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Over the years, I’ve baked for many a bake sale. Sometimes I have been a great help and raised some serious money for the charity involved. Other times, I’m not so sure! There are some tried and true strategies for baking items for a bake sale that will sell.
First, remember that bake sale items should be homemade. No matter how desperate for time you are, a box of doughnuts for the doughnut shop will probably not do very well. Store bought cookies are usually not big sellers either. No one will believe you made homemade Oreos! Even if you buy from the grocery store bakery, somehow, people know it’s not homemade.
Presentation of your bake sale items is important. Karen King, the founder of Animals Best Friend and queen of the successful bake sale advises that items do best on a paper plate, then in a zip lock bag or wrapped in clear (not colored or decorated) plastic. The cute bakery bags from the dollar store make it hard to see the baked goodies inside and may hurt rather than help sales. Tins may also hurt sales unless you leave the lid off and wrap the product inside. People won’t buy it if they can’t see it.
Bake sale items should be labeled, even if it seems obvious what they are. If possible, you can include the ingredients on the label which may be important to people with allergies or special dietary needs. If you think your baked item is really special, you could include the recipe on a recipe card.
Cookies rule at bake sales, but other baked goods offer variety and increase bake sale sales. Rice Crispy treats are a hit, with or without add-ins such as chocolate chips cookies or MMs cookies.; Banana bread, zucchini bread and other special sweet breads are popular, both big loaves and mini loaves. Brownies make a great bake sale item too.
Cupcakes are a bake sale option, but it is hard to get them to stay upright and frosted, decorated and not in a state of collapse. Bagged treats like Carmel corn, trail mix and puppy chow will provide some variety for a bake sale, but they are not likely to sell as well as cookies. Occasionally, whole cakes or pies are offered at a bake sale. These may work best at a bake sale where they shoppers know the bakers. The cost of a while pie or cake makes it less popular at the charity bake sale held in a public place.
The bake sale is a fund raising tradition and is a great way to raise money for your organization. Bake sales allow everyone to contribute, either buying or baking for the bake sale. With a little planning and thought you can make your bake sale successful and help the bakers make items that will be a big hit.
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