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School bake sale etiquette

(21 Posts)
Cinnabunbun Mon 08-Oct-18 14:38:49

Eldest has just started reception so I've not even attended one of these sales before. I've volunteered to help set up and staff it so I'm looking for tips about how these things normally run.

So far I've got plans for a table, tablecloth, 3 helpers, donations from the class and we should have a mention in the school newsletter. I've been given the tip of labelling containers so they go back to the right people but what else?

What are the big sellers?
What kind of prices do people normally charge?
Are people supposed to display ingredients somehow?
How do you display prices?

We are hoping to make lots of money for the PTA but it's a regular city primary with the usual mix of inequalities, allergies, cultural differences etc. What do I need to think about to make it inclusive and successful?

sleepismysuperpower1 Mon 08-Oct-18 17:12:25

write the ingredients on some card next to each item, with what it is at the top.

some good sellers:

'top hats' - fill a mini cupcake case half way with melted chocolate. pop a marshmallow in (veggie ones) and then a smartie on top (stuck on with melted chocolate.) heres what they look like: link

cupcakes: vanilla with different flavours of buttercream and pop some sprinkes or smarties on top

cookies: again, vanilla flavour. use fun sprinkles and icing

rice krispie chocolate cakes

good luck!

sleepismysuperpower1 Mon 08-Oct-18 17:13:14


15p per top hat, they r very small

70p for everything else

rainingcatsanddog Mon 08-Oct-18 17:20:55

Best sellers (kids) are the colourful ones - sprinkles and edible glitter go down a treat. Can't go wrong with a fairy cake (garish icing allowed here!) or Rice Krispie treat imo.

I always bake a dairy free/gluten free batch of cake too and stick a little cocktail stick with a flag (think Nandos chicken labels) The kids who are severely allergic don't tend to buy bake sale stuff just in case. Shop bought stuff (individually wrapped) might be popular with children with severe allergies.

Have lots of napkins and maybe a sandwich bag for people who want to take away their cake rather than scoff it Asao,

NewName54321 Mon 08-Oct-18 18:24:55

If you have a really nice cake, consider raffling it.

FekkoTheLawyer Mon 08-Oct-18 18:29:11

Chocolate cake slices
Big cookies (with smarties it jelly tots)
Fairy cakes (bright icing)
Chocolate corn flake cakes/rice Krispy squares

I used to portion everything into cake bags (the ones with a paper back and clear front) with a sticker with all of the ingredients listed.

TeenTimesTwo Mon 08-Oct-18 18:34:15

2 prices only (max 3), prices end in 0s not 5s - it is a nightmare for the treasurer. We just have some A4 pieces of paper stuck to the table e.g. Large £1, medium 60p, small 30p. Whole cakes - please ask. (Whole cakes - work out how many slices you could cut it into and price from there).

You need a float, £30 or so, £1 coins and 10p pieces.

You have to charge enough for people to feel it was worth their while baking stuff, but not so much you put people off buying. Be willing to reduce near the end to get stuff sold. We give any extras to after school club / staff room.

Cheap bags for putting things in, e.g. from Lidl or wherever. Can also be used a gloves for food handlers.

You need to knife to hand in case people do whole cakes that need cutting.

We've never bothered with ingredients lists, the people with allergies aren't going to trust other people's random home bakes anyway.

LEMtheoriginal Mon 08-Oct-18 18:41:57

You need them to be dropped off in the morning of the sale so you will need volunteers to collect them.

We used to start ours half hour before pick up and offer teas and coffees. We also had second hand uniform for sale.

It was BEDLAM!! But a good fund raiser.

Remember to show equal gratitude for bake off style patisserie to green fairy cakes to shop bought cakes from aldi. Trust me - they will all sell.

Have a supply of food bags.

Ask peope to name their cake tins and collect them at the end else you'll be storing them all.

Be extra nice to the kitchen staff and leave the place as you found it.

Cinnabunbun Mon 08-Oct-18 20:35:52

I hadn't thought about people dropping them off in the morning. I better find somewhere to keep them during the day then!

Thinking about prices, is 50p for a cornflake cake or flapjack about right? £1 for a cupcake feels a bit cheap but do parents get miffed if you charge more?

Maccycheesefries Fri 26-Oct-18 07:08:36

Sort cake donations out before the sale so all fresh home baked to be put out first. Keep replacing with home baked cakes as they're sold.

Shop bought cakes to be ordered by sell by dates & just sell those until all gone.

