Pumpkin pie is easily one of the best things about autumn. Americans seem to have really taken this to heart as the array of pumpkin pie flavoured and scented things available in October and November south of the border is truly shocking. From bagels to lattés to candles, their love of pumpkin-y goodness outstrips anything I’ve ever seen up north. So, not one to be left behind, I thought I’d add some Pumpkin Pie Soap to the mix as a Canadian contribution (and just in time for Canadian Thanksgiving).
The base of this soap is a slightly modified version of my all-in-one soap, with a bit more beef tallow than the original for a harder final product. As always, it makes for a lovely smooth bar with luxurious lather and a reasonably quick cure time.
The whole bar smells deliciously of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and vanilla. You will likely be tempted to take a bite, but I really don’t recommend it 😉
I’ve divided the batch a bit to have a pie part and a whipped cream part—yum. The pie part has a bit of added pumpkin purée, some vanilla flecks, and a touch of ground cinnamon, but do be careful to stick to just a touch—it’s an amazingly scrubby additive and large amounts of it can be rather irritating in a bar.
The whipped cream part has a touch of titanium dioxide for added whiteness, and some benzoin essential oil for its vanilla-y notes. Mmm. You’ll want to bring the whipped cream part to a lovely, thick trace so you can dollop it about like real whipped cream (just don’t eat it!).
Pumpkin Pie Soap
25% olive oil (pomace) (USA / Canada)
25% refined coconut oil (USA / Canada)
30% beef tallow
15% unrefined shea butter (USA / Canada)
5% castor oil (USA / Canada)
Per 500g (1.1lbs) of oils:
- 1 tbsp white kaolin clay (USA / Canada)
- 1/3 cup pumpkin purée
- 1 tsp vanilla flecks
- 1 tsp buriti oil
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon (very little)
- 20g cinnamon bark essential oil
- 7g benzoin essential oil
- 2g clove bud essential oil
- 1g nutmeg essential oil
- 1 tsp titanium dioxide
2020 update: Given the irritation potential for the essential oil blend, I’d recommend using a pumpkin spice fragrance oil rather than the essential oil blend. Please refer to supplier documentation for maximum usage rates for the particular fragrance oil you’re using when used in soap/rinse-off products.
Use SoapCalc to calculate your final amounts of oils, lye, and water based on the size of batch you want to make.
Follow my standard soap making instructions. Once you reach a thick trace add the essential oils, clay, and white kaolin clay (USA / Canada). Thoroughly blend with your immersion blender, and then divide the soap between two bowls, putting about 2/3 in one bowl (that’ll be the pumpkin part) and 1/3 (the future whipped cream part).
Stir the pumpkin purée, vanilla flecks, buriti oil, and ground cinnamon into the 2/3 portion, and blend the titanium dioxide into the other. Ensure you still have a nice, thick trace for each part as you need to dollop the whipped cream part on top of the pumpkin part, so you’ll need some structural integrity there.
Scrape the pumpkin part into the bottom of your mould, smoothing the top down and tapping the mould on the counter to knock out any air bubbles.
Dollop the whipped cream part on top of the pumpkin part, taking care not to blend the two. If you like, you can dust the top with a bit of ground cinnamon tapped through a sieve.
Cover the mould and lightly insulate it. Let saponify for 24 hours before removing from the mould to slice. Age for at least 3–4 weeks before using.
What a great recipe! I cant wait to try out!! I am a hot process person myself, so this will be a good challenge for me – Thank you for sharing! 🙂
Thanks, Debbie! Have fun with it 🙂 I can’t wait to hear how it turns out.
Oh no! Don’t anyone else try to hot-process this! Unless you add the pumpkin after the cook, and have a steep water discount! It was looking great until the pumpkin started to liquefy, now it’s a separated mess….I will try to cook it long enough to get the excess water to evaporate. 🙁
Great news! I cooked it for about 4 hours, and the water FINALLY evaporated, and I got it into the mold! Seriously, HP people, just do this as CP!
