Seattle Cake Decorating Programs
There are several schools in the Seattle area that offer programs in baking and pastry arts, which includes instruction in cake decorating. This article looks at three public schools within 25 minutes of downtown and the programs they offer. There is a table of information about each school, such as cost and school type. At the end of the article are a few facts about other area schools that offer cake decorating training.
- South Seattle College (SCC) is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Located about six miles from downtown Seattle, SCC is a 4-year college that offers certificate and associate's degree programs in pastry and baking.
- Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWTech) offers an associate's degree program in baking arts. LWTech, about 15 miles from the Seattle city center, boasts small class sizes and features training that simulates a work environment.
- Through its certificate program in professional baking, Renton Technical College (RTC) provides hands-on training for persons seeking marketable skills or those who want to improve or enhance their current skills. The school also participates in apprenticeship programs. It's around 17 miles from downtown Seattle.
Comparison of Schools
Below is a table that allows prospective students to easily compare these three schools as they consider where to enroll.
|South Seattle College||Lake Washington Institute of Technology||Renton Technical College|
|School Type||4-year; public||4-year; public||4-year; public|
|Total Enrollment (2016)||6,346*||3,652*||3,587*|
|Campus Setting||Large city||Large suburb||Midsize City|
|Tuition & Fees (2017-2018)||$4,515*||$4,137 in-state; $9,486 out-of-state*||$5,377*|
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Financial Aid (2016)||73%*||42%*||67%*|
|Acceptance Rate (2016)||N/A - Open admissions||N/A - Open admissions||N/A - Open admissions|
|Graduation Rate (2016)||39%**||28%**||61%**|
Source: *NCES College Navigator; **College Tuition Compare
South Seattle College
SCC's culinary arts division offers three culinary arts programs, including one in pastry and specialty baking. The culinary arts program has been ranked among the top training programs nationwide by the National Restaurant Association. SCC students have entered and won awards in state and national culinary competitions. The culinary arts program operates multiple food outlets including a retail pastry shop.
Certificate in Pastry and Specialty Baking
Each quarter, this 18-month program accepts 10 new students on a first-come first-served basis. In addition to sanitation and nutrition courses, students participate in successively difficult decorating, baking and pastry courses.
Associate of Applied Science in Pastry and Specialty Baking
The Associate of Applied Science degree program requires the student to complete selected pastry and specialty baking certificate requirements. In addition, the student must take a minimum of 10 credits in culture and society, science and math, business, or the arts. Program credits may also be transferred to a 4-year college.
Lake Washington Institute of Technology
LWTech's baking arts degree program is accredited by the ACF. Graduates qualify for a variety of National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation certifications and are eligible to be a Certified Pastry Culinarian through the American Culinary Federation.
Associate of Applied Science in Baking Arts
While not strictly a cake decorating program, students in this 18-month baking arts program will receive training in pastries, doughs, cake design and decoration, chocolates and breads. Students also learn about sanitation, nutrition and bakery management. Students have opportunities to participate in regional and national culinary competitions.
Renton Technical College
Renton Technical College's professional baking program is designed to provide practical bakery skills and prepare students to work in a bakery. Feedback is provided by customers to assist students in improving their bakery skills. Incoming students are required to have a food handler's permit, be at least 18 years old and hold a high school diploma.
Certificate of Completion in Professional Baking
This is a 67-credit program that provides beginning training in bakery basics, such as ovens, doughnuts, measuring and mixing, and proceeds through more complex baking methods including cookies, pies, tarts, pastries, yeast doughs, cakes and operations. This program offers three courses covering cake baking and cake decorating, culminating with complex decorated wedding cakes.
Other School Options
Clover Park Technical College is located 42 miles from downtown Seattle and offers a pastry arts certificate program and an Associate of Applied Science in Pastry Arts program that includes decorating and wedding cakes in its course offerings. Just 14 miles from downtown Seattle, Edmonds Community College has a Baking Associate of Technical Arts program that includes cake decorating as part of the curriculum.