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Professional Baker Balks After Cousin Accuses Them Of ‘Selling Out’ For Using Their Grandma’s Secret Recipe

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Everybody is a critic these days.  People watch a cooking show once and think they are qualified to criticize the taste of food, or else how the food was made.

It simply is not true.

Professionals are the only people who are fully qualified to make such assessments.

Redditor grandmascakes found themselves at the mercy of their cousin’s criticisms and opinions after using an old family recipe to sell some cakes.  They sharply rebuked their cousin, who then got angry with them.

Unsure if they’d done something wrong, they want to the popular subReddit “Am I The A**hole?” or “AITA” for feedback from objective strangers.

They asked:

“AITA for ‘selling out’ on my Grandma’s secret recipe?”

Our original poster, or OP, talked about how incredible their grandmother’s baking was.

“My Grandma was a wonderful baker, and had a secret cake recipe that she had created herself. It used some very uncommon spice combinations in the cake and frosting that produced a very unique but delicious cake.”

“She would always make it for our big family gatherings, and it was always the most popular dessert.”

“When she got sick a couple years ago, she decided to share the recipe so that it wouldn’t die with her, and offered to give it to any of her kids or grandkids who wanted it.”

“I was the only one who asked for it before she died. I don’t know why no one else did, as there were several other bakers in the family.”

Now that OP has taken over the cakes, word has spread to outside his family.

“After she passed, I took over bringing the cake to family gatherings, and everyone was happy to still be able to enjoy it.”

“I also started making cakes for friends & family, and then for others by word of mouth to make some extra cash on the side.”

“My business was really starting to pick up around the time the pandemic hit, as people who’d had my cakes recommended me to their own friends and family.”

“It soon became too much to keep up with in my tiny home kitchen, so I reached out to a friend who had a catering business with a professional kitchen.”

“Since her business took a big hit with covid, I made a deal to use her kitchen to make my cakes and help supplement the takeout business she started to get by.”

A cousin of OP’s decided to try and get in his way.

“My cousin, ‘Jane’ recently found out that Grandma’s recipe was one of my best sellers, and said that I had no right to sell out Grandma’s recipe, especially after keeping it all to myself.”

“She had asked for it late last year, but I said no. I told her that she had the chance to get it from Grandma before she died, and didn’t seem to care enough to bother then.”

“Since Jane had lost her job she had decided to try selling cakes too, which I think is why she had asked for the recipe.”

“Unfortunately for her, it’s not going well. The reviews on her cakes have not been good, and no one has been recommending her.”

“Jane said that the only reason my business was doing well because of Grandma’s cake (which she wanted to sell too?!?) and my access to a professional kitchen.”

“The kitchen does help with being able to work on multiple orders at once, but my business is doing well because I actually make good cakes!”

Jane is not great at making cakes to sell and is now demanding revenue shares.

“Jane is a good cook, but NOT a good baker. She doesn’t follow measurements properly, and instead does everything ‘to taste,’ which works for cooking, but not baking.”

“Using too much or too little of any ingredients like flour, eggs or butter, or even their starting temperature will not give you the result you want.”

“Jane is demanding that I either stop selling Grandma’s cake, or teach her the recipe so she can too.”

“I refused, and said she was a hypocrite for wanting to sell the cake herself after getting angry at me for doing so.”

“When she gave me the recipe, Grandma said that her biggest regret was never opening a bakery like she had dreamed (my ultimate dream now too!).”

“I think she’d love so many people enjoying her cake! AITA?”

Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

Everyone agreed that cousin “Jane” is stepping over the line.

“NTA. She wants to do what you are doing and you are right, she had the chance to get the recipe herself but she obviously didn’t care to.”

“She doesn’t care that it was ‘Grandma’s recipe’ she just cares that now she can profit off of it.”

“‘If I can’t be successful neither can you’ is what she is saying because she says your only really successful because of the recipe and if she can’t use the recipe too then she wants YOU to stop using it (the very thing she says is making you successful).”

“You don’t owe her the recipe. If it had meant anything to her she would have asked for it back then.”

“You and your grandma both shared a love of baking and were the only one to inquire about the recipe so it’s now yours to pass onto whoever you wish.”

“Also baking by taste? How tf does she do that with the batter that has raw eggs and stuff and making sure nothings off too much for it to rise or react like it’s supposed too?”

“I bet even if you give her the recipe she probably would do the same to it to try and ‘one up’ you.”-TheoryAddict

“NTA. The people saying ESH and that you should share the recipe for the sake of family harmony are giving you bad advice. Guard that recipe with your life.”

“You’ve created a viable, growing business and who knows how far you can take it. You could become the next Hostess or Little Debbie. Anything is possible.”

“All thanks to Grandma’s Secret Family Recipe (a great marketing gimmick). If you share the recipe with your cousin she could sabotage your success by spreading the recipe around.”

“Sometimes you gotta be ruthless. When you build a multi-million dollar business, the rest of the family will take your side in any dispute with your cousin.”

“She had her chance and she blew it. That’s not your problem or responsibility. I wish you the best of luck!”-marv_alberts_hair

“Nta. Grandma offered, no takers but you. Her last word has spoken! Keep that secret and honor grandma. If you get the chance, hope you name it after her.”

