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Twelve creative bake sale ideas


Try these 12 imaginative ideas from the Internet Chef to make your next bake sale or tuck shop rotation a roaring success. 

Cupcake decorating kits

Bake sales don’t have to be just about the baked goods. Pre-packing all the necessary tools to create mouth-watering and tempting cupcakes is a fun and colourful way to liven up the bake sale table. In clear cellophane bags, create a collection of colourful cupcake cases, disposable piping bags and nozzles, candy sugar, cupcake toppers, miniature flags and food colouring. Tie the bags with pretty ribbon and add a handwritten label to complete the package.

Cakes baked in jars

Rather than baking one whole cake, try baking lots of individual cakes in tempered glass jars.

Take your favourite cake recipe like a good old fashioned carrot cake or a truly inspiring chocolate mud cake and portion the cake batter evenly into small clean preserving jars. I like to use 250 ml jars as they seem to be the perfect portion for one person.

Bake the cake as normal, but reduce the time by 10-20 minutes dependant on the cakes’ density. Cool the cakes completely on wire racks before placing the lid on the jar or topping with a square of pretty fabric and wrapping with a ribbon.  Finish the jar with a handwritten label.

Rice Bubble pops

Serving foods that you wouldn't normally see on pop sticks is cute beyond words. They can be garnished with ribbons and look pretty standing in a jar waiting to be bought. Insteadof serving Rice Bubbles in a rectangular shape, try placing a pop stick in the centre of the bar to create a Rice Bubbles pop.

Keep the squares smaller than normal wrap them in cellophane and tie with a ribbon.

Cookie collections

Cookies are always a popular choice at bake sales and you can create “wow” with your next batch of cookies by making cookie collections. Instead of baking round or singular shaped cookies, invest in a set of cookie cutters and create collections.

For example, using all sports cookie cutters, make mini cricket bats and balls, race cars and kite cookies for boys. For girls, try butterflies, fairies and cupcake cookies. Mums might like flowers and coffee cups cookies and Dad’s cookies could be sailboats, golf clubs and cars.

Package your cookies into clear cellophane bags with blue ribbons for the boys and pinks and purples for the girls.

Catering for allergies

Bake sales can sometimes be avoided by people who have food allergies or aversions to certain ingredients. Cater for their needs and create a point of difference at your next bake sale by cooking a few specialty items.

Gluten free cakes and cookies are becoming more popular as are dairy-free or even sugar-free options. Label your allergy-friendly cakes and cookies appropriately and you’ll be sure to be a hit at the next fundraiser.

Cupcakes in a cup

This is such a delightful way to serve a portion of cupcakes on the go in clear plastic cups. Try your hand at baking your favourite cupcakes. Cool the mini cakes completely and then place two cakes into a clear cup and cover with a lid. Wrap a pretty ribbon around the cup and secure a wooden fork in the ribbon to eat on the go!

You could also top the cupcake with a bit of frosting for an extra sweet treat.

Giant cookies in see-through CD cases

Everyone loves a big cookie, packed full of chocolate chips or toasted nuts. Bake a couple of sheets of your favourite big cookie recipe and cool completely on a wire rack.

Visit your local newsagent and grab some see-through CD envelopes. When your cookies are cold, package them up individually and you can even decorate with a handwritten label and a nice ribbon to complete.

Build your own cupcake station

Create an extra-special DIY cupcake station for kids young and old to finish off and decorate their own cupcakes. By baking plain cupcakes, you can create a station with different flavoured frostings in bowls or piping bags. Have fun with multi-coloured sprinkles and cupcake toppers, edible lollies and flowers and colourful ribbons.

Have individual cupcake boxes with see-through lids ready to go for popping finished cupcakes in. Another nice touch would be to take a photo of the finished cupcakes and the person with the best cupcake by the end of the bake sale wins an extra special prize.

S’mores in a bag

S’mores are a camper's best friend. A quick and easy dessert than only requires the firing of a marshmallow over hot coals to turn the simple into the exceptional.

Create individual camping bags of s’more ingredients to sell at your next bake sale. Fill a small cellophane bag with a couple of plain style sweet biscuits, two squares of dark chocolate and two oversized marshmallows. Finish the bag with recipe instructions on how to create a s’more and tie with a pretty ribbon.

Selling the sizzle not the steak ~ funky packaging ideas

Instead of wrapping a cake in cling film or foil, try serving your baked goods in pretty packaging that helps sell the items. Try getting small white cake boxes tied with twine and finished with a postal tag or serve cupcakes in clear cups and cakes cooked in jars.

Cellophane bags are always cute and popular as is rustic brown paper bags and string. Disposable striped paper cups and individual cupcake boxes with delicate tissue paper also encourage people to step up to the bake sale table and happily part with their money.

Filled waffle cones

This is such a nice idea and breaks slightly with tradition on how bake sale tables are normally run. Get some good quality large waffle cones and fill them to order with any number of delicious ideas.

Fresh fruit salad and yogurt is a healthy option, or you could try filling them with a spoon of chocolate mousse, mixed lollies and small chocolates or fresh berries and whipped cream.

Wrap a pretty napkin around the base of the cone and secure with a ribbon before filling to order.

Jazzing up the brownie

Chocolate brownies are a staple at bake sales and chances are more than one person will be baking their favourite version. You can make your batch of brownies stand out by jazzing them up with the following ideas.

Drizzle the sliced brownies with melted white chocolate and tie with a white ribbon. Try topping the brownies with some thinly rolled and brightly coloured royal icing, or cut cute shapes out of the icing and add to the brownie tops. Cover the top of the brownie with caramel and melt some dark chocolate in the microwave and cover the top of the brownie with the chocolate before setting and slicing. Make a chocolate butter cream and pipe chocolate rosettes on to the top of individual brownies, or smooth the buttercream out and sprinkle the tops of the brownies with chopped nuts.

And for my favourite brownie topping, melt a Hershey’s Cookies and Cream bar (or a Milky Bar Milk and Cookies bar) in the microwave and pour over the brownie for a cookies and cream brownie.

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