ONLINE PROGRAMS

BAKING & PASTRY ARTS

Earn a baking & pastry degree or diploma at one of the best schools for Baking & Pastry Arts programs in the USA.*

*2024 Best Baking & Pastry Arts (#7 nationally), College Factual

Escoffier Boulder Chef Instructor shaking a hand with an Escoffier graduate at the Graduation 2022 ceremony

Next start date: May 22

Overview

Earn a Baking & Pastry Arts Degree or Diploma and Stand Out in the Industry

To start or progress in the world of baking and pastry, an online pastry program might be just the thing that gives you an edge. At Escoffier, we offer convenient online pastry degree and diploma programs in the tradition of french pastry school, all designed to prepare you for a variety of opportunities in the field, such as:

  • Bakery manager
  • Food stylist
  • Chocolatier
  • Home baking business owner
  • Cake decorator
  • Confectioner
  • Pastry specialist
  • Dessert caterer

If you’re looking to launch a baking career, create artistic pastries, confections, and desserts, or start your own baking or pastry business, Escoffier’s programs can help you learn the skills and knowledge necessary to pursue a career in the pastry industry. Learn more about our online baking and pastry classes, our professional Pastry Chef Instructors, and careers graduates can pursue.

Female chef pouring chocolate sauce on a cake slice
Complete Your Training in

60 weeks

Escoffier’s online baking & pastry programs are designed to work with your schedule. In a little more than a year, you could earn a diploma or degree that can set you apart.

Grant or Scholarship Aid

56%

The percentage of Escoffier Boulder students (including online programs) who received an income-based federal Pell grant and/or a grant or scholarship from another source, per National Center for Education Statistics.

Average Federal Student Loan Award

$11,125

For all students, the average amount of aid awarded in the form of federal student loans in 2021-22 was $11,125, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Courses

Baking Classes, Pastry Classes, Plus Practical Business and Career Skills

Escoffier’s curriculum is designed to help you pursue career opportunities in baking & pastry.

Gourmet cheesecake with berries on a white plate

The online baking & pastry degree and diploma programs are composed of industry-relevant courses, including cake decorating classes, chocolate making classes, bread making classes, and more. Courses are completed in a block format under the direction of pastry chef instructors with expertise in teaching the pastry business.

Our baking & pastry programs, designed by industry specialists, offer the flexibility to study from the convenience of your own home, and prioritize work-life-education balance.

All baking and pastry classes include live instruction, high-quality video tutorials, and interactive assignments. If you cannot attend a live class session, recordings are also available. Everything is designed with learning in mind for busy, working adults.

  • Attend or review recordings of weekly virtual classes
  • Receive personalized feedback from professional Pastry Chef Instructors
  • Earn your online pastry degree or diploma from almost anywhere in the world
  • Get baking & pastry job search, interview, and career preparation assistance
  • Access to alumni mentorship and employer partner network
Fundamentals of Baking and Pastry I

In this course, students will learn the basics of professional bakeshop work: mise en place, baking math (measuring and converting recipes), and safety and sanitation. Students will then practice the fundamental techniques of pastry and baking, learning multiple methods for creating cookies and doughs.

Fundamentals of Baking and Pastry II

In this course, students build on what they’ve learned in the previous course. They expand their understanding of the bakeshop, baking a variety of pies and tartlets as well as preparing custards (stove-top and baked), dessert sauces, and pâte à choux.

Menu Design and Management

This course explores different types of menus and their applications. The course covers all aspects of menu planning and design, ranging from visual design to price analysis to making use of available resources. The menu is both a financial tool and a communication tool, and its use as both is explained. Students learn about both food and beverage menus.

Contemporary Pastry Arts

This course highlights modern considerations in the baking industry. Trends in diets and eating habits are constantly changing, and being able to stay on top of them is a key industry skill. Students learn about cutting-edge trends in dessert composition and contemporary plating techniques, and how to stay current with those.

Global Pastry Arts

This course explores the geographical and cultural influences on desserts from around the world. Students will learn about the desserts of multiple regions of the world, identifying common ingredients and their key flavors, then practicing the production techniques found in the countries of each region. Each week, students will navigate the assigned regions through readings, discussions, and practical assignments.

Food and Beverage Cost Control

Three out of five foodservice operations fail within five years of opening, often due to money mismanagement; this course gives students the skills to not only keep their restaurant in business but also turn a profit.

This course introduces students to purchasing, receiving, inventory management and menu pricing. Students learn how to minimize costs and maintain a full range of customer services.

