Problem with Cocoa Butter

by Samantha
(Cleveland, Ohio)

I am having a problem with my cocoa butter soap and am hoping you can help me.

I have been making soap for a few years and only now have I created a recipe that I Love! Needless to say now I have a whole new problem with my formula.

I was using cocoa butter at around 8% and even dropped it down to 5% after I repeatedly got partial gel and that ugly dark spot in the centre of my soap bars.

I raised the temp from my normal 100 degrees to around 115-118 and I still got the same result. I made the recipe without Cocoa butter and the problem disappeared. I am so frustrated!

Can you shed some light on why this is happening? I make 2 pound batches and insulate...I have never seen this so extreme. Thank you so much for your help!


Hi Sam,

Cocoa butter tends to speed up saponification. On one occation my soap went to full gel right in the soap pot before I even had time to blink.

From what you have described, I'm guessing that the soap you have made without the cocoa butter hasn't reached the gel stage. The dark spot is the gelled soap and the lighter outside ring is ungelled soap. Many people like it when their soaps don't gel while others prefer it when the soap does gel. Both ways are fine.

In order to get a full gel from the cocoa butter soap, try warming the soap mold before pouring and maybe add another blanket to your insulation.

When I first started making soap, I lived in a house that wasn't very well insulated. My soap mold required warming and I needed to use two full size wool blankets to insulate the soap....and I still sometimes had a partial gel.

Now that we live in a different house, I can't warm the mold or add blankets because the soap will overheat!

Your other option is to prevent the gel stage. I've never done this but have read of others placing the molded soap in the fridge without any insulation at all.

It's a trial and error adventure I'm afraid. After our move into this house, I had many (lots and lots) of batches of soap overheat on me until I finally figured out what do to fix it.

Good luck,

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Cocoa Butter Soap
by: Anonymous

Thanks so much! Now I know what keeps going wrong.

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