My Recipe Development Tips and Improvement!!!

It’s been a while!! It’s the middle of spring break for me, but life has been so crazy that I haven’t had time to post anything until now. Today I wanted to talk about how I develop my recipes, and also how I remade the recipe that I developed in spring 2021 a few weeks ago and how that went! Back in 2021 I was such a beginner and I made lots of mistakes, but now I know a lot more about everything related to recipe devolopment, like photos and promotion. So, if you’ve ever wanted to know how I/most people make their own recipes, or want to try yourself, I hope that this will be helpful!

Photo gallery of almost all the recipes I’ve developed, go check out the recipe category to find them all <3

First of all, ideas. I get ideas for the recipes/flavors I’m going to use everywhere. But, the way that I decided on a Strawberry Lemonade Bundt Cake last year was actually very different than what I do now. Since it was a spring recipe I knew I wanted to do something that had spring flavors, but I didn’t actually have any ideas, so I decided to brainstorm by making a list of spring flavors and then a list of certain types of bakes. For flavors I had lemon, lavender, key lime, strawberry, raspberry, and lemon lime, and I put lemon and strawberry together because strawberry lemonade is SO good. Then for types of bake I had shortcake, cheesecake, cream pie, cake, and bundt cake! That system worked really well for me because I think that that flavor combo is one of my best. But, I actually haven’t done that with any of my other recipes, those ideas usually come from family recipes or classics that I want to make vegan, or a small flavor idea in my head that I change until I’m happy with it, or even my friends and family helping me out! Also, sometimes ideas just kind of come to me. They are usually somehow based off of something someone has already done, but I think that that is definitely a good way to get inspration for your own things.

When it comes to actually developing the recipe, there are 2 things that I always do. 1: Always have a guide recipe!! I don’t ever want to completely copy someone else’s recipe, but since baking is a science and I’m a teen baker who knows barely anything about that science, the proportions of everything have to be based off of something. I usually use recipes by cookbooks we have lying around, or the internet, and usually Chloe Coscarelli (my vegan baking idol) to base the amounts of flour and sugar and baking powder/soda and all that in whatever type of bake I’m making. I definitely tweak the things as I go though, usually adding less sugar, the amounts of things that I want in it, and original flavors. And that leads us into 2: Test your recipe multiple times!!!!! After writing down a first draft of my recipe, I make it exactly how I wrote it and then see what I can change. Usually I have one test where I do something like refrigerate instead of freeze my dough, and decide what goes better.

But. When I made my recipe back in spring 2021, I only tested it once. I KNOW. I can hear you gasping through the screen!! I was so inexperienced, since this was only like the second cake recipe I’d made, and it was technically my first because I already had the recipe for Wacky Cake from my parents. I underbaked it and just changed the oven time in the official recipe because I was developing it the day before spring started. So yeah. When I decided to remake this recipe I was a little worried that the recipe I had up on my website for a whole year wasn’t even that good because I barely knew what I was doing. The good thing was that baking it went very smoothly (still, don’t do what I did) and the cake was delicious. The problem now was the photo.

I love to make recipes, and I know when my recipes are high quality and delicious because I get to eat them, but it’s hard to get across to everyone else that my recipes will give you excatly what you want to make. So the photos of what you are making have to be good! I get why not very many people want to make the recipes I develop, because they are on some 14 year old’s blog who’s photos look…eh. Obviously I’ve come a very long way from last year, see below, because I took a photo of the whole cake, the icing was visible, (way to watery in 2021) the cake wasn’t underbaked, and I don’t cover up the cake/keep it from falling with a strawberry and flower. I’m defintely going to remake this cake every year and keep working on my food photography, because theres always room for improvement! 🙂

Lastly, I want to get better at promoting my recipes on Pinterest and Instagram, but this is probably the biggest part of recipe development that I need to improve on. I’d love it if you shared my blog with your friends, because I know that vegan baking is supposed to be sooo hard but it really isn’t, and my bakes are all very indulgent, and I’d love to have more people try the things I put so much love into. Thank you for reading, I hope you learned something about developing recipes as a small baking blogger!

See you next time!!!!!

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Alanna

    I loved reading your tips! And I am impressed with the progress you’ve made in the past year. The 2021 version of the bundt cake is pretty, but the 2022 version is WOW! I want a slice right now plz 😉 It’s so great to have this log of your baking growth and I can’t wait to see how it continues to evolve!

    1. Cora Lee

      Aww thank you so much! You are too sweet <333

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