You may think that writing new or handed-down recipes on specialized cards is an activity from a bygone era. Well, think again because this time-honored pastime is still very popular, despite so many recipes available online.
There are a few advantages to writing down ingredients, cooking time, number of servings and directions on an easy to access card. Firstly, a recipe card is portable and shareable, and you don’t need an internet connection to follow the recipe. Also, if the cards are kept in a plastic cover or a binder, they won’t get ruined if you spill food or liquid on them like a tablet or laptop would.
Most recipe cards are a standard 4×6-inch size, but there are some that veer from the norm, giving you other options. Some are plain, others are decorated, and most have lines to write on.
With so many choices out there, we narrowed it down to a variety of different recipe cards you can purchase online. Read on to see if any of them catch your eye.
1. Top Pick: Elegant Signs Set of 50 Premium Recipe Cards – 4×6 Double Sided
Recipe cards come in all styles and designs to suit many tastes. Some are adorned with flowers, kitchen items or cute sayings while others are more minimalist and to the point. If you’re looking for something somewhere in between, then you might want to consider this set of 50 recipe cards that is a little bit of both.
These 4-inch by 6-inch recipe cards are press printed on premium 14-point uncoated card stock, so you know whatever kind of pen you use to write with, it won’t slip or slide and the ink won’t smudge. The sturdy cards are white with a cute quote heading each one that says: “RECIPE made with love.”
The white cards have simple black lines on both sides, with designated spaces on the front for the name of the recipe, the number of servings, prep time and ingredients and on the back, room for directions and a spot at the bottom that says, “from the kitchen of”.
These cards would fit nicely into a standard recipe box or in a binder.
- Printed on uncoated card stock
- 50 cards
- Wide lines to write on
- The logo on top takes space away from the ingredient space
2. Runner-Up: Tuyere Recipe cards
Most people who write on recipe cards end up storing them in special box or binder. To make it easier for them to find the recipe they are looking for, some people also use divider cards, sort of like chapters in a cookbook, to label the sections to categorize and file each recipe.
If you are just starting out, then you may want to consider this pack of 50 recipe cards decorated in modern farmhouse style colors and artwork that also comes with 24 printed and blank color-coded divider cards.
The 4-inch by 6-inch cards are made of 300g double offset paper and are thick and sturdy to last longer. The cards have lines and graphics on both sides, with dedicated areas for the name of the recipe, the number of servings, time, the temperature to pre-heat the oven plus ingredients and directions.
You’ll also get 24, 4.5-inch by 6-inch dividers, with four different colored tabs and 12 categories printed on them ranging from soup, salads and sauces, to eggs, entrees, pasta and desserts. This set would also make a nice gift for the novice cook in your life.
- Made of high-quality thick cardboard
- Double-sided printing
- Comes with 24 dividers
- The dividers may not be useful for some people
3. Best for a Bridal Shower: Dahleigh Newlywed & Bridal Shower Recipe Cards
If you are looking for a great gift for a bridal shower or the perfect bridal party gift that everyone can participate in, then consider these cute and romantic recipe cards. The 4-inch by 6-inch cards are water-resistant and made from heavy-duty, 14-point cardstock and come in a set of 48 cards. Each one has “Delicious Dishes for the Mr. & Mrs.” printed at the top, along with lined space for ingredients and directions.
For a fun bridal shower idea, send every guest a recipe card so they can write their favorite recipe on it. Or you can send the recipe cards out to guests and assign a specific type of recipe to each one: main course, dessert, cookies, meat, pasta, etc.
Whichever method you chose, have everyone mail back the recipe cards to you so you can put them into a nice recipe box. On the day of the event, the bride-to-be will be wowed to receive a box of personalized and favorite recipes from all of her friends and family members. What a fabulous gift for the novice or seasoned cook.
- Double-sided design
- Made from 14-point cardstock
- Water-resistant surface works best with ball point pen and fine-tipped permanent markers
4. Best Extra-Large Size: Neatz Mason Jar Recipe Cards 5×7″ inches
As mentioned, most recipe cards are a standard 4 inches by 6 inches, which meets most needs, but what if you need more space? What if you have long recipes or large handwriting? That’s when a recipe card measuring 5 inches by 7 inches will come in handy.
These extra-large recipe cards offer up plenty of space with lots of lines to fit long recipes and to accommodate large handwriting. The set of 50 cards have a cute vintage design of a mason jar to write the ingredients and then space on both sides for directions.
Made in the USA, the cards are made of thick 14-point matte card stock and can be easily written on with any kind of pen without smudging or bleeding onto the other side. And if you love the pattern but not the size or price, these recipe cards are also available for less in an extra-small size (3 inches by 5 inches) and standard 4 inches by 6 inches.
- Extra-large size
- Matte finish
- Made in the USA
- Extra-large size will not fit into standard recipe box
5. Best Bulk Buy: Samsill 100 pack 4X6 inch Recipe Cards with individual clear protective sleeves
For some people, cooking is a passion and with that, so is creating and developing new recipes on a regular basis. If this sounds like you, then you might be interested in this value-pack bulk buy of 100 recipe cards.
These 4-inch by 6-inch recipe cards are made from thick card stock, so you know they are sturdy and long lasting. There is plenty of space on both sides to write down ingredients and directions, plus designated areas to record the name of the recipe, prep time, cook time, the number of servings and other details.
But what makes this recommendation a bit different is that along with the 100 recipe cards, you also receive 100 clear polypropylene sleeves. After you’ve written down the recipe, just slip the card into the plastic sleeve and it will be protected from getting wet or stained with liquid or food while you are cooking.
