How to ace a bake sale!
We’re sharing our best tips on how to get your kids doing the actual baking, plus easy recipes everyone will love.
As back-to-school season gets underway, cooking at home can feel like it suddenly levels up in a big way. There are breakfasts to wrangle, lunches and after-school snacks to figure out, and dinners that need to be ready right after work...and that’s when bake sale season heats up. Take heart: today, we’re sharing tips on how to get your kids helping you out, along with some crowd-pleasing recipes.
(Before we get down to baking: if just reading the list of meals up there made you nervous, head to our round-up of everything you need to make going back to school a snap, including tutorials, meal ideas and suggestions for getting your kids involved in the cooking process. You’ve got this! And your house is about to smell really good.)
To get your kids involved in bake sale prep, keep things simple. Pick a recipe that makes the best use of their skills, whether that’s measuring, stirring, or decorating with glee. If you’re both new to baking, try Jam Twists, or Banana Applesauce Muffins: these are good examples of appealing goods that are easy to make, but that don’t require a neat-and-tidy approach. Give smaller children a space to work that sets them up to succeed—make sure they can see over the counter, and put a damp rag under mixing bowls to anchor them during stirring. And here’s a pro-tip: never bake with your kids the day you’ve just cleaned the kitchen! You’ll be more relaxed when messes happen, and you’ll have extra hands to help with clean-up later.
Other ingredients for a successful bake sale:
- Choose your recipe wisely: are you going for a classic bake-sale offering, or a recipe that stands out from the crowd? Classic recipes are the ones people might associate with childhood bake sales like chocolate chip cookies. For a recipe that lets you customize your chocolate chip cookies to be as crispy or chewy as you like, see p 14 of this guide. Other classics include brownies, banana bread and Rice Krispie squares.
- Recipes that will give customers something new to chew on might be chocolate World Peace Cookies (via Smitten Kitchen), apple turnovers, or even a family recipe of yours! If you go this route, consider setting a little bit aside and offering samples for folks to try.
- Opt for healthy choices. You don't have to be a food scientist to figure out goods that are also good for you - the BC Bake Better Bites guide was actually developed to help with bake sales! It's got helpful hacks for understanding how nourishing a recipe is, and how to pack it full of nutrients—plus, it includes unbeatable recipes for ginger snaps and chocolate crepes.
- Pretty cake plates or afternoon tea stands are a gorgeous way to showcase homemade baked goods; and paper muffin cups are a great option for displaying bar slices, or other items that don’t fit on a plate or in packaging.
- Don’t forget to include some impulse buys near the cash: think energy balls, popcorn or pet treats!
- Finally, make sure you label your goodies with all the ingredients so that your customers with special dietary needs know what’s in each treat.