Austin Bakes for Nepal Bake Sale Totals

Photo by Lisa Rawlinson

Photo by Lisa Rawlinson

First off, a huge thank you to all the people who volunteered in various ways, baked, shopped, and helped spread the word about our city wide charity bake sale. We are still waiting on a couple of totals from partners, but we are happy to report the amounts raised at each of the bake sale locations on Saturday:

  • Whole Foods Market Lamar  $1138.53
  • Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew   $1074.36
  • Whole Foods Market Gateway  $1222.28
  • Whole Foods Market Arbor Trails  $958.42
  • Crema Bakery & Cafe  $914.04
  • Whip In  $147.73
  • Springdale Farm  $825.85
  • Whole Foods Market Bee Cave,  $649.00

That brings the running total for Austin Bakes for Nepal to $6930.21! 100% will be donated to AmeriCares for relief efforts going on now in Nepal.

Our FirstGiving page for online donations is still open for donations until Sunday, May 31, so there’s still time to donate if you have not already. We’ll report updated totals once we have that information.

The show of generosity and sense of community on Saturday was moving and inspiring. One woman rushed to the bake sale at the Whip In on her bicycle just before 2:00, having just gotten off of work, and shared stories of time she spent in Nepal and the people she met there. And while she said her budget was exceedingly tight, she wanted to contribute as much as she could. Her commitment to contributing help in whatever way she could was matched by so many across the city, through their donations and their time. Again, we can not express our thanks enough to all who helped.

It’s a Party. It’s a Baking Party. It’s a Baking Party Weekend.

(Actually the baking party will be on Friday, specifically… and any other Texas “old timers” remember that song from the 80s?)

We’d like to invite you to a live baking party, from each of our kitchens, all day long this Friday, May 22.

Peanut Butter Cookies_Stetted

Here’s how it works:

  • Friday as you prep, bake, and package your goodies for Saturday’s charity bake sale for Nepal, take photos and share them on Twitter and Instagram. We want to see what you’re are making, and we’ll share them to help get people excited about what’s in store.*
  • Use the hashtag #AustinBakes for all your posts.
  • Tag Austin Bakes on Twitter and Instagram.
  • Check the hashtag for what others are doing, and interact!

This event is all about community after all. Let’s party, y’all.

*By participating in the Baking Party on Friday, you agree to allow us to repost your photos on our social media channels and website to help promote this and future bake sales. All photos will be credited.

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What to Bake? What to Bake? That is the Question.

Believe it or not, the answer is relatively simple: bake what you like to eat.

For most bake sale customers, this will be an impulse buy. With 9 bakes sale locations at local grocery stores, restaurants, and bakeries, food will be on people’s minds, whether they are shopping for Memorial Day weekend festivities, hosting out-of-town guests for graduation, or just out and about enjoying a meal. They might see a coffee cake that would be great for feeding a crowd the next morning, a pie to serve after dinner, or an irresistible cookie, cupcake, or brownie for immediate gratification. A range of serving sizes is a good thing, so don’t be afraid to donate a whole cake if that’s your thing. Cute, decorated items have a broad appeal, especially for kids, but don’t feel like it’s necessary to leave your comfort zone. In fact, baking is often all about comfort. An adorably decorated cupcake will sell, and so will a classic chocolate chip cookie. If you adhere to any special diets like vegan or gluten-free, stick to that, someone else will be interested as well. Just ask yourself what you would be likely to buy, and your answer to the question of what to bake will follow.

To get your creative juices flowing, here are some photos of items that have been donated to previous Austin Bakes bake sale.

Lamar- Claudette's Creations5

Gateway- Gluten free choco chip cookies- stetted

Please bring exact change if you can. We'll also accept checks and gifts made securely via credit card online.

2 Pixiespace rhubarb pie

4 Vegan Lazy Smurf

If you’d still like to muse a little more, here are some links that might be useful:

Whatever you decide, sign up today so that we can begin gauging how much we will have available at each location (just put “TBD” if you’re undecided, we’re okay with that, but it helps us to know that people are planning to bring something). Just click the link for any of the locations below to go to our sign-up sheets:

And a couple of important reminders… don’t forget that according to Texas Cottage Food law, only non-perishable items may be sold at a bake sale (no cheesecake and the like), and they must be individually wrapped. Also, be sure to shop Make It Sweet at 9070 Research Blvd., Set 203, Austin, TX 78758 for your ingredients and supplies. Mention “Austin Bakes” as you check out, and they’ll donate 25% of the sale to Austin Bakes for Nepal! The offer is good through Friday, May 22.


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The Art of Packaging Baked Goods

They say that you taste with your eyes, so it stands to figure that the prettier an item is, the better it will sell at a bake sale. Packaging your goodies in an attractive way not only helps get them off the table as quickly as possible, it helps generate larger donations from bake sale patrons.

