There are currently 8 public and non-profit schools in Massachusetts that offer courses in cake decoration, most of which are part of a certificate or an associate's degree program, although some are available through stand-alone classes. While completing a degree isn't necessary, it can help students gain practical experience that could make it easier to find a job. It can also teach them about cake decorating techniques, frostings and fillings. Students spend much of their kitchen lab time fine-tuning baking and decorating skills and may be asked to create a final project in decoration courses.
Below, the eight schools in Massachusetts with programs that include cake decorating classes are profiled in more detail. Find also a comparison chart for schools' settings, tuition costs, and available programs.
Berkshire Community College
In 1960, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts established Pittsfield's Berkshire Community College. Students can attend a 28-credit culinary arts certificate program that includes courses in food preparation, wine appreciation and dining room management. The baking course addresses techniques for baking and decorating various pastries, including cakes, pies, custards, breads and rolls.
Located near downtown Boston, Boston University offers a full-time culinary arts program that was co-founded by Julia Childs and Jacques Pépin. Students can pursue a 400-hour Certificate in Culinary Arts program that includes practical training, lectures and field trips. At the end of the program, students can prepare cakes, desserts, breads, soups, sauces, stocks and egg dishes. They also learn how to pair wines, use herbs, write about food, plan a menu and use safe kitchen practices.
Bristol Community College
Fall River-based Bristol Community College has provided students with academic and career training since 1968. Through the Associate in Applied Science in Culinary Arts (Baking and Pastry) program, learners can acquire the necessary skills to prepare baked goods and desserts. Courses include baking essentials, baking technology, pastry arts and the art of the cake, which focuses on decorating techniques and history.
Bunker Hill Community College
At Boston's Bunker Hill Community College, students can select from a variety of programs, including a culinary arts certificate program, a pastry arts certificate program and an Associate in Science in Culinary Arts program. The two certificate programs prepare learners for entry-level positions in the culinary fields, and the associate's degree program trains graduates for a range of careers in hospitality and food services. Courses for the associate's degree program include baking principles, hospitality law, a culinary arts seminar, an internship and a course in advanced desserts and pastries. The 22-credit culinary arts certificate program focuses on baking and culinary skills, sanitation and menu design. During the 29-credit pastry arts certificate program, students learn to bake and decorate cakes, as well as prepare desserts and pastries.
Holyoke Community College
Holyoke Community College in Holyoke offers a certificate in culinary arts. The certificate program includes studies in culinary foundations, sanitation and safety, standards for the food industry and an introductory baking course, which includes baking cakes and different types of icings for desserts.
Massasoit Community College
Massasoit Community College in Brockton offers a culinary arts program that includes courses in sugar and chocolate artistry, yeast doughs, introductory baking, cake decorating and classic desserts. Students explore different types of cakes and cake decorating techniques, including buttercreams, icings, floral designs and candy decorations. Students complete a 240-hour internship to acquire real-world experience. They can also participate in the Culinary and Hospitality Club, which hosts food and bake sales, field trips and food-related tours.
At Brookline's Newbury College, which was established in 1962, students can select from a range of associate's and bachelor's degree programs in more than 20 different fields. Courses related to cake decorating are a part of the Bachelor of Science in Hotel, Restaurant and Service Management with a concentration in culinary management program, the Associate in Applied Science in Culinary Arts program, the Associate of Applied Science in Baking and Pastry Arts program, and the Certificate of Pastry Arts program. All of these programs include courses in preparing breads, rolls and desserts. The associate's degree program in pastry arts also addresses sugar and chocolate confections, contemporary pastries and cake artistry. The 18-credit pastry arts certificate program includes a course in cake decorating.
North Shore Community College
Located in Danvers, North Shore Community College allows students to earn an Associate in Applied Science in Culinary Arts and Food Service, as well as a Non-Credit Certificate of Completion in Basic Culinary Arts. Through the associate's degree program, students take courses in culinary techniques, pastries and desserts, food safety and sanitation, bakery products and classical baking, which include topics in cake baking and presentation. The non-credit program includes classes in Greek cooking, using herbs in cooking, baking cupcakes and decorating cakes. Through the cake decoration course, students can use fondant and gum paste to create flowers, borders and ruffles.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Cake Decorating Programs and Courses Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)|
|Berkshire Community College||2-year, public; rural fringe||Certificate in Culinary Arts||$5,492 in-state; $11,068 out-of-state*|
|Boston University||4-year, private not-for-profit; large city||Certificate in Culinary Arts||$14,200 (program; tuition only)**|
|Bristol Community College||2-year, public; large suburb||Associate in Applied Science in Culinary Arts (Baking and Pastry)||$4,776 in-state; $9,720 out-of-state*|
|Bunker Hill Community College||2-year, public; large city|| Culinary Arts Certificate,
Pastry Arts Certificate,
Associate in Science in Culinary Arts
|$4,464 in-state; $9,408 out-of-state*|
|Holyoke Community College||2-year, public; large suburb||Certificate in Culinary Arts||$4,902 in-state; $9,846 out-of-state*|
|Massasoit Community College||2-year, public; large suburb||Culinary Arts Program||$4,824 in-state; $9,768 out-of-state*|
|Newbury College - Brookline||4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb|| Certificate in Pastry Arts,
Associate in Applied Science in Baking and Pastry Arts,
Associate in Applied Science in Culinary Arts,
Bachelor of Science in Hotel, Restaurant and Service Management with a culinary management concentration
|North Shore Community College||2-year, public; large suburb|| Associate in Applied Science in Culinary Arts and Food Service,
Non-Credit Certificate of Completion in Basic Culinary Arts
|$5,184 in-state; $10,752 out-of-state*|
Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **Boston University