True Natural Beauty comes from within...

True Natural Beauty comes from within...
Welcome, to my natural bath / beauty and clean eating blog, where nature is our pantry....take a few quiet moments to enjoy free recipes and tutorials using natural ingredients. Have questions about recipes or where to find these ingredients? Put your question in the comment box and I will be happy to answer .............Anna

Friday, December 28, 2012

Coffee and Cocoa Soap: Easy 3 Oil Recipe and Tutorial

Fresh Brewed Coffee and Cocoa Soap.....
Easy Crock Pot (Hot process) Recipe
 and Full Tutorial How-To
Updated 6/22/16

Mocha just took on another meaning for me!     I love making fresh brewed coffee soap!

I've made soap with fresh brewed tea and honey and wanted a coffee recipe to compliment it.  How fun is that, tea and coffee luxury homemade soap!

I also wanted to make a simple 3 oil recipe that would be a good starting recipe for new soapers as well as a good basic and affordable cleansing, nourishing bar. Full tutorial and recipe below.....

If you wish to make a smaller batch, please use soapcalc (click here), and reformulate your
recipe to get correct lye and liquid amounts, etc.  This batch is a 40 oz oil batch which makes
about a 3 LB loaf of soap.


12 oz of Coconut oil
16 oz of Crisco  (don't use the store brand, use only Crisco)
12 oz Olive oil  (no need to use the more expensive extra virgin olive oil, the skin properties are just as great with the "regular" oo)

1 - 2  TBL cocoa powder  (optional amount, the more you use, the darker the soap)

5.6 oz  Lye
15.2 oz  water (cold coffee)
1.2 oz to 1.5 oz of fragrance oil  (optional)

Ingredients For 3 Oil Recipe:
Lye, Crisco, Coconut oil, Olive Oil, Liquid of choice (I used coffee)

Crockpot, Stick blender, pyrex or something like it to mix lye/water, long handled mixing spoons, I use silicon.  Rubber gloves, and eye protection.
Scale to weigh ingredients.

If you choose to make this with distilled water instead of coffee, that is the only other ingredient along with your fragrance (optional) you will need.  ( I added cocoa powder to go with the coffee )

You can purchase Lye on line at Brambleberry or Essential Depot  (my favorite) which is food grade. In the USA you can still find 100% lye at ACE hardware in the plumbing section. Make sure it says 100% LYE on the container. Other varieties contain particles for drains, which is NOT the correct lye for soap making.  This lye is also very affordable.

 Always wear protective eye ware and rubber gloves when working with lye.
I use a glass container to measure my lye into. Plastic containers conduct static and the lye beads stick to it ridiculously.

Have vinegar near by to neutralize any splashed lye. If you get it on your skin wash immediately under water.

Designate a crock pot for your soap making adventure, I got a used one at a thrift store.

1:   Measure your brewed COLD coffee, you can even use coffee ice cubes, 
never use a hot or warm liquid and add lye to it.
Your liquid is measured by weight, NOT volume. In a separate container measure lye by weight.

2:  In a well ventilated area, (I go outside) pour your lye crystals into the  
cold coffee  ( or liquid of choice).
NEVER pour liquid into lye, always pour lye into liquid.  Now stir until all lye crystals are 
dissolved. Gloves and eye wear a must.

  When thru stirring lye into water, drop the empty lye
cup, spoon into vinegar water to neutralize it.  Always put anything with active lye on it into your vinegar solution when you are thru using it.

3:  Preheat crock pot to LOW.  Measure (by weight ) coconut oil, olive oil and crisco into large container that is microwave safe.  Place in microwave and heat until melted.
4:  When all oils are melted together, pour into crock pot. Crock pot should be on LOW.
NOTE: if you are making this with cocoa powder, at this point take out a little of your melted oils and mix with your cocoa (unsweetened) powder and stir, consistency liquidy, not dry, just want to make sure you don't have lumps of cocoa powder in your soap!  Add back to crock pot and stir.

