Pastry arts programs cover the preparation and presentation of desserts and baked goods, including cakes, pastries, breads and chocolates. Students may also take classes in nutrition, sanitation, or merchandising. When looking for a baking and pastry program, prospective students may wish to look for programs that offer hands-on experience - either through an on-campus kitchen or restaurant or through work experiences at local restaurants. Some programs may also prepare students for industry certification, after they meet the experience requirements.
Programs take nine months to two years to complete, and applicants are required to have a high school diploma or its equivalent.
Baking and Pastry Diploma Coursework
Students learn how to make classic cakes, fruit tarts, pastry dough and decorations from sugar. These programs could offer instruction on:
- Artisan bread making
- Baking methodology
- Confectionary art
- Pastry production
- Wedding cakes
- Tortes and plated desserts
Popular Career Options
Baking and pastry diploma programs can prepare students for a variety of careers in hospitality and food service industries. Some common careers for this field include:
- Pastry chef
- Bakery owner
- Sous chef de patisserie
- Cake decorator
Certification and Continuing Education Information
Voluntary certification for bakers and pastry professionals is available through the American Culinary Foundation (ACF). Entry-level certification as a Certified Pastry Culinarian requires applicants to prove that they have either completed high school or at least 100 hours of continuing education credits. Additionally, the ACF requires candidates to complete courses in food safety and sanitation, nutrition and management training (www.acfchefs.org). Professional experience is required for applicants who have not completed an associate's degree program.
Certification remains valid for a 5-year period; recertification candidates must prove that they have taken relevant continuing education credits. More advanced training in baking and pastry arts can be found in associate's and bachelor's degree programs.
Training in the baking and pastry arts may include a diploma program, commonly available through culinary schools, vocational institutions and community colleges. Program training prepares graduates for roles as bakers, pastry chefs and cake decorators. Additional voluntary certifications for baking professionals are also available.