Homemade Body Butter Recipe

by Susan on January 17, 2012


*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!*

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.

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


Body Butter

Makes 2 1/2 to 3 cups whipped butter.

1. Melt shea butter and coconut oil in the top of a double boiler. Remove from heat and let cool for 30 minutes. 

2. Stir in almond oil and essential oils of your choosing.*

3, Place oil mixture in freezer or outside to chill.

4. Wait until oils start to partially solidify (see photo) then whip until a butter-like consistency is achieved. 

4. Place in clean, glass jar and enjoy! A little goes a long way.

*Not all essential oils are skin friendly or child friendly. Please do your research before adding.


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 mould. 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. 

7. This recipe has been tested many times. If you don’t follow the recipe, you will not get the same results. 

8. 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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{ 856 comments… read them below or add one }

yvonne November 2, 2012 at 9:35 pm

So you used the shea butter and coconut oil in solid form?


Susan November 3, 2012 at 10:26 am

Joann, If you replace the coconut oil with jojoba oil, you will not have the correct ratios of solid oils to liquid oils. Cheers!


Joann November 3, 2012 at 9:18 am

I have jojoba oil, instead of coconut oil, I’m going to try that.
Does the batch have to be refrigerated?
Thanks, can’t wait to try it!


Chandra November 3, 2012 at 4:06 pm

can you use pure extracts instead of essential oils.


kathleen November 3, 2012 at 7:14 pm

I gave sensitive eyes. I think fragrances for the most would irritate. I made my own with shea, coconut oil, almond and olive. No fragrances, but I don’t like the smell.

Any suggestions to put in batch to mask this ? I am also considering adding cocoa butter as I heard it is best for skin.

My skin is already doing much better.


Cedric November 4, 2012 at 2:56 pm

I have tried to make my own but it re hardened, not sure what I did wrong, but after reading I think it’s because I didn’t allow it to fully cool. Also is there a replacement for coconut oil or can I just use Shea butter? I don’t really like it


Sylvia Alakusheva November 5, 2012 at 6:14 pm

Hi Susan, thank you for this beautiful recipe! I tried to make it at home with a mix of cocoa butter, shea butter, coconut oil, and liquid sesame seed oil, but once I mixed everything together, my “butter” remained liquid…I am so bummed! Did I do something wrong?


Susan November 5, 2012 at 6:16 pm

Sylvia, did you put it in the freezer to chill? See the pictures in the post as to how it should look. Also, did you stick with the 75% solid and 25% liquid rule?


Sylvia Alakusheva November 5, 2012 at 6:36 pm

I added some extra solid butter, so hopefully that works :) I am off to whipping now…
Thank you!!


chelsea ferrer November 6, 2012 at 12:49 am

what are other alternatives for shea butter? because we can’t find it in our place. we’re going to use it for our project to make a mosquito repellent.


felicia November 6, 2012 at 11:55 pm

hey there,
I’m really excited to try out this recipe! does anyone know how big of a batch it makes?
like what size of container it will fill? I’m thinking about making it as christmas gifts, but need to know what oz jars to order for it. :)
thanks so much!


alison November 8, 2012 at 1:50 pm

Hi !
This is so awsome, i want to do a bunch of that to give a bunch of my friends…. How much does one recepie gives ? And if i add double or triple, is it okay ?
And you used rosemary, can i use something else to have a bunch of differnt scent ?can you give me examples please :)
Thank you very much.
*sorry for bad english. I’m from Montreal hehehe

Alison :)


Susan November 10, 2012 at 12:14 pm

You can use what ever essential oils you like (see post). I am not sure exactly how much one recipe makes as I didn’t measure it. But it is at least a couple of cups. Cheers!


Stephanie November 9, 2012 at 11:07 pm

Has anyone tried whipping it with a hand mixer? I don’t have a stand mixer or whipping beater. I don’t have almond oil so I’m going to try it with cocoa butter, coconut oil and olive oil. I can’t wait!


Susan November 10, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Stephanie, I haven’t tried it but I would think it would work just fine. Cheers!