PHEW! Thanks for being a guinea pig here, RiverRose 🙂 I’m glad it turned out in the end!
I have a question about adding some ingredients to soap–is there a danger of the bar going rancid because of the pumpkin? I ask because I will have bars go rancid if I use such ingredient as liquid chlorophyll, whereas powder chlorophyll is okay.
I see many recipes that I avoid because of this and hope it is not the case.
Hi Tina! I haven’t had these bars long enough to say for sure with this particular recipe, but I have used small amounts of fruit puree in the past without any rancidity problems. As long as the bars dry out well, the fruit/veg dries out along with it, and similar to dried fruit, is quite shelf stable.
This recipe looks really good, and I paln on making it just as soon as I can. I enjoy reading all your recipes.
Thanks so much, Petra!
This looks amazing! I haven’t gotten into the “soap making from scratch” yet, would this be possible to do in a melt and pour soap base? And how would i go about making it? Thanks!
Thanks, Jessica! I have no experience with M&P soaping, but as far as I know you should be able to just use the additives and it should work 🙂 I’m not sure how getting it thick for dolloping would go, though.
I would not recommend adding the pumpkin puree to a MP soap! It doesn’t cure like a natural soap (cold process or hot process) does. It would likely go rancid.
Oooh, very good point—thank you, RiverRose!
Oh, that looks so delicious! My kind of soap…:)
I would like to make this recipe but I do not have a loaf mold, my mold are 3In PVC Pipe molds. How would I go about doing this?
Hi Tabitha! I’ve been thinking about this for a few days, and I think you’re going to want to do this in two parts. Part one—the pumpkin part. Make a big batch of the pumpkin part, pour it in your PVC tube, and let it set up.
Once you’ve sliced it, make a smaller batch for the whipped cream part, and then dollop that on top of the rounds of pumpkin. They’ll look like little pies 🙂
I didn’t even think about doing that thank you!!!
Is there another oil I can use instead of buriti? I’m going to make this soap this weekend. 🙂 Thanks so much Marie.
Hi Cindy! If you have a very orange bottle of seabuckthorn oil, that’ll work. Otherwise you could use a blend of yellow and red iron oxides, or an orange dye (like this one). Have fun!
Hey there! Dealing with a minor cellulitis infection 🙁 ironically from cutting lard the hard way I got a blister and needed up with this. I’d also like to know about a substitute oil for buriti. Sea buckthorn seems to stain my face a nice Oompa Loompa shade, perhaps this would work ? Great recipe I can’t wait to try it!
Oh no 🙁 If your seabuckthorn is super orange you can use that, otherwise you could use a blend of yellow and red iron oxides, or an orange dye (like this one). Heal fast!
Tell me about it, I meant to say it’s slowing down my soap addiction :p hehe, I’m healing pretty fast actually, thank you. I’m sure the medicine helps but I swear by the essential oils n tea 🙂 Sweet! I had a hunch it’d prolly work I will try it out now that I have my hand back haha 🙂 yum! Thanks for the advice!
Can’t wait to hear how it goes!
Ok. I hope I am not being silly with my question/statement. I have only made soap once, so I am completely new to the soap making world. I am trying to figure out the SoapCalc and am completely confused with how to add everything to figure out the amount of oils, water and lye. With the recipe as it is written above, how much water and lye did you add? Maybe by knowing the amounts, I can figure out how to manipulate the SoapCalc.
Soap calc will tel you how much lye and water to add. Just add each oil, and fill in the percentage column for each one. Then go to the top and enter your mold volume. It can look overwhelming, but most of the settings in soapcalc, you don’t need to mess with. Go to the bottom and click “calculate recipe” then” view/print recipe” that page will list the water and lye amounts.
Here is a youtube video to help you with soapcalc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_ppyJTMpsg
Hi Shelly! I’ve screen capped what the page should look like for you here so you can see what it should look like. I’ve put red boxes around the only areas you will be editing. Once you have everything in you’ll hit “1. Calculate Recipe” and then “2. View or Print Recipe” to get all the measurements for everything 🙂
I do have to say that you are the reason my freezer is now full of pumpkin purée. A friend of mine saw this recipe and saw my face do the “ahhh! I want to try that!” look and knew that if she mentioned she wanted pumpkin pie that if be killing two birds with one stone and more likely to do it.