5:  Now you slowly pour your lye mixture into the crock pot with the melted oils. Stir with long
        handled spoon a bit.
6:  Get your stick blender out and begin to slowly blend, stirring blender around  the crock pot.  This is when the magic begins!  As you blend away, the liquid/lye and oils begin to saponify, which
        means you are literally turning your oils into soap by the chemical reaction to the alkali (lye).
Your mixture will begin to get thicker, when it gets like a soft pudding, and you lift up your blender (turned off of course) and the mixture leaves a trail, or a trace on top, this is called "Trace".  Continue to stick blend until it gets like pudding.

7:  Next, place lid on crock pot, leave on LOW, and watch as you make soap!
        Never walk away from  a crock pot of soap cooking, watch thru the lid, if it starts to boil up as
        if to over spill, stir it and release the heat, it'll go back down.

Your mixture will go thru changes. It's edges along the crock pot will rise and curl in towards the center. You will see a clear liquid pool in the center, this is glycerin!     Commercial soap makers remove this awesome natural soap by-product and use it for other purposes, that is why store bought soap is so drying, no glycerin. Your homemade soap keeps all that moisturizing goodness.

My crock pot was a bit too small for this size batch, make sure your crock is big enough.

Depending on the ingredients added to your soap mixture, your soap can take a half hour to an hour to be done, I've had my coffee and tea recipes take 20 mins, so don't walk away!

My soaping friend who taught me how to make soap, showed me an easy way to tell if your soap is done......

Think of the sides of your soap as waves, and the center as a glycerin-island.   The waves will continue to grow and rise around the island which is smooth.  As it cooks, the waves roll inward closer to the center making the island smaller and smaller.  When the island has sunk beneath the waves, you will see some clear glycerin on top. Stir it back in. Turn crock pot off. If you have a removable crock, take it out. Stir to cool down your soap. Yes, I said made soap!

8:  If adding fragrance oil or essential oil, this is the time to put it in.  Stir well.  General rule of
        thumb for fragrance is no more than 1 oz per 2 pounds of soap.
        Of course this is entirely dependent on the fragrance or essential oil used. 
        Some are quite potent. Most manufacturers give their recommendations for their product. 
        ONLY use bath and body safe fragrance oils, NOT candle ones. Some fragrances can be used
        for both candle and bath and body.... MAKE sure you know what you are using !
9:  Now its time to put into mold (s). I used a wood soap mold, lined with freezer paper to
         easily remove the soap.  You can use any mold you want. Silicon works great, plastic too.
         Pringles cans work too, the next day after pouring, just rip can away from soap! Be sure and             tap mold on table after putting in soap batter to get out any air pockets.
         Leave in mold over night, this recipe with coffee and cocoa was still soft after one
         night, so I left it in for two.

           Your beautiful homemade soap is ready to be cut and used.  Tip: if you let your
            hot process (crock pot) soap dry for a week or two it will become a much harder
            bar,  hence, will last longer in the shower!  But, if you're like me, one bar ends up
            in the shower right away!  Crock pot soap also known as Hot Process soap when
            made correctly is ready to use right away, you do not have to cure it for 4 weeks like
            you do with Cold Process soap.



                This recipe made a bar of soap with large chocolate colored bubbles, lovely.
             Any questions please ask away......   enjoy,       Anna



Jan Hunnicutt said...

Oh Anna, just wait until you unmold your soap and cut it up and set it out to dry, yum! lol

I loved seeing and reading about your soap adventure. Great recipe too, I love being able to make a simple batch of soap with what I have on hand instead of waiting for the UPS or FedEx driver to arrive =)

Have you tried colors yet? That's something I'm interested in trying.

I've been working on making healing salves in my kitchen today so I didn't look at your blog till just before bedtime. I can't wait to see & hear about the next step and the new cutter your hubby made =)

Jan Hunnicutt said...

Mmmm, this looks good enough to eat Anna! I bet it smells delicious too =)

Have a nice weekend!

Anna from Natures Home Spa said...

Jan, I agree it does look good enough to eat! It smells good, cocoa comes through nicely, I thought it would smell stronger of coffee, but it is quite subtle. The bar on the whole turned out to be a really good recipe. Decadent!

