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Bake Sale Favorites

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

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:

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

    • Volunteers

      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.

        Sep. 8, 2009 4:23 pm
        Ooohhh! Yum! :)
        Sep. 8, 2009 4:24 pm
        Do you think Five banans are to much? I have never made Banana Bread before, So uumm is it to much? My mom has no clue either... =/
        Sep. 9, 2009 10:23 am
        all you need is 3 medium size banana should be enough foe one loaf
        Sep. 9, 2009 4:16 pm
        yes, no more than three or it will taste too banana-ish. For some reason three balances it out right!
        Sep. 10, 2009 5:34 am
        5 bananas are too many, 3 is great, and a fork is a great way to mush them up. My boys LOVE banana Bread. My hubbie's Grandma likes it with mustard on top after it's sliced, that was a new one to me but hey sometimes different can be good too
        Sep. 10, 2009 3:52 pm
        Thanks so much guys! :) Cause i wanted to make this for my family for breakfast! :) Being homeschooled makes it where we have time for breakfast like Pancakes and stuff, But this time we are going for cheap! And five banana's where just to much! 3 sounds fine! Thanks, ~Livvy~
        Sep. 10, 2009 4:05 pm
        Hey, LivvyPuppy13, I read your 'About the cook' thing. I'm 14, and the second of 7 kids. I'm homeschooled, too.
        Sep. 10, 2009 4:28 pm
        Hi, livvypuppy13 and svhis14. I'm almost in the same boat: I go to a public school, but I always try to find overnight casseroles or coffeecakes. I can pop them in the oven when I first wake up they cook quickly enough for the family to enjoy a fresh, warm breakfast before we all go our separate ways for the day.
        Sep. 11, 2009 9:33 am
        I can't emphasize strongly enough to tell all bakers from the get-go that goodies with nuts or other allergens MUST be clearly labeled, even 'tho most moms whose kids have food allergies are super cautious. Awareness can save lives.
        Sep. 11, 2009 10:58 am
        svhis14 thats cool! 14 is my favorite number! hmover are your kids allergic to those things? It seems like a lot of people are. I couldnt stand being allergic to peanut butter, Cause I LOVE IT! And I'd probably die from still trying to eat it! :) Lolz!
        Sep. 11, 2009 3:35 pm
        about the bannanas, i like to freeze mine before i use them. If we buy to many bannanas, witch hardly ever happens, and they get to ripe put them in the freezer whole. Ive used ones that were in the freezer for atleast 6 months and they were fine. Just put them out about a 1/2 - 1 hr before you plan on cooking. Put them in a bowl becuase they will be very mushy and watery, but dont dump out any of the juices that come off of them when they are thawing.
        Sep. 12, 2009 7:28 am
        new to this sight-been reading alot of comments, it's nice to see people out there who enjoy the same things I do, many women in my area do not enjoy my passions for cooking etc, some even feel that M&M meat shop and hamburger helper are good day cooking. Anyhow my son wants to join the travel club and raise some $ so I wanted to help with bake sales. If I check the prices of baked goods at my local store do I put my prices higher or lower?? I know my baked buns are better than bought, but will people pay extra for them. Because I make so much in my own kitchen, I refuse to pay $.50/cookie at Timmy's yet other people obviously have no problem with it. Anyone have suggestions, open to anything, I really want to help my child go on a trip.
        Sep. 13, 2009 1:06 pm
        I would pay more for homemade and if you have a sign or something about the travel club people will realize why the prices are a little higher. Homemade is always better so put the prices up a bit!
        May 25, 2010 7:22 am
        Does anyone have a bake sale price list they would be willing to share?
        May 28, 2010 4:35 pm
        We are having a bake sale I saw somewhere a sign that they put on a jar for donations from people on a diet. Any ideas?
        Sep. 8, 2010 10:52 am
        Livvy I've been making my grandmothers banana bread for years and years. I've never had anyone who didn't love it and beg for the recipe. I use six bananas, I wait until they are brown and mushy, and I use a beater to mash them so they are nice and smooth with very few lumps. I also add the dry ingredients and the bananas alternately to the wet ingredients already in the mixer. I've even had people who've said they've never liked banana bread say they loved it. Just a tip.... good luck finding your fav!
