Cake Decorating Classes in California with Program Overviews

Research cake decorating courses in California, which currently has more than 25 schools offering programs. Read an overview of courses, tuition info and program options for 10 of the largest of these schools and decide which program is right for you.

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Essential Information

Cake decorating is usually offered as part of a baking and pastry arts or culinary arts certificate or associate degree program, as offered by 7 of the schools included in this article. However, 3 schools offer very brief baking and pastry programs, including cake decorating, or offer the option to take only cake decorating courses. While all cake decorating classes include hands-on practice of skills, some programs also include internship opportunities. Find out more about the cake decorating program options at the 10 California schools described below.


Allan Hancock College

Located in Santa Maria, Allan Hancock College offers a 15-unit certificate program in baking. Courses include cake decorating and specialty and wedding cakes, which are 1 unit each. The program employs contemporary and more traditional styles and provides students with an opportunity to gain experience in a teaching kitchen. Internships can also be arranged.

  • Programs Offered: Baking certificate
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): In-state, $1,346; Out-of-state, $6,666*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year public, small city

American River College

American River College (ARC) is located in Sacramento. ARC's culinary program includes an associate's degree in culinary arts and restaurant management and a certificate program in baking. The 17-unit introductory baking certificate program includes a 2-unit fine baking and pastry course that covers European-style cakes and cake decorating. The school's 3-unit advanced baking and pastry course covers wedding and other specialty cakes.

  • Programs Offered: Introductory baking certificate,
    Associate's in culinary and restaurant management
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): In-state, $1,104; Out-of-state, $7,200*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year public, large suburb

Cabrillo College

Cabrillo College in Aptos offers an associate's degree program in culinary arts and hospitality management, which includes a 1-unit course in cake decorating. The school also offers 4 certificate programs, including a 16-unit baking skills certificate program. Courses in this program include introductory baking and pastry, cake decorating, chocolate, advanced baking and pastry and the art of wedding cakes, along with 5 culinary introductory courses.

  • Programs Offered: Baking skills certificate,
    Associate's in culinary arts and hospitality management
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): In-state, $1,350; Out-of-state, $5,662*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year public, mid-size suburb

College of the Canyons

Located in Santa Clarita, College of the Canyons offers 4 culinary arts and wine studies certificate programs. The 12-unit Certificate of Specialization: Baking and Pastry program includes a 3-unit cake decorating course, along with courses covering baking principles, pastry art and chocolates.

  • Programs Offered: Baking and pastry certificate
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): In-state, $1,154; Out-of-state, $5,234*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year public, mid-size suburb

Contra Costa College

At Contra Costa College in San Pablo, students can choose from an associate's degree or a certificate program in pastry and baking. Courses cover basic European-style desserts and cake decorating, commercial pastry baking and decoration, cake finishing and restaurant desserts. Students can pursue a degree or certificate or may take only a few courses in the culinary program.

  • Programs Offered: Pastry and baking certificate,
    Associate's in pastry and baking
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): In-state, $1,298; Out-of-state, $6,758*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year public, large suburb

Grossmont College

Grossmont College in El Cajon offers a program in which students can earn an associate's degree in culinary arts, in culinary entrepreneurship and in baking and pastry. Certificates of Achievement are offered for banquet cook, prep cook, line cook and pastry cook. The 13-unit certificate program in pastry includes courses in advanced baking and pastry principles and commercial baking, while the associate's degree program includes courses in chocolate, sugar work, centerpieces and cake decorating.

  • Programs Offered: Pastry cook certificate,
    Associate's in culinary arts, culinary entrepreneurship, or baking and pastry
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): In-state, $1,387; Out-of-state, $6,897*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year public, large suburb

Long Beach City College

Long Beach City College in Long Beach offers an associate's degree, a Certificate of Achievement and a Certificate of Accomplishment program in baking and pastry arts. The Certificate of Achievement and the associate's degree program include courses in commercial cake decorating, chocolate and introductory and advanced pastry and baking. Recommended courses for these two programs include the sugar cookery and Viennese pastries courses. Similar courses are offered for the Certificate of Accomplishment program.