Virginia November 9, 2012 at 11:27 pm

Can you/did you use almond cooking oil? That’s the only kind of almond oil I can find at my local natural foods store. Thanks :)


Susan November 10, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Virginia, I am not sure what you mean by almond cooking oil. If it is a cold pressed almond oil, it should be fine. Cheers!


Joann November 10, 2012 at 8:31 am

I made this recipe last night using all the correct ingredients. Although it took well over an hour to cool the Shea butter and coconut oil, outside on my NE PA porch, it was worth the effort.
The results are every bit as good as you say, I am so pleased with the texture and the way it makes my skin feel. My lotion looks very yellow, not white like yours looks. I,m guessing that it has something to do with the color of my Shea butter, which is very yellow.


Susan November 10, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Joann, It will chill down in your freezer in about 20 minutes. The day I cooled it outside, it was below zero. Cheers!


sam November 10, 2012 at 1:52 pm

hi im thinking of making this as gifts for my friends at christmas, can you tell me – was your recipe enough for one jar of body butter or more and how much was in the jar 100mls/200mls? this will help me to know how much to multiply by in order to make enough for every one! thanks Sam x


Susan November 10, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Hi, Sam, I am sorry, but I didn’t measure. I think it comes out about 1 1/4 to 1. Meaning if you have a total of 1 cup melted oil, you will have 1 1/4 cups body butter. But that might be over stating it. If you double the batch, make sure you only whip half at a time. I will make a batch and see what I have. Cheers!


sam November 10, 2012 at 4:19 pm

thanks for that, that gives me something to start with, :-) cant wait to get cracking
x x


Jessica November 10, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Just finished my first batch! Love it! For those who are wondering about quantities..I made half a batch(because the container of shea butter I had was only 7oz) so 1/2 c shea, 1/4 c coconut & 1/4 c jojoba(also had on hand). It made approximately 12oz of whipped butter. (1 c of oils=1.5 c of butter) Mine is more the consistency of a thick lotion, not quite as whipped as in the picture, but that may be due to the fact that I used jojoba oil, or that I had to briefly microwave my bowl to get the hardened edge out. I also made a “vanilla spice” scent with about 30/40 drops of vanilla essential oil(mine was not very strongly fragranced) & 20 drops of Thieves oil. It’s lovely! Thanks again for posting this recipe!! :)


Susan November 10, 2012 at 4:49 pm

I make this body butter all the time. If the mixture is too warm, it will not whip correctly. If you have a hard rim, it might have been in the freezer too long. You can always scrape it into the mixture before you start. Cheers!


Jessica Clermont November 11, 2012 at 9:37 am

How much does this recipe yield? If I buy 4oz jam jars for example how many should I expect to fill? I’m excited to try this recipe for Christmas gifts!!!


Susan November 11, 2012 at 12:29 pm

When whipped, you will get 1 1/2 to 2 times the melted oil volume. Cheers!


Mary November 11, 2012 at 3:43 pm

Thanks for all the info…I want to make some scented with almond. Clerk at store said to use almond extract but it is not oil based and I’m afraid the fragrance would fade. Any advice?


Susan November 11, 2012 at 4:28 pm

There is almond fragrance oil. I think you are right about the extract. Cheers!


Rebecca November 14, 2012 at 11:22 am


I’ve just made this and it’s amazing, tried it with coco butter and a batch with Shea butter.
Thank you so much for the recepie my guests will love there home made Christmas gifts!

Becks xxx
From across the pond in the UK


Lynnsey November 14, 2012 at 11:19 pm

Why do you heat the oils? Can you skip this step and just start whipping?


Susan November 14, 2012 at 11:36 pm

Shea butter is quite hard. I melt them all together because it is the easiest way to blend the oils. Melt, stir, cool, whip. Easy peasy. Cheers!


Lynnsey November 14, 2012 at 11:50 pm

Thank you so much! Made it last week and love it! Will continue to follow your recipe and blog. Cheers to you!


Marie November 15, 2012 at 9:57 am

I just made my first ever Body Butter using this recipie and I couldn’t believe how well it turned out. I was kind of expecting a disaster as with some of my other first-timers. I absolutley love this recipie and would recommend it to anyone!