        Sep. 8, 2010 12:57 pm
        Livvy - Use the 3 bananas you need for your recipe. Freeze the others, unpeeled, to use later when baking. Thawed bananas aren't so good to eat plain but work well in baked goods.
        T & A Momma 
        Sep. 9, 2010 9:22 pm
        We had a bake sale and one of the moms made a dog treat (not sure what the receipe was) shaped as a bone wrapped in a plastic bag with a ribbon. They were a huge hit.
        Sep. 11, 2010 2:09 pm
        As a frequent yard sale/bake sale attendee, I can tell you some prices for bake sale items. However, I live in Maryland, so prices in your part of the country may be a little higher or lower and I only give them as a guideline: Cupcakes- .25 Brownies- .50 for two or one large one Rice Krispee Treats - .25 (for one or two smalls) Cookies- usually .50 for 2, $1 for 3 or 4 Cake slices- 1.00 Mini loaves- vary, usually between $2-$4, depending upon what's in it, meaning that pecan cherry bread is more than banana bread because pecan and cherries are expensive Cakes and Pies- $5 and up, again depending on the size and ingredients Two things to keep in mind that I've learned from going to yard/bake sales for years: 1. You will be more successful if the general public shows up and if you tie it in with a yard sale or pit beef, etc instead of just keeping it to people in the school(parents, faculty, students, etc) 2. This is not the place to trot out your wacky baked good recipe.
        Sep. 12, 2010 4:41 am
        I find making dog biscuits are great way to raise money. After I make them I put them in sandwich bags sell them for a few dollars. People that are on diets or anyone will speend money on biscuits for their dogs.
        Jan. 9, 2011 7:06 am
        pumpkin pie is good!! people plz look at my recipe box i hVE REally good items in it!!!
        Jan. 9, 2011 7:07 am
        Does anyone no how to make dog biscuits?
        Jan. 9, 2011 7:07 am
        If so please tell me!
        Apr. 4, 2011 6:48 pm
        hi im new to the site, and i wanted to know were is the "add this to my recipe box" button
        Aug. 14, 2011 3:00 pm
        Does anyone know if you can bake cupcakes or brownies in an ice cream bowl. I've baked in cupcakes in a cone but thought it would be cool to surprise my grandkids with this idea.
        Sep. 6, 2011 6:49 am
        "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." I think some even require that a list of ingredients be included with each item so people can see exactly what's in it. (Good idea as folks have so many food allergies these days -- gluten, lactose, nuts, etc.)
        Sep. 6, 2011 8:43 am
        Oh, by the way, you don't have to have school-age kids to be familiar with bake sales.
        Kendra's Kids for Christ 
        Sep. 12, 2011 8:32 pm
        We are getting ready to have a bake sale to purchase supplies and curriculum for our new Christian Private School...does anyone have any low cost suggestions that folks rave about?
        Oct. 14, 2011 2:25 pm
        I'm from a small town in the midwest where people are basicly honest. We have had the best luck (profit-wise) by making our sale "Free-will Donation". Put up plenty of signs stating donations. Our best sign was "Free-Will Donation: Give from the Heart!" Have a basket or bucket at end of table for $. Make sure to have someone responsible for keeping an eye on your basket. Have that same person PERSONALLY thank each person who puts $ in basket. Make sure shoppers can see your person by the basket. Guilt of not giving enough will work in your favor without having to do anything. Most people give more for the same item when the price is up to them and not pre-priced. Cheap people will still be cheap, but we have found that the generosity far outweighs the cheapskates. There's a lot less work if you don't have to hassle with pricing everything. Try this on a small scale and see if it works in your area!
        Oct. 14, 2011 2:28 pm
        Regulations vary from state to state, but where I'm from, you need a food permit if you sell, but if you have "Free-Will Donation" no permit is needed.
        Oct. 14, 2011 2:40 pm
        The least expensive thing we made that sold like Hot Cakes: Dipped Pretzels. Get the big thick pretzel sticks (3 inches long or longer) and almond bark. Use vanilla and/or chocolate. Can color the vanilla almond bark with theme colors. Dip each pretzel while leaving some pretzel showing so there's a place to hold onto. Place them on a tray by the cashbox and sell them singly for a small amount. We sold them for 25 cents each and went through 12 bags of pretzels. Kids gravitate to them while parents are waiting in line or paying.
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