The course progresses from the fundamentals of culinary math into an overview of storeroom operations, inventory, portion control, as purchased and edible portions, ingredient conversions, and recipe costing.

Foundations of Bread I

In this course, students learn the basics of baking breads and dough products. Students will use starters and levains, calculate optimal temperature, and work with various doughs and pre-ferments to create multiple different varieties of bread. Students will also continue to develop their ability to follow a production timeline.

Foundations of Bread II

This course expands the student’s knowledge of bread into enriched breads. Students will use more advanced methods to create yeasted doughs, laminated doughs, sweet doughs, and puff pastry, and use dough shaping in more complex ways.

Foodservice Management

This course covers the different types of commercial food service operations, and how to manage each using the principles of good service. Students study the hierarchy of management in food service, and the skills needed to succeed as a manager: training employees, motivating them, disciplining them, and creating a safe and positive work environment. The course also explores how to act responsibly and make decisions that benefit the company.

Confiserie

In this course, students will learn about products that, while not necessarily pastry items or baked goods, are important dessert staples and essential knowledge for the bakeshop. Students begin with the proper techniques in storing, melting, and tempering chocolate, as well as creating chocolate decorations. Students will then move on to sugar cookery and confections, explore a variety of fruit desserts and petit fours, and end the course with lessons on frozen desserts, including ice cream and gelato.

Cake Design and Decorating

In the Patisserie course, students will delve into more complex pastries. Cakes are the main focus of this course, and students will learn about the classic mixing methods used to create a wide variety of American and European cakes and tortes. Students will also learn about various styles of cake decoration, progressing from basic icings, frostings, and cake assembly to intermediate decorating techniques and fine line piping. Throughout the course, students will develop their ability to bake on schedule, following a production timeline like those in a professional bakeshop.

Building Your Own Business

This course covers such topics as business planning, pricing, credit management, government regulation, legal concerns, and business ethics. Students learn how to manage and how to lead. For the final project for this course, the student will complete and present a business plan for a food service operation.

Pastry Industry Externship I

This course provides opportunities for real life experiences in an operational restaurant or related business and builds on the skills and techniques covered in previous courses. In the course, students apply the skills they’ve learned in practical ways to real-world situations. Students gain hands-on experience in the kitchen that mirrors their future work in the industry and develop the skills necessary for a culinary career. Immersion in a work environment also allows students to develop industry contacts and build working relationships.

Fundamentals of Baking and Pastry

The Fundamentals of Baking and Pastry begins with course work concentrating on food safety and sanitation in the professional kitchen. The importance of proper hygiene, food handling and storage, cleaning, pest control and HACCP in a food service operation is explored.

The course includes baking and pastry mixing methods and ingredient identification. The framework to understand the principles of the following cooking and baking techniques are taught: classic pastry doughs, pâte à choux, fried doughs, pies and tarts, baked custards and stove top custards, quick breads, scones, muffins, cookies, brownies and bars, as well as dessert sauces.

Menu Design and Management

This course explores different types of menus and their applications. The course covers all aspects of menu planning and design, ranging from visual design to price analysis to making use of available resources. The menu is both a financial tool and a communication tool, and its use as both is explained. Students learn about both food and
beverage menus.

Business and Professional Communications

The Business & Professional Communications course emphasizes the principles and practical application of effective professional communication behaviors within professional, business, and organizational contexts. In addition to identifying the importance of effective communication skills to the hospitality industry, communication styles and effective listening methods are addressed.

Students will create and present oral presentations including cooking demonstrations, and special occasion speaking. Listening skills, verbal and nonverbal communication, conflict resolution, cultural differences in communication, and debate techniques are also covered.

Patisserie

Patisserie begins with learning the classic meringue techniques that lead into the creation of European buttercreams. Students will learn classic mixing methods and piping skills. Specialty dessert cakes and decorated special occasion cakes are a major focus of this course work concentrating on factors related to the baking industry. Frozen desserts and plating are focused in this course. The course includes hand modeling techniques using rolled fondant, gum paste, marzipan, and modeling chocolate. The framework to understand the principles and techniques in the construction of putting together a wedding cake are also covered. Pastry and baking production timelines are
examined in this course.

Finally, students are introduced to sugar cookery and fresh fruit dessert items. This course provides instruction, examples, and guidance in the following areas: decorating classic European cakes, rolled fondant designed cakes, hand iced specialty cakes, ice cream and sorbet, candied fruit, gum paste flowers, marzipan and modeling chocolate.

