Florida has several colleges that offer cake decorating courses through associate's degree and certificate programs in the culinary arts or baking and pastry arts. Curricula for these programs cover a variety of baking and general culinary skills in addition to cake decorating. Many of the technical colleges listed offer similar courses and feature similar program requirements. Some programs include internship opportunities.
While approximately 10 schools in the state offer relevant programs, only six of these are public or not-for-profit schools; these six are profiled below.
Daytona State College
Daytona State College in Daytona hosts a certificate program in culinary operations with a specialization in baking and pastry arts. The program focuses on the development of baking skills, dessert presentation and dessert production. Cake decoration is covered in multiple courses, including cakes and petit fours, where students create a variety of cakes using different methods. Students complete the program with the retail bakeshop production class, which reviews tiered cake production and fondant and gumpaste decorative skills. Students typically complete the certificate requirement in three semesters.
Eastern Florida State College
Located in Cocoa, Eastern Florida State College offers students a certificate in culinary operations. The program requires the completion of 32 credit hours, and students learn a variety of kitchen skills. The program covers sanitation, pastries, catering, purchasing and wine skills. A contemporary desserts course covers cake decoration and presentation. Students also learn about icings in the pastries and desserts course.
First Coast Technical College
Nestled in St. Augustine, First Coast Technical College has a certificate in commercial foods and culinary arts. Students complete 1,200 hours in courses such as breakfast, table service and purchasing. The pastry shop class reviews cake decorating and sugar work. Students also complete the bake shop course, which covers icing production and filling.
Johnson and Wales University
Located in Miami, Johnson and Wales University administers two degree programs that include cake decorating skill advancement.
Students looking to pursue an Associate in Science in Baking and Pastry Arts must complete 96 total credit hours. The curriculum includes courses on baking fundamentals, safety and advanced artisan breads. Cake decoration is covered in at least two courses - the cakes introduction class and the specialty cakes class. Students learn to produce icings, create flowers and glaze cakes with fondant for special occasions.
Those interested in pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Baking and Pastry Arts and Food Service Management with a concentration in contemporary pastry arts must first complete the baking and pastry arts associate program during their first two years. Once complete, students begin bachelor's level courses in hospitality management. The contemporary pastry arts concentration includes a course on wedding cake design. Students learn advanced skills in piping and work with various decorative icings, including royal icing, fondant and gum paste.
Valencia College, located in Orlando, offers both an associate degree and a certificate program in baking and pastry arts. Students of the associate program study the advanced techniques of cake decoration in the contemporary cakes and desserts course. The class stresses the use of the latest technology and decorative techniques to help students prepare for dessert production. Additional coursework includes cookies, tarts and pastry techniques. Towards the end of the program, students are trained in more advanced techniques and culinary competition skills.
The school's 35-credit hour certificate program in baking and pastry arts teaches students how to create a variety of cakes, breads and pastries. Cake decoration is covered in the contemporary cakes and desserts course, as well as in the basic and classical cakes and pastries course. Students complete the program with a baking and pastry management internship.
William T. McFatter Technical College
Situated in Davie, William T. McFatter Technical College has a 27-hour cake decorating and baking program. Evening classes are offered over a 10-week period. Students learn basic baking and cake decorating skills by working with buttercream and royal icing. As the class progresses, students are introduced to more advanced techniques to create specialty cakes.
Students who want to take cake decorating classes may also choose to enroll in the commercial foods and culinary arts certificate program. During the four-term program, the curriculum covers various industry topics, such as menu planning, food production and baking and pastries. Students focus on baking and pastries during the fourth term and work with cakes and frostings. A portion of the curriculum is also available online. Students additionally have the option to enroll in a 6-month baking and pastry arts program.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Cake Decorating Classes Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)|
|Daytona State College||4-year, public; small city||Vocational Certificate in Culinary Operations with Bakery and Pastry Specialization||$3,282 (in-state); $12,352 (out-of-state)*|
|Eastern Florida State College||2-year, public; large suburb||Postsecondary Adult Vocational Certificate in Culinary Operations||$2,496 (in-state); $9,739 (out-of-state)*|
|First Coast Technical College||Less than 2-year, public; small suburb||Certificate of Completion in Commercial Foods and Culinary Arts||$5,208 (culinary arts program tuition and fees)*|
|Johnson and Wales University||4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb||Associate in Science in Baking and Pastry Arts,
Bachelor of Science in Baking and Pastry Arts and Food Service Management with a Concentration in Contemporary Pastry Arts
|Valencia College||4-year, public; midsize city|| Technical Certificate in Baking and Pastry Arts,
Associate in Science in Baking and Pastry Management
|$2,474 (in-state); $9,383 (out-of-state)*|
|William T. McFatter Technical College||2-year, public; large suburb||Baking and Pastry Arts Program,
Cake Decorating and Baking Program,
Postsecondary Adult Technical Certificate in Commercial Foods and Culinary Arts
|$1,791 (culinary arts program tuition and fees)*|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics