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8 Winning Bake Sale Recipes

Stuck for inspiration as to what to take to this year's bake sale? These big-batch beauties like blueberry muffins, brownies, shortbread, and more bake up easily and are a cinch to take to and from your event.

Reader's Digest Association, Inc.

Big British Fruity Tea Bun

Serves 12

Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus 40 minutes rising

Cook Time: 25 minutes

• 3 teaspoons dried yeast

• 1 teaspoon sugar, plus 2 tablespoons extra

• 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

• 2 tablespoons cold butter, chopped, plus extra melted butter, for brushing

• 1 egg, lightly beaten

• 1 teaspoon McCormick’s Pure Vanilla Extract

• 4 ounces golden raisins 

GLAZE

• 1 tablespoon sugar

• 1 teaspoon powdered gelatin 

ICING

• 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

• 1 tablespoon milk

• 2 teaspoons butter

• a few drops of pink food coloring

• 1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut

1. Combine the yeast, sugar and 3/4 cup warm water. Stand in a warm place for 5 to 10 minutes, or until frothy.
2. Sift the flour into a large bowl. Rub in the butter using your fingertips, then stir in the extra sugar. Mix the yeast mixture, egg, vanilla and raisins into the flour mixture until the dough comes together. Cover with plastic wrap and rest in a warm place for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size.
3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F. Brush a baking sheet with melted butter.
4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 to 8 minutes, or until smooth. Knead into a 8-inch round shape, place on the baking tray and leave to rest for 10 minutes, or until well risen.

5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the bun is golden and sounds hollow when tapped. Transfer to a wire rack. While still hot, brush with the glaze: combine the sugar, gelatin and 1 tablespoon hot water in a microwave-safe jug and microwave on high for 30 seconds, or until the gelatin is dissolved. Brush the glaze over the bun and allow to cool.
6. Meanwhile, make the icing. Sift the confectioner’s sugar into a bowl. In a small microwave-safe jug, microwave the milk and butter on high for 20 seconds, or until the butter has melted. Add to the confectioner’s sugar and stir until smooth, then add the food coloring, one drop at a time, until the desired color is reached.
7. Spread the icing over the cooled bun and sprinkle with the coconut.

Reader's Digest Association, Inc.

Blueberry Muffins

Serves 12

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

• 2 cups self-rising flour

• 1/2 cup sugar

• 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled

• 2 eggs

• 3/4 cups buttermilk

• 1 teaspoon McCormick’s Pure Vanilla Extract

• 1 cup chopped fresh or frozen blueberries

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin.
2. Sift the flour into a bowl. Stir in the sugar until well combined. Separately, whisk together the butter, eggs, buttermilk and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture with the berries and stir until just combined – don’t overbeat or the muffins will be tough.
3. Spoon the mixture into the liners. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a cake skewer inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Reader's Digest Association, Inc.

Devil’s Food Cake

Serves 12

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

• 2 3/4 cups self-raising flour

• 3/4 cup cocoa powder

• 1 teaspoon baking soda

• 1 3/4 cup sugar

• 3/4 cup butter

• 2 teaspoons McCormick’s Pure Vanilla Extract

CHOCOLATE GANACHE ICING

• 3/4 cup heavy cream

• 1 1/2 cup dark chocolate, roughly chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and line a 9-inch round cake tin with baking parchment or greaseproof paper.
2. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar until well combined.
3. Combine the butter, vanilla and 1 cup water in a saucepan over a medium heat. Stir until the butter has melted, then add to the flour mixture and whisk until well combined. Add the eggs and whisk until blended.
4. Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and smooth the top. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until a cake skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and leave in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
5. To make the icing, heat the cream in a small saucepan over a medium-low heat. When bubbles begin to form around the edge of the saucepan, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chocolate until melted and smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stand at room temperature, stirring occasionally, until the icing is of a spreadable consistency.
6. When the cake is cold, spread the icing over the top.

Reader's Digest Association, Inc.