Foodservice Math & Accounting

Foodservice Math & Accounting introduces students to managerial accounting concepts and explains their applications to specific operations within the hospitality industry. Emphasis is placed on how to administer accounting procedures to minimize costs and maintain a full range of customer services.

After summary of the fundamentals of culinary math, an overview of basic business accounting transactions is covered including asset/liability accounts such as accounts receivable and payable, ledgers, balance sheets, payroll and financial statements.

Food and Beverage Cost Control

Three out of five foodservice operations fail within five years of opening, often due to money mismanagement; this course gives students the skills to not only keep their restaurant in business but also turn a profit.

This course introduces students to purchasing, receiving, inventory management and menu pricing. Students learn how to minimize costs and maintain a full range of customer services.

The course progresses from the fundamentals of culinary math into an overview of storeroom operations, inventory, portion control, as purchased and edible portions, ingredient conversions, and recipe costing.

Confiserie and Artisan Baking

Artisan Bread provides the framework to understand the principles of the following methods and techniques: the methods of pre-fermentation, biga, and sponge, starting and maintaining a variety of sourdough starters, extended fermentation, the 10 steps of bread production, proper shaping, proofing and scoring, whole grain breads, Italian artisan breads, enriched breads, and special occasion/ holiday breads, puff pastry and laminated dough.

Students will study the proper techniques in buying, storing and melting chocolate, chocolate tempering, chocolate candies, truffles and pralines, nut based candies, cooked sugar based candies and sugar art showpiece design and execution, chocolate molding, chocolate finishing techniques, chocolate decorations, amenity design and execution, chocolate showpiece design and execution.

World History and Culture from the Culinary Perspective

Throughout history, food has done more than just provide nourishment. From prehistoric times to the present day, food and the pursuit of it has had a transformative role in human history. Food has impacted societal organization, industrial development, military conflict, and economic expansion. As epicure and gastronome, Jean-Anthelme Brillat Savarin stated, “Gastronomy governs the whole of human man.” In addition, food also serves a role in the cultural development of religion, economics, and politics.

This course examines the role of food and its contribution and influence over history, culture, religion, economics, and politics. Food customs and attitudes are also explored, as well as, the social awareness selected food patterns and customs.

Foodservice Management

This course covers the different types of commercial food service operations, and how to manage each using the principles of good service. Students study the hierarchy of management in food service, and the skills needed to succeed as a manager: training employees, motivating them, disciplining them, and creating a safe and positive work environment. The course also explores how to act responsibly and make decisions that benefit the company.

Technical Writing for the Hospitality Industry

Technical Writing for the Hospitality Industry, prepares students to write in the hospitality and foodservice professions. In a professional setting, writing provides readers information they need in a format they can understand.

Unlike most academic writing, in which students demonstrate their learning to a professor who already knows the subject, in technical communication the writer is the expert, and the readers are the learners. In the hospitality and foodservice industries, students and professionals write a variety of documents for supervisors, colleagues, and customers such as explaining a problem or product, preparing a proposal, or illustrating a project. This course teaches students to adapt their writing to different audiences and purposes.

This course outlines strategies for making subjects clear to readers who need to understand them. To communicate effectively with an audience, writing must meet rigorous editing standards, in addition to writing in a clear, concise style and presenting information logically.

Global and Contemporary Cuisine

This course highlights modern considerations in the baking industry. Trends in diets and eating habits are constantly changing, and being able to stay on top of them is a key industry skill. Students also learn about cutting-edge trends in dessert composition and contemporary plating techniques, and how to stay current with those. In addition, the course explores different regions’ desserts, as well as their cultural significance and the historical influences that produced them.

The Science of Nutrition

In the Science of Nutrition course, the basic principles of nutrition are investigated. Emphasis is placed on the nutrients, food sources, and their utilization in the body for growth and health throughout life. Contemporary and global nutritional issues are also discussed.

Building Your Own Business

This course covers such topics as business planning, pricing, credit management, government regulation, legal concerns, and business ethics. Students learn how to manage and how to lead. For the final project for this course, the student will complete and present a business plan for a food service operation.

Pastry Industry Externship I

This course provides opportunities for real life experiences in an operational restaurant or related business and builds on the skills and techniques covered in previous courses. In the course, students apply the skills they’ve learned in practical ways to real-world situations. Students gain hands-on experience in the kitchen that mirrors their future work in the industry and develop the skills necessary for a culinary career. Immersion in a work environment also allows students to develop industry contacts and build working relationships.