Have a nice weekend also, Anna

Jan Hunnicutt said...

Here I am again Anna =)

You've added more pictures since my last visit, your soap looks great!

I've given all but one bar of my Chocolate Espresso Soaps as gifts with instructions on letting it "cure". It will be time to make more soon, can't wait!

Happy New Year!

Justin said...

Can you post how to make it

Anna from Natures Home Spa said...

Hi Justin, I am working on posting a tutorial with pictures for you right now, on how to make crock pot Mocha Cafe soap. Thank you for your interest, you will love this soap, so easy.....

Anna from Natures Home Spa said...

Ok Justin, this post is updated to a full tutorial just because you asked! Let me know if you try this, I would love to post a picture. Have fun!

Anna from Natures Home Spa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa Lynn said...

This looks awesome! Thanks for sharing on Wildcrafting Wednesdays!

I would also love to have you share your posts on The HomeAcre Hop!

Unknown said...

You have been featured in my Love is in the Air valentine's Day Round Up!

Anna from Natures Home Spa said...

J.Rae, Much thanks for the feature! How fun! Love the creativity on your blog.


Peggy said...

Thank you so much for this tutorial. After reading and studying about soapmaking for a while, I decided to make my very first batch of homemade soap ever. Your tutorial calmed my fears. Since I live in Brazil, I had to substitute the Crisco oil with our local vegetable fat. Since it doesn't list the kind of oil it contains, I was somewhat apprehensive. I really thought I burned the soap since it came out so "black" looking, but looking at your photos I see mine looks like yours and is lightening up as it cures. Now I have the courage to try other recipes. Thanks again.

Anna from Natures Home Spa said...

Peggy, your welcome! I'm so happy you started on your adventure in soap making! There are SO many different recipes out there to try and to create yourself! So much fun!

Yes, this soap is definately my darkest soap, the fresh brewed dark coffee and cocoa are why. I just made a soap with bakers unsweetened chocolate bars for Valentines Day. It is dark also but looks more milk chocolate. Smells awesome. I'll be putting some photos on my blog today of it.
Thanks for the comment! Anna

Unknown said...









Raffy Lacsamana said...

hi Anna!
Just want to know if there's something else that I could substitute with Crisco vegetable shortening? Does it really needs to be like a lard in texture or I could use a liquid form oil (like vco)? Haven't tried soap making and I wanna craft my own as you inspire me to do my own.. :)

God bless us!

Anna from Natures Home Spa said...

Raphael, thanks for stopping by and looking at this easy to do soap recipe! A good substitute for the Crisco in this recipe would be soybean oil and palm oil. No, your substitute oil does not have to be the texture of lard, it can be liquid. I hope you give soap making a try, it can be addicting! Let me know how it comes out!

Joy McDaniel said...

So I am new to soap making. This was my 3rd batch that I made of soap. I have done two cold process and this was my first hot process. I don't know how it is going to turn out it seemed really oily. when stick blending it it got thick nut was so slick it didn't leave a trace. I measured and weighed it just as the recipe says. when I finished cooking it it seemed fine until I poured it then it started seperating and left some liquid in the corners. Any suggestions or pointers.

Anna from Natures Home Spa said...

Hi Joy, sorry for the late reply, its probably too late for this answer but: when a little oil separates, in the corners etc, on top , you just stir it back in. Yes, even in the mold, just stir, stir, stir, it back in. Mine did that as well and I was SO discouraged, but after I stirred it, it hardened into a beautiful bar.

Hope this helps, like I said it may be too late. Sorry. Let me know.

Unknown said...

Hi Anna! This recipe looks amazing! Im wondering if you could give a good description of what it smells like. I've been making soap for about 2 years now and have been wanting to try a recipe with coffee for sometime. I was hoping to make a good coffee soap for some of my coffee loving friends for Christmas this year. Can you smell the coffee and chocolate very well? or more of the almond oil? would it be too strong if I used a Mocha coffee oil instead? Thank you for posting such a lovely recipe! I cant wait to try it!

Anna from Natures Home Spa said...

