Decorated Cakes Can Help Make a Successful Cake SaleToday my Christmas elf, aka the fabulous Pippa Spriggs, helped me out with my fundraising by selling tasty cakes for charity in her office. With her superior sales skills and my baking prowess we got another £40 for CLIC Sargent!

The much appreciated donations took me that little bit closer to my target of £3,000 altogether and £2,150 by the end of January.  And I thought I’d let you in on a few trade secrets that’ll make any cake sale a success:

1. Pick your moment

Of course you can sell baked round the office at any time – but for a sale that’s gonna raise* a load of cash you need to choose your timings wisely.

Generally snack times are good – 11am and around 4 o’clock in the afternoon.  Swoop in while their on the hunt for snacks anyway and you’ve got a better chance of getting that donation.

Friday afternoons when you can tap into that Friday feeling**, or Monday mornings when everyone’s on a post-weekend slump are also good times for a bake sale.  And it goes without saying that you need to pick a time when punters will be around.

2. Give them choice

… but not too much.  Aim to have a bit of variety in the baked goods, some cakes, some bars, some cookies and a mixture of flavours.

Balance out rich, extravagant treats with some lighter, plainer flavours – and it may be worth having a savoury option for anyone without a sweet tooth.  Aim for around 5 different types of treats – enough that they want to try more than one, but not so many that they’re overwhelmed with choices.

This has the added bonus of keeping cooking simple – a few large batches will take less preparation time than lots of smaller ones.  If you’re pushed for time go for “drop” cookies that don’t need rolling and faffing with cookie cutters, and cake bars are easier than cupcakes.

The classic recipes – chocolate chip cookies for example – are normally quick, easy and always appealing.  This isn’t the time for culinary flair, just go with the baked treats your friends beg you to make time and again.

3. Don’t be afraid to set your price

Let’s face it, you’re holding your bake sale to raise money for a worthy cause, so don’t be scared to ask for cash.  If you don’t want to set a specific amount – some people are more inclined to give generously if there’s no price tag – try setting a minimum donation.

Stick up a sign with your asking price and, as long as you aren’t unreasonable – £5 per cake is too steep – you’ll find that people will often give the minimum donation.  Or more.

So there are my tips for a successful cake sale. But, don’t forget however carefully you choose your moment, the selection of baked treats and the suggested donation, you’ll never make any money if you don’t tell people about it!

What’s worked for you in bake sales over the years – anything I haven’t said, or that you disagree with?  Let me know your thoughts.

*taking all my willpower to not insert a baking-related pun here.  Be grateful I resisted.**screw the diet, it’s the weekend!

Image from illustrator Tricia-Rennea