My PTA held back the longer shelf life cakes as we always had way too many to sell at the Christmas fair. Those cakes were then sold at the playground and at carol concerts. We always made a killing doing this.
Use Plastic gloves

Have a person handling money only

Have another person making hot drinks

Then another taking cake orders so you have a queueing system otherwise you'll have people blocking the queue while they think.

An hour before closing do four cakes for £1 or so.

Stuckforthefourthtime Fri 26-Oct-18 07:11:24

Ask the other parents what the usual rules are. They vary a bit and children who are used to buying a cake for 50p will not necessarily have money if it's 70p and some parents (inevitably) will tut...

Maccycheesefries Fri 26-Oct-18 07:16:46

The prices at my school were:

Cake slices from large cakes & big cupcakes & muffins = £1

Brownies, rocky road, millionaire s shortbread = 75p

Average fairy cakes, Mr. Kipling sized slices = 50p

Mini fairy cakes, petit fours = 25p

Hot drinks = £1

Kids drinks 50p

AlbusPercival Fri 26-Oct-18 07:17:46

Guidance from FSA here. It’s pretty clear and helpful

AnnaNimmity Fri 26-Oct-18 07:19:59

we have one each week - a different class runs it. Ask for donations (shop bought or home-made) a week in advance (Newsletter). Reminder on the day before the sale. People bring in cakes either in the morning or at the time of the sale.

I agree 2 prices only (think ours are 50p and 20p). We only specify ingredients where they are dairy/egg/wheat-free.

If we have a special, whole school sale, it's the same principle, but more cakes and we do charge a little bit more.

MrDonut Fri 26-Oct-18 07:22:01

Can you ask someone whose kids were there last year? From experience, people don't like change, so if you can find out what they charged last year and maybe get some tips, it would be helpful for you.

askjeeves Fri 26-Oct-18 07:35:54

We tend to raise more when we ask for donations rather than price the cakes individually. People tend to be quite generous. But we live in a fairly affluent area.

If you put a big money tin or pot on the table, you also get round the hygiene issues of needing to handle cash and food. People can just pop their donation in the pot themselves.

BertrandRussell Fri 26-Oct-18 07:38:48

We arranged them on the tables by price. So 30p at one end, 50 in the middle, £1 at the other end. Or whatever prices you decide. Make sure you have some small things for the little children who come up hopefully clutching 10p.

Knife for slicing. Plenty of paper napkins. Bulk bags.

If you’re planning on doing it regularly, suggest that people bring a Tuppaware to take cakes home in.

DogMamma Fri 26-Oct-18 07:40:13

My son just moved to high school. But during primary years I would always bake for the fun days, raffles etc i would usually do a 8inch iced and decorated sponge (themed to time of year) and some tray bake or fairy cakes, as i couldn't help with staffing the event, the head teacher would ask what I wanted charged for them, I always said whatever you want it doesnt bother me, I heard many parents moan about the prices the school charged for their bakes. I never got it, its not like they would be recieving the profit it's an event for the kids
But as previous posters have said round numbers and I would charge 30p-50p a fairy cake or cookie 60p a slice such as flapjack and yeah raffle off any full cakes or working out how many slices it is is a good idea. I really dont get why some parents complain when their cakes are priced cheap! I'd spend around 25-30 quid making a cake for the events more if I was doing an Xmas cake I was just always happy seeing it all gone and not wasted.

anniehm Fri 26-Oct-18 08:01:49

You'll find donations are quite mixed. Generally schools have a no nuts policy so make sure parents know and our school asked us to stick a label on the front with ingredients for home bakes (some parents will send in shop cakes!) Don't overcharge, but ensure it's fair based on amount of work, but mostly relax, it's only a bake sale, you will be fine.

Meet0nTheIedge Fri 26-Oct-18 08:16:23

I helped run ours for yeard. We always took cash donations rather than pricing the cakes. It worked really well, bakers didn't feel their cakes were being sold too cheaply, no one had to handle money (much, we did take notes out of the money baskets and put them away) we didn't need change floats and it sped up the queue.

The things that went down well with kids tended to be brightly coloured and decorated. Flavours, other than chocolate, didn't - we didn't ask bakers for ingredient lists so couldn't tell what flavours things were and quite frequently you would see a child bite into a delicious looking cake and recoil because the icing was an unexpected flavour.

We used to get through gallons of squash as well as hot drinks for the adults.

twilightcafe Fri 26-Oct-18 08:20:28

Rocky Road always sells out when I make it for bake sales.
You can vary the rocky bits: pink wafers and chocolate M&Ms always goes down well.

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