Your whole food, plant-based life.

Homemade Body Butter Recipe

I made my first batch of body butter today. I think my life has changed forever. Delightful, decadent and easy, I have wanted to try making it for a long time. I was convinced that it would be difficult and not work the way I wanted. Boy, was I wrong.



I love creamy body butters. Living in a climate that gets quite cold and dry in the winter, they are a must in my house. But two things have always bothered me. They can be quite expensive and also, full of ingredients that are less than desirable for your skin and health.

We often forget that our skin is the largest organ on our body and absorbs what we put on it. If you are using lotions and body butters with chemicals in them (fragrances, preservatives, color additives, etc.) be aware that your skin absorbs the chemicals, too. Not exactly desirable. I often just use almond oil on my skin after a shower but sometimes I want something a little more decadent. Body butters, made with pure oils and essential oils for fragrance are just the thing.



I called my friend Jen Vertanen, who writes the blog, “The Wholehearted Life”, knowing that she has spent years playing with recipes for home made soaps and lotions and asked her opinion on ingredients. She told me to use 75% solid to 25% liquid oil. Sounded easy enough.

I measured out shea butter (I use this shea butter: organic raw shea butter and coconut oil for the solid, and melted them in my home-made double boiler. (If you don’t have a double boiler, make sure there is space for the steam to escape and you are using heat proof glass.)



I wanted to use rosemary as one of my scents. I didn’t have any rosemary essential oil so I added fresh rosemary as the oils were cooling. I also stirred in the almond oil at this point. Once the oil was cool, I strained out the rosemary, added peppermint (just a few drops, it is strong) and sweet orange essential oils and tried to whip the butter as instructed in other body recipes that I had researched. Nothing happened. I was about to give up and just let the oil harden when I had an idea.



I placed the oil mixture outside (it’s cold…it’s Minnesota) and let it partially set up. At that point, I tried whipping it again in the kitchen aid mixer and, success! A beautiful body butter, so simple to make, smelling delicious and with a texture that was like clouds of silk.

*Because of the popularity of this recipe on pinterest, I am getting many, many questions that are more suited for an expert. This is a raw food site, this was my first attempt at body butter, it worked better than I could have hoped for and if you make this recipe as stated, it will work great for you too!! I am sorry but I can’t answer the technical questions. Cheers!*

IF YOU ARE HAVING TROUBLE WITH YOUR BODY BUTTER WHIPPING: you probably rushed this step. It needs to be cooled significantly….like in the picture.

I have to admit, I am pretty excited at how easy it is to make. I used sweet orange, lemon and lavender in my second batch. Heavenly. You can just use the basic recipe and add your favorite essential oils. Just make sure they are skin friendly!

A few people have asked about jars. I use these: Weck Jars




  1. You can use what ever oils you wish, just make sure you keep the ratio 75% solid to 25% liquid. SO IF YOU ARE ALLERGIC TO ANY OF THE ABOVE LISTED OILS, JUST REPLACE THEM WITH AN OIL THAT YOU ARE NOT ALLERGIC TO. Just make sure you replace a solid for a solid and a liquid for a liquid.
  2. The chilling step is crucial. If you don’t chill it properly, it won’t whip or stay whipped. About 20 minutes in the freezer usually does the trick for this batch. Make sure you scrape down the sides before mixing.
  3. Since this recipe does not contain any water, it will not mold. You should keep in a cool place but it does not have to be refrigerated.
  4. I do not know the exact shelf life but I know it will keep at least a few months, plus.
  5. The body butter melts as it goes on and gets a little oily but absorbs beautifully, quickly and leaves your skin very soft.
  6. You can order the shea butter here: Raw Shea Butter

You can order the coconut oil here: Coconut Oil

You can order the almond oil here:  Almond Oil

You can order the Weck Jars here:  Weck Jars

Alternatively, coconut oil and almond oil are quite easy to locate at your local coop, Whole Foods or health food store.