Plus, the clear sleeve lets you see both sides of the card, so following the recipe is smooth and easy. What else could you want, right?
- Value pack bulk buy
- 100 recipe cards
- 100 protective plastic sleeves
- The quantity may be too much for some people’s needs
- Some users say the lines are too close together
6. Best Accessories: Liangzhou Set of 50 Recipe Cards – 4×6 inches Double Sided hole Cards
Everyone has a different preference when it comes to the kind of recipe cards they like to use, especially if they already have a box or binder to keep them in. We included these recipe cards on our recommended list because of their unique design and the accessories they come with.
The set includes 50 double-sided 4-inch by 6-inch cards made of 250g kraft paper with black printing and lines. There is plenty of designated space to write down ingredients and directions, and spots for the name of the recipe, prep time, cook time and more
What makes this choice even more attractive is that each card has three holes on the top that fit perfectly into the three included metal rings that will hold the collection together. Having the cards on the rings makes them easy to flip through to find the right recipe. And, the package also includes a pen, so you can start recording recipes the minute you receive the cards.
This option would also make a great gift for the novice chef in your life.
- Vintage style on kraft paper
- 50 recipe cards come with three metal rings and a pen
- If not reinforced, the holes in the cards can tear
7. Best Folding Cards: 321Done Folding Recipe Cards
This is another option that goes against the standard size of most recipe cards. If you love making involved and complicated recipes, then you know when you have a lot of ingredients and steps to follow, a 4-inch by 6-inch card just doesn’t have the space you need, no matter how small you print.
With these large 8-inch by 6-inch cards, you won’t have to worry about running out of room to get it all down on one card. These cards are made with thick 14-point card stock that has a smooth, uncoated finish that is easy to write on and won’t smudge or bleed through.
Each card is pre-scored to fold from 8 inches by 6 inches to 4 inches by 6 inches, so when folded, they will fit into a standard recipe box. Or, you can keep them open to full size and keep them organized in a binder. These cards are minimalist in design, with most of the space dedicated to the recipe, with no graphics.
- Large 6 x 8-inch size
- Foldable to 4 x 6 inches
- Lots of space for long recipes
- Size may be too large for some needs
8. Best Starter’s Kit: Heartstrings studio Recipe Binder with 50 blank recipes cards
We’ve included this great starter set if you’re just beginning your journey into recipe cards and want to have a set with everything you’ll need right from the get-go.
What you’ll get is an 8.5-inch by 9.5-inch three-ring binder that has a lovely floral design on the cover, the ideal place to organize and store your recipe cards. It also comes with 25 clear, two-pocket plastic sleeves and five full sized 8-inch by 7-inch clear plastic sleeves. The page protectors are tear-resistant and water-resistant for long-lasting use. There are also six colorful category tab dividers with the categories written on each tab, plus six colorful blank tab dividers where you can write your own categories.
The set also comes with 50, 4-inch by 6-inch dual-sided recipe cards, each of which has a design that matches the cover of the binder, plus designated space for ingredients, directions and other important details. This is a great recipe card set for yourself or since it comes in a beautiful box, it also would make a lovely gift for a bridal shower, housewarming or birthday.
- Kit includes binder with protective sleeves
- Includes dividers
- Comes with 50 recipe cards
- Not ideal for someone who prefers a recipe box over a binder
What to look for:
Recording recipes by hand on a recipe card may seem old-fashioned, but this time-honored tradition is trending and that’s no surprise. Even with the accessibility of online recipes, following one as you cook can endanger your tablet or laptop if you spill food or liquid on it. Of course, you can print what you find on the internet, but with everyone trying to save energy and reduce their carbon footprint, writing a recipe on a card that can be used over and over again and shared among friends means not having to power up the computer or use electricity to print.
If you are new at using recipe cards or looking to expand your collection, there are few things you should consider before making a purchase. We’ve included some of these factors to help you make the best decision possible to meet your specific needs.
Size: The size of the recipe cards you choose is probably the most important factor to consider. You have to think about the space you will need to write down everything involved in each recipe, from the ingredients and steps or directions, to a designated space for other details like prep and cook time, the name of the recipe, the number of servings and more.
Most recipe cards are 4 inches by 6 inches and are double-sided, meaning there is room on the front and the back for writing. Most have lines so you can write in a straight, easy to read way. However, some recipe cards have lines that are very close together. If you have large handwriting, you may have difficulty fitting the words between the lines. Also, if your recipes are long and involved, you may need larger cards. If this is the case, you may want to choose recipe cards that are 5 inches by 7 inches or 6 inches by 8 inches.
Paper stock: Once you’ve nailed down the size you want, paper stock is the next most important factor to consider. What you don’t want are cards made from thin paper that will tear easily or curl up with time, What you do want are recipe cards made from good quality card stock, preferably 14 point. These are hardy enough to withstand a lot of handling that will happen over the years as you reach for a specific recipe.
Along with paper stock is whether the card is coated or not coated. Coated recipe cards are more water resistant, but they are harder to write on and need specific pens that don’t slip or smudge. Uncoated recipe cards are easier to write on, but they are susceptible to stains and damage from water. They can be protected by slipping them into a plastic sleeve or by collecting them in plastic covered pages in a binder.
There really is no right or wrong choice when it comes to coated or non-coated – just consider the kind of pen you want to use and how you will store the cards and choose what works best for you.
Design: After the size and the type of paper or cardstock comes the design. With so many options out there, we don’t have much advice except go with whatever design, color or pattern you love and just make sure there is enough clear space to write down the recipe. Have fun!
Photo credit: Kris Black/Shutterstock