How to Make the Perfect Family Cookbook

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Passing down recipes from one generation to the next is a time-honored tradition that helps to keep culture alive. However, the same old form of index cards with handwritten recipes in a small box isn’t the best way to store and pass down family recipes. Handwritten recipes can be difficult to decipher, especially when the writing or paper can become worn over time.

Whether you’re looking to restore recipe cards from a previous generation or looking to make your very own cookbook, there are some great tips for creating the perfect family cookbook. This can be a way to add your own recipes and modernize the cookbook for a more long-lasting recipe book to enjoy for many more generations to come.


Adding pictures to a cookbook is the perfect way to make the recipe really stand out. While a simple index card may be alright for jotting down the ingredients, it doesn’t do much in terms of aesthetic appeal. Adding a picture can help to make the recipe look appealing enough to make but will also help to give a visual on what the recipe is supposed to look like. You don’t have to limit the pictures to simple snapshots of the actual dish. Adding photos of family members eating or cooking the dish can be a way to make the cookbook a family photo album. Then, encourage family members to add their own snapshots when they make the recipe to add generational photos throughout the cookbook.

Add a story

Instead of just jotting down the ingredients and directions, adding a story to the recipe can be a great way to put a personalized stamp on the recipe. The story can add a description of where the recipe originally came from, whether it was passed down from an older relative on an index card found in a previously used recipe box or it was a concoction made from a night with only leftovers in the refrigerator. This can be a way to make it much more than just a recipe but a great addition to a family cookbook with memories.

Digital copy

While simple index cards may be alright for jotting down the ingredients, they don’t do much in terms of longevity. Creating digital copies of recipes can be a way to ensure that a recipe is never lost and will allow you to make copies for friends or family without worrying about not keeping the cookbook intact. This can be helpful in keeping a family cookbook at every family member’s house, whether it’s a daughter that moves into her own apartment after college or a great gift for a daughter-in-law to keep.

Think beyond the limits of a simple binder or recipe box. Shutterfly is an online photo storage company that has some great options for photo books. This scrapbooking option can make professional quality cookbooks that will allow you to fully customize the look you want. Not only will you able to type in all your recipes but you can add photos and order copies whenever you want. You can also continuously add to the cookbooks over the years and allow family members to do the same. Think about how to make your family cookbook more than just a bundle of recipes and make it something extra special that everyone can enjoy for years to come.



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