How to Be the Belle of the Bake Sale


warm lemon pudding cakeBad news: There’s a bake sale coming up, and you have not researched a single recipe. Good news: Here are five amazing sweets and treats that range in complexity from “I don’t know what a spatula is” to “Show me where you keep the flambé torch.” Armed and ready with a platter of these, and you’ll be a bake-sale legend unto eternity.

Oreo Bark

This recipe (courtesy of Baker’s Royale) uses just two ingredients ― no, you read that right, two ingredients. And, it takes so little time to complete that you can make it as an emergency treat whenever, wherever. You’ll need:

  • 15 regular Oreos (or similar sandwich cookie) plus 3 for topping
  • 10 ounces of white chocolate chips

After chopping all your Oreos into bite-sized chunks, melt the white chocolate in double boiler, stirring continuously. Allow the chocolate to cool slightly, and then add the chopped Oreos. Pour this mixture into an 8×8 pan. Sprinkle remaining chopped cookies over the top, and chill for 10 minutes. When chocolate is hard, lift the bark from the pan with a fork and break into similar-sized chunks.

Nutella Cake

Another two-ingredient masterpiece, this flourless cake (courtesy of Kirbie’s Cravings) simply melts in your mouth, like a spoonful of Nutella. Still, it is easier to give away slices of cake than licks from a spoon. You’ll need:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 8.5 ounces of Nutella

Beat eggs on high for about six minutes, or until they triple in volume. Meanwhile, heat the Nutella in the microwave for about 20 seconds, or until it is softer. Gently add the eggs 1/3 at a time until no streaks remain. Grease and line an eight-inch spring form pan, and then pour in the batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and allow to cool completely before removing.

Reese’s Fudge

During a recent excursion to Hershey’s Chocolate World, I learned that there is more to life than one type of fudge. Though the store rotates varieties daily, my absolute favorite is this peanut-buttery dream. Though candy-making may seem advanced, this recipe makes the process simple. You’ll need:

  • 22 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  • 14 ounces of sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 cups of chocolate chips

Line an 8×8 pan with aluminum foil, and coat generously with non-stick spray. Then place 16 unwrapped Reese’s at the bottom. Roughly chop the remaining Reese’s and set aside. Zap the chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk in the microwave for 30-second increments, stirring in between, to melt. Pour evenly over the peanut butter cups, then sprinkle the remaining chopped Reese’s. Refrigerate completely, then cut into squares.

Butterfinger Cookies

Drop cookies are a bake sale godsend, since you can whip up three batches in no time. These golden goodies (from Taste of Home) are especially tasty, as they hide a chocolatey, butterscotch secret inside. You’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cups chunky peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 full-sized Butterfinger candy bars, chopped

Cream together butter and sugars, then beat in egg whites. Add the peanut butter and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, then gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet. Stir in the Butterfinger. Form 1-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-12 minutes.

Hershey’s Croissants

When you combine flaky pastry with rich chocolate, people go wild. Though this recipe (from Hershey’s) requires a bit more doing than the previous ones, it certainly isn’t hard. Plus, it will be worth seeing the astonishment on the other moms’ faces when you sell out before everyone else. You’ll need:

  • 2 cans crescent dinner roll dough
  • 3 tablespoons of butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup Hershey’s Cocoa
  • 3 tablespoons pecans

Beat the butter until it is creamy, and slowly add the sugar until well-blended. Beat in the milk, vanilla, and cocoa, and finally stir in the pecans. After carefully separating the crescent rough into 16 triangles, place a heaping tablespoon of the chocolate mixture within 1/2 inch of the triangles’ edges. Then, starting at the shortest side, roll the croissants up, pressing the edges to seal completely. Bake 12-15 minutes at 375 degrees on an ungreased cookie sheet.

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