Six ways to nail the school cake stall when you’re pressed for time

We’ve been back to school for one week and we’ve already had a cake stall.

Frosting to impress

As a first-time kindy mum, this felt like high stakes. Having always fancied myself a “baker” I saw it as an opportunity to come good in the mum department. I work full time, so there’s not much chance of volunteering. The cake stall is where it’s at.

Or, so I thought.

When we turned up this morning with our Tupperware full of biscuits, labelled accordingly, I looked around the rest of the table. The icing game was strong. As were the cupcakes and even some jellies.

Wow.

The whole experience has me wondering what are some easy ways to win this cake stall stuff when you’re pressed for time and keen to impress?

Or at least, pass without embarrassing your child.

1. Wrap it

I opted for choc chip cookies this time, but my eye was drawn to the bright coloured cupcake wrappers the other mums turned up with. A colleague who’s seen three kids through school (this makes her an expert) tells me anything wrapped in cellophane is an equally clever trick.

“Think, bright and cute. Whip up a batch of toffees and dress them in cellophane and a ribbon. Or choose the cupcake wrappers that are silver or neon with patterns. The audience is bite-sized and drawn to shiny things.”


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2. Go full cupcake. With all the trimmings

“Invest in two cupcake trays and perfect your cupcake recipe now,” advises another colleague with two high school kids.

“Also, Betty Crocker icing is your friend. It hides a multitude of sins. Whip up a batch of cupcakes, layer with Betty Crocker and then get really creative with toppings. Sprinkles, and anything with colour. Lollies, snakes cut up small. Anything bright and colourful is a winner.”

3. No-bake slices

When it comes to the cake stall, the aim of the game is selling your merch. So, why waste time and effort making something that requires lots of either? No-bake slices are a great choice here. Whip all your ingredients up in a bow, stick in the fridge overnight, cut and display. Also a good choice for wrapping up individually.

4. Go old-school

As tempting as it could be to get a little fancy, old-school probably works best for the simple fact that they’re easily recognisable. Think chocolate fudge, vanilla cupcakes with strawberry icing and even a cracking smartie biscuit or choc chip cookie. Cut them large, cut them small or mix around the shapes with your cookie cutters.

5. Label it

Something that is obvious to you because you made it (and agonised over it for weeks, to boot) doesn’t mean it’s instantly recognisable to anyone else. So add its name and a short list of ingredients under the tag where your name and number goes.

6. When in doubt, go gluten-free

If ever there was a selling point this is it! With so many families facing the gluten-free challenge, whipping something up that fits this bill is a smart move that will prove popular on the day. Why? Because you are solving a problem in a sweet and accessible way! Just don’t forget the icing :)

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