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Cake Decorating Class in San Francisco with School Information

Dec 13, 2018

There are five schools within about 20 miles of San Francisco that have culinary arts programs with cake decorating classes in the curriculum. Read an overview of three schools' programs, requirements and admission info and find out which school is right for you.

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San Francisco Schools with Cake Decorating Classes

Some colleges offer individual cake decorating classes, but most provide those courses as part of a larger program, such as a baking and pastry arts program. Students interested in cake decorating can choose from a few of these programs in the San Francisco area, which are highlighted below. Degree-seeking students can find school information in the table; a paragraph about one other college option for cake decorators is also included.

  • Laney College offers a baking and pastry program that teaches students basic baking skills, while also providing instruction in cake decorating and the creation of fancy pastries and desserts. At about 7 miles, the college is the closest to downtown San Francisco.
  • Contra Costa College, located approximately 14 miles from the downtown, offers a certificate program in baking and pastry that includes a cake finishing course as part of the curriculum. This program prepares students for industry certifications.
  • Diablo Valley College offers a certificate and an associate degree program in baking and pastry arts. Students can earn their degree through day and evening classes. At just over 22 miles, the college is the furthest away from downtown San Francisco.

Comparison of Schools

An interest in cake decorating may lead to the full pursuit of a degree program in the culinary arts. To assist with your decision, the following table includes information about undergraduate tuition, admissions policies and financial aid.

Laney College Contra Costa College Diablo Valley College
School Type 2-year, public 2-year, public 2-year, public
Total Enrollment (2017)* 10,891 6,727 19,775
Campus Setting Large city Large suburb Large suburb
Annual Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018)* $1,230 in-state; $7,110 out-of-state $1,312 in-state; $8,424 out-of-state $1,312 in-state; $8,424 out-of-state
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017)* 68% 70% 33%
Acceptance Rate (2017)* Open admissions Open admissions Open admissions
Retention Rate (2016-2017)* 62% for full-time, 34% for part-time students 67% for full-time, 46% for part-time students 78% for full-time, 56% for part-time students
Graduation Rate (2014)* 25% (10% transfer-out) 25% (12% transfer-out) 45% (11% transfer-out)

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Laney College

Located in downtown Oakland, Laney College is one of four community colleges to make up the Peralta Community College District. In addition to general education, transfer programs and career technical education, the college offers certificate and degree programs in various areas of study, including culinary arts. The culinary arts department offers a program in baking and pastry, as well as one in restaurant management.

Baking and Pastry Program

This 4-semester program requires completion of 43-44 credits. The curriculum combines lectures with lab work. Students complete courses in basic patisserie, food science and nutrition and artisan breads, as well as candy and chocolate making, plated desserts and culinary math fundamentals.

Various international pastries are introduced in this program. The advanced cake decorating class provides directions on creating wedding cakes using borders and floral piping. Internships may be available. Students have the opportunity to turn this program into an associate's degree by adding 19 units of general education courses.

Contra Costa College

Contra Costa College offers prospective students a wide choice of programs and academic departments. The culinary arts department offers programs in culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, and management. In addition to evening classes, the culinary arts department also offers community education courses that cover a wide range of topics such as wine pairing, sausage making or opening a business, among other topics.

Certificate of Achievement in Pastry and Baking

The pastry and baking program can lead to a certificate or and an associate degree. To earn the certificate, candidates must complete 48 units; an additional 12 units of general education courses are required to earn the associate degree. The curriculum includes courses, both lab and lecture, on pastry production, commercial baking, restaurant desserts and cake finishing. Students also take a class that prepares them for ServSafe certification. Some courses, such as commercial baking and cake finishing, may be repeated up to three times.

Diablo Valley College

Diablo Valley College (DVC) provides individuals with programs aimed at career advancement, transfer to 4-year colleges or personal enrichment. DVC's Department of Hotel and Restaurant Management offers certificate and associate degree programs in baking and pastry, culinary arts and restaurant management.

Baking and Pastry Certificate of Achievement

The baking and pastry program at DVC is accredited by the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation (ACFEF). The 3-semester program includes lecture and lab classes held eight hours a day, Monday through Thursday; classes may be during the day and evening. Students learn about basic baking terms, equipment and tools used in baking and ingredient measurements. An advanced pastry and baking course teaches students how to create and decorate cakes.

In addition to working in the school's demonstration lab and fully equipped kitchen, students gain hands-on training working in a restaurant and retail pastry shop. Students may also participate in catering events and cooperative education opportunities. An associate degree in baking and pastry is also available and includes general education requirements.

Other School Options

Students interested in cake decorating classes can also find a baking and pastry program at City College of San Francisco, located just over 4 miles from the downtown area.

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