Autumn approaches, soapy friends. Pumpkin and apples and falling leaves in crimson and carmine and gold. Crisp nights and warm sweaters are near. What captures the scent of autumn better than sweet apples and toffee? So let’s talk about soap cupcakes and Mystic Gold Enviroglitter.
This glitter is unique. I’ve done my best to capture it in the photo above, but none of the images quite do it justice. It’s white, but blazes gold where the light touches it at a particular angle. And it’s the kind of gold I particularly like, that looks more like gold leaf than coarser glitters. I’ve played with it a little, and this, to me, is the best use of it – just put it on top and let it shine.
Soap cupcakes are another thing.
The cupcake part is easy enough. Any soap recipe will do, and I fragranced half of it with Chocolate and Toffee Fragrance Oil. You’ll see that the color has darkened in the final pictures. This one does get rather dark, but that works for these cupcakes. I colored the soap with Mocha Brown Mica to keep the coloring even. These sat in their molds while I worked on the frosting.
There are several ways to approach soap frosting. Different recipes bring about different results, so if you’ve never done it before, be prepared for some failed experiments. I just use my regular recipe, and let it set a bit in the piping bag before frosting. The downside to this is the somewhat unpredictable timing of it. It needs to be soft enough to pipe, but firm enough not to pour out uncontrolled, but still not set up entirely in your piping bag. I have had all these things happen, at one time or another. I fragranced mine with Apple Fragrance Oil. It’s sweet, and light, and autumnal, and if it is your first attempt at piping, it won’t give you any extra trouble. No discoloration. It doesn’t accelerate, either, though, and if you are just using your ordinary recipe, a little acceleration may be a good thing. I whitened it with Titanium Dioxide, whipped up in a bit of water with one of these mini mixers. (These little gadgets are amazingly convenient, and more powerful than they look. I underestimated mine and slung titanium dioxide slurry on the wall. Keep it close to the bottom of your container and all will be well.)
Once the cake part is set, and you’re satisfied with the state of your frosting, (I recommend just piping a swirl back into your bowl to see if it is going to hold a shape.) you can pipe away. I’ve seen people put a dab of frosting in the center, then wind the swirl around it. I went to culinary school, so I learned to do it differently. It doesn’t matter, as long as you get the visual result you desire. The most difficult part for me is the soap texture. Once it is the same as cake frosting, you fill the bag, but only about halfway. You need room to twist the top of the bag closed to provide even pressure on the soap frosting so that you get a smooth swirl. Use your dominant hand to squeeze the bag from the top, and press out the air until the frosting sits just inside the tip. Your cake part still needs to be soft, but strong enough to support the weight and pressure of the frosting.
Then tip the bag and hold it just over the cupcake. Squeeze from the top. Until you have some practice, you may get a few wonky-looking spirals. There’s a limited amount of time to juggle all the variables, so you’re better off, at least at first, just getting all the frosting on all the cupcakes until you get a feel for the pressure that’s needed to create the shape you want.
For cleanup: Disposable bags are really great. I’ve not yet discovered a way to clean them well. The tips are easiest if you let the soap sit in them, and then push the cone of soap backwards out of the tip, then wash normally. The little soap tips are a good sample size if you want to make sure that your frosting is exactly how you wanted it.
You can see here how the Mystic Gold looks in the light – almost like snowflakes. These cupcakes will darken further to a dark coffee color, and I’m fine with that. The fragrance is pure autumn, and they sparkle golden in the light.