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Suppose I'm giving a recipe (let's say, for a special cake) to a friend. I'd like to make sure he follows the recipe precisely down to the last minute detail.

Is there an idiom that I could use to express this? As in, "But you have to follow the instructions of the recipe ___!"?

26

To the letter is often used here.

exactly as instructed; exactly as written.

One of the examples on The Free Dictionary is even about a cake recipe:

We didn't prepare the recipe to the letter, but the cake still turned out very well.

2

"To a 'T' " is another saying, but 'To the letter is the better answer'.

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