Who doesn’t like a good bake sale? Home baked goodies from cookies to cakes, fudgy brownies and cupcakes. What’s not to love? Have you ever been to a bake sale and it looks more like a rummage sale. The food is sloppily wrapped, the hosts of the sale are cutting your food in front of you and touching it (!), some items you can’t even identify, the cupcake you just bought has a finger full of frosting missing, or worse, a little runny-nosed kid just sneezed on the open baked goods! Gag. I have seen some of those types of sales and wanted to run.
When our school decided to host a bake sale there were a few things I knew we HAD to do. Sell good food, present the food beautifully, and have all the items pre-packaged.
Ten Tips For Running A Successful Bake Sale:
1. Two weeks prior to the event, send a letter to each family in your school or organization announcing the Bake Sale. Ask them to donate a baked good or money. Dictate you your volunteers exactly what you want to sell. Ask volunteers to supply an ingredient list of each baked item they donate, this will help those with allergies make a wise purchase.
2. Keep your sell list short, such as limiting the sale to 3-5 different types of items; Ex.- cupcakes, popcorn, popcorn balls, brownies, trail mix, etc. Of course you may offer a few flavors of cupcakes or cookies!
3. Tell the volunteers not to package or cut their products themselves. This is so you can make equal portion sizes among things like brownies and sheet cakes.
4. Tell you volunteers when and where to leave their items. Be sure they label their dishes. We tell our volunteers to drop off the items one day before the sale or at least 3 hours before.
5. You and a small group of volunteers portion and pre-package the items. You will need knives, spatulas, spoons, cellophane bags, ribbon, twisty ties, pretty stickers, plastic wrap, and any other pretty packaging supplies. Wash Hands!
6. For the sale you will need- tables, table clothes, a money till with various forms of change, baskets, napkins, extra plastic wrap, trash can, and a poster with price list or prices on each basket for each item. Supply utensils if needed. You will need at least 3-4 volunteers to run the actual sale.
7. Keep in mind that bake sale items are usually taken somewhere else to eat, such as home or the office. Please see that the items you are selling are self contained so that they do not spill in the customer’s car.
8. Pricing- We like to keep everything under $2.00. Here is what we have done in the past without difficulty. 3 small cookies-$1, 1 large (5 inch) cookie-$1, cupcakes or cuppycakes- $2 ea or 3 for $5, popcorn balls- $1.00, brownies- $1 (we cut 8 brownies from a 9 x 13 inch pan), popcorn-$1.
9. One week then again three days prior to the sale advertise when and where the sale will occur.
10. The best time to run a bake sale is 30 minutes before school or right after school. We like to run our sales over 2 days insuring all our items sell!
EXAMPLES FROM OUR SALE
This is the Bat Cupcake. It was an extremely popular cupcake donated to our sale by one of our volunteers, Carolyn. The little girls would have no part of this cupcake until one girl called it a fairy. So for the girls it was the Fairy Cupcake and for the boys the Bat Cupcake. They were gone before all the other cupcakes. This is a very clever little cake using a fudge stripe cookie for the wings and a Hershey’s Kiss for the face. Thanks Carolyn!
We found it best to sink our cupcakes down into a clear plastic 9 ounce punch cup then place in a cellophane bag and tie with curling ribbon. Not only is this attractive it is very functional as we were able to stack these in baskets without crushing the frosting and they made it safely home to all our patrons. We have noted to ourselves that this is the only way we will package our cupcakes from now on!
These are CUPPYCAKES! These were designed by Sheila. We are bake sale partners and I have to say she is the most creative bake sale partner ever! She created the Cuppycake when she went to dump out the Chocolate Cake and it wanted to stay in the pan, so the quick thinker that she is, she cubed up the cake and placed them in the clear 9 ounce plastic punch cups to show off the pretty cake. She then topped each cake with a dollop of Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting and gummy worms. She also did a yellow cake version with light green frosting and little pumpkins. Again we pre-wrapped these in plastic wrap. Very popular!
Harvest Blessing Cups were made by Sheila and were very appropriate for this time of year and sold very well as they contained 5 different treats and a little story explaining each treat. The children got a big kick out of these. Bugels- A horn of plenty, Pretzels- Arms folded in prayers of thanks, Candy Corn- A Pilgrim’s ration of five kernels of corn per day during their first winter, Craisens- Fall harvest of fruits, Sunflower Seeds- planting for a bounteous harvest next year.
Deconstructed Caramel Apple Station
And what would a Harvest Bake Sale be without Caramel Apples. We wanted to have a caramel apple station at our sale because we thought the kids would really enjoy decorating their own caramel apples. But how does one pull off something like that? We thought to pre-make all of the caramel apples but that is quite a fete to make dozens of the things. So I figured why not deconstruct the caramel apple? We cut up some big Granny Smith apples and placed them in a bath of Sprite to keep them from browning too fast. The picture shown is while we were assembling the trays. We filled nacho trays with either dulce de leche or Apple Dip and the sliced apples then topped each tray with plastic wrap and placed them on the table. Each patron was able to choose the tray with their favorite dip then simply lift the side of the plastic wrap closest to the dip and decorate it with various toppings such as sprinkles, crushed Oreos, Reese’s Pieces, peanut butter chips, crushed Heath, and Candy Corn. Loved It!! All ages enjoyed this treat as it was easier to eat and orthodontics friendly.
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. Vanilla
Mix together cream cheese, brown sugar and vanilla until smooth. Chill until ready to use.
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What are some of your bake sale ideas?