Cake Decorating Certificate Program and Course Overview

Essential Information

Cake decorating certificate programs can be completed in as little as one semester and typically require the completion of 15-18 credit hours. There are no prerequisites needed for this certificate program. Students may be required to supply their own equipment, including icing bags, decorating tips and practice boards. Cake decorating can also be studied within extension or continuing education courses at community colleges and technical schools. These courses are not generally available online due to the hands-on requirements.

Certificate in Cake Decorating

These hands-on, 1- to 2-semester programs teach students to craft edible sculptures and apply decorations to otherwise finished cakes. Skills learned might include keeping one's hands steady to manually maintain constant pressure on a piping bag in order to create consistent design elements. Because certificate programs often are offered through community college adult education divisions, there are commonly no prerequisites required of students.

Cake decorating certificate programs often involve learning specific techniques, like creating a crumb layer when using buttercream frosting. While learning to sculpt edible art out of sugar-clay materials, students might explore topics like:

  • Transferring patterns
  • Rolled fondant
  • Petal flowers
  • Lacework
  • Figure piping

Students who are interested in learning how to bake cakes and desserts, in addition to decorating them, could consider the following related programs:

  • Baking and Pastry Arts Certificate
  • Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts
  • Associate of Science in Baking and Pastry Arts

Popular Career Options

Individuals who are skilled in cake decorating and pastry arts qualify for limited positions within the food industry. Additional education in the broader field of culinary arts could qualify them for greater job opportunities. Career options might include:

  • Pastry chef
  • Baker
  • Chef

Certification and Continuing Education Information

The American Culinary Foundation offers voluntary, entry-level certification as a Certified Pastry Culinarian to pastry and baking professionals. Educational requirements include a high school diploma or proof of 100 hours of relevant continuing education credit. Mandatory training in sanitation is required, in addition to two years - within the last decade - of professional culinary experience (

Recertification is required every five years and requires proof of taking a certain number of continuing education credits. Students interested in continuing their studies might choose to enroll in a baking and pastry arts program at the associate or bachelor's levels.

The cake decorating certificate is one that is obtained in one or two semesters at a community college or culinary school. Students can become a certified pastry culinarian upon completion of the certificate and could go on to become pastry chefs, bakers or chefs.

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