Can I use a published recipe to sell cakes?

by Bellame Richardson
(Portland, OR)

Thank you for your website. I am a stay at home mom who wants to perfect my passion for baking without attending culinary school. I hope to sell goodies to friends and local small businesses; but what I really want to know is what is the official baker's principle concerning using another baker's published (not stolen or secret) recipes? Is it proper etiquet to give the recipe creator credit upon sale or do I need to change the original recipe some?

For Example: I use your published cake and filling recipe and sell a dozen cakes to a local coffee house. Do I owe you royalties? Should I feature your website in my menu? Or did you take risk that others might profit from your personal recipe development? (These questions also apply to my other favorite recipe creators)

Thank you for an answer. I'm eager to know...

Sincerely,
Bell Richardson

From the editor:

Hi Bell,

That's an interesting question. I can't answer it from a legal perspective, since I'm not a lawyer, but here's what I would do:

All bakers have to get their recipes from somewhere. They are either adapted a little or a lot from already published recipes. If you're not attempting to use them to publish a cookbook, for example, but selling the cakes you bake using those recipes, I think it's fine.

Of course, if someone asks you for the recipe or where you get your ideas etc. I would love a referral to the website but it's always up to you.

I hope that helps.

Regards,

Michelle (editor)

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