Where in New York Can I Take a Cake Decorating Class?

Learn about cake decorating classes in New York. See program or specialization options, degree requirements and classes, and get career and salary info for the region. Schools offering Baking & Pastry degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Should Know

Cake decorating skills may be learned in New York through culinary programs at 2- and 4-year schools. You might earn a 1-year certificate in baking & pastry arts or in culinary arts & food management. You could also complete an associate's degree program in baking & pastry arts, culinary arts or culinary management within about 21-24 months. A 38-month bachelor's degree program in baking & pastry arts is also offered. All programs are hands-on and include internships or other types of supervised experience. Read further to choose a program and location that might work for you.


Culinary Arts Certificate Programs in New York

Erie Community College

  • Program: Baking and Pastry Arts Certificate
  • Program Length: 1 year (full-time)
  • Tuition: $3,600 per year for NY residents; $7,200 per year for non-residents (2011-2012; full-time, matriculated students; excludes fees)
  • Admission Requirements: Math placement test (recommended)
  • School Type: 2-year, public; 15,084 total enrollment (all undergraduate)
  • Address: 121 Ellicott Street, Buffalo, NY 14203
  • Phone: 716-851-1001

An urban school located in a landmark building in downtown Buffalo, the City Campus of Erie Community College offers a number of professional and vocational training programs, including a 32-credit certificate in baking and pastry arts. This program can help you acquire the skills you need to work in a supermarket or retail bakery or as an assistant pastry chef in a club, hotel or restaurant. You can expect to complete classes in hospitality math, pastries and cakes, retail baking and sanitation procedures, as well as a 120-hour commercial baking field experience. Appropriate food preparation and service uniforms are mandatory for all lab-based classes.

Kingsborough Community College

  • Program: Certificate in Culinary Arts and Food Management
  • Program Length: 1 year (full-time)
  • Tuition: $3,900 per year for NY residents; $7,800 per year for non-residents (Fall 2012; full-time, matriculated students; excludes fees)
  • Admission Requirements: College degree in another field; CUNY placement test
  • School Type: 2-year, public; 18,000 credit students and 21,000 continuing education students
  • Address: Academic Villa Building, Room V-226, Brooklyn, NY 11235
  • Phone: 718-368-5143

Kingsborough Community College has been called one of the top schools of its kind in the nation by The New York Times and offers a certificate program in culinary arts and food management. You can consider this program if you already have a college degree. The program includes hands-on culinary classes combined with culinary business and management classes. You can also expect to complete a culinary field internship that gives you the chance to spend 8 hours a week in a supervised commercial kitchen at businesses like Cold Stone Creamery, The Food Network or Whole Foods.


Culinary Arts Associate Degree Programs in New York

Culinary Institute of New York

  • Program: Associate in Occupational Studies in Baking and Pastry Arts
  • Program Length: 21 months (full-time)
  • Tuition: $12,950 per semester for freshman (2012-2013, full-time, matriculated students; excludes fees)
  • Prerequisites: 6 months of food service experience
  • Admission Requirements: Personal essay, letter of recommendation
  • School Type: 4-year, private; 2,785 total enrollment (all undergraduate)
  • Address: 1946 Campus Drive, Hyde Park, NY 12538
  • Phone: 845-452-9600

At the Culinary Institute of America's main campus in New York's Hudson River Valley, you can earn an associate degree through the school's 69-credit baking and pastry arts program. This program includes hands-on learning that begins in your first week of classes, and you can gain real-life experience by completing an 18-week paid externship and 6 weeks of practical experience working in a bakery cafe. The curriculum includes topics of study like culinary math, food safety and menu development. Some of the items you may learn how to make are different types of cakes, artisan breads and pastries.

