Cupuacu Butter

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What is it? A firm soft butter, made by cold pressing the seeds of the Cupuacu tree, which is native to Brazil.
Appearance The unrefined variety has a super cool, bead-like appearance; wee cream coloured blobs roughly the size of seed beads all clumped together. Once it’s been melted and re-solidified it looks just like any other cream coloured butter. The refined variety is white from being bleached, and pretty much just looks like fat.
Texture A bit stiff at first, but as it melts into your skin it’s wonderfully smooth and silky.
Scent The unrefined stuff smells like… chocolate combined with sour milk. Not so great. That fades quickly once it’s on your skin or diluted with other ingredients, but most people prefer the refined version.
Absorbency Speed Quite fast, especially for a butter! A small amount will spread over the skin beautifully and leave a satiny, non-greasy finish in no time.
Approximate Melting Point 34°C/93°F
Solubility Oil
Why do we use it in recipes? I love the finish capuacu butter has—it’s incredibly silky, and almost silicone-like. I tend to love it in hand products and cosmetics, where I want a fast-absorbing, silky product, but perhaps without, or with less wax, than I’d need if I used entirely liquid oils. It’s also less likely to go grainy than shea butter is.
Do you need it? I love it, and I’d say so, but you can get away with shea butter or mango butter in most recipes that call for cupuacu. Everyone I’ve talked into purchasing capuacu butter has fallen in love with it!
Refined or unrefined? I’ve worked with both, and while the unrefined stuff is really neat… it smells awful. I’d probably go with refined.
Strengths Amazing, silky, almost silicone-like finish on the skin. Fantastically hydrating and smooth. Not greasy, even when used on the skin (in small amounts, at least!).
Weaknesses It’s one of the more expensive butters, and can be harder to source.
Alternatives & Substitutions Mango and shea butter are both ok swaps, with mango being the better choice of the two.
How to Work with It I love it in anything where I’d like the thickness and richness of shea butter without the greasy feeling. I tend to especially love capuacu butter in hand lotions and facial products (like cosmetics).
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, capuacu butter should last at least one year.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks Because it absorbs into the skin so quickly and is super hydrating, I love to put a bit in a small tin (15mL/0.5oz) and carry it around in my purse.
Recommended starter amount 100g (3.3oz)
Where to Buy it Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier or Amazon.

Some Recipes that Use Cupuacu Butter

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