Mooncake Salt Cubes (and cakes) are quite easy to perfect, are low cost and a welcome addition to a relaxing soak in the bath. I found it a little difficult to adjust the water content used for moulding initially, so I have cut that back to a workable ratio for new crafters. There is still a lot more moisture in this mixture than in a bath bomb or fizzie recipe. You can make a larger salt cake by using our larger Round Mooncake Presses.
What you need:
- 1kg Epsom Salt
- 1kg Bicarbonate of Soda
- 10ml Relax Essential Oil Blend or your preferred fragrance or essential oils
- 250ml Orange Blossom Water or Distilled Water
- Large Square Mooncake Press (7) or Mooncake Press, Floral (The small square press has been replaced by a large square or this small round design)
- Spoon or spatula to mix
- Large bowl, jug or mixing bowl
- Digital Scales - helpful but optional
- Baking tray
- Baking paper to line the tray
- Pipette or dropper for essential oil or fragrance
- Coffee grinder - if you want detail to show on the cubes
Basic Recipe quantity details
- 2 cups Ground Epsom Salt (400g)
- 2 tablespoons Bicarbonate of Soda
- 1 tablespoon or more Floral or Distilled Water* A little more may be required, which is evident when mixing
- Up 2g/ml pure Essential Oils (or Fragrance)
For other quantities, I base my fragrance or essential oil load on the Epsom Salts weight:
For 400g batch 1.5% = 6g/m
For 600g batch 1.5% = 9g/ml
For 1000g batch 1.5% = 15g/ml
Colour if preferred: 2 - 4 drops colourant into 400g batch worked in well - Liquid Lakes or Liquid Pigment Dispersions, or water soluble colourants
What to expect:
- The mixture should be quite wet compared to normal bath salt and fizzy products.
- When pressed out on the paper to dry, DO NOT TOUCH for 48 hours. Place the tray into to a warm oven or cupboard to dry out and harden completely.
- Check this link for how much colour when used in salt –1 drop per tablespoon of salt provides a medium shade of salt – but pastel is very nice in these. I don’t recommend micas for these as they tend to cling a bit to the bath tub in this basic mixture which has no surfactant in there to help rinse away.
- Add a light sprinkle of glitter in the pattern before adding the mixture to add some pizzazz to the Zen-look white cubes.
- Assemble the Mooncake Press – assemble by fitting your preferred pattern disc into the mould by holding the mould upside down, handle away from you, and with the pattern facing on the disc, you carefully click the disc into the base.
- Line the baking tray with a piece of baking parchment.
- Place the sieve over the bowl, and add Bicarbonate of Soda, pushing through the sieve with the spatula or the back of a spoon.
- Now grind the Epsom Salts (if you want finer detailing), or place into the bowl and stir to mix the two dry ingredients.
- Now begin adding the water, add in small portions, mixing through, and judging how moist it needs to be by squeezing the mixture in your fingers.
- Measure the Essential Oil or Fragrance in and stir to combine well.
- Using a small spoon, fill the Mooncake Press over the bowl and firm into the mould and top up as required.
- Working swiftly, invert the press straight onto the paper and then press the plunger firmly down (Note: if when you do this water squeezes out of the mixture, you have added too muuch (see purple coloured cubes).
- Re-press the plunger compacting the mixture, and then carefully lift the press away from the paper leaving the compacted salt cube on the paper. Sometimes I assist unmoulding by placing my fingers on the shoulder of the mould, or by pressing down carefully through the gap around the plunger, but mostly they will come away nicely.
- Repeat for the rest of the mixture and then set aside in a humidity free place for about a week to fully dry out.
The top row of cubes contain too much moisture, so expand whilst drying.
None of these has the salt ground to a powder.
To Use: 1 or 2 cubes per bath of this size. If you have used one of our larger Round Mooncake Presses, you'll only need one salt cake per bath. The smaller Mooncake Press, Floral holds the same volume as the design shown in this tutorial.