You’ve just got into work, sat down at your desk, and then you see it: your colleague walking in holding a tray of baked goods. What an absolute legend they are! Nothing beats some home-baked treats in the office. Not only will your work colleagues appreciate your efforts, but it’s always fun to have a little bake-sale battle, and more importantly, it (self-)raises money for amazing causes.
We know what you’re thinking: you just haven’t got enough time to bake a feast full of treats, right? Well, that can no longer be your excuse, because we’ve got four easy bake sale recipes to up your fundraising game. Mary Berry would be proud too, and we never want to disappoint the Queen of Baking do we? So, get your mixing bowl out, have your rolling pin at the ready, and put your apron on, because we’re about to bake up a storm for Caketober.
Do we even need to explain why chocolate brownies are an office pleaser? Didn’t think so…
Ingredients (9 small slices):
- 113g butter
- 125g plain flour
- 340g caster sugar
- 100g dark brown soft sugar
- 90g cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (you can add more flavourings of your choice)
- 220g chopped white chocolate (or add whatever your boss’s favourite chocolate is!)
- Get that oven hot! Preheat to 180°C/Gas 4.
- Line a small square tin with baking paper.
- Melt the butter in either the microwave or on the hob until it’s completely melted (the microwave will be quicker). Then set the butter aside to cool.
- Time to get your hands dirty (unless you’re the spoon-stirring type) – mix all of your dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Add each egg one-by-one, beating well after each addition.
- Pour the melted butter (make sure it’s cooled) into the bowl, and stir gently.
- Fold in the vanilla and chocolate chunks, or whichever add-ons you’ve chosen, and then transfer the mixture into your lined tray.
- Bake for 30 minutes, then take it out of the oven poke the mixture with a skewer or something similar – if the skewer comes out clean, then your brownies are ready.
- Remove them from the oven, let them cool, and then enjoy!
If you fancy going above and beyond for your colleagues, and to guarantee that your brownies raise the most money, put them on sticks! Yes that’s right, using wooden lolly sticks, you can cut your brownie mixture into whichever shape(s) you like and then insert the lolly stick in the middle. Remember: adding a bit of extra effort goes a long way. Mary Berry seems to agree too…
How many brew-runs do you think you do a week? Time to stop counting, because you won’t have to do them anymore if you spoil everyone with this sexy shortbread recipe.
Ingredients (20-24 shortbread):
- 180g plain flour
- 55g caster sugar (plus more for the finishing touches)
- 125g butter
- Time to crank the pre-heating up to 190°C/Gas 5.
- Mix the butter and sugar together until the mixture is smooth.
- Stir in the flour to get a smooth paste texture.
- Sprinkle your cooking surface with a little flour to avoid any messy sticking.
- Time to turn up Tina Turner, because it’s time to start rolling. Roll out the mixture until it’s 1cm thick.
- Cut the mixture into your shape of choice, place it on a baking tray, sprinkle it with a little caster sugar, and chill it in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Bake it in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until it’s a pale golden-brown colour. Take it out of the oven, then set it aside to cool.
If you’re feeling a little adventurous, why not decorate your shortbread? Be wild, crazy, even a little cheeky with your designs. We’re sure Mary Berry will definitely appreciate it…
3. Whoopie Pies
Chocolate sponge sandwich with a buttercream filling? You’ve got to be kidding, yes please! The whole office will fall in love with you with these tasty whoopie pies.
Ingredients (12 pies):
For the sponge
- 250g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
- 200g caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 125ml vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 180ml milk
For the buttercream
- 120ml milk
- 2 ½ tablespoons plain flour
- 110g unsalted butter
- 100g caster sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
For the sponge
- Preheat then oven to 180°C/Gas 4.
- Time to grease up those baking trays.
- Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt, cocoa, and sugar. Then set this mixture aside.
- Stir together the egg, oil, vanilla, and milk. Slowly stir this into the dry mixture.
- Drop tablespoons of the mixture onto the baking trays.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until firm.
- Remove the dish from the oven, and allow it to cool.
- In the saucepan, whisk together the milk and flour. Cook this over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until the mixture is thick. Remove it from heat and cool.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Stir in the cooked milk and beat for an additional 20 minutes, until really fluffy.
- Sandwich the filling between two chocolate sponge discs and tuck in!
If you fancy spicing things up a little bit, experiment with different flavours. How about a peanut butter filling? Now that would be teasing. Your colleagues would be all over them, apparently like a rash, eh, Paul? (Maybe check that nobody in the office suffers from a peanut allergy first, though.)
It’s important to cater to the whole office, and if any of your work colleagues have gluten-free requirements, they will certainly appreciate your efforts on this one. This stress-free recipe is a no-bake, so it’ll leave you with a lot of spare time to doll your tart up (we’re talking about the cake).
Ingredients (serves 12):
- 75g dates
- 3 oranges (2 zested, 1 juiced)
- 50g coconut oil
- 175g clear honey
- 140g raw cacao powder (can be found in health-food shops or online), plus save a little extra for the finishing touches
- 100g coconut oil
- 140g ground almonds
- 175g desiccated coconut
- 1 tablespoon cacao powder
- Soak the dates in a bowl of boiling hot water for 20 minutes.
For the crust
- Blend all of the ingredients for the crust until combined, then tip this mixture into a tart tin. Use your fingers to spread it evenly across the base, making sure it is pushed into all the sides. Cover this in cling film and chill (it, not yourself) whilst making the filling.
For the filling
- Drain the soaked dates, then put them in the blender with your orange zest and orange juice, coconut oil, honey, and cacao. Whizz this together until it’s mostly smooth, then spoon it into the chilled crust, and chill it for at least 1 further hour.
- Remove it from the fridge 10 minutes before serving, and sprinkle your additional orange zest and cacao on top for garnish.
Don’t just settle for this type of tart – experiment a little with flavours and throw in your favourite fruit or toppings. Your office won’t believe their taste buds when you tell them it’s gluten-free, and we think this might prove to be the winner.
It’s time to raise as much money as you can, treat your office, and have some baking fun. Are you ready?