Cocoa Powder – Not just for delicious cakes!

Today it’s all about cocoa powder!

Cocoa powder can be used as a natural brown colorant in soap making. It’s stable in soap, readily available at most grocery stores, and affordable. It has a subtle chocolate smell but it doesn’t last through the soap cure.

Natural Cocoa Powder vs. Dutch Processed

There are two types of cocoa powder: natural and Dutch processed. The main difference between the two is that natural cocoa powder is more acidic. Dutch processed involves adding an alkalizing agent to neutralize the acidity, and the color is darker than natural cocoa powder. For this reason it’s a better choice if you want to achieve a rich brown color. If you use natural cocoa instead of Dutch processed, you’ll have to add a lot to the soap to get the same color and this could negatively affect the soap.

Usage Rate In Soap Making

Cocoa powder can be added at trace or premixed with some water or oil reserved from your recipe. A little goes a long way, so try using 1/2 tsp per pound of oil and working up from there. The first time I experimented with it I used 2 tablespoons to partially color a 4 lb. batch – you could say I was a little overzealous. The soap turned out a lovely dark color but so did the bathtub – brown suds everywhere!

This soap was made with Dutch processed cocoa powder.  Reminds me of marble cake!

This soap was made with Dutch processed cocoa powder. Reminds me of marble cake!

I love using cocoa powder to naturally color soap, especially if I’m using a dessert-type fragrance. An added bonus to keeping cocoa powder in the pantry is that I can make a chocolate cake from scratch anytime!

If you’re new to coloring soap, why not try using cocoa powder?