Sarah, the coffee scent from the brewed coffee in this recipe does not come through after the cook. So, if you want a definite coffee scent you should probably use a coffee or mocha fragrance oil (FO) that you really like. So, no, a FO will not make the scent too strong for this recipe. About an ounce per pound of oils used, give or take.

The Almond Biscotti FO in this recipe comes through subtly, and mixed with what does come through of the cocoa and brewed coffee makes a warm and yummy bar.

Over time, this recipe is stunning. The richness of the bar totally lasts. The bubbles get even better. So, it really is a great recipe for a gift soap.

Good luck Sarah! Isn't soaping so much fun!

Zucchini Pickles said...

Can I use lard instead of crisco for this recipe?

Thank you!

Anna from Natures Home Spa said...

Hi Zucchini Pickles, (great name !) Yes, you can use lard instead of Crisco, absolutely.....But you must run the whole recipe through a lye calculator to re-formulate the amount of lye needed to saponify the oils, as each oil has a different fat content.

I use Bramble Berry's lye calc:

If you need help with this, leave a comment here and I'll re-do the recipe for you using lard, as soon as I can. No problem.

Lard makes a nice hard, long lasting bar of soap.

Ashlee said...

Hi Anna! This coffee soap was my first ever attempt at soap making. I definitely made a mistake. I was wear sunglasses because I couldn't find my husbands safety glasses. Not a good plan! It was difficult to see and frankly I wasn't sure what the heck I was doing. I was a thick pudding point and thought "I wonder if this is when I stop" but I was so paranoid about not neutralizing the SH that I kept going a tad longer "to make sure". And boom! Back to liquid. I was stunned and had no idea what to do. I've also never used this immersion blender before. Just bought it! Apparently it works well! Anyway... I kept moving forward with the recipe and never achieved the thick waves with a glycerin island. Just stayed in a curdled state. So because I didn't have the heart to throw it out I put it in the mold. This morning a found an airy, oily looking finished product! Is there anything I can do to save it??? I put peppermint oil in there and let me tell you... It smells good enough to eat! Help! Any advice is so appreciated. Thanks- Ashlee

Anna from Natures Home Spa said...

Ashlee, can you email me and we can dialogue about your soap. I'd love to help you, but I have to ask a few questions.

Looking forward to hearing from you, don't throw anything out!

ewa said...

Hi Anna, your recipe looks great and I can't wait to try it. The only question is: can I substitute Crisco shortening with palm oil? I know there was a similar question before but I want to make sure I can use only one oil as I have it at home. :) Thank you and have a great weekend!

Anna from Natures Home Spa said...

Hi Ewa, Yes, you can substitute Palm oil for the Crisco in this recipe,.....


and YOUR WATER (liquid)CHANGED TO: 17.4

I have never used straight palm oil like that, so I don't know what kind of a bar it makes, but I know others have. Good luck, love to hear if you make it!

If any of you are wondering why I used odd ounces of crisco etc , it's because that's the amount I use to fill a certain mold I use. I am reposting the recipe here with even amounts of ounces, to make it a bit easier, and adjusting the Olive oil to 17oz. as Walmart sells a bottle of Olive oil 17oz.
Hope this helps, thank you.

Crisco (solid) 23oz (45%)
Coconut oil 11oz (21%)
Olive oil 17oz (33%)

Lye 6.9oz (6% superfat)
Water (liquid total) 16.8 oz

Yields 74.7oz
Oil wt: 51oz

LeAnn said...

Thank you for the recipe, I cannot find palm oil (except online) and have read that it makes a bar a lot harder. Being thats out of the picture, I came across your recipe. I normally make a bastile soap, olive, coconut and castor, do you think by using the Crisco with palm in it is giving you a harder bar?

Anna from Natures Home Spa said...

LeAnn, Hi. The palm amount in the Crisco is 25% and the soybean 75%, so it does give a little more hardness, but not as hard as your Bastille bar. For hardness on a scale of 1-10 palm ranks about a
1 to a 2 (very hard) and soybean ranks about a 4 for hardness.