Jenny November 18, 2012 at 6:59 am

Can anyone recommend where to get the raw shea butter? I clicked on the link which brought me to Amazon, but saw so many mixed reviews about it smelling bad and being rancid. Thanks!


Susan November 18, 2012 at 12:04 pm

I have ordered this one many times and never had a problem. You could try your local coop. They might have it.


Dee November 19, 2012 at 9:02 pm

How did you get yours to come out in a white/ivory color? Mine came out an ugly yellow and I’ve used the same type of shea butter as you


Amanda W November 22, 2012 at 11:11 pm

Joann, I found that the longer I whipped it, the lighter in color and fluffy it got. I thought mine was also yellow because I started with yellower Shea butter. I used vanilla extract in mine and it smells like frosting. Yum!


Az November 23, 2012 at 11:54 am

Woke up to fresh layer of snow today, getting ready to make a new batch of body butter, had a great idea because it is windy and I plan to set my batch outside with a shower cap cover to set up, I found a package of 6 @ dollar tree for a buck! Yea!


Faye November 24, 2012 at 11:41 am

I have made this kind of butter and it is too hard to spread on my body. I have to hold it in my hands a few seconds for it to melt to put on body. What did I do wrong? Do I need to add an emolient?( SP?) Can I remelt me butter and try whipping it again? Maybe I whipped it to long??


Jan Pace November 24, 2012 at 5:13 pm

Suggestion…. This works if you have a stand mixer, not sure about a hand mixer. Measure your shea butter and place in mixer. Melt your oils gently in a double boiler (or do what I do and place oil in pyrex in pan of water that you have started on the stove. I usually bring water to boil and turn down on lowest flame possible. I never use microwave for this as you really cannot control the temp.). Turn on mixer and let it start working your butter on low, then VERY slowly, add your oil to the Shea (can use Mango, Avocado or other butters here too) after about 1 minute your oil of choice will be incorporated into the shea. Add vitamin E and your fragrance/essential oil and mix about 30 seconds. At this point fold in about 2-3 tablespoons of Arrowroot powder (you can get this at healthfood store) or Cornstarch then turn mixer on again and let-her-rip for a few minutes. Voila!! light and fluffy with no shards from the fat in the butter (s) getting cold too quickly.


Andrea November 26, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this. I am making it right now for the second time. I found myself unable to keep it to my self last time I made it. It was so wonderful that I had to share it and was giving samples to my friends! My pregnant friend used it on her belly. I also plan on making this and giving it away as Christmas presents. It’s just good stuff!


Carolyn Blount Brodersen November 27, 2012 at 5:14 pm

I LOVE this shea body butter recipe! I looked around and found only tricky and scary recipes. Yours unraveled the secret–the partial hardening before whipping secret! Voila! Now it’s an easy process. I am all about those insanely brilliant short-cuts. Thank you for sharing! Hugs!


Nikki November 28, 2012 at 10:22 am

Can not wait to try this! I am also from MN, wondering where you can purchase cute jars for storing the lotion?


Sarah Weary November 29, 2012 at 11:29 pm

Hello! I have yet to try this recipe. I was wondering if you knew about how many cups came in the Raw Shea Butter you purchased? It would help a lot, thank you!


Erin November 30, 2012 at 12:47 am

Will this really not work if you use a hand mixer versus a stand mixer? I wish I had a stand mixer…..but I don’t and still want to take the plunge and make this! Anybody have any feedback?


Emma December 1, 2012 at 7:08 am

Very excited, have just made my very first batch – success, and they look wonderful in the little glass jars that I picked up in my local town. Managed to chill very quickly, as weather here well below zero! Great Christmas gifts – thanks so much for the lovely easy recipe!


Duddelmaus December 3, 2012 at 1:05 pm

I have just made this and it is gorgeous!
I used a hand held whisk and it worked fine! You just have to be a bit patient, it takes quite a bit of whisking until you reach the right consistency. At first it will look like it never comes together but it will in the end.
I doubled the volumes given above and got ~700-750 ml. i also whipped it all in one go and it worked well.
I can’t wait to give these away for christmas, thank you so much for sharing the recipe!


