Giving Out Recipes - Do You Do It? How Do You Not?

Decorating By countrycaker Updated 19 Oct 2011 , 7:24am by platinumlady

countrycaker Posted 19 Oct 2011 , 4:59am
post #1 of 6

Here's the setup: My husband's law partner called and asked for my chocolate cake recipe. I don't think she had ever tried my cakes, she just heard my husband saying my chocolate cake was to die for. So she was making her daughter a birthday cake and wanted to give it a shot. I figured she wasn't competition or anything and it was just for her family so - no big deal - I gave her the recipe. The next day my husband goes to work and there she is surrounded by all the other ladies (there are 5 others) in the office telling them about this most delicious cake she'd just made and she then proceeded to give the recipe to all of them. My husband was disgusted and angry and told her so. She responded with "People buy your wife's cakes because of the way they look, not because of the way they taste." I guess she thought that was a compliment icon_confused.gif

Anyway, I guess I don't know what I was thinking giving out the recipe in the first place since I have no control over what happens to it or where it goes once I give it out. I don't know why I figured it would just go to the person I gave it to and stop there. Lesson learned. So the question is, do the rest of you give out your recipes? And if you don't, how do you politely turn someone down when they ask for one? Am I just being selfish about this?

5 replies
Lovelyladylibra Posted 19 Oct 2011 , 5:20am
post #2 of 6

Some recipes i give... others like the ones you spend years searching for I dont Tell them its your secret recipe or such. if they dont like it then oh well.

DragonFly2333 Posted 19 Oct 2011 , 5:21am
post #3 of 6

If you are in the cake business to make a profit then NO you don't have to give it out and NO you don't have to feel guilty for not giving it out.

We dealt with something similar recently. To make a LONG story short, someone wanted a neighbor's recipe for cc cookies and the neighbor said no. (the drama was that the askee wouldn't take NO as an answer, we're talking months of asking here).

Of course some people thought it was ridiculous that the neighbor didn't give out her recipe and others respected her choice.

I really didn't care either way, but I do feel that any given recipe will come out differently with different bakers. Different products, oven, pans...etc. How many of us can really make Grandma's X recipe or Aunt Kathy's Y recipe JUST like they do???? Not me!

So just b/c your recipe is floating around out there, I bet it's just not the same final product as yoursicon_smile.gif

scp1127 Posted 19 Oct 2011 , 5:33am
post #4 of 6

country, I share my recipes if I think that the person can bake them successfully. For others, I tell them that my method is the reason for the success, which is true. I bake from scratch and more difficult recipes are the ones I enjoy baking. I always have a recipe to offer that is easy, tastes great, and will be a success for a novice baker. This has worked for me.

But... I think that the alternate recipe is the best method in general. For those of you who use doctored mixes, giving away your recipe could wind up with a competitor. Your particular additions are a puzzle until it gets out. If it's a core recipe that is a favorite in your market, that would be bad for your business. Scratch or doctored, we all have the recipe we used just before we tweaked it to perfection. A version of that is probably still pretty good. Just make sure it is similar. In this scenario of the OP, everyone wins. You didn't give away your recipe. The other baker can have the spotlight. She knows what she did and you letting her get the glory may cause her to refer to you later. You kept her secret.

In this new era of marketing, goodwill is climbing the list to the top. If you can make someone happy, even a person who is not a customer, the chances of someone saying something nice about your business are good.

I don't mind sharing my recipes, even the ones I really worked on. I have offered any of the recipes on my site to CC members. In my business, I am not concerned about them getting out. Sharing the recipes has been a core part of my marketing plan since the inception of my business plan. But this policy isn't for everyone.

The thing to avoid is the awkward situation where you come off as rude or uncooperative for not sharing, even if you just politely said that you couldn't share core recipes. Some people will just take it wrong.

myslady Posted 19 Oct 2011 , 5:56am
post #5 of 6

If you are running a business or planning to eventually go into business I wouldn't share any recipes you use in your business.

platinumlady Posted 19 Oct 2011 , 7:24am
post #6 of 6

For me it depends on the recipe. If it's a recipe that was passed down the family's a no go. Go with your gut feeling

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