Baking for a Cause

Alert: Portland’s Big A$$ Antiracist Bake Sale Goes Live July 4

Star bakers and home cooks unite for a supersize sale and auction to raise money for Portland BIPOC organizations—gift baskets and surprises included.

By Karen Brooks July 2, 2020

Bushel & Peck’s chocolate blackout cake

Bushel & Peck’s chocolate blackout cake

Last year, Portlanders lined up in front of SE Clinton Street’s Cookshop like hopefuls at a rock-concert ticket booth. Inside: the first Big A$$ Bake Sale, an eye-popping assortment of one-off baked goods, crafted by local talents, to support funds for a nonprofit providing legal services for immigrants and refugees. Two hours later, the whole place was cleaned out. I was one of the lucky ones, camped in the front.

So consider this your heads up: snooze, you lose. Items go on sale and the auction opens at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 4, on the Big A$$ websiteThis year’s event is squarely focused on Black Lives Matter, in a new online format to keep everyone at a safe but sweet distance, and with an online auction to raise even more funds. (Bake sale items can be picked up on July 11 at Bushel & Peck Bakeshop on NE Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, with auction items picked up at Cookshop or from the businesses that donated them.)

Restaurants and local bakers are stepping up, with gorgeous donated goods are coming the likes of CoquineMåurice, Kachka, Milk Glass MrktCommunion BakehouseBaker & Spice, Bushel & Peck, Sweetheart St. JohnsBar Norman, IppaiOx, Kir Jensen, Little Lucy Bread Club, and Quartet Bread Company.

Proceeds will be split evenly between the Black Resiliency Fund, Don’t Shoot Portland, and Equitable Giving Circle. “This year, we are raising funds for three powerful, amazing organizations providing integral support to BIPOC communities,” the organizers—renowned baker Jensen (formerly of the Sugar Cube), Bushel & Peck owner Jess Smith, and Cookshop's Meredith Mortensen—state on the project’s website. “Our goal is to use our voices and time to give back to our community.” Read more here about nonprofit Big A$$ Bake Sale and this year’s three recipients here

I’ll fight you for any number of options: Bushel & Peck’s extravagant chocolate blackout cake; Coquine’s chocolate chip cookies, laced with toffee-rolled smoked almonds; Måurice’s divine toasted rice angel food cake; Jensen’s sour cherry–brown butter oat tart. Jensen’s Instagram (@kirjensen) has sneak peeks at other intrigues: raw vegan truffles, rustic rose tea cardamom puffs, kolaches, and a berry-laden butter mochi cake. Auction items include artwork, gift baskets, and a private day of blueberry picking at the Croft Farm on Sauvie Island. See you online.