Nicole December 3, 2012 at 5:03 pm

Hello – after many searches for a decent, foolproof butter/lotion, I made this recipe and yes, officially, I am in love!!! Thanks so very much for sharing!! I used grapeseed oil in my recipe since that is what I had on hand!


Rochelle December 4, 2012 at 6:38 pm

Hi Im in Minnesota and was curious to know if you sell your homemade body butter and if so where and how can i purchase a jar


Rochelle December 4, 2012 at 6:42 pm

I live in Minnesota and as you know the winters can be so rough on our skin and to me I love my skin soft so i was curious to know if you sell your homemade body butter and if so where and how could go about purchasing a jar or two???


Susan December 4, 2012 at 8:24 pm

Sorry, Rochelle, I no longer live in Minnesota and I do not sell anything that I create recipes for. Cheers!


Susan Gray December 4, 2012 at 7:06 pm

Can I use grapeseed oil instead of almond oil? Also, I wanted to add a fragrance. Can I add a skin-safe fragrance oil that I use for my soap? How much do I add? Thanks


Ann December 4, 2012 at 11:30 pm

Thank you so much for this recipe. I will try my first batch this weekend. I use Mountain Rose Herbs for all of my “organic” oils, butters, scents, etc… They also carry a wide variety of jars and containers. I get chapstick tubes there as well and make my own chapstick.


Matt December 5, 2012 at 8:04 am

Just made this last night. Used a hand whisk, which worked great, and literally whipped it up in 1 minute! The secret is to freeze the oils to just the right hardness, which happens in 5-15 minutes. I had to remelt the small leftover bit that was like wax. Used 1 part Jojoba, 1 part Coconut, and 2 parts Shea


Laurel December 5, 2012 at 11:08 pm

Works fine with a hand mixer. Done it twice.


Amanda December 6, 2012 at 10:00 am

Did anyone else have a problem with the smell of their shea butter? I bought organic raw shea butter on amazon, and I am really not a fan of the smell. It is kind of a super sweet, musty smell, and very strong. I put like 30 drops of Jasmine EO in my butter, and all I can smell is the shea. I love the butter other than that, though I think I over-mixed it a little. Mine came out super fluffy and full of bubbles! Today I’m going to try a half batch with lavender EO (maybe the stronger oil will mask the shea smell), and less mixing. Thanks for the recipe!


Shelly December 7, 2012 at 9:52 am

If you’ve already mixed this up, but decide to add essential oils after…Can I add smelly stuff and remix?


Susan December 7, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Remixing is a little tough. It can not set-up properly.


Donna December 7, 2012 at 10:26 am

Does it have to be melted in a double boiler? What if you just heated it on low? Anyone tried this?


Donna December 7, 2012 at 3:36 pm

I made this once and it was great but my Shea butter also smelled a little rancid. I had to put in a lot of lavender oil to finally mask that smell. I also think its kind of greasy on the skin and I’m going to try it with less almond oil.


Susan December 7, 2012 at 3:46 pm

You want to be careful to keep the ratios for the oils the same for it to work. It does go on a little oily but it absorbs quickly and leaves your skin feeling wonderful.


Courtney December 7, 2012 at 11:23 pm

Thank you so much for your post! I had gotten this recipe from a friend and couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t whipping like it should. I almost threw it away, but I got on the Internet and found your page. I did what you suggested and put my batch in the freezer for 20 minutes and it whipped terrific! Thank you so very much now my mom has a wonderful jar of body butter for Christmas! Thank you!


Debra Andersohn December 10, 2012 at 12:11 am

I used cocoa butter instead of the coconut oil because I didn’t have any and it came out amazing!
Beautiful either way. Giving as Christmas gifts.


Amanda P December 10, 2012 at 6:09 pm

Any suggestions for hand whipping? I don’t have a mixer.


Lauren Brown December 11, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Can you share where you purchase your glass jars w/lids for this?


Susan December 11, 2012 at 4:15 pm

I just use jam jars. You can collect them or buy canning jars. Cheers!


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