Charity cake sales are a frequent fixture in our calendar, cropping up on almost a monthly basis. Be it for Comic Relief, MacMillan or independent charities, they quite often take place at the end of the week, to coincide with an office favourite “Fat Friday”
The only problem is, that by the end of the week I’m quite often short on both time and energy, and a Thursday night spent baking and washing up couldn’t be less appealing.
With that in mind, over time I’ve honed my lazy approach to cake sales, fine tuning a bake that looks like plenty of effort has been put in…when really it hasn’t.
An evolution of my never fail chocolate cake, I start off with the very trusty frosted traybake recipe from the Pink Whisk. The cake mix is made in a pan, and requires a good stir rather than an electric whisk (Helping to cut down on the washing up…)
Whipped up in around ten minutes, I tend to double up on the mix to make a bake sale sized batch.
Popped in a fully lined tin, it goes in the oven for around 20-40 minutes, completely dependent on the thickness of your bake. Your mix should look glossy, and be of a pouring consistency.
To cut down on time spent in the kitchen, I’ll plan an easy tea that can just be popped in the oven, making the cake mix while it cooks and then popping the filled tin in the oven when our dinner is ready. By the time we’re ready to sit down to eat, I’ll not only have the cake mix baking, but the washing up will be finished too (There really is that little of it)
Once the cake is baked, I’ll leave it on the side to cool. Before going to bed I’ll make sure the it’s safely stored away in an airtight tin, preventing it from going stale. This recipe stays moist for a few days, so if the bake sale is on a Friday I’ll get my baking done on a Wednesday night with no worries that the cake will be dry.
On Thursday night, or the day before the bake sale, I’ll guiltily carry out my ultimate cheat…ready-made buttercream picked up from the supermarket. Seriously cutting down on washing up, you can be fancy and pipe it, or you can opt for the “rustic” approach and simply spread it on. With several flavours and brands on the market, I tend to find chocolate fudge tastes the most homemade (Vanilla is often quite artificial)
I’ll slice the tray-bake into squares, pop into a cake turn ready to take into work with me the next day…and that’s it, you can put your feet up.
The morning of the bake sale, I’ll quickly open the tin, and top the cakes with extra treats to make them a little prettier. In the past I’ve used mini jaffa cakes, chocolate orange segments, or in the bake pictured below teeny tiny micro eggs.
And that’s it, no more than an hour spent in the kitchen altogether and you are bake sale ready. Minimum effort, maximum effect, and you’re all set to raise some money for the charity of your choice!