If you have no aversions to lard, it makes a hard, very nice soap. Hope this helped!

Unknown said...

Hi Anna,
This recipe looks great! First of all, thanks for sharing :) I make soap too, but CP, do you know how to make this reipe in CP? Hope to hear from you!
Kind regards,

Anna from Natures Home Spa said...

Hi Irene, thanks for asking! Yes, this soap recipe works just as well done the Cold Process (CP) method.

You follow the recipe amounts and instructions as stated, up until the crock pot part. Instead of melting your oils and pouring them into the crock pot, you melt your oils in a separate container and continue with the regular Cold Process method: adding your lye/liquid which was mixed earlier. Bringing this to trace and pouring into your mold.

If I haven't explained this clear, please tell me Irene, I want to make sure I help you!

Unknown said...

This recipe is the BOMB! Thank you so much for your time and effort. I am a commercial bee keeper and I love making soap in the winter. I often add chemical bees wax to my soaps and get rave reviews out of it.

Irene in MT said...

Anna, I love this recipe!!! I am wondering if it can be made with goats milk?

Anna from Natures Home Spa said...

Hi Irene, Yes you can make this recipe with goats milk!

If you are using goats milk in place of the coffee for the liquid in the
recipe I would recommend using half water and half goats milk.

I would also recommend that you freeze the goats milk in ice cube trays and use it
frozen. Just pour your lye crystals right over the frozen cubes of milk and
water and stir until dissolved. This protects your milk from getting too hot
from the lye and scorching. You may see tiny specks of milk fats saponifying
already, but they will stick blend in just fine.

If you wanted to use coffee as well as the goats milk in the recipe
I would recommend using half coffee and half goats milk, freezing both in
ice cubes. Pour lye crystals slowly over iced coffee/milk while stirring.

Hope this helps Irene!

Irene in MT said...

Hi Anna,
Ooo YUMMY, I think this is my weekend project. I am in such a CHOCOLATE mood!😊.
Thank you!
Irene in MT

Anna from Natures Home Spa said...

Hi Irene in MT,
I would love to see your soap when you make it!
If you want you can send a photo to me at: , I would LOVE to put
it on my blog! We really enjoy seeing other
soaper's soap! Any other soap you've made and would
like to share a photo of, just send it along! We
love the inspiration!

thanks, and have fun soaping!

Unknown said...

Anna, I made this recipe this evening but did not use Essential Oil in it, the what I am assuming is a lye smell isn't that nice .. will this fade as it finishes processing and cures? I'm not looking for it to smell like coffee without essential oils but I'd like it to not stink.

Anna from Natures Home Spa said...

Hi Jennifer, I'm assuming you used the thee oils in the recipe, and coffee as your liquid, right? No fragrance or essential oils, right? As long as your oils were fresh, and I'm sure they were, as the soap dries the scent will most definitely change and settle down. I've had soap that was unscented as well as scented smell "wonky" until it dried and it was totally fine. Cut it and allow the air to flow around it, it will be fine!

Unknown said...

Just recently began making soap past few months. Ive been really looking forward to making coffee soap. Recently found your recipe. tried it.. It smelled really really bad when we mixed the coffee in the lye!!!!!--like almost vomit from the smell. And i know that sounds harsh but it really did have that effect on us.. Sorry. I have done some more research to find out why.... the coffee needs to be COLD before mixing in the lye. Now that im going back over your recipe i barely see it in the picture and you never mention the importance of that in the directions. It might be really helpful to make sure that is corrected in the recipe... these ingredients can get expensive to just have it turned out bad on a small technicality such as that. That may be why Jennifer Thibeau's soap is "wonky?" thanks so much. I will try the recipe again with COLD coffee and see how awesome it really should be! Thanks!

Anna from Natures Home Spa said...

Paula, good point. Cooled coffee, even frozen coffee cubes would work. You should never, ever use a hot liquid and add lye to it. I'll make it more clear in the post for sure.

That being said, you may find using cooled coffee smells a little funky too when you add the lye. Did you throw out the batch? If you followed the recipe and measured correctly, your soap most likely would have turned out, and the smell would have settled down and been fine I've been told by other soapers.