“Edit to add: she left you intellectual property. It’s yours now.”

“If she had an odd collection of disturbing tea cups and said hey who wants these and you were the only taker and later said teacups were worth money I wouldn’t expect you to share them with the others who declined the disturbing teacups.”-proof-plum

“NTA – for starters, there’s nothing wrong with baking and selling cakes, regardless of the recipe. If she thinks no other bakery has its secret recipes then she’s kidding herself.”

“Secondly, she is a hypocrite. She wasn’t interested in the recipe until she realised that she could use it to make money. She’s just upset and projecting her own issues because you beat her to the punch.”-TooTall2Function

People were calling out cousin “Jane” and her hypocrisy for not seeming interested in the recipe until it meant money.

“Eh i would say NTA.”

“Jane only wants the recipe now cause you are selling it and its selling well she wants to try her hand at it.”

“I would keep it to myself tbh cause she could be the type to post the recipe somewhere to spite you.”-Acquta

“NTA. Everyone in the family had the chance to get the recipe from grandma before she passed and you’re the only one that bothered.”

“You’re under no obligation to hand it out to everyone that didn’t get it from grandma. Further, your cousin needs to learn that cooking and baking are two very different skills.”

“Even if you did give her the recipe, I doubt she could replicate it based on your description of her baking.”-RoboClaus

“NTA. Everyone in your family was offered your grandma’s cake recipe and you were the only one who took her up on her offer.”

“You are now selling it successfully and cousin Jane now wants the recipe because her cake business is not successful.”

“(I was dumbfounded at your description of how she bakes cakes. It’s insane!) She isn’t doing it to keep grandma’s memory alive and honor her. She wants to profit the way you are.”

“You don’t have to share but I hope you have that recipe locked away where she can’t get to it.”-No_Proposal7628

“NTA. You didn’t sell out Grandma’s recipe by making her cake for others, and if Jane had wanted to make the recipe for family reasons, she could have asked grandma then.”

“It’s pretty clear she wants to profit like you are, not that she wants this as a way to remember her. You got the recipe and made the cake BEFORE the business took off, which is very different.”

“I’m like you, a better baker than a cook, because I’m obsessive about proportions. My mom is the total opposite and we tend to frustrate each other in the kitchen due to our approaches.”

“If I help her cook, she’ll wonder why I don’t add things for taste and if she helps me bake, I have to convince her we can’t add much in the way of things other than mix ins like chocolate chips or something very minor.”

“Neither of us is bad at the other, but there’s a definite approach to how you handle making certain foods, as you are finding with Jane!”-notalltemplars

And the recipe remains a secret with OP.

“NTA at all. If I had a family recipe handed down to me like that and no one else in the family asked when they had the chance I wouldn’t share it at all.”

“I LOVE to bake, pretty much the family baker, and you cannot bake by taste at all. Maybe if you’re adding in a little flavoring but that is the number 1 thing you always hear on cooking shows, when baking you follow the recipe and the measurements.”

“I wish I lived by you so I could try this cake out! It sounds like maybe a spice type cake and those are my favorites.”-AvsFan1737

“NTA. You’re right, your cousin is a huge hypocrite. She had the opportunity to get the recipe from your grandmother, but didn’t bother and her complaining is just sour grapes.”

“As you know, baking is chemistry, so the ingredients must be properly measured/weighed in order to get desired, consistent results.”

“Your cousin has bigger problems than you not sharing a recipe. You have done nothing wrong here.”-Consistent-Leopard71

“NTA, she is a crappy baker, because if she was even halfway decent her baking endeavors would have been successful even without that recipe.”

“Would not surprise me a bit if her actual plan is to sell the recipe for some quick cash and not just cakes.”

“Make sure she doesn’t have access to your recipe or to facilities to install a camera somewhere to copy the recipe while you are baking. Keep it locked and hidden. lol.”-coffeeismymedicine11

“NTA. I have my grandma’s recipes. One in particular, her Daughter-In-Law called me for. They lived with my grandma for over 20 years and never once baked it, never once wrote it down, never once showed any interest in it.”

“I used to bake with my grandma. I was promised a lot of cool kitchen tools when she passed. Instead, her son and DIL pawned anything of value within days of her death, which they were responsible for.”

“Hell f**king no, I won’t share a damn thing with them. They had their chance. Now, I’m also petty because I told her I don’t have the recipe with the sole intention of bringing it to the next family event they show up to.”

“Keep your recipe, make your money and someday, open a storefront to sell your awesome baked goods!”

“Grandma is smiling at you and wishing you the best. Cousin is just upset that she is broke and untalented.”-TheLadyClarabelle

Recipes are just as valuable as some jewels, or money, or any other thing you can inherit from a relative.

It would do us all well to be a bit more thankful for our relatives’ cooking and learn as much as we can about while we have the chance.









Written by Mike Walsh

Mike is a writer, dancer, actor, and singer who recently graduated with his MFA from Columbia University. Mike's daily ambitions are to meet new dogs and make new puns on a daily basis. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @mikerowavables.