Pastry Industry Externship II

This course provides opportunities for real life experiences in an operational restaurant or related business and builds on the skills and techniques covered in previous courses. In the course, students apply the skills they’ve learned in practical ways to real-world situations. Students gain hands-on experience in the kitchen that mirrors their future work in the industry and develop the skills necessary for a culinary career. Immersion in a work environment also allows students to develop industry contacts and build working relationships.

A hands-on externship in a bakery or restaurant can give you the mentorship and experience you may need to pursue your dream job in baking & pastry

Whether you’re looking to become a patisserie chef, learn professional baking techniques from the experts, or discover how to start a bakery, your externship can give you an opportunity to work toward your goals in a professional kitchen.

Request Information

Seeing how I defied the odds, owning my own small business, working as a shift-lead, as a cake decorator, and being successful, I see what people were talking about two and half years ago when I initially started researching [culinary schools].”*

Escoffier student Cassie Wallace
cassie wallaceESCOFFIER ONLINE BAKING & PASTRY GRADUATE & Owner of Joan and Pearl’s Bakery
*This information may not reflect every student’s experience. Results and outcomes may be based on several factors such as geographical region or previous experience.
Cost & Time

Explore Options to Help You Afford Pursuing a Diploma or Degree in the Baking and Pastry Arts

Most Escoffier students received financial assistance in 2021-2022.* Financial Aid is available to students who apply and qualify.
Federal Financial Aid
Financial aid is available to students who apply and qualify. Get our student aid guide, or speak with a financial aid representative to learn more.
Scholarships and Grants
Learn about scholarships and federal financial grants for those who apply and qualify.
Military Benefits
Eligible active duty, veterans, and their family members have specific grants available to help them reach their educational goals.

Escoffier’s online programs are available through the Boulder, Colorado, campus. The average net price was $11,756 for grant or scholarship aid for students in the largest
program for the time in academic year 2021-22.*

The total program cost listed above encompasses tuition (which includes the tool kit and uniform), a non-refundable application fee, and an optional non-refundable technology fee if you do not already have a computer. As textbooks are all delivered electronically, the cost of any books used in the program and available online to the students are included in the tuition cost. For more cost details, refer to our catalog.

Online Associate of Occupational Studies Degree in Baking & Pastry

Program Cost: $30,515
Program Length: 60 weeks

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Online Diploma in Professional Pastry Arts

Program Cost: $20,099
Program Length: 60 weeks

Request Information

*College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics

Two mini cheesecake desserts with Graham cracker crust and chocolate and berry toppings
60 weeks

Academic weeks required to complete the online degree or diploma program.

15-23 hours

Hours per week recommended for academics, depending on the student’s learning style.*

*Approximately 15-23 hours per week is spent on school-related activities depending on program, credential, and personal pace.
10 minutes

Approximate time required to complete an online application. Apply today!

Flexible Learning

A proven, flexible path to learning the baking & pastry arts: programs designed for busy schedules

Balancing a career, family duties, and personal commitments can be challenging. At Escoffier, we recognize that adult learners often have demanding and unpredictable schedules.

Keeping this in mind, if you are passionate about baking and pastry, we provide a flexible educational experience with a comprehensive, career-oriented curriculum designed to fit into your existing routine.

It won’t be easy—you might face challenges and dedicate many hours. However, with commitment and effort, Escoffier empowers you to attain a diploma or degree in baking and pastry, even with a hectic daily life.

Online culinary student basting and admiring two freshly baked Challah loafs in her home kitchen

The online programs at Escoffier allow students to develop the same skills as ground campus students, but you complete the program in your own kitchen.”

LUKE SHAFFERESCOFFIER CHEF INSTRUCTOR

Escoffier’s Online Learning Model Explained

Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts pioneered the online learning model for the baking & pastry arts. Here’s how it works:
An online culinary student taking notes in front of a computer notebook
step 1:

LEARN

Read assigned texts, watch technique videos, do additional research, and complete knowledge checks.
Escoffier online culinary student works on his laptop at his home
step 2:

DISCUSS

Participate in discussion boards with your classmates and instructors about topics related to your coursework, the industry, and more. Join live lessons held virtually each week for a real classroom experience.
An Escoffier online student takes photos of her freshly baked Challah bread in her home kitchen
step 3:

EXPERIENCE

It’s cooking time! Execute your practical assignments, documenting the process along the way through a production sheet and taking photos when instructed to.
Instructors

Meet Your Online Baking and Pastry Chef Instructors

You have a dream…a dream of honing your baking craft and delivering pastries that are delicious and beautiful. Or maybe you wonder about starting a bakery from home. Perhaps you wonder what it it would take in terms of experience and years of work to become a pastry chef and reach the pinnacle of the industry.

