While Michigan does not have any schools that offer stand-alone degree or certificate programs specifically in cake decorating, it does have several community colleges that offer certificates and associate degrees in the culinary arts field. These seven schools offer studies in baking and pastry arts that include classes in cake decorating. Largely, the schools stress hands-on experience by offering lab hours and co-op opportunities. Several schools offer the opportunity to design and decorate a wedding cake as a culmination of the skills learned. Read below to learn more about these programs classes and get tuition rates.
Grand Rapids Community College
Students looking to study cake decoration can pursue a baking and pastry arts certificate at this Grand Rapids-based community college. During the 51-credit program, students learn about various aspects of the culinary and hospitality fields. By the second semester, students can enroll in a cake decorating basics course. The class focuses on multiple decorative techniques, including airbrush work, string work, layering, and flowers. Students gain hands-on experience during the required 3-credit course in cooperative education by creating bakery products and pastries for the college's Art and Bev's Bistro.
Apart from the classes in the certificate program, Grand Rapids Community College offers three additional cake decorating courses. These classes cover advanced techniques in using buttercream icing, royal icing, fondants, gum pastes, airbrush spraying, and centerpieces.
Henry Ford Community College
At Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn, students can train for a career working in artisan bakery and pastry shops in a 30-credit certificate program. After receiving instruction in food safety and sanitation, students move on to explore various aspects of fine dessert production and design. A cake decorating course teaches students how to apply buttercream icing, rolled fondants, florals and decorative writing at a professional skill level. Students who would like to earn an Associate in Applied Science degree in culinary arts can learn the same cake decorating skills through required and elective classes.
Macomb Community College
Macomb Community College in Warren offers students a pastry arts Associate of Applied Science degree program. Students are introduced to sanitation standards, purchasing, production baking, and chocolate work. The cake decorating related courses prepare students to design and decorate wedding cakes, as well as how to create cast sugar and gum paste decorations for cakes and centerpiece. Students must complete a minimum of 65 total credit hours to finish the program.
Monroe County Community College
Located in Monroe, Monroe County Community College hosts both an associate degree program and a certificate program in culinary skills and management. Students pursuing an Associate of Applied Science degree must complete 63 credit hours. Coursework in the first semester covers introductory culinary skills and basic baking principles. By the second semester, students are learning how to measure and mix ingredients and to bake cakes, including wedding cakes. Students learn to apply multiple types of icings onto cakes and add decorations, like chocolate art and spun sugar. The certificate program requires the same culinary arts, baking, and pastry arts courses, but it excludes general education classes. Students must complete 44 total credit hours to obtain a certificate.
Mott Community College
Mott Community College in Flint offers a program that prepares students for a career in baking and pastry arts. The majority of the associate degree program's 84 credit hours of classes are devoted to hands-on bakery experience; however, the program also includes an introductory cake decorating class that centers on design for specialized cakes. Students advance to the intermediate cake decorating course, where they are introduced to fillings and latticework. They also work with specialized decorative ingredients including brown sugar, rock sugar, and chocolate.
Oakland Community College
Oakland Community College offers both an Associate of Applied Science degree in culinary arts and a certificate program in baking and pastry arts at its Oakland campus. The curricula provides technical knowledge and hands-on experience in professional cake decorating and related arts.
The associate degree program requires students to complete a minimum of 73 credit hours. The college offers multiple decoration courses that can be taken as electives. Students can learn to apply icings, piping gels, and fondants, taking into consideration the forms, colors, and designs necessary to put together a theme cake. Using mediums like ice chocolate and bubble sugar, they can create centerpieces to elegantly finish off a cake.
Oakland Community College's certificate program in baking and pastry arts requires two cake decorating courses. Students can learn to blend specialty icings used for creating flowers, writing, and borders. One of the classes focuses specifically on the process that goes into designing a unique wedding cake based on the customer's interests. The certificate program requires completion of 32 total credit hours.
Washtenaw Community College
Nestled in Ann Arbor, Washtenaw Community College trains students in cake decoration through its baking and pastry certificate program. The required 29 credits of coursework include several courses where students explore cake finishing techniques, such as lace and floral designs. They have the chance to apply their skills by creating an intricate wedding cake.
An Associate of Applied Science degree in baking and pastry arts is also available. Most of the courses that are part of the certificate program are also required for the associate degree. However, a class that covers advanced techniques in cake decoration, like mold making and airbrush work, is also included. Some general education classes are also required to complete this 62-credit program.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Cake Decorating Programs Offered||Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)|
|Grand Rapids Community College||2-year, public; midsize city||Certificate of Completion in Baking and Pastry Arts||$3,833 (in-district); $7,681 (in-state); $11,174 (out-of-state)*|
|Henry Ford Community College||2-year, public; small city||Certificate of Achievement in Baking and Pastry,
Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts
|$3,124 (in-district); $4,876 (in-state); $6,748 (out-of-state)*|
|Macomb Community College||2-year, public; midsize city||Associate of Applied Science in Pastry Arts||$3,375 (in-district); $5,952 (in-state); $7,649 (out-of-state)*|
|Monroe County Community College||2-year, public; rural fringe||Certificate in Culinary Skills and Management,
Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Skills and Management
|$3,965 (in-district); $6,515 (in-state); $7,175 (out-of-state)*|
|Mott Community College||2-year, public; midsize city||Associate of Applied Science in Baking and Pastry Arts||$4,080 (in-district); $5,112 (in-state); $6,982 (out-of-state)*|
|Oakland Community College||2-year, public; large suburb||Certificate in Baking and Pastry Arts,
Associate in Applied Science in Culinary Arts
|$2,408* (in-district); $4,472 (in-state); $4,472 (out-of-state)*|
|Washtenaw Community College||2-year, public; large suburb||Certificate in Baking and Pastry,
Associate in Applied Science in Baking and Pastry
|$2,520 (in-district); $4,104 (in-state); $5,520 (out-of-state)*|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics.