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What are your top tips for the school cake sale? Tell Flora for the chance to win a £200 John Lewis voucher. NOW CLOSED

(285 Posts)
AngelieMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 01-Sep-14 11:08:14

With school starting up again and cake sales coming up, Flora would love to hear about Mumsnetters' tips for the school cake sale.

Here's what Flora have to say: “We know that the school cake sale can sometimes be a battleground but Flora is here to offer a helping hand. Baking with Flora Buttery couldn’t be simpler- just 5 ingredients and 15 minutes is all it takes. All it takes is a bowl and spoon! You can even get the kids to help for easy peasy baking fun and tasty sell out cakes every time!”

So, what are your top tips for the school cake sale? Do you have any simple fail-safe cake recipes which you know will sell well? Do you like to bake with your DCs? Perhaps you prefer to buy cakes? Are there any cake sale favourites which have surprised you?

Do you have any tips for navigating cake stand politics? What are the pricing policies in place at your DCs' school? What tips do you have for getting as many parents involved as possible?

Whatever your top tips are, Flora would love to hear about it.

Everyone who posts on this thread will be entered into a prize draw where one winner will receive a £200 John Lewis voucher.

Please note your comments may be included on Flora's social media channels, and possibly elsewhere, so please only post if you're comfortable with this.

Thanks and good luck,
MNHQ

How to win at the cake sale.

1. Don't bake cakes.
2. Make chocolate crispy cakes using cornflakes or rice crispies and lots of chocolate.
3. Decorate with shed loads of colourful hundreds and thousands.

Sorry Flora, but that's the truth.

Oh, other questions.

1. The children always go for something chocolate that's covered in bright or sparkly stuff.
2. You can sell crispy cakes at a low price as they're cheap to make, so you don't feel cheated that the amount of effort isn't recouped in a 20p per cake price tag.

CMOTDibbler Mon 01-Sep-14 13:09:23

I make mini cupcakes as they cook so fast (top tip, dollop mixture into a piping bag to make filling cases easy), and Betty Crocker fudge icing with a sprinkle of sparkly stuff. The kids love them, they sell well, and making them takes 30 min end to end

HermioneWeasley Mon 01-Sep-14 13:11:15

Make cupcakes with piles of lurid icing and as many sprinkles as it will hold - they always sell first

Roseformeplease Mon 01-Sep-14 15:31:38

Meringues are really, really easy and sell well to adults. Make them ahead of time (they keep for ages) and then just put cream in before. I make them tiny and put them in a cupcake case or make mini pavlovas with a bit of strawberry on top.

Individual cakes are far, far better than trying to cut slices.

ShowMeTheWonder Mon 01-Sep-14 15:37:07

Cookie monster cupcakes - make plain cupcakes. Top with ice cream scoop of blue frosting and cover in dessicated coconut dyed with blue food colouring. Dot white chocolate buttons with a blob of melted dark chocolate for eyes and shove half a cookie in the frosting underneath the eyes. They are really easy but impressive!

Frontier Mon 01-Sep-14 15:37:21

LOL - I came on to say chocolate crispie cakes, everytime.

Low cost (cheapest possible chocolate is fine) minimum time and effort and always sell out first.

Gingerbreadmen do well too but for profit v effort the crispie cakes win hands down.

Fillybuster Mon 01-Sep-14 15:41:02

Chocolate, sprinkles and jelly sweets are generally the key ingredients for a successful school bake sale. The cake element is (almost) optional as long as the others are well represented smile

Fairy Cupcakes <shudders> are so ovaaah.

Chocolate crispies, well decorated, or meringues are always good winners.

I make mini chocolate loaf cakes and decorate liberally. They always sell out <preens> - probably because they're pretty, small and not cupcakes. I normally use Nigella's 'old fashioned chocolate cake' mix (with sour cream) as it makes a really moist, not-too-sweet cake, but I've also got a dairy-free, oil-based hot water chocolate cake mix that I can knock up in 5 minutes that works well.

IvyMay Mon 01-Sep-14 15:52:16

Definitely agree that sweets on the top are there way to go -galaxy buttons look particularly good on chocolate cAke. On glacé icing I often use those jelly cherries or strawberries (Haribo do the strawberries and several of the smkts do the cherries as own brands) as they look good against plain white icing.

I also make smallish fairy cakes rather than muffins or cupcakes - they work out cheaper (given that they're being sold for 25p) and it's about the icing and toppings rather than the cake.

LEE88 Mon 01-Sep-14 15:59:58

Chocolate crispy cakes with marshmallows or a packet mix of cupcakes is my limit, and quick and easy too.

Scrounger Mon 01-Sep-14 16:05:08

Yes agree with everyone on rice crispie / cornflake cakes and buns with loads of sparkly, glittery stuff on top. Dolly mixtures and small marshmallows on the tops go down really well. Never mind about whether it looks tasteful or not just load up on toppings.

Our school varies the prices so 20p for a small bun / 50p for muffin.

I hate shop bought cakes, I avoid these as they never taste as nice as the homemade ones.

gildedlily Mon 01-Sep-14 16:29:05

Yep the big, lurid, sweet encrusted cupcakes sell well at ours. Along with variations on rocky road. We also have a mum who makes homemade bread which goes down well.