How do you get from where you are now to your dream job in the professional baking arts?

You know that hard work and commitment lies ahead. That’s why you need Escoffier Chef Instructors in your corner. As your coaches and mentors, their job is to hold you to the highest and best version of yourself that you can be…to stretch your creativity, and help you move beyond whatever limitations you ever thought you might have.

Chef Instructor Steve Konopelski piping whipped cream on a cake
Chef Colette Christian
Chef Colette Christian
Favorite Dish: Tiramisu
Certified Master Baker Colette Christian is “obsessed with ingredient function, because the more we know, the better we bake.” Trained as a chef at the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vermont,…
Chef Paul Rocque
Chef Paul Rocque
Favorite Dish: Ragu Bolognese over Mezze Rigatoni
With over 20 years of experience in the pastry arts, Chef Paul has co-authored the book “So Sweet!” for the Sur La Table national chain of cook stores, make cakes for Steven Spielberg, Melissa Joan Hart,…
Chef Billie Sutton
Chef Billie Sutton
Favorite Dish: Tiramisu
Chef Billie has done food styling for such shows as Westworld, NCIS, Cool Kids, and Harrison Ford movie The Call of the Wild. She is the owner of food styling business Imagine Food Styling and specializes in…
Chef Tracy DeWitt
Chef Tracy DeWitt
Favorite Dish: Brownies
Chef Tracy has appeared on the popular TV show “Food Network Challenge” on 5 different occasions, walking away with two gold medals and one silver medal. She was the captain of the gold medal-winning…
Lesson Examples

Here are a few samples of the baking, pastry, and practical business lessons you could encounter in our courses

A home baker packs cupcakes in pastry boxes in her home kitchen

Get started on a home bakery business plan or other food service operation

  • Explore topics such as business planning, government regulation, and business ethics for how to start a bakery, or assist your employer in expanding theirs.
  • Begin a business plan for a foodservice operation that you can present to your peers, including your own home bakery business plan.
A pastry arts student pipes chocolate topping onto chocolate truffles

Study classic chocolate-making techniques to help you explore how to become a chocolatier

  • Study the proper techniques in storing, melting, and tempering chocolate, as well as creating chocolate decorations.
  • Discover sugar cookery and confections, explore a variety of fruit desserts and petit fours, and end the course with lessons on frozen desserts, including ice cream and gelato.
An Escoffier pastry student pipes frosting sunflowers and leaves on a vanilla cake

Practice cake decorating techniques to improve your artistry when baking

  • Cake decorating classes can help students learn about various styles of cake decoration, progressing from basic icings and frostings to cake assembly.
  • Courses range from basic cake decorating to intermediate decorating techniques and fine line piping.
A baker spreads butter on fresh pretzels

Explore the art and science of bread baking in bread baking classes

  • Use starters and levains, calculate optimal temperature, and work with various doughs and pre-ferments to create multiple different varieties of bread.
  • Use additional methods to create yeasted doughs, laminated doughs, sweet doughs, and croissants, and use dough shaping in more complex ways.

Accredited and Respected Worldwide

The reputation of the institution where you earn your degree or diploma is an important measure of value. Escoffier is recognized industry-wide as a leader in culinary education. The Boulder, Colorado campus develops and delivers Escoffier’s online programs. It is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education & Training (ACCET) and is approved and regulated by the Colorado Department of Higher Education, Division of Private Occupational Schools.

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#1 IN THE WORLD

Ranked best culinary school in the world by
Chef’s Pencil 2020

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LARGEST IN THE USA

Star medal icon

TOP 10 SCHOOLS

Top 10 culinary schools in the United States –
USA Today 2019

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BEST ONLINE SCHOOLS 2023

*Based on comparable student population data for Austin and Boulder as currently reported in Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

This was the best decision of my life! I have my degree and am working at opening my own bakery. My life feels more complete now. Thank you, Escoffier, for helping make my dreams come true!”*

KATIE HARRISONLINE BAKING & PASTRY GRADUATE & Head Pastry Chef at Oconomowoc Lake Club

*This information may not reflect every student’s experience. Results and outcomes may be based on several factors such as geographical region or previous experience.

A gourmet dessert of cheesecake covered in strawberry sauce and edible flowers
Career Outlook

An online baking & pastry degree that can pave the way to a delicious career

So much of our culture revolves around food: celebrations, gatherings, comfort, and artistry—which only heightens the demand for professionals who can craft delectable pastries and exquisite baked goods.