If I can be of any help email me:

thanks, Anna

Anna from Natures Home Spa said...

Hi Erin,

Yes, you can add coffee grounds to this soap for a exfoliating. I make this the Hot Process method in the crock pot, and add it after the cook right before I pour it into the mold.

Only use a very small amount of grounds, they are scratchy, and you only need a little bit!

good luck in your new soap making adventure! It's alot of fun!

Ginny said...

Hi Anna,
I've been making melt and pour soaps for a short while. I'm going to take the plunge and make your coffee/cocoa (3 oil ingredient) soap to see how it comes out. You stated in that tutorial that you use your wood mold but I did not see the yield on the soap. Does it make more than 2 lbs of soap? My home-made mold yields just over 2 lbs and I want to make sure I have other molds on hand IF I run out of space in my wooden mold. I just wanted to get an idea of how much soap this makes. THANK YOU and wish me luck. I'm a bit terrified!! :) Ginny

Ginny said...

Hi Anna,
I'm going to attempt your coffee/cocoa recipe which uses 3 fats and seems simple. Can you please tell me the yield or mold size that you used for this? Thank you. Ginny

Anna from Natures Home Spa said...

Hi Ginny,
sorry for the delayed response.
This recipe is for a 40 oz oil batch, which is about a 3LB loaf of soap.

Please feel free to email me personally with any questions I can help you with!
Or go to my FaceBook page and private message me. If I can help you in your new
HP soap hobby, I'd love to!


Tracy King said...

I made my first batch of soap today! I didn't use the coffee but opted instead for just essential oils. I also used your how to add clay tutorial to add some clay. Essentially I used your teen soap additives with this recipe. It worked out very well and my new soap is cooling as I type. When I was washing my crock pot it got all these great suds so I think it worked :). I am thrilled and can't thank you enough for all the amazing info, ideas and tutorials you have shared with the World!

Anna from Natures Home Spa said...

Hi Tracy!
I would love to see your awesome soap!
If you'd like, you can send me a picture and I'll
share it here on the blog for other soapers to see
and get inspired!

thanks for the kind words, :)

Sharon Surman Photography said...

Just wondering if you brew your coffee with distilled water or tap water. I'm just beginning to make soap and would love to try this recipe for Christmas. Thank You for the recipe and your response. Merry Christmas!

Anna from Natures Home Spa said...

Hi Sharon!

I brew my coffee with tap water, and allow it to cool down. I didn't notice any difference between the tap water and the distilled, as I have done it both ways.

If your tap water is super hard, some say that it can effect the lye due to the mineral content of the water. I have never had a problem with tap water though. This soap has a distinct smell to it that may not be too pleasant when you add the lye to the coffee. This DOES NOT stay, so don't worry! Folks have been known to throw their coffee soap out before it even hardened thinking it smelled off. No worries. It will smell great when it dries out a bit.

I'm making coffee/mocha soap today for family gifts as well!

Hope this helps! Happy soaping!

Unknown said...

Hi Anna, the coffee soap came out just great, I like it so much I took my scraping to use in my shower. Have a question, could I swap the coffee water for beer? Would the beer have to be flat, should I freeze it into cubes? I'm looking to make a manly colored and smelling soap.

Anna from Natures Home Spa said...

hi Sollena,
Your soap sounds great! Good job!
Yes, you can swap the coffee for beer. Different soaper's add beer different ways...
but I'll tell you the two ways that I've tried and that works.

First off, it's important that no alcohol remain in your beer.
Here are two different ways to do that:

1) Open can an let sit on counter for a few days to get flat. OR

2) Pour beer into pan and gently simmer down to 1/2 the amount. Add water to the
concentrated beer to get it to the amount desired in your recipe. I don't
freeze my beer, but you can if you want to save some for another batch. If all
the alcohol is gone, it will freeze.

My favorite method is #2

Beer soap makes a really great lather and feels good on the skin.

Best of luck, let us know how it goes!

Unknown said...

Can you use cadbury hot chocolate instead of cocoa. Soap looks amazing.

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