Thursday, November 13, 2008

cupcake bath bombs tutorial

These sweet treats look good enough to eat! But as I've told my three-year-old a dozen times, don't eat them! They taste like soap--yucky! Bath bombs are made up of a few simple ingredients, along with essential oil for aromatherapy and almond oil to soften the skin. They fizz when you drop them in water and create a luxurious bath experience. But these are extra sweet because we added frosting with real powdered sugar.

We made simple round bath bombs at our recent class, but each attendee got to take one of these bath bomb "cupcakes" home as a door prize. (The frosting was just too complicated to add to an already complicated class.) We made up several dozen of these "cupcakes" to sell at our upcoming craft fairs. We'll have to be sure to mark them "don't eat!" because they do look delicious.

Want to make your own? Here's the recipe, along with a tutorial to help you avoid the problems we had as we were figuring this art out. Because it is an art, not a science, you should work in small batches (i.e. don't double the recipe), and be prepared to tweak things to get them just right. All that said, they're really not that hard! I promise!

Okay, let's get started!

Bath Bomb Fizzy Recipe

What you'll need:

*2 c. baking soda
*1 c. citric acid (We found this in the bulk section at a local health food store)
*1 Tbsp. oil of your choice (We like almond oil, but grapeseed oil or even olive oil would work)
*5 drops fragrance/essential oil
*3-5 drops coloring (You can use food coloring, but it may fade quickly and even leave a ring around your bathtub. We used a special oil for bath products we found on
*1 tsp. Bentonite clay (optional--this just makes them harder; we found it here, too.)
*1 tsp. to 1 Tbsp. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (optional--this makes your bombs lather up, and we also found it here.)
*Witch hazel (poured into a spray bottle)
*Paper cupcake liners
*Silicone cupcake molds

1. Prepare your molds by placing a cupcake liner inside the silicone cupcake mold. It won't fit perfectly--just shove it in.

2. Place all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and gently mix. Be careful not to inhale it!

3. Add fragrance to the dry mixture. Measure out the oil and place a few drops of color to it. Add it to the dry mixture. Gently mix.

4. While kneading the mixture with one hand, begin spraying the mix with the witch hazel. (We did this as a team, but one person can do it alone.) Be careful not to get the mixture too wet--the moisture will activate the citric acid and your bath bomb will be ruined. Continue to slowly spritz the mixture with witch hazel and squish it in your hands until it has the consistency of crumbly pie dough.

5. Quickly pack the mixture into your liners inside the silicone molds. You want it to be packed in tight. Allow the mixture to set in the silicone mold for at least 5-10 minutes before removing. Now let's add some frosting to these bad boys.

6. Make your frosting.

Cupcake Bath Bomb Fizzy Frosting (Royal Icing Recipe)

*3 Tbsp. meringue powder (we like Wilton's) or powdered egg whites (you can use real egg whites or egg white substitute, but we didn't have very good luck with them)
*1 lb. (measured by weight) powdered sugar
*1/4 tsp. Cream of Tartar
*5-6 Tbsp. warm water
*Few drops of color
*Glass bowl
*Hand mixer

Few drops of fragrance

7. Mix meringue powder into warm water first in a GLASS bowl. Add cream of tartar and powdered sugar. Start beating on high. If your mixture feels like stiff cookie dough at this point, add another tablespoon of water. Beat for 7-9 minutes. Frosting is done when it forms stiff peaks and is thick and fluffy.

8. Add color and fragrance and beat until well mixed (one minute or less).

Note: If you decide to add baking soda (for fizziness) and sodium lauryl sulfate (for lather), you will want to increase your water to about 6-7 Tbsp. Add them with the color and fragrance.

9. Spoon frosting into a disposable cake frosting bag with the cake decorating tip of your choice.

10. Frost your cupcake bath bombs however you like. Allow bath bombs to sit overnight to harden before packaging. Be sure to let your children, husband, or dog know these are NOT EDIBLE!

11. Package them in cellophane bags with pretty ribbons and tags for the perfect gift!

If you want a simpler process, try making them in round molds like we did for our class. We found clear, fillable Christmas tree ornaments at Michael's. Pack one half, then the other, then push them together. There should be a little of the mixture coming out the seam, and the two sides should be sticking together. Allow to set 10-15 minutes before removing from mold, and overnight before packaging.