The skills, techniques, and training you can acquire as you complete your baking & pastry degree can help prepare you to cater to the demand for trained bakers and pastry chefs.

Restaurants, cafés, bakeries, and private clients may be on the lookout for the next culinary sensation. Baking and pastry artists are the heart of dessert innovation, turning simple ingredients into mouthwatering masterpieces. A diploma or degree in baking & pastry from Escoffier may allow you to become a pivotal player on any culinary team, bringing sweetness and creativity to dining tables worldwide.

Employment for pastry & baking workers is projected to grow 5 percent from 2022 to 2032, 66% faster than the average for all occupations.*

Bakers employment growth chart graphic

*Occupational Outlook Handbook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

A top view of pistachio cake topped with powdered sugar
53,500

Unfilled Jobs

The commercial baking industry is facing a significant workforce shortage. By 2030, projections suggest that there could be a shortfall of 53,500 jobs, with a ripple effect throughout the supply chain.*

A photo collage of a male chef frosting a cake in a commercial kitchen and a female pastry chef holding a tray of almond croissants in a bakery

EXAMPLE JOB TITLES

EXAMPLE EMPLOYERS

  • Bakeries
  • Cafés & Coffee Shops
  • Restaurants
  • Supermarkets
  • Catering Companies
  • Food Magazines & Blogs
  • Dessert Boutiques
  • Food Trucks
  • Chocolate Shops
  • Resorts & Spas
  • Retirement Communities

EXPLORE CAREERS AND EXTERNSHIPS IN OUR CAREER CENTER WITH THE HELP OF OUR CAREER SERVICES specialists

Get “insider knowledge” on how you can uncover career opportunities with our employer partners.

Chef icon

Career Planning

Get clear on your goals and understand career options. Use your externship to explore and experiment.
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Resume and Portfolio Assistance

Build a resume and portfolio that can catch the attention of employers in the niche where you’d like to work.
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Interview Preparation

We can help you practice your interview skills to be ready for questions that come your way.
Admissions

Escoffier’s Admissions Requirements

To enroll at Escoffier and get started in the baking & pastry degree or diploma program, you must show proof of a high school diploma or general equivalency diploma (GED). You do not need any specific work experience, nor do you have to take the ACT or SAT to be admitted to any program at Escoffier. For more information, see our catalog.

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Get Your Enrollment Checklist

Get a step-by-step guide to enrolling at Escoffier.
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Get Your Questions Answered

Talk to an Escoffier Admissions Representative.
Gourmet dessert tart with caramel sauce and chocolate shavings
FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions About Our Baking and Pastry Arts Programs

What is culinary school for baking?

A culinary school for baking is an educational institution that specializes in providing comprehensive training in the art and science of baking and pastry preparation. The school can teach culinary techniques, recipe development, food safety, and presentation skills, preparing students for careers as pastry cooks, bakers, cake decorators, and chocolatiers.

When students enroll in Escoffier’s Baking & Pastry programs, they gain access to classes that can cover a wide range of topics, including bread making, cake decorating, pastry techniques, and chocolate work. With an emphasis on hands-on training, students can have the opportunity to develop their baking skills under the guidance of experienced Chef Instructors.

How much do bakers make on average with a degree or diploma?

The average salary for bakers can vary widely, depending on factors such as location and the type of establishment where they work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for bakers was $32,780 as of May 2022. Higher salaries may be available to bakers with more experience—including a degree or diploma—on their resume. It is important to note that earning a degree typically does not guarantee qualification for a person to become a baker. It is possible to become a pastry chef without a degree, but earning a degree or diploma may boost earning potential.

Can your programs help me start a bakery business?

They could! To start a bakery business successfully, you’ll need a combination of technical skills, business acumen, and knowledge of local regulations. Here’s how Escoffier programs can help you gain the knowledge and insight for such an endeavor:

  • Baking & Pastry Foundations: Escoffier’s programs can help equip you with foundational baking and pastry skills, which are fundamental for creating high-quality baked goods. This knowledge and understanding can be crucial when you begin offering your products to customers.
  • Menu Development: Our programs can help you refine your recipes and come up with unique and appealing menu offerings for your bakery.
  • Food Safety and Sanitation: Understanding food safety and sanitation practices is vital when preparing and selling food products. Our Baking & Pastry programs can include training on these topics.
  • Business Planning: Escoffier can help teach you to develop a business plan that outlines your bakery concept, target market, pricing, marketing strategy, and financial projections. The education also includes financial management principles, such as understanding budgeting, pricing strategies, and financial record-keeping to help ensure the profitability of your bakery.
  • Legal and Regulatory Compliance: Our Baking & Pastry programs may cover local, state, and federal regulations related to operating a food business. This can include obtaining necessary permits, licenses, and adhering to health and safety standards.

