Bake Sale Basics
Spreading the Word
- Buy colored poster board and let kids create the signs, recommends Joan Monastero, a mother of three and a Girl Scout troop leader in Nassau County, New York, for 11 years. “The brighter the colors, the better,” she says.
- Want to get creative? Los Angeles event planner Mindy Weiss, a mother of three and a veteran of bake sales, suggests making signs with letters formed from chocolate chips, Hershey’s Kisses, colorful sprinkles, or Froot Loops.
- If possible, get the sale in the church bulletin or on the school calendar; ask the principal to mention it over the PA system the morning of.
- Put volunteers on shifts so you have help setting up, working at the sale, and cleaning up. (Call the day before to remind them.)
- Let your bakers know when and where you’d like them to drop off their treats. “I have people bring food to the site the day of so I don’t have to do much transporting,” says author Pam Abrams.
- Create protective containers by lining boxes or cookie sheets with foil, or invest in a cupcake carrier ($25, containerstore.com). Abrams recommends sticking toothpicks into cakes and cupcakes before wrapping them in foil to prevent the icing from smearing.
Baking to Sell
Bake-sale veterans agree that chocolate-chip cookies and Rice Krispies Treats are the best sellers, followed by brownies, blondies, cupcakes, and breads. Cookies can be sold three to a bag or by the dozen, breads by the slice or the loaf. Cakes and pies are most profitable when sold whole. (Steer clear of pies that can spoil if they sit out, like lemon meringue.)
If the sale is before a holiday, decorate goods with a theme. At Christmas, offer gingerbread houses (prebaked kits, $14 each, joann.com) and peppermint bark, both of which will be snatched up by those in need of hostess gifts.