DIY Coffee Soap with Cardamom and Lime

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A coffee soap recipe is excellent to have for so many reasons. Making homemade soap is fun, not as intimidating as it looks, and is great for DIY gift giving.

Exfoliating coffee soap is an invigorating way to start the day. It’s starting to stay darker later, so I think we can all use a little more caffeine all over the place. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Never did I think I would make soap at home. Somewhere along the line I received misinformation and thought you needed to mix dangerous chemicals and risk possible explosions from soap making. Well, there are other ways to make soap safely at home.

Turns out, all you need is a soap base that’s easy to find, and most of the rest is all up to your creativity.

Owl-shaped soap on a table with coffee grounds.

Making Soap at Home

Ever since I made crystal soap that looks like gemstones, I was hooked.

Pretty sure everyone is getting soap creations for Christmas now that I know how to make homemade bar soap.

If you purchase a soap base in a suspension formula, it helps keep the ingredients spread throughout the soap instead of rising to one side.

Add a little sweet almond oil or jojoba oil to soften it and help nourish the skin.

Then, any of your favorite essential oils that go with the blend you plan to create.

Soap in the shape of an owl with coffee grounds on the table.

This shea butter soap with coffee, cardamom, and lime is for exfoliating and designed to help reduce the appearance of cellulite. As a bonus, it smells great and looks adorable.

Be sure to use fresh coffee grounds. Recycled grounds are too wet and can mold.

Coffee and the two essential oils – cardamom and lime – are commonly used for “cellulite busting,” plus they smell amazing together.

Of course, this coffee soap recipe isn’t an excuse to skip the gym, but an extra scrub down on our cellulite doesn’t hurt, right?

Exfoliating Coffee Soap Recipe with Cardamom and Lime

Supplies Needed:

Measurements are in the printable how-to card below.

  • Small silicone molds
  • Owl shape silicone mold
  • Shea butter soap in the suspension formula
  • Sweet almond oil or jojoba oil
  • Coffee grounds
  • Cardamom essential oil
  • Lime essential oil
  • Coffee essential oil (optional)
A collage of image showing the steps to make coffee soap.
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Directions to make the coffee soap:

More detailed instructions are in the recipe card below.

Cut the shea butter into the proper amount of squares using a sharp knife. It’s better to use more than you think you might need.

Melt the squares using a microwaveable glass cup. Use a rubber spatula to stir the soap and break up any chunks.

Measure the almond oil and add it to the soap mixture. Stir to blend well, and then add in the essential oils one at a time. Cardamom essential oil is thicker than the lime, but both can pour out faster than you expect, so be careful. Stir the mixture well and then microwave again.

Check the mixture for lumps and scrape the sides and the bottom of the bowl well before pouring into the molds. Place it back into the microwave if you need to get rid of more lumps.

Slowly pour the soap mixture into the owl molds. Leave some space at the top for the coffee grounds.

Once all the molds are filled, pinch a good amount of coffee grounds with your fingers, or use a spoon to sprinkle the grounds across the tops of the soap bars. Gently press the coffee grounds down into the soap just enough so that they stick to the bars.

Pouring coffee grounds on top of soap in owl molds.

Let the soap molds sit out at room temperature for an hour and a half. If you use smaller molds, you can let them sit for an hour.

The amount of time to let the bars sets depends on the thickness of the molds you use and the temperature of your house, so feel the middle of the molds to check them. If the middle is still warm to the touch, let them sit longer.

Once the bars are ready, carefully pop them out of the molds. They will come out easier than you might expect, so be careful. Bend back the corner of the mold with one hand and gently press on the back center with the other.

To store the soap, put them in a glass jar or use cute little bags with ties to give as gifts.