Our programs can provide you with a strong foundation in baking and pastry arts, as well as foodservice management skills—which can be essential elements for building a successful bakery business.

For more information on starting a baking business, check out our blog article: How to Start a Bakery Business from Home.

Can your programs teach me how to start an online bakery?

Yes! As mentioned above, starting an online bakery requires baking & pastry knowledge, as well as knowledge of menu development, food safety and sanitation, business planning, legal and regulatory compliance, and home-based business considerations. These are all topics that our Baking & Pastry degree and diploma programs can prepare students to perform in a professional setting. For more information on how you can start an online bakery, check out our blog article: Building an Online Pastry Shop.

Does Escoffier offer baking & pastry certificate programs?

Escoffier does not offer certificate programs in baking & pastry. However, the school offers degree and diploma programs that provide students with a comprehensive education in the art and science of baking & pastry. The programs can also provide them with a well-rounded baking foundation that encompasses a range of techniques. With a curriculum designed by industry specialists, students can hone their baking skills and potentially gain an edge in the professional baking & pastry industry.

Is there a difference between a pastry chef and a baker?

A pastry chef and a baker are both skilled professionals in the world of baking, but they specialize in different aspects of the craft. A baker produces a wide variety of items, including bread, rolls, cakes, and other baked goods that are staples of everyday consumption. The role of baker is more likely to be an entry-level position. 

On the other hand, a pastry chef is typically responsible for specializing in desserts and may also make non-baked goods such as custards, sauces, and chocolate. They often work in upscale restaurants, hotels, or pastry shops, and their creations involve a high level of artistry and precision, including techniques like tempering chocolate, crafting intricate sugar decorations, and creating complex flavors. This role is typically more advanced than a baker role and comes with more experience.

For a more in-depth description of these roles, you can refer to our article: Pastry Chef vs Baker: What’s the Difference.

What can you do with a baking & pastry degree?

A baking & pastry degree can open up a wide range of exciting career opportunities in the culinary industry. Here are some potential career paths and roles you can pursue with this degree: 

  • Pastry Chef: As a pastry chef, you can work in upscale restaurants, hotels, bakeries, or pastry shops. While a pastry chef makes baked goods, they typically also specialize in non-baked desserts such as custards, sauces, and chocolates.
  • Baker: Bakers primarily focus on producing bread, rolls, cakes, cookies, and other baked goods. You could work in bakeries, pastry shops, or even operate your own bakery, specializing in artisanal bread, cupcakes, or other baked specialties.
  • Cake Decorator: If you have a passion for cake design and decoration, you can become a cake decorator. This role involves creating custom cakes for special occasions like weddings, birthdays, and other celebrations, often incorporating intricate designs and food sculptures.
  • Chocolatier: Specializing in chocolate-making, chocolatiers create various chocolate confections and truffles. You can work in artisan chocolate shops, start your own chocolate business, or even collaborate with other pastry chefs to incorporate chocolate into their creations.
  • Dessert Menu Developer: Some restaurants and dessert-focused establishments hire pastry chefs to develop and manage their dessert menus. This role involves creating new dessert recipes, adapting classics, and ensuring consistency in flavor and presentation.
  • Food Stylist: Food styling is an exciting niche within the culinary industry where you can use your creativity to make food look visually appealing for photography, advertisements, or film. Pastry chefs with a talent for aesthetics are often in demand for this role.
  • Food Entrepreneur: With the skills gained from a baking and pastry degree, you can start your own business. This could include opening a bakery or pastry shop, or even launching an online bakery or dessert subscription service.

A baking and pastry degree can equip you with the practical skills and theoretical knowledge to help you excel in your culinary career, and it can provide a solid foundation for pursuing a career that you’re passionate about in the baking & pastry industry.

Is this a pastry chef school?

We are a culinary arts school that offers programs in a wide variety of culinary disciplines, including baking & pastry, food entrepreneurship, plant-based culinary arts, holistic nutrition and wellness, and hospitality and restaurant operations management. Our baking & pastry programs can provide students with the foundations to help them pursue a career as a professional baker or other baking & pastry professionals post-graduation; this is done through providing them with a well-rounded education in baking techniques, pastry preparation, dessert plating and presentation, chocolate work, and hands-on industry externship work. 

