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New Jersey has a few options for students seeking education in cake decorating. Below are four of the schools in the state offering either a specialization or certificate program specifically in baking or pastry arts. Students may also choose to earn an associate's degree in an related field and focus their elective coursework on cake decorating. Curricula include basic culinary skills and business classes, as well as the opportunity for hands-on experience. Read on for more information about the programs at these New Jersey schools that include cake decorating classes.
Atlantic Cape Community College
Located in Mays Landing, Atlantic Cape Community College provides three programs for those interested in cake decorating. Students can choose between a associate degree programs and a certificate program. Students pursuing an Associate in Applied Science in Culinary Arts program must complete 65 total credit hours. Cake decorating skills are covered in the advanced baking course. The basic pastry preparation class also covers decorative skills and icings for pastry development.
The college also offers a specialized 64-credit Associate in Applied Science in Culinary Arts: Baking and Pastry. The program is heavily centered on baking, bread, pastry and confections. Cake decoration is covered during multiple courses, including specialty cakes and elements of wedding cake design. During those classes, students learn about decorative techniques with pulled sugar, chocolate, butter cream and gum paste.
Students interested in a specialization in baking and pastry can also pursue a certificate. A placement test is required to enter the school's 17-credit-hour certificate program. Class work includes the fundamentals of baking, as well as advanced cake decorating skills in wedding cake design where students work with a variety of materials.
Brookdale Community College
Brookdale Community College in Lincroft offers three programs that include education on cake decoration. The Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts degree is an expansive program that covers basic food and baking skills, dining room skills, patisserie and international regional cuisine. Students review basic cake decorating and finishing skills in the patisserie course. Students are also required to complete 350-400 hours in an externship program prior to graduation.
Brookdale Community College also offers an academic credit certificate in the pastry arts, which examines culinary math, beginning and advanced baking, confectionery and applied pastry. The two separate patisserie courses offer cake-decorating instruction. Students begin developing decorating skills in the patisserie course and then proceed to advanced techniques with decorative icings, wedding cakes and regional specialties in the advanced patisserie course.
The culinary arts certificate is a 32.5 credit-hour program that introduces students to the basics of food skills and sanitation, and includes courses in nutrition, baking skills, and food presentation. In order to receive the certificate, students must pass successfully pass the SERV-SAFE examination.
Mercer County Community College
Mercer County Community College, located in West Windsor, has the only program to offer both credit and non-credit courses in cake decorating in the state. The Associate in Applied Science in Culinary Arts program gives students the option to choose a concentration in pastry arts. The pastry arts concentration allows students to enroll in both baking II and baking III, which advance specialty cake skills and principles. The chocolate and confections/retail bakeshop course also explores chocolate and sugar decorative pieces. The program requires the completion of 66-credit hours.
Mercer County Community College also offers an associate degree in culinology. Similar to the culinary arts program, culinology blends the science of food with the culinary arts. The program focuses more closely on the chemistry of food, giving students the opportunity to explore experimentation in the blending and flavoring of food. The experimental kitchen course teaches students to work with herbs, spices and various other materials in order to develop flavorful dishes. Coursework includes both culinary and chemistry classes. Students have the option of honing their cake decorating skills by enrolling in the professional baking II course.
The professional baking certificate requires completion of 33-credit hours. The program is largely composed of courses on baking, breads and desserts. Students learn about basic and advanced cake decorating skills in both the baking I and baking II courses, while working with multiple specialty cakes. An internship at a hotel, restaurant or separate institution is required prior to graduation.
Rowan College at Burlington County
Situated in Pemberton, Rowan College at Burlington County offers students associate and certificate programs in culinary arts. The college offers a 63-credit associate program in the pastry arts. The curriculum requires the patisserie class and advanced baking course, both of which include cake decoration instruction. Specifically, the advanced baking course reviews fine design, holiday-themed desserts and sugar sculpture.
For non-degree seeking students, the college offers a cooking and baking certificate. Required curriculum includes the patisserie course, focusing on icings, decoration and specialty cakes. In addition to cake assembly, students learn appropriate presentation techniques. The entire program runs for 27 credit hours and students can use the credits towards a culinary arts degree, if desired.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Cake Decorating Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)|
|Atlantic Cape Community College||Two-year, public; rural fringe||Associate in Applied Science in Culinary Arts,
Associate in Applied Science in Culinary Arts: Baking and Pastry
Baking and Pastry Specialization Certificate
|Brookdale Community College||Two-year, public; rural fringe|| Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts,
Pastry Arts Academic Credit Certificate,
Culinary Arts Certificate
|Mercer County Community College||Two-year, public; rural fringe||Associate in Applied Science in Culinary Arts: Pastry Arts,
Associate in Science in Culinology,
Professional Baking Certificate
|Rowan College at Burlington County||Two-year, public; rural fringe|| Associate of Applied Science in Pastry Arts,
Cooking and Baking Certificate
|$4,065 (in-district); $4,545 (in-state);
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics