Soap Maker's Course & Resources


Rudolph Cupcake Soaps

Here we're making Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer for Christmas treats. This recipe includes both a soap dough/clay and a heavy piping technique. Basic soap dough/clay and piping are shown in Lesson 5. This lesson expands on tips, tricks, and details in making characters.

How To Make the Rudolph Cupcakes

Christmas Characters Recipe

What you need to make this recipe:

This project is made in two parts

1. The soap dough: You will make 1 lb. of soft soap dough, which will cover crafted features of all three characters.

      • Distilled Water - 6.08 oz.

      • Lye (NaOH) – 2.27 oz.

      • Coconut Oil – 4 oz.

      • Canola Oil – 1.6 oz.

      • Shea Butter – 1.6 oz.

      • Lard – 5.6 oz.

      • Palm Shortening – 3.2 oz.

Colors are as follows -

      • ¼ tsp. Matte Brown Pigment

      • 1/8 tsp. Raspberry Shimmer

      • ¼ Black mica

      • ¼ Lake Red Pigment

      • ¼ tsp. Titanium Dioxide


First, make the soap dough 24 – 48 hours before the rest of the project. Give the dough time to set up and become workable, so that it is ready to sculpt at the time you want to make your characters.

Make the lye water solution and melt the oils. Allow them to sit until they reach room temperature. Carefully blend the lye water and oil. Mix minimally and allow the batter to emulsify. Split the batter into 4 parts, leaning heavier on portion. Color the largest of the four parts white with titanium dioxide. Color one part red, one part black, and color the last part with brown pigment and raspberry shimmer. Mix all four parts until they are completely emulsified and can be easily poured.

If you want your soap dough to take on its proper texture as quickly as possible. Place a piece of wax paper with the sides turned up in a shallow box or plastic container. Freely pour one color over the wax paper so the soap makes a flat thin puddle. Remove this from the box and set aside to harden. Do this with all four colors. In a few hours you can return and find the soap can be peeled away from the wax paper. Roll this up into a ball, and wrap each piece in plastic wrap to preserve the texture until you are ready to use.

2. Cupcake Soap Base & Frosting: You will make 1.5 (24 oz.) lbs of soap will make 12 cupcake base pieces. This will allow 4 pieces per character at 3 oz. per base piece.

    • Distilled Water – 9.12 oz.

    • Lye (NaOH) – 3.42 oz.

    • Rice Bran -3.6 oz.

    • Palm Shortening – 9.6 oz.

    • Corn Oil – 4.8 oz.

    • Coconut Oil – 6 oz.

Colors are as follows -

      • ¼ tsp. Matte Brown Pigment

      • 1/8 tsp. Raspberry Shimmer

      • ¼ tsp. Titanium Dioxide

In some locations rice bran is a seasonal oil; olive oil can be substituted. Additionally, regular palm oil can be substituted for palm shortening. They are the same thing, but make sure your palm shortening says 100% palm.


First, prepare the soap dough/clay at least 18 hours before the onset of this project. You will need the fawn color, white, red, and black. It only takes a few ounces of dough for each color, but be prepared with at least 6 ounces of white.

There are 5 facial and head features needed for the reindeer face: ears, antlers, eyes, nose, and mouth.

First make ten small balls of fawn color and shape them into animal ears. These are best made at about 1 inch by ½ inch, and sculpted with your fingers as opposed to trying to cut the shape from a flat surface. This way the ears are at least ½ cm. Thick and are less likely to break in gifting and packaging. If you press them on the surface then have a tendency to be to thin, and since they stick off the top of the head they may crack or break if handled. Once you form your dough into the desired shape make a small indent in the center and place a small piece of white. If the soap clay is stiff you can work it with your fingers until it becomes soft. If you are having difficulty getting the two pieces to stick simply because the clay is dry. Dab the surface with a paint brush with water.

Blend this down as shown:

Next, make the antlers and nose. Rudolph is a young deer so he only has baby nubs for antlers. Simply roll a bit of the fawn colored clay and slice away the top to look like the top of an antler. Roll red balls for the nose, and sprinkle silver or light colored glitter over the tops of the noses.

Next, Make a dozen small white circles about 1 cm. In diameter. These will be the eyes. Remember, Rudolph has big Bambi eyes, so give a little bit of shape to them. Make slightly smaller black circle, and set them close to the front.

Here, you can see that I've made all left eyes. Ooops! No problem. Just flip one upside down and match it to one that is close to the same size. Mold the eyes so that they match and don't look kooky. (Unless you want a couple of silly kooky guys.) While you have the black clay out make 5 circles at 1 inch in diameter, and slice them in half. These will be your deer mouths.

Next, sculpt 4 white triangles with soft corners. Set these upside down on the inside edge of your silicone cupcake molds. They don't need to stick to the sides, just set in place. Rudolph has a white fur breast, so this will be the face side of the project.

Now move these off to the side and prepare the soap batter for the full projects. Carefully pour the lye water solution into the oils and mix lightly to emulsify. Becasue this recpe is crafted for piping, there are a lot of light fluffy hard oils in the combination. Make sure that the oils are fully melted, but have also cooled to room temperature. The oils may start to shift back into a hard state if left exactly at room temperature. If you mix the oils with a white froth on the top it will take more work to emulsify and the soap will reach trace in a similar way as if you mixed while the lye and oils were too hot. This is workable, but for this recipe the most ideal time to make your soap is when the lye is exactly room temperature or cooler, and when the oils cool and still entirely melted.

Next, separate a small portion into a container and color it white with titanium dioxide. Do not scent this portion, because you don't want the pumpkin spice fragrance oil to discolor the white soap. Leave it unscented and transfer it into a piping bag with a medium sized circular tip. Set this aside and allow it to stiffen.

In the main bowl add 1.5 tsp. of brown pigment oxide and ½ tsp. of raspberry shimmer pop. This will give the brown just a hint of a pink-ish fawn color. Mix this well and separate it into 1:2 parts. Fill 2 parts directly into a piping bag with a large star tip. Spoon the remaining soap into the cupcake molds. Be careful not to let the brown soap bleed in front of the white dough. Fill each cupcake to the top.

Give these about five minutes to set up. The frosting, at this time will be ready to pipe. (If it is not, just wait a few minutes until you can pipe a stiff star point like a thick chocolate pudding.) Start piping by placing a star point in the center of each cupcake.

Next, follow a complete circle around the center point and build upward until the pile of soap can not reasonably go further.

Now, it's time for embeds and face. Place the ears, antlers, and eyes at the top of the head. Follow this with a cushion of soft round dollops under the eyes.

Finish the character by adding his red nose and a little happy mouth.