The Secrets of Bake Sale Best Sellers: Brownies, Cupcakes…

Do you have a bake sale coming up this season? Maybe you have a favorite recipe that always flies off the table? We put together our first bake sale last year and were a little surprised by some of the best sellers. We've got some tips and recipes below to help make your bake sale a success.

When we organized our first bake sale last year, we took pains to choose recipes with really interesting flavors, thinking our creativity would win over potential shoppers. Our chocolate cookies were flecked with gin-soaked raisins and our lemon bars were packing not one but two kinds of ginger. They were both quite good, and we eventually sold them all out, but they were definitely not the hottest sellers.

What did fly off the table? Well, some of the best sellers were fairly obvious while others were pretty surprising. If you have a bake sale coming up, we have a few tips for creating the most enticing items.

Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate
Sometimes the most obvious choice is the best one. Sure, it's great to have variety, but nothing beats a good old-fashioned brownie.

Recipe: Hershey's Ultimate Chocolate Brownies

More for Your Money
If you're making cookies, make them smaller and package them with several to a bag. Buyers will feel like they're getting a bargain.

Recipe: Chocolate Chip and Toffee Shortbread Cookies

Long Live Cupcakes
Think the cupcake trend is over? Think again. Don't believe us? Just watch how fast they disappear from your bake sale table.

Recipe: Lemon Cream Pie Cupcakes

Go Vegan
Vegan treats are sure to be popular, especially if there aren't many other vegan options. But just because it's not made with dairy or eggs doesn't mean it needs to be super healthy. Vegans like to indulge too!

Recipe: Vegan Chocolate Ginger Orange Cupcakes (This one's a triple threat!)

The Wild Cards
Now that we've made a few so-called "rules," feel free to break them. We noticed at our first bake sale that some lavender cookies and rosemary shortbread were really popular with the male customers. We wouldn't necessarily have predicted that, but that's what happens when you think you have people all figured out - they surprise you.

Recipe: Earl Grey Tea Cookies

A Few More Tips
When packaging your items, be sure people can easily see the goods. Avoid any large bows or stickers on the top of the package, because people will be looking down at the table as they shop. Also, if you're using cellophane, don't bunch it together at the top. It will look pretty, but you'll hide your delicious treats.

Also, look for recipes that can be made a day or two in advance. It takes some time to package items individually, if you're going that route, and you don't want to have to do all the work at the last minute.

What are your best bake sale tips and recipes? Let us know in the comments.

Related: Weekend Meditation: The Bake Sale Response

(Image: Flickr user tannazie, licensed under Creative Commons)

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