Edited September 2010
After 8 years and hundreds of emails I though this tutorial was given a much needed update. I should also explain that Soap Frosting and Whipped Soap are the same product. I started out naming it Soap Frosting because I was using it only for decorative purposes, but nowadays its turned into its own legitimate method of making soap.
You can think of it as a Cold Process method, but being put together using room temperature solid fats and oils. The recipe is calculated in the same soap calculators as used for other soap making methods.
I have changed the formula to this new one above. The procedure has changed slightly. I have removed the liquid olive oil, from the emails I receive from soapers who are having difficulty making 'soap frosting' or 'whipped soap' it can mostly be caused when adding the liquid oils, there really is no need to use them and in all honesty I only added the small amounts with the addition of the softer oils to enrich the mix.
I have since changed my thoughts about the fats and oils used. I don't use any liquid oils in my Soap Frosting or Whipped Soaps these days. Not unless they have been hydrogenated. This is a process which the oils are put through to make them solid or firm at room temperatures. You can read about how they hydrogenate oils here ... Hydrogenated Oils But liquid oils just don't whip up firm ... full stop!
It appears that most failures other soapers are having while attempting to make Whipped Soap or Soap Frosting is that they are using far too much liquid oil for the whipped mix to handle and so it collapses and you end up with a pudding like consistency. This is not all bad, it will still set hard like normal whipped soap but its just that you can't be as decorative with it as you may want to be. You can still do decent swirls with collapsed whipped soap or layers.
So if your wanting to achieve a good solid whipped base then don't use liquid oils. If your looking to add more luxurious oils use hydrogenated oils.
To see what other soapers have been doing with whipped soap then have a look here at my Pioneers of Whipped Soap Diary at some of the lovely results.
Palm Oil 300g Coconut Oil 300g Caustic Soda 95g Water 225g
Using this as a base recipe for both soap frosting and whipped soap you can add other solid oils but remember to recalculate the recipe in a soap calculator.
Since developing this method I have had lots of feedback from soapers using other fats and oils, which are solid at room temperatures to achieve the same results that I have. The fats and oils include Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter, Crisco along with some animal fats like Beef Tallow, Lard etc. I don't know what your local fats from your country look like but these animal fats are white or very very light in colour here in Australia. These whip up stark white which is great for colouring.
You can follow the method that I have written up for Whipped Soap. You can find the method here. You can use any of the four new recipes there for both 'Soap Frosting' or making bars of soap with the 'Whipped Soap'.
I thought I should tell you I now use a shortening of Vegetable/Animal blend exclusively, I bought this from Coles or Woolworth's 'No Frills' brand. It whips up very creamy and retains its whiteness after the caustic/water solution has been added. What this means is when you add the pigments or colours you can see the finished colour. Where as before I was getting a slightly pinkish colour as my base and it was difficult to calculate what shade it would end up.
I purchase all my colours from Jude Birch 'Aussie Soap Supplies' in Western Australia. Jude has the best collection of colourants available in small quantities here in Australia and very reasonably priced for concentrated colours.
I have since experienced a type of 'seizing' with the frosting, I can only assume it happens when I use a Fragrant Oil (FO) instead of Essential Oil (EO). The mix gets firm and and impossible to pipe because of this thickening. I have tried re-beating it or adding extra oil or water but there is no resurrecting the frosting from this point. Just be wary of this happening or don't fragrance the 'Frosting' at all.
The following week......I tested the theory and I was correct, it is the FO's seizing the mix. I recommend using only Essential Oils to scent the frosting with. But better still leave it out altogether and apply the frosting to already scented soap. Less grey hairs...;-)
Wear Your Rubber Gloves.
You get to a point in the operation that you are doing many things at once, i.e. Beating, mixing colours, washing bits and pieces, getting the piping bags ready and when the frosting begins to set too fast your adding more water etc etc. So a good work practice is to have all colours ready, all piping bags and your piping nozzles chosen early so you can concentrate on the mixing. I didn't and ended up from machine to the sink washing the mix off my hands multiple times. The caustic finds its way through the nylon piping bags, but I had success with the greaseproof paper bags I made up. They are triangles of greaseproof paper rolled to make a cone shape, I cut the tip to fit the metal piping nozzle. But sometimes it still leaked out of there too.
This time using 'Tallow' instead of the vegetable shortening, also using it at room temperature 20C. Its a 25kg box of 'Oleo' a blended edible animal fat which I bought ages ago. We also use it on the Bar-B-Q. Well I beat it for five minutes and it whipped up to a nice white butter cream consistency. 'Good Start' I thought as I place the bowl of pre-whipped tallow into the fridge then checked on the caustic soda/water mix I had cooling in the freezer.
Fifteen minutes later I beat the 'Tallow' again to soften it a bit as it firmed up in the fridge. I added the caustic/water mix slowly and being extra careful not to let it spill. It just sucked it into the mix and right before your very eyes the mixture changed colour to a very light mushroom pink. After a further five minutes beating it was a light oatmeal colour, lighter but not the stark white it was before I added the caustic. I was a little concerned how this this oatmeal colour might effect the colour after adding the pigments I was going to use. Well its only a test I thought and not wanting to temp fate again I returned the the mix.
I lined up five bowls and glopped a bit in each. I use FD&C dyes, Coloured Oxides & Ultramarines. I have them pre mixed and stored in 30ml plastic dripper bottles.
I tended to shrug off the strong colour as I said before it was just a trial to see what works and what didn't. I wasn't really prepared or have any plan in my mind as to what to do with it when I had made it so I was trying to be creative on the hop and 14 years out of the game was quite big gap to make up on. Well the up side of the story is it worked for me this time and the colours are strong but that aside, they piped just like butter cream and I have taken some digital photos of the procedure and the finished decorated soaps.
Click on a photo and it will enlarge.
Tallow whipped at room temperature
then placed in the fridge to cool.
The caustic soda & water mixture is
added. The colour changed to oatmeal.
The five pigments I used. I purchase my colours from Jude Birch "Aussie Soap Supplies' in Western Australia.
Ready to Rock-N-Roll.
My mind was racing trying to remember how I did things 14 years ago.
This was decorated on top of the round blue soap.
These are freehand like piping Viennese biscuits in 3 layers.
Standard rosette piping with two colours in the piping bag