  • Programs Offered: Baking and pastry certificates,
    Associate's in baking and pastry
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): In-state, $1,366; Out-of-state, $7,218*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year public, large city

Monterey Peninsula College

Monterey Peninsula College, located in Monterey, offers a 5.5-unit Fast Track Certificate in Baking and Pastry Arts. Included in this program is a cake decorating course. Students learn to prepare a variety of cakes, make icings and decorate cakes. The course covers cake decorating methods such as poured glaze, piping and rolled icings. No prerequisites are necessary for the cake decorating course, but students need baking experience.

  • Programs Offered: Baking and pastry arts certificate
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): In-state, $1,170; Out-of-state, $5,466*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year public, mid-size suburb

Pasadena City College

Found in Pasadena, Pasadena City College offers a 6-unit occupational skills certificate program in baking and pastry. Courses include small and large quantity baking, costs, mixing methods and pastry baking techniques. Students also learn how to assemble and decorate cakes with multiple layers.

  • Programs Offered: Baking and pastry occupational skills certificate
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): In-state, $1,152; Out-of-state, $6,504*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year public, mid-size city

Riverside City College

Located in Riverside, this college's certificate program in culinary arts includes training in pastry presentation, basic baking and cake decorating. In the 2-unit cake decorating course, which is offered as an elective, students can learn about dessert displays, fancy decorations and artistic design.

  • Programs Offered: Culinary arts certificate,
    Associate's in culinary arts
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): In-state, $1,413; Out-of-state, $6,813*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year public, large city

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Degree and Certificate Programs Undergraduate Tuition & Fees 2012-2013
Allan Hancock College 2-year public, small city Baking certificate In-state, $1,346
Out-of-state, $6,666*
American River College 2-year public, large suburb Introductory baking certificate,
Associate's in culinary and restaurant management
In-state, $1,104
Out-of-state, $7,200*
Cabrillo College 2-year public, mid-size suburb Baking skills certificate,
Associate's in culinary arts and hospitality management
In-state, $1,350
Out-of-state, $5,662*
College of the Canyons 2-year public, mid-size suburb Baking and pastry certificate In-state, $1,154
Out-of-state, $5,234*
Contra Costa College 2-year public, large suburb Pastry and baking certificate,
Associate's in pastry and baking
In-state, $1,298
Out-of-state, $6,758*
Grossmont College 2-year public, large suburb Pastry cook certificate,
Associate's in culinary arts, culinary entrepreneurship or baking and pastry
In-state, $1,387
Out-of-state, $6,897*
Long Beach City College 2-year public, large city Baking and pastry certificates,
Associate's in baking and pastry
In-state, $1,366
Out-of-state, $7,218*
Monterey Peninsula College 2-year public, mid-size suburb Baking and pastry arts certificate In-state, $1,170
Out-of-state, $5,466*
Pasadena City College 2-year public, mid-size city Baking and pastry occupational skills certificate In-state, $1,152
Out-of-state, $6,504*
Riverside City College 2-year public, large city Culinary arts certificate,
Associate's in culinary arts
In-state, $1,413
Out-of-state, $6,813*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

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Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Louisville
    Areas of study you may find at Sullivan University include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Culinary Arts and Culinary Services
        • Baking and Pastry Arts
        • Catering and Restaurant Management
        • Chef Training
  • School locations:
    • Milwaukee
    Areas of study you may find at Milwaukee Area Technical College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Cosmetology and Related Services
      • Culinary Arts and Culinary Services
        • Baking and Pastry Arts
        • Catering and Restaurant Management
        • Chef Training
      • Funeral Related Services
  • School locations:
    • Denver
    • North Miami
    • Charlotte
    • Providence
    Areas of study you may find at Johnson & Wales University include:
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Culinary Arts and Culinary Services
        • Baking and Pastry Arts
        • Catering and Restaurant Management
        • Chef Training
  • School locations:
    • Muskegon
    Areas of study you may find at Baker College include:
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Culinary Arts and Culinary Services
        • Baking and Pastry Arts
        • Catering and Restaurant Management
        • Chef Training
  • School locations:
    • West Palm Beach
    Areas of study you may find at Lincoln College of Technology include:
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Cosmetology and Related Services
      • Culinary Arts and Culinary Services
        • Baking and Pastry Arts
        • Catering and Restaurant Management
        • Chef Training
  • School locations:
    • Stanford
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
  • School locations:
    • Cambridge
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Math

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