Charity bake sale ideas and tips

Get baking for charity and watch the pounds roll in for young people facing cancer. Find out everything you need to know about making your event a success with these ideas and tips for charity bake sales.

How to organise a charity bake sale

Find a venue

Clementine and Odille at Delphine’s school setting up for the cake sale
Clementine and Odille at Delphine’s school setting up for the cake sale

Wondering how to do a bake sale for charity? First, you’ll need a venue to sell your tasty treats, whether it’s your workplace, school or community hall. You could even host it at your home or in your front garden. You can hold a charity bake sale pretty much anywhere, but it’s best to find a venue without a rental fee so that you can maximise the amount you raise.

Delphine is one of our youngest fundraisers. She was just 9 when, with the support of her school and family, she decided to do something to help her older sister Odille, who had been diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma.

Delphine says: “I was feeling sad at school and my headmistress encouraged me to do something to help her. I decided to do a cake sale because I like baking and I chose Teenage Cancer Trust because they have helped her to get better. Everyone loved the cakes and we raised £500.”

Get planning

Once you’ve secured your venue, it’s time to start planning. Are you doing the charity bake sale alone or calling on others to help? The more bakers the better, as it will provide a bigger number and wider variety of sweet and savoury treats for people to buy. Call on friends, family and colleagues to help make your bake sale fundraiser a success. Remember to find out what everyone plans to bake so that there aren’t too many or not enough of certain cakes or biscuits.

Spread the word

The next step is to advertise your charity bake sale. Create posters and put them up around your local community, school or workplace. Post on social media and in online neighbourhood groups. If you want as many people as possible at your event, consider contacting your local newspaper or radio station to see if they can help promote it. And don’t forget to tell us about your event, either. Register your event with Teenage Cancer Trust and we’ll make sure you’ll receive plenty of help and support along the way.

On the day

Lay out the tables, decorate them and present your baked goods ready for people to buy. Price up the items and, if needed, enlist volunteers to take the cash. Bake sale prices for a fundraiser will vary between events; sell the produce for the amount you think people are willing and able to pay. You can always adjust this as you go along. Consider selling some liquid refreshments to wash down the cakes and biscuits, like homemade lemonade, tea or coffee.

Charity bake sale ideas

Christmas cookies on a table

Simplicity can be key when it comes to bake sales. It’s best to stick to tried and tested recipes guaranteed to get taste buds tingling rather than trying new or complicated ones for the first time. 

Giving your charity bake sale a theme is always a good idea. Hosting it around Christmas, for example, will let imaginations run wild when it comes to cake toppings and biscuit decorating. And that’s not to mention the endless list of festive recipes to choose from. How about gingerbread men, yuletide logs,

Christmas puddings and mince pies? Or rocky roads and festive fairy cakes? Time it right, and you’ll also have people buying up your baked goods to share with their families over the festive season.

Christmas Fundraising Ideas

Halloween and Easter are also good seasonal events to tie your charity bake sale into. Or picking another theme depending on why and who inspired you to hold the event is another way of injecting some extra personality and creativity into your baking fundraiser. How about welcoming some audience participation, too? Bake some plain biscuits and invite people to decorate them in return for an extra donation. You could even offer a prize for the most impressive design.

But you don’t need a theme to make it a success. Traditional bake sales are always a winning formula and have raised millions - if not billions - of pounds for charity over time.

Here are Teenage Cancer Trust’s top five items for a bake sale menu:

  • Banana bread
  • Lemon drizzle cake
  • Millionaire’s shortbread
  • Carrot cake
  • Victoria sponge

Why support Teenage Cancer Trust

Hugo, 22, at a Teenage Cancer Trust unit

With your help today, we can fund specialist nurses and youth workers to be there for a young person when cancer has turned their world upside down.

Our life-changing work relies on donations from the public – we can’t do it without you.

You can help make sure cancer doesn’t rob young people of the best years of their life.

Our registered charity details: 1062559 (England & Wales), SC039757 (Scotland).

Good luck!

You’ve got your volunteer bakers poised beside their ovens and your venue ready to go. All that’s left to do is wish you luck for your event, and thank you for choosing to raise vital cash for Teenage Cancer Trust. Your support is a lifeline for young people in need of our services, including specialised nursing care and vital support and advice. We’re the only UK charity dedicated to helping 13 to 24-year-olds affected by cancer.

Last but not least, find out how to get your bake sale cash to Teenage Cancer Trust in our paying in money guide.