So now I have pumpkin purée, and just need to make some tallow in the morning (might make lard to be honest then I can just use it to make pie crusts- I mean if two birds are great why not four?) .
I live quite literally on top of the largest market in the city and the butchers love me and my obsession for bones and fat. The only person why never buys meat. Only bones and fat.
Thanks for the recipe!!!
Awesome! Enjoy that pie and your soap 🙂 It’s our Thanksgiving this weekend so I am definitely planning on indulging in both!
wonderful recipe and beautiful pictures! I can already smell it! 🙂
will put this one on my list. Thank you
I am very new to soap making and I had tried both of your recipies(25% olive oil and 40% olive oil).
What would be the biggest differnece between the two?
Also, would you recommend a longer aging time for the above recipes due to the shea butter? If so, could you kindly recommend a moisurizing soap recipe that I can use in 4 weeks?
Thank you for your help in advance.
Hi Gianne! The biggest difference between the two will likely be the hardness of the final bar (more olive oil making for a softer bar), but it’s hard for me to say specifically since I have over 60 soap recipes up, so I’m not sure which “both” you’re talking about 🙂
The addition of shea butter does not require a longer aging time unless it is substituted for a hard fat like lard or tallow, so in this case, no, you do not need to age the bar longer. All my bars, unless otherwise stated, can be used after a 3–4 week aging time.
I’m wondering how you cut your bars? Do you just freehand with a big knife, or is there another method you use? Also, what are the dimensions of the bars you have shown? I read somewhere in comments that you get 12-13 bars out of a 500 g oil recipe, but if that only fills 5 inches of your mold I thought that your bars must be smaller than 1 inch thick cut across, or else you’d only make 5 bars per recipe. I’m just getting started with soapmaking and am trying to figure out what mold to buy and cutting supplies I need. I am loving your website and the resources you provide. thank you so much.
I freehand it with a big chef’s knife. I get 32 bars from a 1450g batch of oils, which makes my bars about 0.9 inches thick as I cut them in half crosswise as well 🙂 The freehand cutting takes a bit of skill and getting used to, but I’ve never felt the need to invest in a soap slicer when I could spend that money on new essential oils instead, haha. Thanks for reading!
Hi, love reading your gorgeous blog, was just wondering why you put titanium dioxide in your soap, what does it do? Thanks again
Hi Keren! Titanium dioxide makes soap white. I don’t use it all the time, but here it makes the “whipped cream” topping on the soap white instead of the creamy yellow of the straight up soap.
I love this idea! But, I have a question about the ‘touch of ground cinnamon’. You say you should use a touch because of the ‘amazing scrubby additive quality’. Large amounts would make the soap a rather irritating bar.
I saw that in your recipe for the Chai latte soap you do use larger amounts of ground cinnamon and other spices. What is the difference? Because I would love to make this as a Christmas present I want it to be just right 🙂
Please let me know!
Hi Selma! The difference is a very simple one—the chai latte soap is much scrubbier! I wouldn’t recommend using it on your face, and I find it can snag fine hair if used as a shampoo.
Hi! Thanks for sharing all your wonderful recipes! They all look absolutely delicious and I’m excited to try a bunch of them. This weekend I attempted to make a few flavors of soap for the first time. I used a base recipe similar to your basic bar soap, and made rosemary oat, orange cardamom, and also attempted your pumpkin pie soap. I’m afeared that I made a mistake on the pumpkin pie though- I wanted a bit of vanilla in the pumpkin mix, but didn’t have vanilla oil and used vanilla extract instead. When I mixed in the pumpkin, oils, spices, and vanilla extract, it seemed like something in the mix curdled, and now at 12hrs, by pumpkin loaf appears to be oozing red oil instead of solidifying in one piece. Any thoughts? Also, how important is it to reach a thick trace before pouring into the mould? I reached a very faint trace, but was tired of hand stirring, haha! I guess the stick blenders really make a difference?? Thanks for your help!
