Once I decided that White Chocolate Peppermint would be one of our holiday themes this year, I knew I’d have to do a White Chocolate Peppermint Body Butter Bar. Ever since my very first order of cocoa butter arrived at my dorm well before Humblebee & Me existed, I have loved rubbing cocoa butter on my skin. For these body butter bars, I’m pairing cocoa butter with some extra silky, fast-absorbing ingredients to create something special and highly giftable.
Want to watch this project instead of reading it?
Thanks to its melting point (around 34°C /93°F), cocoa butter makes a pretty brilliant base for a body butter bar; it’s solid at room temperature, but readily melts when massaged into the skin. These bars are 75% cocoa butter—swoon. Please choose a beautifully fragrant cocoa butter for these bars so we get all kinds of white chocolatey goodness in the scent department!
In order to create a delightfully lightweight body butter bar, I’ve incorporated some C12-15 alkyl benzoate and dry-touch mango butter. Since both of these ingredients are softer than cocoa butter, I’ve included some cetyl alcohol so the bars are still firm. Cetyl alcohol also adds some beautiful slip and glide that I think you’ll really like!
The mouth-watering chocolatey scent of the cocoa butter is complimented with some fresh and tingly peppermint essential oil. Yum. For a bit of colour, I’ve included a touch of mica. I’ve tried all green mica, but I find I really like a blend of green and something else festive like gold, copper, bronze, or silver. The gold mica I used was a bit heavier than the green mica and sunk towards the bottom a bit as the bars set up, giving their domed tops a really pretty golden flush.
When it comes to moulding and gifting these bars, you’ve got a few options. The easiest way to go would be using some sort of push-up tube for the bars—application and storage are super easy if you go that route. I used half of a spherical silicone ice cube mould to create some little half-spheres. If you choose to create free-floating bars like that I really recommend gifting them in a suitably sized tin or jar for storage; once the bars are in use they tend to pick up hair and lint if they’re left out, and that’s kind of… gross. A plastic bag works in a pinch, but when you use the bar it softens a bit, and if it’s put right back into a plastic bag after use it tends to re-solidify to the inside of the bag and I’m not a huge fan of peeling the bar out of the bag for the next use.
However you decide to present these bars, they make wonderful gifts. They’re all chocolate-minty, glide across the skin beautifully, and absorb quickly, leaving the skin soft and fragrant. Enjoy!
Want to watch this project instead of reading it?
White Chocolate Peppermint Body Butter Bars
30g | 75% cocoa butter (USA / Canada)
2g | 5% cetyl alcohol (USA / Canada)
4g | 10% C12-15 alkyl benzoate (USA / Canada)
3.2g | 8% mango butter (USA / Canada)
0.3g | 0.75% green mica
Cool down phase
0.2g | 0.5% Vitamin E MT-50 (USA / Canada)
0.3g | 0.75% peppermint essential oil (USA / Canada)
Prepare a water bath by bringing about 3cm/1″ of water to a bare simmer over low to medium-low heat in a small saucepan.
Weigh the heated phase ingredients into a small heat-resistant glass measuring cup. Place the measuring cup in your prepared water bath to melt everything through.
While the heated phase melts, prepare an ice bath. Take a bowl that is large enough to accommodate the container the heated phase is melting in, and fill it about halfway with ice cubes and cold water. You’ll also want to set out your moulds or your tubes and set them on a plate or something else that can be easily transferred to the fridge (make sure there’s room for it to sit flat, too!).
After about 20–30 minutes everything should be completely melted through. Remove the water bath from the heat, remove the measuring cup from the water bath, and dry it off with a dish towel. Stir with a flexible silicone spatula to incorporate.
Place the measuring cup containing the heated phase into the ice bath and cool, stirring constantly, for about thirty seconds—until you start to notice some building viscosity. Remove the container from the water bath and add the cool down ingredients. Stir to incorporate.
Continue stirring the mixture in the ice bath until you reach “trace”—the mixture should have enough viscosity that a small amount drizzled over the surface of the mixture leaves a “trace” for an instant. The mixture should also appear just the slightest bit hazy. If you’re a soap maker you’ll be familiar with this—we’re looking for a very light trace. Refer to the video to see it in action! This part can be a bit tricky as too much viscosity will mean the batter won’t pour into molds nicely, so be careful and make sure your moulds/tubes are standing by.