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219 Responses to “cupcake bath bombs tutorial”

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Wendy said...

Made these about a week ago. I used standard muffin tins with paper liners. Filled about 2/3rd full with bomb mixture. Made the frosting with meringue powder, 6 T. water and 1# powdered sugar (cream of tarter not necessary as already in meringue powder). Whipped this in my Kitchen Aid Mixer then added gel food coloring and fragrance oil. (FYI-Glass, stainless steel, corningware...any bowl will work as long as it doesn't have any GREASE residue. You'll probably want to stay away from plastic for this reason.) Piped onto cupcake making sure frosting went to the edges of the cupcake liner paper to help keep frosting from popping of "cake" portion. Took 1 day for frosting to harden with no "sinking" or cracking. Only had one frosting pop off and that was because I tried to pull the "cupcake" out of the pan by the frosting. Also, had no dark spotting on the frosting as others had mentioned. When used in the tub, the frosting melted pretty easily.

Susan said...

I couldn't find the products I needed from the site linked in this post - but found them all at Great site - great prices - Fair shipping!!

For those searching high and low for citric acid, try your local mediterranean market or homebrew shop.

roseann said...

Hello, I made this recipe and a recipe I found that used SLS in the icing and these turned out beautiful. Only thing is it is 6-8 weeks after making the cupcakes and I checked the ones I had left over which were left in an open airconditioned environment and they looked a little funky, so I popped off one of the frostings and the cupcake base and underside of the frosting had brown spots all over. These were all ruined. Any ideas what went wrong. Should we use a preservative to keep them from going bad? Any ideas what caused this? Otherwise, the cupcakes still looked beautiful, but you can see the dark spots peaking out from beneath the icing.

MJ said...

They look AMAZING! I'm just wondering about one thing: does this mean you'll actually be bathing in sugar? Sorry if this is a dumb question, the bath bomb is lovely :)

Little Birdie Secrets said...

Hi MJ--the answer about whether you're just bathing in sugar is yes and no. :) Really it's just the frosting that has sugar in it. The rest of the bath bomb doesn't. You can always leave the frosting off and create another shape if you like!

Brooke said...

Just darling .
I am going to go share these with my chat board craft group.
Excellent tutorial and such a clever item.
Wonderful post .
Thank you so much.

Moore Creatures said...

What a great gift idea. They look so professional:)

Amanda said...

I was looking on the website and can't figure out which coloring you used. It says liquid, but most of the coloring seems to be a solid. Thanks for the help!

Earthbutterfly said...

These do look so delish! Thanks for sharing with us, Im thinking these would be great for Valentines Day gifties! Thankyou again!!

Aubrey said...

Can anyone tell me if you could use a regular cupcake pan instead of the silicone molds?

Aubrey said...

I made these with my MOPs group on Tues. and they were a HUGE hit! I couldn't believe how much fun they all had! Thank you so much for the tutorial. You made a bunch of Moms really happy :)

Heather said...

Thank you for posting this recipe. I tried it and my frosting cracked. Is there anyway to prevent this? Thank you for your help

Elizabeth said...

Thanks so much! I'm going to make these for Mom-Favors at my daughters' next birthday party! And ps - I linked to you in my latest blog post:

Gaylynn said...

I've been wanting to know how to make these. Thanks for the tutorial. Yours turned out beautiful.

mmtncrfts said...

Wonderful Tutorial!!!
I've seen these before, but never knew how to make them.
I am definitely linking this to my blog so my readers can come over and check out your tutorial.
Thanks so much for sharing!

lexee halsmith said...

just a friendly fyi :)

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is a skin irritant and is not good for your skin. if these can be made without it, leave it out! :)

very cute idea. said...

Havent tried these but I'm needing to order the products. What oil did you use and I noticed theres different types of colorants. Which type did you use of those? These products are amazingly cute! I cant wait to give them as gifts!!

~ Bliss ~ said...

Great recipe, getting ready to make it now for my 12 foaming bath whip tri-layer soap swap gifts :) If I were to add baking soda to make the frosting fizzy and/or the SLS ... how much of each would I add to the frosting recipie? You may not answer in time for this swap, but answer will come in handy for my next batch! Thanks!

Marie said...

These are so cute!! Awesome gift idea thanks!!

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