Hi Sara! Thanks so much for reading & DIYing with me 🙂
It sounds like your pumpkin batch curdled, which I’ve definitely done a few times, though with sugary ingredients like honey and molasses. The resulting soap has always been useable (though not terribly pretty) after I poured off all the excess, oozed-out oil. I’d blame the vanilla extract here, which is definitely not an ingredient you want to be soaping with. It’s mostly high proof alcohol, and designed for flavour, not scent (it could also have added sugar).
If you want distinct layers, you NEED a thick trace—there’s no way around that. You’ll definitely want to keep an eye out for a stick blender at your local op shops 🙂
Hi Marie, this happened to me too but I did not use vanilla extract. (I followed the recipe exactly.) The pumpkin part of the soap appeared slightly curdled or separated after I stirred in the pumpkin. After pouring in the mold and topping it with the lovely white “cream” I noticed yellow oil seeping out the corners of the mold. About 10 hours later it was all over the top of the soap. I drained off all I could but will have more cleanup tomorrow. I’ve made soaps with vegetable purée before, but used it as part of the lye water by weight. How does stirring it in directly not effect the water content of the soap? If it separates, why would the excess water in the pumpkin force oil out of the emulsion? Thanks for any thoughts you may have!
Huh, weird. How thick was your pumpkin puree? Mine is so thick that you could stand a spoon up in it, so the addition was fairly insignificant. Also, are you certain your pumpkin was pure pumpkin? No chance it was actually pie filling instead?
Hi Marie – it was definitely not pie filling, but it was canned pumpkin. It was pretty thick and not watery. When I cut the soap (at 2 days) some more oil seeped out and there was a pocket of yellow oil…soap…don’t know what. It looked like lemon curd. There are definitely three layers – pumpkin spicy soap, the lemon curd-looking thick oil, and the white soap. There is actually an air space above the “curd” in some bars. It’s curing out and looks like I’ll be able to use it, but it’s not too pretty due to the yellow oil that got on top of the white soap. I think the next time I make the recipe I would measure the pumpkin as part of my water by weight and then top off with water to meet requirement for the lye calculation. I’ll report back if the bars are unusable or if I make it again in the future with my proposed alternate method. Thanks!
Hmm… it sounds like your soap curdled, which has happened to me when combining sugar + higher temperatures. That oil ooze is pretty telling and upsetting 🙁 Were you soaping at a higher temperature? Or, perhaps… what water % were you using? I always do 38%; if yours was drastically different, that might explain it?
Well, I used a modified room temperature soaping arrangement. I barely melted some of the oils (I don’t think I was over 100 degrees and the shea/lard I used was not fully melted) and then combined with the lye water which was less than 10 degrees different at that time. Honestly I do not know what water percentage was used – it must be the standard for the lye calculator I used. I’ll have to look at the print out I made of the recipe to see if it shows. I guess the water in the pumpkin could have thrown it off, but it still seems strange to me that the soap would ooze oil and not the water if that was the case. At any rate, it did appear to make soap in the end so I’m ok with it. Just wanted to share for others to learn from. 🙂
It definitely wasn’t too hot, then! I’m baffled. Thank you for sharing!
Which type of cinnamon eo do you use and have you had any sensitivity with using it? Thanks
Hi Misty! I use steam distilled Cinnamon Bark EO here, and I haven’t had any sensitivity issues with it. I find CP soap is a rather forgiving place to use EOs that can be irritating 🙂
Hello. Can’t wait to make this soap? While I love soaps made with lard or tallow, a number of my customers still balk (even though I’ve used your argument about it!). So I suppose vegetable shortening is a softer substitute? Or I could add cocoa butter. Wondering what substitutes anyone has made here!
LOVE your site Marie! I don’t know how you have the time and energy to put so much great stuff here to share with us, but please keep it up!
