There are countless sources for bake sale recipes, including the Internet, cookbooks and magazines, the labels on flour and sugar containers, and treasured family favorites. Keep these tips in mind to choose the best recipes for your event.

  • Look for recipes with familiar, easily acquired ingredients.

  • If time permits, road-test a recipe on your family ahead of time.

  • It’s okay to tinker with substitutions, but cook a test batch first. The sugar in most recipes can be reduced without any loss of texture. If pecans are pricey, you can almost always substitute another type of nut.

  • If the weather is hot, choose a recipe that will hold up well under such conditions, such as muffins, cookies, fruit pies, and bars. Layer cakes and chiffon pies may not be the best choice during warmer months.

  • Think back to your childhood for nostalgic sweets such as Rice Krispies Treats, snickerdoodles, and whoopie pies.

  • Think simple and delicious rather than exotic for a bake sale—though it’s OK to give a familiar recipe a twist, like chocolate-cinnamon brownies or peanut butter chip cookies.

  • For cookies, use an ice-cream scoop to get a nice, uniform dollop of dough to bake.

  • For a tidy edge on brownies and bars, run a knife under hot water before cutting.