How is this like a baking institute or pastry academy?

Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts shares similarities with baking institutes and pastry academies in that it offers specialized training and education in the field of baking and pastry arts. Here are some ways in which it is similar to these types of institutions:

  • Specialization: Like baking institutes and pastry academies, Escoffier specializes in education and training specifically focused on baking, pastry, and dessert preparation.
  • Comprehensive Curriculum: Escoffier offers a comprehensive curriculum that can cover a wide range of topics related to baking and pastry arts. This curriculum includes fundamental techniques, advanced skills, and specialized areas of study within the pastry field.
  • Hands-On Training: Students at Escoffier perform hands-on baking tasks in their own kitchens, allowing them the opportunity to practice and improve their baking and pastry skills under the guidance of experienced instructors.
  • Experienced Faculty: Escoffier employs instructors who are skilled pastry chefs with real-world industry experience, similar to the faculty found in baking institutes and pastry academies.
  • Certification: Like pastry academies and baking institutes, Escoffier provides students with a degree or diploma upon successful completion of their programs, providing a recognized credential in the field of baking and pastry arts. Note that Escoffier does not offer “certificates.”
  • Industry Connections: The school often has connections with bakeries, pastry shops, and the broader culinary industry, helping to facilitate externships and job searches for graduates.

While Escoffier’s baking & pastry programs share many similarities with baking institutes and pastry academies, our curriculum offers a wider range of culinary disciplines and programs as well.

How is a typical online baking class conducted?

The online programs at Escoffier allow students to learn similar skills as campus students, but they complete the program in their own kitchen. (Read our article: Is Online Baking School Right for You?)

A typical week for a student begins by reviewing interactive lesson material and any potential production required for weekly lab assignments. From there, students can attend an online live session with their classmates and Chef Instructors or review the session recordings. Students then have a weekly baking assignment that is recorded through photos and a written summary. A production sheet is given to students to show the steps they take in the baking process and allows them to record their process for Chef Instructors. Once the assignment is completed, a Chef Instructor will go through the production sheet and photos and talk through feedback with the student.

What makes Escoffier one of the top baking and pastry programs?

Escoffier is frequently acknowledged as a school with leading baking and pastry programs* for several reasons:

*2024 Best Baking & Pastry Arts (#7 nationally), CollegeFactual.com

  • Comprehensive Programs: Escoffier offers comprehensive programs in baking and pastry arts that cover a wide range of topics, from foundational techniques to advanced skills and specialized areas such as chocolate work and sugar art.
  • Experienced Faculty: The school employs experienced pastry chefs and instructors who have real-world industry experience. This allows students to learn from professionals who have worked in the field and can provide valuable insights.
  • Hands-On Training: Escoffier emphasizes hands-on training, giving students the opportunity to practice and refine their skills.
  • Industry Connections: The school often has strong connections with the culinary industry, including partnerships with local bakeries, pastry shops, and restaurants. This can lead to externship and job search opportunities for graduates.
  • Strong Culinary Community: Students at Escoffier have the opportunity to be part of a culinary community, connecting with fellow students, instructors, and industry professionals, which can be valuable for networking and future career opportunities.
  • Alumni Success: The success stories of Escoffier graduates who have gone on to become accomplished pastry chefs and bakers speak to the quality of education and training provided by the school.

What degree do I need to be a pastry chef?

It’s important to understand that earning a degree typically does not, on its own, qualify a person to become a pastry chef. It’s possible to become a pastry chef without a degree, but reaching the pinnacle of any profession typically requires a combination of education, experience, talent, and dedication. Your advancement in the pastry arts will depend on many circumstances in and out of your control.

Prospective students must make their own decisions as to whether or not they believe a degree can help them in their careers and if it is worth the investment, based on their own needs, goals, and life circumstances. Auguste Escoffier of Culinary Arts cannot guarantee employment, or that a degree from our institution will lead to any specific employment outcomes.

Is Escoffier a baking and pastry school?

Escoffier’s online baking and pastry programs are offered through the Boulder campus, which is classified as a “culinary school.” In general, baking and pastry schools only offer baking and pastry programs, whereas Escoffier offers programs in the baking and pastry arts, culinary arts, and more. If you compare Escoffier’s baking and pastry programs to those offered by baking and pastry schools, you are likely to find many similarities.

A home baker pipes cupcake mixture into prepared pastry cups

Step into a world of pastry careers with our baking and pastry programs. Start your new career journey today!