purpose of the castor oil is to give a little boost to bubbles since this soap is really high in olive oil. (Olive oil isn’t very bubbly.) Coconut oil adds lather too though, so it should still work out fine!
How do you use powdered goats milk in this recipe? It would be nice just to use my powdered milk instead of buying it again.
Hi Lucy! Soap Deli News has a great tutorial on adding powdered goat’s milk to a soap recipe that I think you’ll find helpful. You could just use water instead of milk and then add the milk powder according to her instructions.
A friend and I had a soap making evening and we made this one! They in the freezer now and we look forward to seeing how these turn out! :) We made a few batches of soap… :) Soap making can be quite fun!
How fun to have a friend making soap with you – that makes it all the more enjoyable! :)
I have a question…. the last time I put my soap in the freezer, it had a big circle in the middle when I cut it that was dark. Why did it do this? I am going to try this recipe today and I am excited. I don’t want it to be wrong!
Hi Tasha! That sounds like a partial gel. Your soap still got really hot on the inside, even though it was in the freezer. Two ideas that might help prevent that:
1.) Make sure that the temperature of your lye solution and oils aren’t too high when mixing.
2.) Try putting your mold in the freezer for a few hours before pouring the soap into it so it’s thoroughly chilled.
Hi, do you ave a hot pressed recipe for this soap? I’m wanting to start making soap and it looks like an easier process.
Hi Rhonda! Cold Process is actually easier to make than Hot Process soap. They both start out the same way when you mix them up, but then for Cold Process, you just pour the soap batter into a mold and wait a few weeks to use it. You have to do extra steps of cooking with Hot Process, with the only main benefit of being able to use it sooner.
This post will tell you how to make milk soap hot process and also shows you the difference between cold and hot process:
You could take the recipe shown there and just add the cocoa powder and peppermint essential oil to make a version of milk chocolate soap with those instructions.
Since milk is a little finicky to work with on a first batch, you might also want to try out this simpler recipe for Oatmeal & Honey Soap to start with:
Good luck with your soap making! :)
How many pounds is this recipe?
To figure out how many pounds a recipe is, just add together the weight of the oils + lye + liquids.
In this recipe you have 31 oz oil + 4 oz lye + 10 oz milk to total 45 oz (2 lbs 13 oz) so a 3 lb mold should work about right for it.
Could you use powdered coconut milk reconstituted with water in place of regular milk?
Hi Kelsie, Yes, you sure could! Or another way to add coconut milk powder would be to: (1) use water in place of milk to make the lye solution, (2) add the coconut milk powder to your warmed oils (stick blend it in), then (3) blend together the warmed oils/coconut milk powder mixture with the water/lye solution once it’s cool enough. You don’t have to worry about coconut milk powder scorching, like fresh milk does, so it doesn’t have to be frozen or kept cool when using the powder.
Thank you so much!
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