After years of wondering if she should do so, she wrote her first cookbook, based on family recipes. Included was her grandmother’s spice cake, invented for her mother’s wedding cake, put into print for the world to share. It was the cake the author baked and took with her to book signings, the recipe that always worked.
And now that cake recipe is available online in a blog, published pretty much verbatim, except for the icing.
Close to 100 people have commented. They praise the cake, saying it is a perfect dessert, how one was planning to make a different cake and now would have to make this instead, how one wanted this cake for her wedding cake now. They praise its name. They say it looks amazing and awesome and yummy.
The commenters also praise the blogger for making the process look easy and accessible, how the cake looked awesome in the photo, and for her tip about using PAM spray.
The blogger wrote her post in the conventional manner. It began with a money shot of the dark cake with white icing (not the shot above), followed by several step-by-step photos a la Pioneer Woman. The blogger mentioned the cookbook by name — twice — and linked to it on Amazon. She wrote that recipe was “inspired by” the original.
When I asked the author if the post bothered her, she said, “I just think it’s funny…Lots of praise for the writer of the blog.” She noted that the blogger did not have to ask the publisher for permission because she wrote that the recipe was “inspired by.” I compared it to the original recipe and found the blogger made these changes: she used pumpkin pie spice instead of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg; she reduced the vanilla to 1 teaspoon from 2; and she changed the icing. It’s still basically the same cake.
Is it odd that commenters praise the blogger as the maker of the cake, not the author of the recipe? Or is that just how food blogging works? Can you see how it might be disconcerting from the author’s perspective?
Photo courtesy Flickr Creative Commons