Americans generally are familiar with bake sales as a method of raising
funds for an organization or a cause. I recently discovered they are
popular in Great Britain as well, sometimes organized by a group or used
as a way for individual homemakers to earn pin money.
By Mary Emma Allen
Most of us recall bake sales from childhood as well as in our adult
years. Perhaps we've been involved in furnishing baked goods, helping
organize and sell, or simply purchasing the homemade goodies.
Cookbooks also have been written with recipes from baked sales or with
suggestions for recipes to make that sell well. (I've always found that
Brownies and Chocolate Chip Cookies are high on the list of popular bake
A cookbook recommended to me for recipes and recipe histories is "The
Bake Sale Cookbook" by Sally Sampson.
Bake Sales of Memory
I recall the ladies of the local church in our small town conducting bake
sales at the Town Hall on Election Day, at the church's annual Rummage
Sale, or Turkey Dinner. Although in those days, homemakers provided their
families with more homemade goodies than "store bought" ones, it was
still a treat when Mother purchased something at the bake sale she didn't
Also, at these bake sales, you often could purchase one or two cookies, a
piece of cake or pie, to eat with coffee, tea or lemonade while waiting
to vote or afterwards while chatting with people you met. This was a good
way to keep children occupied who may have accompanied you to voting or
the rummage sale.
Youngsters' Bake Sales
Organizations like the Girl Scouts and 4-H groups may hold bake sales to
raise money for their projects. My daughter's and granddaughter's Brownie
and Girl Scout troops often participated in bake sales, either on their
own or in combination with an adult one. These might be in front of the
local supermarket or another store where there is high traffic of people
coming and going.
When I was a 4-H member, our leader coordinated bake sales. This gave us
an opportunity make those recipes we'd learned in our cooking classes and
ask adults to contribute, too.
Bake Sale Variations
When our local library holds its annual book sale, I discovered an array
of goodies to eat on the spot or buy to take home. This definitely caught
the attention of my grandson who accompanied me.
At craft fairs and quilt shows you'll often find a refreshment area where
members have furnished food you can purchase to take home or eat while
you chat with friends. When the PTA at the local school holds events,
there may be a food table.
HERMITS - an old-fashioned recipe, perhaps used for bake sales in past
years. Try some for your next bake sale. These can be cut into bars and
Cover 2 cups raisins with cold water and simmer 15 minutes; drain and let
cool. Cream 1 1/2 cups sugar with 1/2 cup margarine. Stir in 2 eggs, one
at a time.
Sift together 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1
teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon cloves, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg; add to
Stir in raisins and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts.
Pour into greased and floured 13 x 9-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees F. for
30 minutes. Cool and cut into squares.
(C) 2003 Mary Emma Allen
About the Author
Mary Emma Allen has been writing her "Cooking Column" for newspapers
and online publications for 30 years and
has compiled a family cookbook. SheÂ’s currently compiling a
"Tales From a Country Kitchen." Visit her web site for more cooking
articles. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org