_AngelBerry_ Posted 23 Jul 2012 , 4:44am

Hi Everyone,

A friend and I were talking yesterday, we are both in the early stages of setting up home based cake businesses. She mentioned to me that a friend of hers asked for her Red Velvet recipe and that she didn't know how to deal with that.

Have any of you experienced the same thing? and how did you deal with it, particularly if you didn't want to give the recipe out?

Any advice would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Angela.

35 replies
jgifford Posted 23 Jul 2012 , 4:50am

I've spent years developing some of my recipes. And since every baker bakes differently, what works for me might not work the same way for someone else. For those reasons, I prefer not to share my recipes. If she's a true friend, she'll understand and not press the issue. If she's not, she doesn't need my recipes anyway.

jason_kraft Posted 23 Jul 2012 , 4:57am

I direct people to publicly available recipes (online or in recipe books), letting them know that while I can't give out our proprietary recipes, the publicly available recipe should work.

Addictive_desserts Posted 23 Jul 2012 , 5:38am

I agree with Jason. I tell them the name of the cake and tell them to google it!

CWR41 Posted 23 Jul 2012 , 7:06am
MimiFix Posted 23 Jul 2012 , 11:12am

This is a question that always comes up when I teach how to start a home-based food business. I tell my students to Never Never Never give out their recipes, This is how they make money. Some requesters understand but others can get a little testy. My suggestion is to answer in the affirmative. "Yes, when I am no longer in business I can give you the recipe." Or, "Thank you so much. I'm glad you like my recipe. When I stop making that item I will give you a copy."

Valkstar Posted 23 Jul 2012 , 11:45am

I just laugh and say "if I told you that I'd have to kill you" icon_twisted.gif

MJbakes Posted 23 Jul 2012 , 11:58am

I don't, the majority of my recipes come from my grandmother and my great grandmother. When I decided to open a small home bakery (just like my grandmother but she does dainties, and cookies) she told I could use her recipes as long as a certain percentage of each cake went into a savings account for my kids icon_smile.gif It's worked out really well actually. And I love my Gma!

BakingIrene Posted 23 Jul 2012 , 1:01pm

I NEVER share recipes, only references to cookbooks.

And after I loaned my most expensive cake book, it never came home...so I do not lend books any longer. Tell people to search for them on abebooks.com the prices are very reasonable (that's where I get many books).

cheeseball Posted 23 Jul 2012 , 4:32pm

I quit sharing recipes when I realized that a lot of people don't follow them anyway - you see it all the time on some baking/cooking sites. It's funny to read comments that say, "Instead of ABC, I did XYZ and this was the worst recipe ever!"
icon_rolleyes.gif

TheItalianBaker Posted 23 Jul 2012 , 4:43pm

I only share few recipes that can be found easly online too.
If is a friend I usually I say -Sorry I dont give out my recipes, but u can check this website out, it's really good"; If is a stranger I just ignore the request.

Claire138 Posted 23 Jul 2012 , 5:18pm

I have learnt the hard way not to give out recipe's, something I used to have no problem with. In my experience, that unless someone is actually standing in your kitchen and miming every movement the cake will not turn out the same even though you have given them the recipe. This is due to different brands, cake pans, measuring cups, oven temperatures and timing. I used to give out recipe's no problem but after being accused more than once of specially leaving out some ingredients when the cake doesn't turn out identical I have hardened my heart (something I find hard to do bc it's not my nature) and now just say that bc it's business I can't/won't give out recipes. Most people understand this but you have the odd one who won't. I had a very good friend who has taken umbrage to this and is always asking me how to do this that and the other and when I deflect her questions she gets all offended and goes into a speech on how she is not going into competition with me etc etc and I somehow always end up telling her what she wants to know. Long story short, I have a much cooler relationship with her now bc of this; I feel if she was a good enough friend she wouldn't push it when I tell her (nicely, too nicely) no & then I wouldn't give in to her, tell her and then be furious with myself so I have found the easiest way to deal with the problem is to have a lot less contact with her which pains me.

ButRCream Posted 23 Jul 2012 , 5:36pm

That's a completely personal decision - if you want to and feel no hesitation, go for it! If you have really worked hard on your recipes and don't want to share, don't - especially if they're family recipes or ones you've come up with yourself through hard work - but after you've made your stance, DON'T WORRY ABOUT WHAT THE OTHERS WILL THINK! (Granted that can be the hardest part lol!) ;o) Don't let others pressure you into doing something you just don't want to!