Exfoliating Coffee Soap Recipe with Cardamom and Lime

Homemade Bath and Body Products

Yield: 6 bars

Coffee Soap with Cardamom and Lime

Exfoliating Coffee Soap Recipe with Cardamom and Lime

A great gift idea for coffee lovers, this refreshing coffee soap with cardamom and lime is exfoliating and adorable. Owl shape is optional, but encouraged. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Prep Time 15 minutes
Active Time 15 minutes
Setting Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Difficulty Moderate


  • 1 silicone tray of smaller molds โ€“ like ice cubed size ones. Or, 1 or 2 individual molds in a larger size. The owl shape is considered large, and itโ€™s very close to the size of a standard bar of soap.
  • 4 squares of shea butter soap in the suspension formula
  • 1.5 tbsp sweet almond oil or jojoba oil
  • 1 tbsp coffee grounds
  • 12 drops cardamom essential oil
  • 8 drops lime essential oil
  • 8 drops coffee essential oil (optional)


  • sharp knife
  • microwaveable glass measuring cup
  • rubber spatula


  1. Cut the soap into the amount of squares you need. They are pre-scored already in the package and fairly easy to cut with a sharp knife. I like to lay them on the molds to help me guesstimate how many I need each time because I use several sizes of the molds and each is a little different. It is better to add one more than you think you will need, to be safe, and every time they come out to be just about right.
  2. Place the squares into a microwaveable glass measuring cup and microwave for 30 seconds.
  3. Use a rubber spatula and stir the soap well to help melt any thick chunks that are still in it and to scrape any off the sides, and then put back in the microwave for 20 more seconds.
  4. Measure out the almond oil and add to the soap, and then stir to blend well. Add in the essential oils one at a time. The cardamom is a thicker oil than the lime, but both can easily pour out faster than you may expect so be cautious. Stir the oils in thoroughly and then microwave for about 15 to 20 seconds. Get ready to pour into the molds.
  5. Check the soap for any lumpiness and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl well, and if it needs to go in microwave one last time to be sure it is all melted, go ahead and do another 15 seconds. It is better to be sure it’s all melted than have lumps in it.
  6. Slowly pour into the molds, leaving a slight space at the top to add on the coffee grounds. 
  7. Once you have it all poured, get a good pinch of coffee in your fingers, or use a small spoon and sprinkle it across the top of the soap bars until they are covered all the way across. Gently press the coffee down into the soap just enough to make the grounds stick, but not completely covering them.
  8. Let the soap sit out at room temperature for an hour and a half, if you are doing the large bars, or closer to an hour for the smaller ones. Then check to see if they are totally cooled.
  9. How long they will take depends on the thickness of the molds you used. Feel the bottom middle of the mold to check them. If it’s still warm in the middle, give them a bit longer.
  10. Once they are ready, carefully pop them out of the molds. They will come out easier than you may expect. Bend back one corner of the mold with one hand and press on the back center of the bar with the other and that should do it.
  11. To store, use cute little bags with ties to secure, or put in a glass jar.  

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Owl shaped coffee soap.

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  1. I bet that smells wonderful. I think I will try to make it, would be a great gift idea for friends at holiday time.

  2. Thanks for sharing this tutorial. This would be a great gift idea that I could make! I love the scent of coffee too so I just might have to make some for myself!

  3. Coffee isn’t really my thing, but my sister would LOVE this! She’s a total coffee fanatic and would enjoy this soap! It would make a good holiday present for her.

  4. I bet this soap smells so good! I’ve always wanted to try to make my own soap but, I was one of those people who felt intimidated so I back out of trying. I just may try now since you have such a great tutorial above showcasing how to do it! Thanks

  5. I love the smell of cardamom! My Indian friend at work used to bring desserts with this to work all the time. It smells heavenly!

  6. This looks interesting. I read in one place someone claimed exfoliating with coffee product made you lose weight. Wonder if thats true? This looks fun and if the weight thing is true thats an added plus.

  7. I used to think soap making was some dangerous endeavor too,lol! I am coffee obsessed and have paid waaay too much for coffee soap in the past.I am super eager to try making this,especially with the lime.Very interesting combo! Thank you for this,I’ll let ya know how it goes.

    1. That’s too funny! It must have been dangerous at one point! LOL Yes, please let us know how it turns out! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. You can buy it on amazon. There’s a link in the post above under “supplies”. Let us know if you make it! ๐Ÿ™‚

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