Bake Sale Favorites

If you have a school-age kid, chances are you’re familiar with the bake sale.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Photo by cookin’mama

We have recipes and tips to make your bake sale a sweet success.

What to Make

  • Cupcakes, brownies, and cookies are always winners. But any small, portable baked items will do.
  • Decorate your goodies with sprinkles in the school’s team colors. If you’re raising money for a field trip, make munchies that represent the destination with a color scheme or cute names.
  • During the holidays, sell baked goodies, cookie mixes, and candles packaged as gifts.
  • If your school has rules about serving only healthy foods, skip the cupcakes and brownies and have a breakfast bake sale with muffins, scones, and breads.

Bake Sale Sweets

Carrot Cupcakes with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing

Photo by boo_couture

Breakfast Bake Sale

Apple Pie Muffins

Photo by LaurenM

Planning for the Bake Sale
The first things to look into when deciding to hold a bake sale are the health regulations or school rules.

  • Many states require a special permit which is usually free of charge, but must be approved before the event takes place.
  • Some schools have adopted healthy eating policies that could limit the types of food you sell or the time of day it is sold.
  • Check the regulations in your area ahead of time so you can complete necessary forms and meet safety requirements.

Essential Bake Sale Gear

  • Box of plastic gloves for handling food
  • Folding table (or two)
  • Tablecloth
  • Cash box–with at least $25 in small bills and coins for making change
  • Trash bin with liner
  • Big signs or banners so people can see where you are over the crowd!
  • Plates
  • Napkins
  • Plastic wrap or cellophane
  • Price stickers, sign cards, or small flags

A bake sale is not a one-mom show. You might need several volunteers: bakers, sign makers, donation wranglers, and people to sell the goods.

  • Keep a phone list of everyone who has volunteered and how they plan to contribute.
  • Some health departments require you keep a list of each person who is baking and what they brought. Have a volunteer check each item off the list as it arrives.
  • Be sure to follow up with a personalized “thank you” to those who pitched in.

Other Fundraising Foods

My Amish Friend's Caramel Corn

Photo by Molly

Location, Location, Location
When running a bake sale, visibility is very important. Set up outside of the gymnasium before and after basketball games or set up a canopy near the bleachers at the football field before the big game. Perhaps your school has a designated area for fundraising activities with a table already in place. Any place that is easy to find and has a good amount of foot traffic will do.

Cause a Commotion with Promotion
Have a couple of volunteers work on promoting the bake sale. This can include a mention in the school’s morning announcements, fliers, or painting a big banner. Your success depends on your potential customers, so make sure they know exactly when and where the sale is happening. Also, be sure to let people know you’re raising funds for a good cause.

The Bottom Line
Check prices at your local bakeries to see how much comparable items cost.

  • Keep things affordable, and try to have a range of prices so people with limited means can purchase a cookie or a miniature muffin.
  • Sell more items by pricing things in groups: “3 chocolate chip cookies for $1” or “Cupcakes $2 each or 3 for $5.” This will entice people to spend more money.
  • Place pretty name cards next to desserts along with the prices so people will know what the product is.
  • Make sure you clearly label items that contain nuts–a common food allergy concern.