The Ace of Cakes’ Favorite Bake Sale Recipe

Need a homerun for your next bake sale? Try Duff Goldman’s go-to recipe for Maple Pecan Blondies, and get his tips for hosting a successful bake sale to help hungry kids.


Maple Pecan Blondies

 “I’m very pragmatic about food, so I like doing bars for bake sales. They’re portable, packable, and you can eat them there or you can eat them later on. Lemon bars and brownies are great, but my favorite are these maple pecan blondies—they’re delicious!”


1 cup chopped pecans

1 1/3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened

2/3 cup brown sugar

¼ cup good maple syrup

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spread chopped pecans evenly on a baking sheet and toast for 8-10 minutes, then set aside to cool.

2. Spray a 9”x9” baking pan with baking spray or butter generously. For ease, I recommend lining the pan with parchment paper and spraying that, too.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together butter and sugar for 2 minutes. Add in maple syrup, eggs, and vanilla, beating after each addition.

4. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and beat until incorporated. Stir in toasted pecans.

5. Spread batter in greased pan evenly. Bake at 350° for about 25-30 minutes, depending on how gooey you want the middle to be (use a toothpick to test).

6. Let cool for about 10 minutes, then cut and enjoy!

Tip: For an extra nutty flavor, brown the butter beforehand. Place the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring consistently, until it is melted completely. Increase the heat to medium and continue to cook for about 5 minutes, or until the butter begins to foam, scraping the sides and bottom of the pan to prevent the butter from burning. Continue to cook until the butter turns a toasty brown color and has a nutty smell, then immediately transfer to a heatproof bowl. Chill the butter completely before using.


Host a Bake Sale to Help Hungry Kids

Make like Duff and do good with your goodies by hosting a bake sale to benefit Share Our Strength, a national nonprofit working to end childhood hunger in America through its No Kid Hungry initiative.

Did you know that 1 in 5 kids in our country don’t get the food they need every day? That’s 16 million growing bodies that aren’t getting adequate nutrition. The No Kid Hungry campaign connects kids in need with nutritious food and teaches their families to cook healthy, affordable meals.

By hosting a Bake Sale for No Kid Hungry, anyone can help spread awareness of childhood hunger in America and fundraise to help end the problem. Bake sales can be hosted by schools, businesses, or individuals, at any time during the year. Whether it’s $50,000 (like the Great Chappaqua Bake Sale in Chappaqua, NY has raised in the last five years) or $50, all donations fuel No Kid Hungry’s mission of ensuring that no child goes without a nutritious meal.

“I see and work with food every day, and I understand that there is a lot of food in this country. The fact that people are going hungry, especially children, doesn’t make any sense,” says Goldman, who participated in National Bake Sale Weekend in the spring and often organizes food drives in his home state of Maryland. “Kids can’t excel if they’re going to school on an empty tank. The brain needs nutrition to learn, socialize, mature, and keep your mind off your stomach and onto what you’re learning about.”

Goldman says the Bake Sale for No Kid Hungry is a great way for kids to help other kids. “I see a lot of kids hosting these bake sales,” he says. “It makes me happy to see that there are kids that really understand this problem and they have this platform that makes it that much easier for them to really do something about it.”

His advice for kids who want to host their own bake sales?

• Talk to your school and/or a local bakery. “I guarantee 98 percent of the bakeries out there would love to have a kid come in and host a bake sale,” he says. “It’s fun to bring people into the store and the bakers themselves just feel really good about it.”

• Spread the word on social media. Create a Facebook page for your bake sale and invite your friends, and encourage them to do the same. The more buzz you can create before the big day, the better!

• Ask for help. “To make enough stuff to host a successful bake sale, you’re going to need some help—I know I do,” Goldman says. Ask friends, family, and others in your community to pitch in with both baking and spreading the word.

Find more helpful materials for planning and hosting a bake sale, plus a list of bake sales in your area that benefit No Kid Hungry, at


More Great Bake Sale Recipes

Although Goldman’s blondies are sure to steal the show, he’ll be the first to tell you that one stellar recipe does not a bake sale make. With food allergies and intolerances on the rise, there’s no one-size-fits-all sweet to please everyone. The key is variety—cookies, cupcakes, bars, pies, and cakes in flavors to tempt all different tastes. Luckily, we’ve got an archive of sale-worthy recipes—including vegan, nut-free, gluten-free, and other allergy-friendly options—on our website. Here are a few of our favorites:

Vegan, Gluten-Free Girl Scout Cookies

That’s right! Thin Mints, Samoas, and Tagalongs made without a trace of gluten or animal products.

Pinkalicious Cupcakes & Star Wands

Appeal to fans of the Pinkalicious book series as well as anyone who’d like to wield a gold-dusted star wand that can later be eaten (read: everyone) with these two recipes from the Pinkalicious Cupcake Cookbook.

Sunflower Oat Bars

Who says all bake sale goodies have to be sweet treats? Mix it up with these homemade granola bars (pictured) that combine sunflower seeds for energy and cheddar cheese for that extra yum factor.

Tofu Pumpkin Bread

This vegan recipe lightens up the traditionally high-fat pumpkin bread by blending in tofu (bonus: extra protein!).

Chocolate Peppermint Bars

These cookie bars layer fudgy brownies with smooth peppermint creme and chocolate glaze, topped with crushed candy cane—a fun and decadent twist on classic peppermint bark.

Easy Mini Cheesecakes

These luscious little cheesecakes flavored with vanilla and almond extract are sized just right for a bake sale, and you can make them stand out by garnishing them with colorful fresh fruit, lemon curd, or melted chocolate swirls.

Pumpkin Pie Spice Donuts with Maple Glaze

These fall-flavored goodies are the perfect snack on a crisp day. Dip them in a maple glaze and they become the ultimate autumn indulgence.