These cupcake silicone molds, originally meant for cake, or brownies if you prefer, were discovered in Amazon and they were an immediate Must Have. I had to try these in a soap cupcake. In they went into a cart and bazinga! they arrived a couple of days later! Thank you Amazon Prime!
For this batch, I chose a milk soap. A boozy batch might discolor too much into the dark side, which I didn’t want, well only partially, so I stuck with a coconut milk soap. I suppose if you prefer goat milk you could use that, but I don’t use goat milk in any of my soaps. The only milk I’ve used for the past several years has been coconut. It adds a richness to the lather I don’t get with any other milk. It also makes the soaps vegan-friendly. The batch was split 1/3 – for the pot & 2/3 for the dirt.
The color was a blend of two Mad Micas – Tangerine Dream and Hot Man on a Tin Roof. To explore their magnificent micas for yourself, click here. This was poured into each little ‘pot’ to a set level, then a ‘spacer’ was placed down into the soap to push it up to the top as much as possible and create a space into which the’dirt’ portion would be poured. The glass beads weighed the spacers down. I really doubted the cups would be pushed upwards but wasn’t taking chances. They stayed in overnight then were removed. The dirt part was made and tinted with more of the Hot Man on a Tin Roof.
After the ‘dirt’ set up, which was after a another two days, it was time to make some soap dough using a recipe from Bee Iyata’s second book, A Soap Recipe Book of Light and Shadow which you will find here. It creates a smooth piping consistency unsurpassed by any other types of soap I’ve tried. So this batch was destined to become the leaves, using Mad Mica’s Lorne Green, which is a soft medium tone green with a slight gold overtone. I added a pinch of their Crazy Eyes Green for a bit of depth. Once it was adequately thickened for piping, the leaves were piped on and a dollop was added to some Russian piping tip flowers I’d made with a soap dough recipe from the same book last winter that were then hand-tinted. It’s a natural feel for me, approaching soap dough in this way. I’m a former cake baker/decorator so a pastry bag in my hand is very comfortable, familiar.
The Tangerine Dream was not deep enough, so next time I’ll use more! There are several things I’d do differently if another batch is made one day, steps eliminated, thus making this a far easier and less labor-intensive project to produce. As is, it would be obscenely expensive to make on a regular basis from the labor alone, so it’s not one I’ll make any profit on once these are all gone, but the smiles they bring are more of an incentive to repeat than a monetary one.
In this business you have to love what you do, to be in it for the love of it, to let it give you a creative outlet through which you express your joy of the craft, the desire to make something unique yet useful for someone, even a stranger far away, knowing they’ll smile when they see these for themselves in their hands while you’re at home and never see that response to your work. That is what makes it worthwhile for me. Some things are done for the sheer joy of it. No personal gain is expected or even wanted at times. I don’t often approach my work in that mindset, but now and then a playful side sneaks out and wants to play in the sunshine. It gets its time in the sun because it’s deserved, earned.