I’ve got a whole article on this here 🙂
It’s just barely gone October so of course in the US everyone is dousing themselves in all things pumpkin. Through years of devotion to your website I have all of the ingredients for this gorgeous soap in stock, but I wonder if I could mess with the colorants a bit to get more of an orange, true pumpkin-y colour. I have the famously orange-y seabuckthorn oil as well as red and yellow oxide. I have seen other recipes that use a tsp of turmeric and paprika (for colour) plus the cinnamon…what are your thoughts on that? I imagine turmeric and paprika are not as scrubby as cinnamon but that seems like a lot of spices, don’t want my soap to turn into a curry! Also, I wonder f you could use a different color clay, like could I add some Australian pink clay to the kaolin to give me some red oomph or would it just make my bar calamine lotion pink. I was thinking I would do one of those three options plus the seabuckthorn oil. Also, I usually can eyeball the color I want before I pour but I notice that your soap was the exact orange I want when you poured it into the mould but it came out a much more brown color. Any idea why the orange turned so brown? I know this is a lot! Thank you so much for all of your help. Your website is truly a gold mine and I visit it at least twice a day, I live for your new recipes. Keep up the good work!
Ha! I love the mental image of Americans bustling about, pouring pumpkin on themselves 😛 I am also adding Uggs and a plaid button-up to the image 😉
I’d probably stick with the oxides and seabuckthorn to try and get your batter orange. As you can see the pumpkin does brown up during saponification, so you will have to make a bit of a judgement call on how pigmented to make the raw batter in the hopes of getting an orange final product.
Thanks so much for reading & DIYing with me 🙂
Oh man, I just made my first batch of this soap and it seized right up! I tried to manoeuvre it into the mould, but a whole bunch of oil pooled on top straight away 🙁 Bummer. I think that the cinnamon EO and/or the ground cinnamon over-heated the batter… I’m trying again now and I’m trying my darnedest to keep the mixture cool – I’m going to wait until oils & lye are at room temperature, and I’ve put the pumpkin puree and essential oils into the fridge in the hope that this may help. Wish me luck!!!
Nope, that didn’t help at all! Two batches’ worth of ingredients wasted – I’m going to call it a day. Do you have any pointers for if I decide to try again one day?
Awww… poop 🙁 I’ve been thinking about this since you commented and I did have one idea… is there a chance you were using pumpkin pie filling instead of pure canned pumpkin? The filling would have sugar in it already, which would certainly cause the batch to heat up and probably sieze/curdle on you. It’s just that I’ve never had any issues using cinnamon EO or ground cinnamon in soap, so I’m poking around my brain for other causes :/
NOoo! 🙁 That is so sad. The room temperature soaping would definitely be my top suggestion—that’s how I made this soap. Good luck!
Nah, we don’t have pumpkin pie filling readily available in Australia (sadly), so it was just literally steamed and pureed pumpkin. Maybe it had natural sugars? Thanks so much for responding, I really appreciate it. I’m building my confidence back up with some other recipes and perhaps I’ll try again another day 🙂
Hmm… Aus, you say? When I lived in Aus I noticed Aussies call all squashes “pumpkins”—butternut, pepper, etc. What kind of “pumpkin/squash” did you use? Any chance it wasn’t the kind we use for making pie over in North America? That could be the problem!
Really enjoying your site and soap recipes and articles…quick question…the vanilla flecks, what are they?
Hi Elizabeth! Thanks for reading 🙂 Vanilla flecks are dried out wee bits of the vanilla bean, like this!
Hello again…i am just about to make this soap and have run it through Soapcalc…the pumpkin puree, is that in addition to the water/liquid portion for the lye or did you discount the puree from the water/liquid portion?
Thanks again and lCongratulations on the book, really looking forward to it.
Hi Sofia! I just add the pumpkin puree to the recipe calculated as usual with at 38% water to oil ratio. Do make sure your puree is well drained, though—too soupy and it could throw the recipe off 🙂
Think I’ll try your recipe using pumpkin baby food. Thanks for sharing!
Good call! Happy soaping 🙂