Once you reach trace you can now pour the body butter into a push-up tube or silicone mould (or moulds) quickly transfer it to the fridge to set up.
When the butter has fully set up (give it an hour or two), remove it from the fridge to return to room temperature. Unmould if required. That’s it! To use, smooth some body butter over bits of skin that need some extra love.
Shelf Life & Storage
Because this body butter is 100% oil based, it does not require a broad-spectrum preservative (broad spectrum preservatives ward off microbial growth, and microbes require water to live—no water, no microbes!). Kept reasonably cool and dry, it should last at least a year before any of the oils go rancid. If you notice it starts to smell like old nuts or crayons, that’s a sign that the oils have begun to oxidize; chuck it out and make a fresh batch if that happens.
As always, be aware that making substitutions will change the final product. While these swaps won’t break the recipe, you will get a different final product than I did.
- As I’ve provided this recipe in percentages as well as grams you can easily calculate it to any size using a simple spreadsheet as I’ve explained in this post. As written in grams this recipe will make 40g.
- To learn more about the ingredients used in this recipe, including why they’re included and what you can substitute them with, please visit the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia. It doesn’t have everything in it yet, but there’s lots of good information there! If I have not given a specific substitution suggestion in this list please look up the ingredient in the encyclopedia before asking.
- Please don’t substitute the cocoa butter—it’s 75% of the formulation and it’s also a big part of the theme! If you don’t like it or have it, try a different formulation instead.
- I don’t recommend substituting the cetyl alcohol; if you have to, my first choice would be cetearyl alcohol.
- Isopropyl myristate would be a good alternative to C12-15 alkyl benzoate.
- You could use shea butter instead of mango butter, though this will make for a slightly greasier end product.
- You can use a blend of micas—I like using ~0.5% green and 0.25% gold/bronze/copper/silver.
- You can use a different essential oil, but the theme is supposed to be “white chocolate peppermint” 😝
I don’t have alkyl benzoate not isopropyl myristate but would love to try this out! Thinking of using jojoba oil. Do you think that would work? Thanks!
I’m sure it will, they’ll just be a bit slower to absorb. Thanks for DIYing with me, and happy making 🙂
Looks fantastic, can’t wait to try it. Can I melt the ingredients in microwave, instead of a waterbath?
I can’t see why not, just be careful not to burn anything 🙂 Happy making!
is there a reason you do ice baths as opposed to just letting it set over night after just pouring it into a mold? Wondering if it results in a better product. I like to just let it set overnight so i don’t have to work hard lol. Thank you!
The water bath 1) helps keep the mica in suspension (because the mixture is thicker when it is poured, so the mica doesn’t have a chance to settle out) & 2) is part of bringing the bars to trace so they don’t go grainy 🙂
It looks like the recipe here yielded two of the little dome tuffles. What is the diameter or size of the 1/2 sphere molds that you used for this project?
Each little half-globe is 4.5cm across and 2cm deep 🙂 Happy making!
I do have another question. I made a test batch for one and it turned out very nice. I wanted to make a bunch for gifts, so I multiplied the recipe by 6. I measured out 48g C12-15, seemed like quite a lot of it. Now after being in the freezer for over 30 minutes, it bearly holds its shape and melts back to liquid at room temp. Do you think I added too much C12-15? Help!
The recipe calls for 4g. 6×4=24 so you put in twice as much as the recipe called for.
Thanks, Sherri! Bang on 🙂
Sherri is bang on 🙂 If you can do this sort of scaling using a spreadsheet in the future that might help reduce math errors like this—I’ve got a guide on that here and another one here. You should be able to scale up the rest of the ingredients by melting them separately while gently reheating the oopsie batch, and then combining it all and trying the trace and pour again 🙂 Happy making!
OMG looks great!!! Can’t wait to try it. Could I do the same recipe but not as a body bar but as a regular body butter?
I think you will find it is far too hard to use as a regular body butter 🙂 I do have lots of regular body butter formulations, though!
Can l substitute Neossance Hemisqualine for the C12-15 alkyl benzoate in these wonderful looking White Chocolate Peppermint Body Butter Bars? If so, would l use the same amount. It is not the one you recommend in this recipe, but it is a suggested substitution in your encyclopedia. I have bought so many ingredients, but l always seem to be one or two short in the recipe l want to make. I love your ideas and have tried many soaps but want to start more formulations. Thank you!
Yes and yes 🙂 Happy making!