Cake Decorating Classes in Houston with School Overviews

The Houston area has two schools that offer cake decorating courses. Learn about the programs, admission info and program requirements at these two schools, both within 25 miles of downtown Houston, and make an informed education decision.

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Houston Schools with Cake Decorating Courses

Students in the Houston, Texas, area who want to become cake decorators or work in a pastry shop have two public school options available within a half-hour of the city. This article looks at those schools and the programs they offer. It also includes a table of information, such as school types, enrollment and costs, that prospective students can use to compare these schools.

  • Houston Community College has a variety of marketable skills achievement awards, certificates and associate's degree programs in pastry arts that train students to prepare breads and pastries and decorate cakes. The college's culinary arts programs are available at its Central campus, a little more than two miles from downtown Houston.
  • About 23 miles from downtown Houston, San Jacinto College also has a baking and pastry arts certificate and associate degree program, accredited by the American Culinary Federation. Students gain practical skills that can prepare them for the real work of cake decorating, baking and pastry sales.

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Comparison of Schools

The following table makes it easy to see how these schools measure up in various categories.

Houston Community College San Jacinto College
School Type 2-year college, public 2-year college, public
Total Enrollment (2014) 58,276 27,911*
Campus Setting Large city Large Suburb
Tuition and Fees (2015-16) $1,632 in-district, $3,360 in-state, $3,756 out-of-state* $1,408 in-district, $2,416 in-state, $3,688 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Aid (2013-14) 70% 57%
Retention Rate (2013-2014) 56% for full-time students 66% for full-time students
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (began 2011) 12% (22% transfer-out rate)* 15% (22% transfer-out rate)*

Sources: *NCES College Navigator

Houston Community College

The Central campus at Houston Community College offers baking and pastry arts programs that include classes in cake decorating. Students complete labs to gain real experience preparing a variety of bread, pastries and desserts.

Associate of Applied Science in Baking and Pastry

The associate's degree program in baking and pastry arts takes five semesters, or two years, to complete. Students start by learning the basics of baking, then progress to breads, pies, cookies, chocolates and cakes. They study kitchen sanitation and safety, and conversational Spanish to prepare for restaurant jobs. In Cake Decorating I, learners explore the basics of decorating cakes and in Cake Decorating II, they study advanced decorating techniques, including seasonal tips. A wedding cake course includes techniques commonly used for creating different cake layers and using garnishes, flowers, fondant and icing for wedding cakes.

Certificate in Baking and Pastry

This 3-semester, or 1-year, certificate trains students to prepare a variety of breads and desserts including rolls, donuts, tarts, chocolates and confections. An advanced pastry shop course familiarizes them with international desserts, different ice creams, chocolate work and tips for keeping the dishes hot or cold as necessary. As with the associate's degree program, students complete a practicum as a baker or pastry chef. They also take Cake Decorating I, Cake Decorating II and the wedding cake decoration course.

Pastry Cook Level I - Certificate

Students can complete this program option in a single semester. The required courses cover kitchen safety and sanitation, the basics of baking and preparing tarts, pies, cookies and teacakes, fundamentals of baking, and a course on bread and rolls. Enrollees are also required to complete Cake Decorating I.

San Jacinto College

San Jacinto College is a 2-year community college that offers a variety of certificates and associate's degree programs designed to prepare students for the workforce. The school offers more than ten different culinary arts programs, which start with the basics and build on them.

Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts - Pastry Chef Specialty

Offered at the North Campus, this associate's degree program takes about four semesters to complete and focuses on the baking and pastry arts. Students take restaurant courses, such as safety and sanitation, as well as food and beverage controls. Baking classes include baking fundamentals, nutrition, bakeshop production and advanced pastry shop. The two cake decorating courses prepare students to use chocolate modeling, royal icing, marzipan and other techniques to produce professional cakes that taste delicious and look beautiful.

Certificate of Technology in Culinary Arts - Pastry Chef Specialty

This 3-semester certificate provides students the opportunity to focus on baking and pastry creations. In addition to learning to operate and manage a safe kitchen, they learn to manage the volume of breads and pastries they create and acquire experience creating a variety of desserts. They also learn how to mold, fill and prepare chocolates and take two cake decoration courses.

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