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Every Bake Sale Needs a Signature Item

Bake Sale Signature Item

Spice up your bake sale offerings with an original, unexpected treat that parents and kids can’t find anywhere else.

by Patti Ghezzi


You have moms lined up to bake brownies and chocolate chip cookies. You have Rice Krispy treats covered. A dad is making apple pie. A student’s grandmother is making pound cake. What more do you need?

Consider a signature item, a unique treat that kids will see other kids eating and want one now—a must-have.

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A signature item doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are some ideas:

  • Buy store-bought sugar cookies and decorate them to look like teachers and your principal.

  • Buy store-bought Rice Krispies treats. Dip one corner in melted chocolate and roll in sprinkles. Insert a wooden craft stick into the treat. Wrap with plastic wrap and tie with ribbons in your school colors.

  • Bake cupcakes in cake-style ice-cream cones.

  • Decorate plain cupcakes in your school’s colors.

  • Make crispy treats, substituting different types of colorful cereal.

  • Make a fancy layer cake such as hummingbird cake, or a three-layer yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Red velvet cake is another crowd-pleaser.

  • Make fortune cookies and have your kids help write the fortunes. (This is a project you should test out in advance.

  • Make homemade doughnuts. You can make the dough yourself or use canned biscuit dough. Make a few varieties including powdered sugar, cinnamon, and chocolate frosted.

  • Black-and-white cookies make a dramatic statement.

  • For another New York City classic, try Italian rainbow cookies. They’re less time-consuming than black-and-white cookies.

  • Buy small sugar cookies and stack them in three layers with different colors and flavors of frosting in between.

The signature item is about going for the unexpected. If you have the lead time, road test several confections and see which one scores biggest.

Originally posted in 2012 and updated regularly.

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