Kingsborough Community College

  • Program: Associate of Applied Science Degree in Culinary Arts
  • Program Length: 24 months (full-time)
  • Tuition: $3,900 per year for NY residents; $7,800 per year for non-residents (Fall 2012; full-time, matriculated students; excludes fees)
  • Admission Requirements: CUNY placement test
  • School Type: 2-year, public; 18,000 credit students, 21,000 continuing education students
  • Address: Academic Villa Building, Room V-226, Brooklyn, NY 11235
  • Phone: 718-368-5143

If you don't have a college degree, Kingsborough Community College's 60-credit associate degree program in culinary arts can provide career training and help you qualify for a number of industry-related certifications from organizations like the American Culinary Federation and the New York City Department of Health. The program includes 600 hours of practical training through the mandatory field internship or on-campus learning kitchen. In addition to general education classes, you can expect to learn about breads and pastries, food safety and sanitation and entrepreneurship.

Mohawk Valley Community College

  • Program: Associate of Occupational Studies in Culinary Arts Management
  • Specialization Areas: Baking and pastry arts
  • Program Length: 2 years (full-time)
  • Tuition: $3,580 per year for NY residents; $7,160 per year for non-residents (2012-2013; full-time, matriculated students; excludes fees)
  • Admission Requirements: Placement test, handwritten writing sample
  • School Type: 2-year, public; 7,151 total enrollment (all undergraduate)
  • Address: 1101 Floyd Avenue, Rome, NY 13440
  • Phone: 315-339-3470

Mohawk Valley Community College is the biggest college between the cities of Albany and Syracuse and has two campuses in Utica and Rome. Most of the coursework for the culinary arts management program takes place at the Rome campus. The associate degree program has a concentration in baking and pastry arts that includes classes like catering management, hospitality management and nutrition. You can also expect to complete a practicum class that involves at least 9 hours of field experience and a seminar weekly. In lab classes, you need to wear professional chef's uniforms, such as a chef's coat, hat and apron.


Culinary Arts Bachelor's Degree Programs in New York

Culinary Institute of New York

  • Program: Bachelor of Professional Studies in Baking and Pastry Arts Management
  • Program Length: 38 months (full-time)
  • Tuition: $12,950 per semester for freshman (2012-2013, full-time, matriculated students; excludes fees)
  • Prerequisites: 6 months of food service experience
  • Admission Requirements: Personal essay, letter of recommendation
  • School Type: 4-year, private; 2,785 total enrollment (all undergraduate)
  • Address: 1946 Campus Drive, Hyde Park, NY 12538
  • Phone: 845-452-9600

You can supplement your baking and pastry arts education with a background in liberal arts and business management through this bachelor's program at the Culinary Institute of America. It builds on the same curriculum offered through the associate degree program through additions like a trip to a prominent culinary location (national or international) between your junior and senior years in order to experience regional food culture. The program is also designed to teach you the financial and management skills needed to successfully run a baking and pastry business. Some of your elective classes include the opportunity to complete a thesis or an advanced culinary class.


Career and Salary Info for Bakery and Pastry Students in New York

While a formal education is not required to become a baker, some professional pastry chefs acquire their skills through on-the-job training, an apprenticeship program, a technical school or a culinary institute. While commercial bakers typically work for bread and pastry manufacturers, retail bakers are usually employed by grocery and specialty stores. In a craft or store bakery, entry-level apprentices or trainees can learn how to measure and combine ingredients, use baking tools and apply glazes, icings and other decorative toppings.

Although not required to work in the field, a certification from the Retail Bakers of America can be used to show potential employers that you have acquired the knowledge and skills necessary for working in a retail baking establishment.

Career Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), little or no change in the rate of employment for bakers is expected from 2010 and 2020. While increased use of automated and computerized production processes will reduce the need for commercial bakers, professional bakers with advanced skills and many years of experience will have the most opportunities. The BLS reported that New York was one of five states with the highest employment levels in this occupation. Overall, top paying industries for bakers included elementary and secondary schools, postsecondary and professional schools, the federal executive branch and state governments. As of May 2011, approximately 9,600 bakers in New York earned an annual mean wage of around $26,000.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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