Ever wondered how to write a recipe for your food blog?
The Foodies100Foodies100 community is home to UK food bloggers of all experience levels. Some of you may be just starting out while others have years of experience.
But even the most seasoned blogger amongst us occasionally skips a step in a recipe, or forgets an ingredient from the ingredient list.
So today we’re sharing a template showing how to write a recipe blog post, from start to end. Hopefully it will help you to create more consistent, readable recipes on your food blog.
Step 1: The Basics of an Online Recipe
At the top of your recipe you’ll need to include some basic information about your recipe. This will include the title, servings, prep/cooking time, and equipment list.
When creating a recipe title, name them according to the main ingredients, the cooking process or a commonly known name. So for example, if a recipe’s biggest ingredient is chicken, you might call the recipe Chicken Sesame Stir Fry or Baked Chicken Salad.
Next, specify the number of servings your recipe will make, followed by the prep time and total time. So if a recipe takes 20 minutes to prepare and 30 minutes to cook, you would specify a 20 minute prep time and 50 minute total time.
Step 2: The Equipment List
It’s useful to know general tools that will be needed to make a recipe, especially if there’s something specific that not everyone will own. Examples might include measuring spoons, a specific size/shape baking pan or sheet, or a particular knife or blending tool.
Step 3: Ingredients
There are some general rules to bear in mind when writing a recipe and listing ingredients. Typically you would list ingredients in the order they are used. If several ingredients are to be used at the same time, list the biggest quantity ingredient first. For example, “200g flour, 100g caster sugar and a pinch of baking powder”.
One note that will help your readers is this. If an ingredient requires advance preparation be sure to mention this. For example, “1/2 pint milk, chilled” or “1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped”.
Help readers to understand how to cut items, if needed. Rather than simply requiring chopped carrots, consider whether the item is to be sliced, diced, finely grated or something else!
If an ingredient is commonly found in multiple forms, be specific – is the item to be raw, frozen, defrosted, canned, dried? Should herbs be dried or fresh?
Don’t use brand names when describing ingredients outside of sponsored content. Be as generic as possible.
Step 4: How to Write Recipe Directions
Your directions should take readers step-by-step through creating a recipe, telling them what ingredients to use, in what order, how to cook and even how to serve the food.
Each recipe instruction should be bullet pointed and should be listed in the order it is to be done. So if something needs to be done before the cooking starts (pre-heating an oven or boiling water, for example) then this should be the first instruction listed.
Be consistent when using temperatures. In the UK most recipes will use both degrees Celsius and a “gas mark” when describing cooking temperatures. You can also add Fahrenheit temperatures for international readers if you like.
Use standard terms to describe processes like simmer, boil, whisk, beat and fold.
When writing an instruction, the convention is to order the instruction as equipment/technique/ingredient. Structuring a recipe this way will feel familiar to readers, helping them be more confident in your recipe.
This means a sentence like, “In a medium saucepan over a low-heat, mix together the butter and flour,” or, “lower the temperature, and add the onions until they brown,” should work well.
Step 5: Other Tips for Recipe Writing
If your recipe was created by someone other than yourself, or you’ve adapted another recipe, it’s essential to credit the original source. It’s also important to note that you have permission to use a recipe!
If a recipe has stages, list the directions separately. So for a cake you might have one section “for the cake” and another “for the topping”.
Give helpful tips where you think something might go wrong. For example, mention what a cook might do if the sauce doesn’t come together as expected, or if the cream should not be over-whipped.
Where possible, tell cooks what the final product should look like. Your recipe might say, “The result should be golden brown and dry to the touch”.
Consider whether a recipe or some stages can be prepared in advance and refrigerated or frozen.
Offer guidance on how to serve your recipe, particularly if it should be served immediately, allowed to cool, or can be kept for several days.
Always print out your recipe before publishing it, and cook your recipe again. It’s so easy to accidentally leave out a step in your recipe, simply because you are so familiar. Only after testing it several times should you finalise and publish a recipe.
So there you have it – a guide to food bloggers on how to write a recipe. We’d love to hear your recipe writing tips in the comments! Are you a UK food blogger? Join our community here!