Monday, February 9, 2009

Cupcake Bath Bombs Tutorial

These cupcake bath bombs are such a cute gift idea from Little Birdie Secrets

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
2 Tbsp. baking soda
1-2 Tbsp. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

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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