Cake decorating is usually offered as part of a baking and pastry arts or culinary arts certificate or associate degree program, as offered by 7 of the schools included in this article. However, 3 schools offer very brief baking and pastry programs, including cake decorating, or offer the option to take only cake decorating courses. While all cake decorating classes include hands-on practice of skills, some programs also include internship opportunities. Find out more about the cake decorating program options at the 10 California schools described below.
Allan Hancock College
Located in Santa Maria, Allan Hancock College offers a 15-unit certificate program in baking. Courses include cake decorating and specialty and wedding cakes, which are 1 unit each. The program employs contemporary and more traditional styles and provides students with an opportunity to gain experience in a teaching kitchen. Internships can also be arranged.
American River College
American River College (ARC) is located in Sacramento. ARC's culinary program includes an associate's degree in culinary arts and restaurant management and a certificate program in baking. The 17-unit introductory baking certificate program includes a 2-unit fine baking and pastry course that covers European-style cakes and cake decorating. The school's 3-unit advanced baking and pastry course covers wedding and other specialty cakes.
Cabrillo College in Aptos offers an associate's degree program in culinary arts and hospitality management, which includes a 1-unit course in cake decorating. The school also offers 7 certificate programs, including a 16-unit baking skills certificate program. Courses in this program include introductory baking and pastry, cake decorating, chocolate, advanced baking and pastry and the art of wedding cakes, along with 5 culinary introductory courses.
College of the Canyons
Located in Santa Clarita, College of the Canyons offers 3 culinary arts and wine studies certificate programs. The 15-unit Certificate of Specialization: Baking and Pastry program includes a 3-unit cake decorating course, along with courses covering baking principles, pastry art and chocolates.
Contra Costa College
At Contra Costa College in San Pablo, students can choose from an associate's degree or a certificate program in pastry and baking. Courses cover fundamentals in food service, commercial pastry baking and decoration, cake finishing and restaurant desserts. Students can pursue a degree or certificate or may take only a few courses in the culinary program.
Grossmont College in El Cajon offers a program in which students can earn an associate's degree in culinary arts, in culinary entrepreneurship and in baking and pastry. Certificates of Achievement are offered for banquet cook, prep cook, line cook and pastry cook. The 13-unit certificate program in pastry includes courses in advanced baking and pastry principles and commercial baking, while the associate's degree program includes courses in chocolate, sugar work, centerpieces and cake decorating.
Long Beach City College
Long Beach City College in Long Beach offers an associate's degree, a Certificate of Achievement and a Certificate of Accomplishment program in baking and pastry arts. The Certificate of Achievement and the associate's degree program include courses in commercial cake decorating, chocolate and introductory and advanced pastry and baking. Recommended courses for these two programs include the sugar cookery and Viennese pastries courses. Similar courses are offered for the Certificate of Accomplishment program.
Monterey Peninsula College
Monterey Peninsula College, located in Monterey, offers a 6.5-unit Fast Track Certificate in Baking and Pastry Arts. Included in this program is a cake decorating course. Students learn to prepare a variety of cakes, make icings and decorate cakes. The course covers cake decorating methods such as poured glaze, piping and rolled icings. No prerequisites are necessary for the cake decorating course, but students need baking experience.
Pasadena City College
Found in Pasadena, Pasadena City College offers a 6-unit occupational skills certificate program in baking and pastry. Courses include small and large quantity baking, costs, mixing methods and pastry baking techniques. Students also learn how to assemble and decorate cakes with multiple layers.
Riverside City College
Located in Riverside, this college's certificate program in culinary arts includes training in pastry presentation, basic baking and cake decorating. In the 2-unit cake decorating course, which is offered as an elective, students can learn about dessert displays, fancy decorations and artistic design.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Degree and Certificate Programs||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees 2015-2016|
|Allan Hancock College||2-year public, small city||Baking certificate|| In-state, $1,346
|American River College||2-year public, large suburb|| Introductory baking certificate,
Associate's in culinary and restaurant management
| In-state, $1,104
|Cabrillo College||2-year public, midsize suburb|| Baking skills certificate,
Associate's in culinary arts and hospitality management
| In-state, $1,358
|College of the Canyons||2-year public, large suburb||Baking and pastry certificate||$1,154*|
|Contra Costa College||2-year public, large suburb|| Pastry and baking certificate,
Associate's in pastry and baking
| In-state, $1,298
|Grossmont College||2-year public, large suburb|| Pastry cook certificate,
Associate's in culinary arts, culinary entrepreneurship or baking and pastry
| In-state, $1,388
|Long Beach City College||2-year public, large city|| Baking and pastry certificates,
Associate's in baking and pastry
| In-state, $1,182
|Monterey Peninsula College||2-year public, midsize suburb||Baking and pastry arts certificate|| In-state, $1,174
|Pasadena City College||2-year public, midsize city||Baking and pastry occupational skills certificate|| In-state, $1,152
|Riverside City College||2-year public, large city|| Culinary arts certificate,
Associate's in culinary arts
| In-state, $1,426
Source: *NCES College Navigator.