Monkess Posted 23 Jul 2012 , 5:39pm

I think it would be common sense, but sadly alot of people don't have it. Do you walk into McDonalds and say I love your xxxxx can you share the recipie? I tell my students to be upfront and let their customers know that they paid alot of money to train themselves and effort to perfect their recipies and as a business policy, they do not give them out- to be fair to all customers.

Annso Posted 23 Jul 2012 , 5:49pm

There's nothing wrong in sharing recipes, we do it all the time on CC. But when ur in buisness you have to be wise..giving out the recipe for your most requested cake to someone in your area that has an interst in getting into the cake buisness is like giving out your bank account number.

MimiFix Posted 23 Jul 2012 , 5:53pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annso

...giving out the recipe for your most requested cake ... is like giving out your bank account number.




Exactly. Good point, Annso.

idgalpal Posted 23 Jul 2012 , 6:06pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheeseball

I quit sharing recipes when I realized that a lot of people don't follow them anyway - you see it all the time on some baking/cooking sites. It's funny to read comments that say, "Instead of ABC, I did XYZ and this was the worst recipe ever!"
icon_rolleyes.gif




Exactly!
I dont share my recipes, but refer people to the web instead.
But, Cheeseball is SO right! I've had people ask me for a recipe when they smell my reheated lunch icon_eek.gif - and then say things like " I don't like onion, can I substitute celery? or I don't like green chilis can I substitute bell pepper" At that point I usually say - well, you can sunstitute whatever you want but then it's your recipe and please don't say you got it from me!
Really? Just because something is also green, you think it's a good substitute?

dynee Posted 23 Jul 2012 , 6:13pm

I am strictly a hobby baker and if I had a business, it might be completely different. I have all the recipes i use in my computer so it is easy to send them in an attachment so I often share my recipes. My recipes are often a comglomeration of several recipes and I make personal notes in them so they can look quite complicated. Even something quite simple like a Swiss Meringue Buttercream seems too hard for a non-baker. Any time I have shared recipes to friends, they will tell me.."this is WAY too complicated".

jones5cm Posted 23 Jul 2012 , 6:20pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by dynee

I am strictly a hobby baker and if I had a business, it might be completely different. I have all the recipes i use in my computer so it is easy to send them in an attachment so I often share my recipes. My recipes are often a comglomeration of several recipes and I make personal notes in them so they can look quite complicated. Even something quite simple like a Swiss Meringue Buttercream seems too hard for a non-baker. Any time I have shared recipes to friends, they will tell me.."this is WAY too complicated".




DITTO!!
and then they tell you 'it just wasn't as good as when you made it'...duh!

Sassyzan Posted 24 Jul 2012 , 4:23am

I don't have a problem sharing my recipes. Theirs won't turn out just like mine, let alone be decorated the same. If people are buying a cake from me, it's because they know I will do the best job and they can't or don't want to do it themselves. Not because they just haven't found a good enough recipe yet.

rosech Posted 24 Jul 2012 , 12:01pm

I give people a popular recipe which they already know about. I tell them that I will not tell them my tweaks to recipes. Just like that.

CindiM Posted 24 Jul 2012 , 1:03pm

If you want to give your recipes to others, go ahead.

If you don't want to do something, just say No!

When people ask how did you make that key lime cake taste so good? I tell them it was magic! I feel like my business, is just that, it's "my business".

akaivyleaf Posted 24 Jul 2012 , 1:50pm

I'm strange. I tell my recipe's. If someone has the nerve to ask, I've the nerve to answer a direct question. To get my recipe to taste like my completed cake is where the cost is involved and I've not had friend or foe take me up on my offer to spend the money to bake in my kitchen with me.

There is art, creativity and technical skill required to make a recipe into a cake worthy of serving to someone else.

costumeczar Posted 25 Jul 2012 , 12:49am

There are a few people I'd give recipes to, but those are few and far between. There's a reason that you write "trade secret" on them when you turn them in to the health department!

jgifford Posted 25 Jul 2012 , 2:42am

At one Sunday dinner when I was in high school, my dad told my mom that my cherry pies were better than hers. Imagine! It was the same recipe my mom had used for years. No two people are going to bake the same. Ever.

scp1127 Posted 25 Jul 2012 , 5:04am

For me it's the same... goodwill. I give them just ike I give them to CC members. One single recipe will not make another business successful if it happens to fall into a competitors' hands.

Like I posted recently, I can't say enough about goodwill and just how far-reaching it can be in expanding your business.

In my case, it is customers and I freely share. At some point I plan on posting them on my website. I am confident in my skills and my ingredients which take recipes to a higher level. But I do tell people that they may not get the exact cake due to method, but the cake will still be good.

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