Chocolate Coconut Squares

Serves 16

Prep Time: 20 minutes

• 2 cups confectioner’s sugar

• 1/3 cup cocoa powder

• 1/4 cup milk

• 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut

• 1 teaspoon McCormick’s Imitation Coconut Extract

• 2 × 8-inch square sponge cakes

• 1/2 cup raspberry jam

1. To make the icing, sift the icing sugar and cocoa powder into a bowl. Add the milk and 1/4 cup boiling water and stir until smooth.
2. Spread the coconut on a plate. Place one of the sponge cakes on a flat surface. Spread with the jam, top with the other sponge cake, then cut into 16 small squares.
3. Using two forks, roll a square of cake in the chocolate icing until well coated, allowing any excess to drip off. Drop the cake into the coconut and roll with your fingers to coat well. Transfer to a wire rack to set. Coat the remaining cake squares in the same way. The squared will keep in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days.

Reader's Digest Association, Inc.

Shortbread

Serves 24 to 28

Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus 15 minutes resting

Cook Time: 20 minutes

• 1 cup butter, at room temperature

• 3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

• 1 teaspoon McCormick’s Pure Vanilla Extract

• 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

• 1/2 cups cornstarch   

1. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, confectioner’s sugar and vanilla in a bowl until light and creamy. Mix in the flour and cornstarch using a wooden spoon.
2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead until smooth. Divide the dough in half, then roll out each portion to form a disc about 3/4-inch thick. Wrap the discs in greaseproof paper and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325°F. Line two baking trays with baking parchment or greaseproof paper.
4. Roll the dough out between two sheets of baking parchment or greaseproof paper until about 1/4 inch thick. Using a round, fluted 3-inch pastry cutter, cut 12 to 14 rounds from each piece of dough.
5. Place the biscuits on the baking trays and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the trays for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store in airtight containers for up to two weeks.

Reader's Digest Association, Inc.

Coconut Macaroons

Serves 24

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

• 2 egg whites

• 3/4 cup sugar

• 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

• 1 teaspoon McCormick’s Pure Vanilla Extract

• 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut

1. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line two baking trays with baking parchment or greaseproof paper.
2. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites in a bowl until soft peaks form. Add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating after each addition until well combined and dissolved. Fold in the cream of tartar, vanilla and coconut.
3. Spoon or pipe the mixture onto the baking trays. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the macaroons are dry to the touch. Allow to cool in the oven with the door ajar. Store in airtight containers.

Reader's Digest Association, Inc.

Brownies

Serves 12

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

• 1 cup unsalted butter, chopped

• 1 1/2 cup dark chocolate, roughly chopped, plus 3/4 cup dark chocolate chunks or dark chocolate chips

• 1 1/2 cup soft brown sugar

• 4 eggs, lightly beaten

• 1 teaspoon McCormick’s Pure Vanilla Extract

• 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

• sifted confectioner’s sugar, for dusting (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a 11 × 7 baking pan with baking parchment or greaseproof paper.
2. Melt the butter and the 200g chopped chocolate in a saucepan over a low heat. Whisk in the sugar until combined, then set aside for 5 minutes to cool.
3. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla, then stir the flour through. Add the chocolate chunks or chips and stir to combine.
4. Pour the mixture into the baking tin. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the top is firm and the cake is coming away from the sides of the tin – it should still be very moist inside.
5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the tin. Cut into 12 pieces and store in airtight containers for up to four days. Serve dusted with confectioner’s sugar if desired.

Reader's Digest Association, Inc.

Lemon Slice

Serves 24

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

• 14 tablespoons unsalted butter, chopped

• 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

• 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

TOPPING

• 6 eggs

• 1 3/4 cup sugar

• finely grated zest of 1 lemon

• 1/2 cup lemon juice

• 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

• sifted confectioner’s sugar, for dusting

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 8 × 12 pan with baking parchment or greaseproof paper.
2. Combine the butter, icing sugar and flour in a food processor and process until the mixture comes together in a ball – it may be necessary to add a teaspoon of cold water to bring the mixture together.
3. Press the dough evenly into the slice tin and prick several times with a fork. Bake for 25 minutes, or until lightly golden.
4. Meanwhile, make the topping. Place the eggs in a bowl and whisk. Mix in the sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice. Sift the flour over the mixture and whisk to combine.
5. Pour the mixture over the biscuit base and bake for 15 minutes, or until the topping has just set. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin. Cut into 2-inch squares and dust with confectioner’s sugar. Store in airtight containers for up to two days.

Originally Published in Reader's Digest