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Large fragile treats, like frosted cupcakes or whole pies should be boxed up. Looks for bakers’ boxes at your local bake supply shop. Boxes with clear windows are perfect for bake sales because they let buyers get a sneak peek at your beautiful baked goods.

Small items do best when sold in batches. Try packing up cookies, cake balls, or granola bars by the half-dozen or bakers’ dozen. Plain looking items, like loaves of banana bread or batches of granola can be dolled up by colorful wrappings and bags. Try embellishing your goodies with pretty tags, labels, ribbons and bakers’ twine.

Gateway Nut Free Granola- The Kid Can Cook

Photo by M. Fandrich

Labeling your goodies properly is really important for a few reasons. First off, people want to know what they are buying, so adding a descriptive title to your treats can help entice sales. Food allergies and special diets are also an important thing to consider. If your recipe includes a common allergen, like peanuts, consider adding a note on your label letting folks know.

If you’ve made a recipe that friendly to a certain diet or allergy, that’s a great selling point. Be sure to mention if your donation is gluten-free, dairy free, nut-free, low-sugar, vegan, paleo, etc.

Need some packaging inspiration for the big sale? We’ve collected some tutorial and printable links to help.

Downloads & Printables

Packaging Tips and Tutorials

Check out even more fun packaging ideas on the Austin Bakes: Packaging Ideas Pinterest Board!

And don’t forget, if you purchase your packaging materials at Make It Sweet at 9070 Research Blvd., Set 203, Austin, TX 78758 and mention “Austin Bakes as you check out, they’ll donate 25% of the sale to Austin Bakes for Nepal! The offer is good through Friday, May 22.


This post was originally published by Mary Helen Leonard on November 2013 for the Austin Bakes for Austin fund raiser.

Helping You Help Us Spread the Word


What would a good, old-fashioned bake sale be without the internet?

We live in a time when connecting to others is easy, making our potential reach for this fundraiser even greater. We want to help you help us (help Nepal) by giving you some ready-made graphics that can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, your blog, or on your office’s lunchroom bulletin board.

Just download any of the graphics below and start sharing!

Printable Flyers

After clicking the link for these, hover over the bottom center of the screen to activate the download button.

Austin Bakes for Nepal Color Flyer  |  Austin Bakes for Nepal B&W Flyer

Square Graphic for Instagram


Sidebar Ads

160x600BerryBlue 160x600BerryPink

120X240BerryPink 120X240BerryBlue

Bloggers, your help is invaluable. In addition to using these sidebar ads, please consider writing a post to inform people of the sale and how they can participate. Some links that you may find helpful are:

Don’t forget to send us a link to your post so we can share it and thank you on our website!

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Let’s make this thing go viral, and a huge thank you for all of your help!

Shout out to blogger and author Mary Helen Leonard for creating these wonderful graphics!

A Brief History of Austin Bakes

Austin Bakes for Japan, the first Austin Bakes fundraiser

Austin Bakes for Japan, the first Austin Bakes fundraiser

The idea for Austin Bakes came about on Twitter in 2011, shortly after the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. News was spreading of a national bake sale movement to benefit Japan, and a group of Austin food bloggers agreed to work together to host a bake sale for Japan here in Austin.

Hundreds of home cooks, food bloggers, and local businesses came together for that first bake sale, and since 2011, the all-volunteer effort has raised over $50,000 for natural disaster relief at four citywide bake sales. Participation in Austin Bakes is open to all, and many volunteers and bake sale site leaders have helped with all four sales.

Previous dates and fundraising totals for sales:

There will be vegan baked goods like these red velvet cupcakes at every bake sale location! The most vegan items are South and Central.

Austin Bakes for Japan

April 2, 2011

Benefiting AmeriCares

Total donated: $11,809.06

Volunteers at our seven bake sale sites raised over $10,000 for the Central Texas Wildfire Fund during Austin Bakes for Bastrop.

Austin Bakes for Bastrop

October 1, 2011

Benefiting Austin Community Foundation for the Capital Area

Total donated: $13,993.51


Melissa by Melissa Skorpil

Austin Bakes for West

May 4, 2013

Benefiting AmeriCares

Total donated: $19,416.92

Austin Bakes for Austin 

November 30, 2013

Benefiting Austin Disaster Relief Network

Total donated: $5,412.95

The grand total for all Austin Bakes fundraisers is: $50,634.44!

We need your help to make the fundraiser for Nepal a huge success:

  • Volunteer  Sign-up to work on the day of the sale at any of the bake sale locations.
  • Lend or Donate Supplies We need folding tables, table cloths, display items, and other odds and ends. See the complete list on our online sign-up sheets.
  • Bake  A bakes sale needs baked goods. Bake any amount of your favorite treats and drop them off at any of the participating locations. Sign-up online today.
  • Donate  Our FirstGiving page makes donating as easy as a few clicks of a button. Online donations are open through May 31.
  • Spread the Word  Share on Facebook, Tweet, Instagram, RSVP on our Facebook event page and invite all your friends, and tell everyone you know!