I think I’ve shared with you before that I also love to bake and decorate cakes. What does that have to do with soap, you ask? I find that designing and baking cakes, and designing and making soaps, are actually quite similar arts. The techniques used in baking and decorating cakes quite often carry over to soaping, and vice versa. One of the fun cake techniques I’ve come across lately is a leopard spotted cake. I thought it would be fun to try to replicate that leopard spot technique in soap, and I found a video that demonstrates the cake-design process fairly well here: Leopard Sponge Cake
Treating the soap batter as if it were the cake batter in the video, I basically followed the instructions given in the video; except I did straight lines instead of curved, because I was using a straight loaf mold. I separated my soap base into 3 portions; smaller pink and brown portions (both colored with micas), and a larger uncolored portion.
As you can see from the picture below, you actually have to pipe stripes to make the spots, if that makes sense! If you have watched the cake video, you will know what I mean :)
The trick is to have your soap batter at a thicker consistency so that the ‘spots’ can hold their shape. If the batter is too thin, the colors will just sink into each other; but if it’s too thick, you will end up with air pockets, like I did. To start out with, my pink and brown soap batters were much more fluid than the uncolored portion (most likely from the sweet almond oil I used to dissolve the mica)….in fact, I had to stickblend those colors to get them as thick as the uncoloured batter, and by then my uncoloured batter was way too thick. Next time, I will need to be quicker about separating the 3 portions and bringing the pink and brown portions to a thicker consistency right away. Of course, make sure you use a fragrance oil that doesn't accelerate either, you don't want any surprises :)
One thing I should mention too, is that you would want to try to stagger your leopard spots throughout the soap by layering your stripes in different heights throughout your soap. In the video, they show just doing one layer of stripes, but I would try to do stripes at different layers of soap, so that the spots are staggered at different levels throughout your cut soap.
Next time, I would also cut smaller tips in my piping bags, so that I could fit more leopard spots into the soap.