Whilst I like baking with my children I tend to do bake sale baking on my own.

jelliebelly Mon 01-Sep-14 16:36:02

cupcakes or traybakes all the way at our school - bought or homemade - and all at the same price of 20p each. No point in turning it into a competition for the parents!!

ScienceRocks Mon 01-Sep-14 16:54:35

My top tip is to make fairy cakes (NOT cupcakes confused) to your usual recipe, then use readymade buttercream to ice them and add stars for the Christmas fair, mini eggs for the Easter fair, and sprinkles for the summer fair.

If you make a bigger cake, don't do anything that needs refrigeration. The cake stall doesn't have such facilities. Label it so people know what it is. It might be obvious to you that it is a lemon drizzle cake, but to the poor person who trying to deal with a million enquiries, lots of loose change and an idiot who only has a £50 note, they will really appreciate not having to answer questions abut what type of cake it is.

Don't worry about organic this or free range that, nobody cares. However, do label the cakes with allergy info such as "contain flour, eggs and dairy" as this is quite helpful for whoever runs the cake stall.

Don't use your precious cake tin to transport cakes to school, instead save old ice cream tubs or shoe boxes. That way the poor person who is running the cake stall doesn't have to track down all the tin owners the following school day. If you do insist on using a tin you went back, label it clearly with the name of your child and the class they are in, not your name.

<mutters about many hours spent trying to return boxes to owners and complaints that have come in when I have failed in my quest because apparently I didn't try hard enough>

lordnoobson Mon 01-Sep-14 16:56:11

top tip - point to one someone else brought and pronounce it to be your contribution

Krakken Mon 01-Sep-14 17:06:15

My suggestion is fairy cakes, buttercream or chocolate and sprinkles for the kids and coconut or lemon cake for adults.
I bake them in aluminium trays you can get in the supermarket so you can just take them in in that.

Check what sells. It's very dependent on the school, so check at school not on MN. At our school big cakes (Victoria sandwiches and the like) which people can take home and pretend they made themselves are most popular, but I know at other schools it is small cakes covered in as much sugar and food colouring as possible which sell.

Don't spend more on ingredients than the things can be sold for. For example, if you are going to make brownies, FGS use Sainsburys Basic dark chocolate at 30p a bar, not G&B at £2+ - it tastes just as good anyway.

always use butter, not Flora

AtYourCervix Mon 01-Sep-14 17:29:32

Just give them a fiver.

Saves spending £18 on ingredients, staying up to 1am baking, then seeing your beautiful cakes sold for 20p each.

Much less expense and hassle.

Redtartanshoes Mon 01-Sep-14 17:31:56

In the past I have made Anthony Worrall Thompson Triple Choc brownies. They sell like er hot cakes but I actually lose money on them, 800g of choc, 8oz of butter and sugar and 4 eggs means most batches cost £6+ and to cut a decent slice you only get 10..

QuintessentiallyQS Mon 01-Sep-14 17:32:21

Whatever your top tips are, Flora would love to hear about it. No you really dont! grin cake

My top tip does not in any way involve Flora, or any butter/margarine.

1. Cake Mix.
I use cake mix. Chocolate cake. Mix with 450 ml water and olive oil, double the portion for a large tray bake.

2. Ready made chocolate icing. Auntie Bessie ready made chocolate icing.

(With young kids in school, you dont have time to faff about with complicated stuff, and lets face it the kids are only really interested in decorating the cakes, not the baking part)

3. A large supply of cake toppers and colourful edible stuff, like jelly diamonds, smarties, and glittery stuff.

4. Be gender specific, pink for girls, blue/green for boys - I dont care about the politics, if you have been to any bake sale the following apply:

a) Taste does not matter. The toppings do.
b) Girls chose cake with pink
c) Boys chose anything but pink.
d) ALL your cake slices/cupcakes must be sold, and the thicker layer of icing and large amount of yummy looking toppings, the more you can charge!

Blatherskite Mon 01-Sep-14 17:36:38

Whatever you do, don't take a soggy Lemon Drizzle Cake wink

Themed things tend to go down well at our school. Snowmen at Christmas, nests at Easter etc. The more sweets you can put on the top the better

AndHarry Mon 01-Sep-14 17:44:09

I always send in a tray of chocolate crispie cakes covered in edible sparkles, which get snapped up. Also popular are fairy cakes with Disney character wafers or icing animal faces.

The massively popular items aren't cakes but samosas, spring rolls and pakora. Mmmm.

I've never done pricing but here the price seems to be 30p each or 4 for £1.

ChippyMinton Mon 01-Sep-14 17:45:06

Cut the side off a cereal box and line with tinfoil for a disposable tray.

If time is short, buy a few packs of supermarket plain fairy cakes and go all out on the decoration - sweets are fine, and cheaper than cake decorations.

Instant fondant icing sugar gives a nice finish without the need for a dense blob of fat frosting.

I bake with either Stork or Flora Buttery as both give a light Victoria sponge.

And my top tip - suss out how the cake stall is run. At my DC school the PTA bag up all contributions - bought and home-made - to sell for £whatever/6 cakes. All the lovingly homemade and decorated ones get squished in with the Value mini-rolls and Mr Kipling, and therefore a wasted effort sad

AtYourCervix Mon 01-Sep-14 18:07:46

Always try to buy your own back. You have no idea what how many spitty fingers got dipped in the icing of other cakes.

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