School bake sales are common in schools abroad, and are the bane of every parent's life. If you've experience this before, you'll know that it doesn’t matter if you love to cook, the problem with bake sales is the fact that the rules seem to be getting stricter and stricter each year, making the process of finding something to bake increasingly stressful. Then there is the fact that a lot of the fun has been sucked out of these sales thanks to too many rules and regulations about what can and cannot be baked.
School bake sales might be a great way to raise funds for a charity or for your children’s school, but they aren't as popular as they used to be. This means if you are in the middle of planning one, you might have to think carefully about how to go about it, to ensure that it is a success.
To help make the next bake sale you organize a success, here's what you should do:
Make it a competition
To make the next bake sale a little more fun, consider turning it into a competition. How about running a competition for the most creative cake, the best tray bake, and the best novelty cake? Instead of boring jam sponges and basic chocolate cakes, you will get all sorts of cakes, from unicorns and pineapple shaped cakes to confetti cakes and red lava cakes. Holding a competition will make the next bake sale a little more unique and much more fun for everyone. Perhaps you could even have an adult section where boozy cakes can be entered? These are becoming increasingly popular, you see.
Obviously, it’s impossible to avoid all allergens in baking, as there are just so many, but it’s worth avoiding the allergens that your child’s school has already banned, such as nuts and peanuts, for instance. Find out from the school what allergies the children who attend it have, and ensure that none of the recipes used contain any of these allergens. If the allergies are things like gluten or milk and aren’t as serious as nut allergies, ask each parent to bake a normal cake and a gluten or milk free cake as well. That way, no one misses out, do they?
Have a ‘no bake’ section
For parents who lack time but still want to contribute to the bake sale, consider having a ‘no bake’ section. There are lots of simple recipes such as easy no bake cheesecake that are quick to make, don’t require any baking and can be made in just a few minutes, meaning that even the busiest of parents can contribute without having to buy a cake. No bake cakes can be delicious, so there’s no reason not to include them in the sale.
Offer healthy alternatives
As well as offering all the normal treats like brownies and cookies, consider also having a section with healthier alternatives. Think fruity flapjacks, banana bread made with honey instead of sugar, apple and sultana cake that’s sugar-free. More and more bake sales now have healthy sections, and they tend to do really well, so it could be worth having one at the next school bake sale you hold.
There you have it, everything that you need to know to take the stress out of the next school bake sale and put the fun back into it.