  1. This recipe has been tested many times. If you don’t follow the recipe, you will not get the same results.
  2. Many people ask for exact amounts of essential oils. I start with at least 20 drops of what ever oil I want to use and just increase slowly until I am happy with how it smells. So…be free! Use your own creativity here.


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  1. ana wrote on May 6, 2017

    is the ratio of oil to solids necessary? I am finding that adding coconut oil regardless if started as solid plus another oil is too much. Or would it be worth trying not to melt the shea and coconut oil (I hear melting might decrease the healing properties of the shea butter) and just use a high speed hand mixer?

    • Tami wrote on June 11, 2017

      as long as you don’t melt them in the microwave, you don’t lose any healing properties.

  2. Sue wrote on March 26, 2017

    I made a small batch since I didn’t have much almond oil. It whipped up great. But our house is too warm so I placed jars in the frig. I love how easy this was and can’t wait to make more. I can see Christmas presents in the future.

  3. Felicia Bonaimo wrote on March 16, 2017

    Hi: followed your recipe to the “t” and yet my butter appears on the thin side. Will it eventually get thicker, or is there something I can add to it to make the consistency more buttery? Thank you.

  4. Christine wrote on March 12, 2017

    Love the recipe! One question though, if you double the recipe, should you add on to the set time/freezer time?

  5. Tammy wrote on March 3, 2017

    I grinder up a vanilla bean in the coffee grinder and added to the body butter. IT SMELLS AMAZING!!!

  6. Harriet wrote on March 2, 2017

    Could I add a few drops of a natural food colouring?

  7. Laura wrote on February 23, 2017

    I followed all the steps and ingredients, but used lavender and peppermint essential oils, and it whipped beautifully. However, when i put a little bit on my fingers, it melts almost into a ln oily puddle I almost have to wipe off excess oil. Is it supposed to be like this? Thank you. I can’t really smell the essential oils. I put 30 drops. Can I add more oil somehow if it’s already whipped and all? Thank you.

    • Tami wrote on March 1, 2017

      It all depends on the temp in your house. I had a lot of trouble with mine melting and separating in the summer. This last batch I made is so solid, it takes time to even melt on my skin. Coconut and I use cocoa butter are both hard oils. Adding some more hard oils, I would recommend adding more of the shea or cocoa butter and as I felt the coconut oil was what made it separate. I think I added to much cocoa butter to mine and am going to empty it out of the jars and maybe add a bit more coconut oil to try and thin it down, which may not work since it is a hard oil too. I was just a bit short on my liquid oil, so that may have made a difference too. If it is too thin already and it hasn’t even got hot outside yet, I would guess more of the hard butter will help. Good luck playing with it.

      • Kimberley wrote on April 15, 2017

        Using fractionated coconut oil, which stays liquified, and skipping the almond oil or jojoba oil (or any other liquid oils) helps. Because the solidified coconut oil turns liquid with heat (from your bathroom or from your skin), it makes it super oily/liquified. So using already liquid coconut oil and then just the raw Shea butter or raw cocoa butter will help keep your whipped lotion from melting out.

  8. Sharron wrote on February 19, 2017

    Wonderful recipe! Love the way it whips up so fluffy. I used a few drops of lavender and it smells amazing. Feels so good going on. Thanks for a great buttercream recipe. This is a definite save.

  9. Jacquie wrote on February 14, 2017

    Wow! I happened to pick up some raw shea butter at a flea market out of curiosity, and decided to give this a try. I ended up with a litre of fluffy white whipped-cream like lotion, which is way more than I was expecting. Not complaining at all! I’m just amazed at how quick and easy it was to make! It is a bit oily when you first apply it, but it does absorb quickly and leaves the skin feeling silky soft. Love!

    For scent, I used about 30 drops total of lavender, rosemary and frankincense essential oils, which, combined with the mildly nutty smell of the shea butter, turned out to be quite pleasant. Definitely bookmarking this recipe to use later. Thanks so much for sharing!


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