Transfer Handy Cookbook Recipes to the Paprika Recipe App

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The Handy Cookbook app will no longer be supported by Apple. Save all your recipes by following these directions to transfer them over to the Paprika app.

Transfer recipes from Handy Cookbook app to the Paprika appThe Handy Cookbook app for iPhone was probably the first app I ever payed money for. It was 2 months after I had my first iPhone and free apps were the way to go for me. But that $1.99 (plus $0.18 tax) was a heavily researched purchase and probably the only app purchase for that and the next few years.

I transferred all my recipes onto Handy Cookbook and for the next 7 years, enjoyed having all my recipes at my fingertips.

But Handy Cookbook hasn’t been updated since October 2014 and my iPhone keeps alerting me that the app won’t be supported soon. I emailed the developer of Handy Cookbook for a help but have not received a reply. So I needed to find a way to preserve all my recipes.

After looking into alternative app options, I settled on the Paprika app and paid a whopping $4.99! A small price to pay though to avoid losing all of my recipes. I really liked the interface of Paprika, how it can easily save recipes from the web without me having to copy and paste nor type in any text, and the reviews are excellent.

Unfortunately, after purchasing the app, I realized there wasn’t a way to transfer my Handy Cookbook recipes over because even though Paprika supported a lot of recipe files for import, it did not offer support for the proprietary Handy Cookbook one. And Handy Cookbook only exported its recipes into two formats: .hcb or PDF. I really wasn’t keen on entering over 400 recipes manually via the Paprika desktop app that would have cost me another $14 to purchase.

I had an idea: find another app that could import Handy Cookbook recipes and that could then export recipes into a file type supported by Paprika. And that middle-man app was My Cookbook which offered a free one month subscription.

How to Transfer Recipes from Handy Cookbook to the Paprika App:


  1. Export all your recipes from Handy Cookbook and save to your Computer

    • In Handy Cookbook, go to “All my recipes” and at the bottom of your screen, click on the icon that looks like a paper with an arrow on top which brings up the option to “Create a file for export” and select “OK”.
    • To move the file you’ve just created from your iPhone/iPad to your PC, follow the directions on this page from Paprika but in step #3, choose the Handy Cookbook app then select the file you’ve just created and select “Save to…” and select a folder on your computer.
    • As an added safeguard, I would also suggest saving a copy of all your recipes to PDF via Handy Cookbook app. Unfortunately, there isn’t an option to quickly and easily save ALL recipes.
      • You could go to the Books screen and create a Book called, “All My Recipes PDF” and then go to the listing of “All my Recipes” and manually select every single recipe to add to the book you just created.
      • Then go to the Book (“All My Recipes PDF” in this example) and select the PDF icon on the bottom left of the screen to create a PDF. You can move this PDF file to your PC just like I described in the previous bullet point.
      • This way, if there was ever a problem with the recipe that was imported into Paprika, you can refer to the PDF to check for any missing ingredients or instructions and then copy and paste any missing details into Paprika.
      • As I had over 400 recipes, instead of saving all my recipes in one PDF, I created a Book for each one of my different categories, of which I had 22, and saved each Book as a different PDF.
  2. Import Your Handy Cookbook Recipes From Your Computer to My Cookbook

    • If you haven’t already, sign up for a free My Cookbook account and follow the directions to import your recipes to My Cookbook. Each recipe’s assigned category and photo will be transferred over as well. I don’t think any fields were corrupted or missing.
  3. Export Your My Cookbook Recipes to Your Computer

    • Export your recipes from My Cookbook by selecting the Meal-Master (mmf) format and save the file to your PC when promted. I would also suggest you export a copy of your recipes in My CookBook (xml) format as well. Who knows if you’ll need it later.
  4. Import Your MMF file into the Paprika App

    • Purchase and download the Paprika app if you haven’t already.
    • Follow the directions here to import the Meal-Master (.mmf) file from your computer into the paprika app. All the recipe categories should be transferred over but unfortunately, the recipe photos did not.
    • I noticed that for some recipes, part of the ingredients list was missing (uh-oh). This seemed to occur in recipes where I added non-standard formatting to denote different parts of the recipe (like dashes and underscores). This is where having the PDF backup that you created in step #1 comes in handy.

Let me know in the comments or via email if  this tutorial was helpful or if there’s anything missing that I should add.


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