No Fail Bake Sale

by Jacky Martin

Spring is just around the corner and that means it's fund-raising time for schools, clubs and sports teams. Whether you are raising money for a field trip or for new uniforms, bake sales are a popular method of raising money.

They are fairly easy to organize and are seen anywhere that people gather, whether it be church, school, the grocery store or the mall.

There are a few tips to remember to keep your baking safe. Lots of children are allergic to nuts, so leave those out of your recipes or make certain that they are labeled clearly. This means peanut oil as well. Since the items up for sale will be sitting out for a few hours, things that are easily contaminated, such as cream pies, should be avoided. Fruit loaves, muffins, cake squares and brownies are particularly popular, because they are easily frozen, so people will buy more. They are also easy to make and package, can be made up in large quantities and are fairly easy to sell.

Build your sale around a theme. For instance, a sports competition or an upcoming holiday will draw more customers to your table. Since Easter is approaching, cupcakes decorated like bunnies or even iced in pastel colors and decorated with Easter-type candy, like Easter sprinkles are good sellers.

Another money-maker is to have a central item, such as a well-decorated cake, to raffle. If Easter is the theme, then perhaps a rabbit or 3-D lamb cake could be your prize. If your fund-raiser is for a baseball team, then a cake decorated like a field, complete with players and bases, would be a great idea.

For a spring sale, here's a cute recipe that is colorful, easy and will be irresistible to your customers!

Sunshine Cupcakes

Take any standard cake mix and make up a batch or two of cupcakes. You will need yellow frosting, orange gel icing and candy corns (about 10 for each cupcake). When I make these, I use yellow cake mix, then frost with the yellow frosting. Put the candy corns around the edge, with the point of the candy facing out. Then, with the orange gel, pipe a smiley face in the middle. If you are really feeling fancy, get two brown m&m's, put them over the eyes of the face for sunglasses, then pipe one line on each side in chocolate gel icing to finish off the sunglasses.

Happy baking!