November 16, 2020

Many people dream of creative confections and perfect pastries. But they don’t know how they can fit pastry school into their busy lives.

Although family and work obligations can make pastry school sound like a dream for other people, in reality, you can get a pastry education from your own home kitchen, in your own time, with an online pastry school.

Sound too good to be true? We understand — the online model has only been around for less than a decade, so many people don’t know how it works.

Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in Boulder, CO is accredited by ACCET – A Partnership for Quality® and is the only culinary institution in the U.S. with 100% online degrees & diplomas that include industry externships near where you live. As pioneers in the online pastry school field, we want to share how this program works for students all over the world and from all walks of life.

Why Attend Pastry School Online?

Traditional pastry school often requires that students take a leave of absence from their jobs in order to attend. And if there is no pastry school in your town, you need to move to a larger city in order to get your education.

The online model takes these issues out of the equation! Highly flexible online learning lets students study and practice in their own time, whether that’s first thing in the morning, mid-afternoon, or at night when the family is asleep.

And anyone with a computer and an internet connection can get their education — without leaving home.

“I am most proud of achieving excellent grades in all classes while working full time and raising three children.”
Amber Snyder, Online Pastry Arts Graduate

Online students can continue their education uninterrupted, regardless of any state or city-imposed lockdowns that may occur over the next 6- or 12-months due to COVID-19.

A Week in Online Pastry School

So how does it work?

Each week starts with assigned reading and chef demonstrations on that week’s topic. Then, students will visit the class discussion boards. This is where online pastry students get to ask and answer questions, and get to know their classmates!

Students will also attend live video sessions with their Chef Instructors and fellow students. The instructor will demonstrate techniques, provide more information, and answer questions. This is another opportunity to interact.

Escoffier’s online Chef Instructors are industry professionals, with extensive accomplishments and accolades. And if you have a scheduling conflict during the live session, not to worry. All sessions are recorded, and you can revisit it when you have time.

Online culinary student watching a video on wrapping dough
Next, it’s time to complete the weekly assignment. Students have a production sheet to follow, and document their work with photos along the way. Once they finish their baking assignment, students complete a written summary. They include tasting notes in their flavor journal, where they can record texture, aroma, taste, and mouthfeel.

After submitting everything, the Chef Instructor reviews the photos and written summary, and records personalized video feedback for each student with what went well and tips for how to improve.

Each week, students can expect to spend 15+ hours on their school-related activities, which makes it possible to fit your education into the pockets of time after work and family obligations!

The Culinary Externship

The final block of the Escoffier education sends you to work! Before graduating, online pastry students complete a baking or pastry externship in their local area. The externship allows students to get resume-building experience and put their baking skills to use. They get to see what life is like for the baker or pastry chef, and continue to learn from industry pros.

Chocolate mousse cake with mint and blueberries and a waffle cone
Students find their own externships, but they have help! Escoffier students have access to Career Services, which may provide portfolio and resume writing assistance. Career Services may also be able to provide introductions to some companies.

Pastry students should consider their externship carefully — it has been known to lead to a job offer!
Online Pastry Arts graduate and Navy veteran Kjersti Walker completed her baking externship at the Stable Cafe at the famous Biltmore Estate, the palatial home of the Vanderbilts! Her manager offered her a job, but she declined — she wanted to attend Escoffier’s online Culinary Arts program, as well!

Baking & Pastry Arts Programs & Courses

Escoffier offers two online baking & pastry programs. Students who want to get through their programs quickly may find that the Diploma in Professional Pastry Arts is the best fit. This program includes ten 6-week training blocks for a mix of baking and business instruction. The curriculum is designed to give students a great baking foundation and prepare them for the business side of the bakery.

Courses include the Fundamentals of Baking & Pastry, Cake Design & Decorating, Building Your Own Business, and many more.

Culinary student taking a picture on phone of sliced bread on a wooden board
Students who wish to dive a little deeper can complete their Associate of Occupational Studies Degree in Baking and Pastry. This 15-month program adds on to the diploma program with additional coursework in the Science of Nutrition, Foodservice Math & Accounting, and World History & Culture from the Culinary Perspective, among others.

“The knowledge from Escoffier has given me the skills and confidence not only in my baking, but to take my baking and creations to the next level.”
Trista Besecker, Online Pastry Arts Graduate

Ongoing Support for Online Students

Online pastry students are never just a face in the digital crowd at Escoffier. Sometimes, students need a little support. That’s why every enrollee is assigned a Success Coach to help them complete their programs.

If a student is struggling, their Success Coach will step in to help them troubleshoot the problem. Whether it’s difficulty in finding ingredients, family illness, or trouble adjusting to school after a long time away, your Success Coach is there to help!

“I struggled with school in the past for years, but with the help of Career Services and my Success Coaches, I graduated on time. I put a goal in place of getting 95% or higher in each of my baking courses, and I did exactly that.”
Kellie Trimble, Online Pastry Arts Graduate

Students and graduates also get continuing help from Career Services, long after their externships are complete. In fact, Escoffier graduates can look forward to lifetime job placement assistance, including resume writing help, interview prep, and industry referrals where appropriate.

Plus, graduates can join the Escoffier Alumni Association. This online networking center will let you connect with fellow grads, view job boards, join special interest groups, and more.

Kneading dough on wooden board with rolling pins and knife and flour

Online Pastry School Works!

Online pastry school explores the fundamentals of breads, cakes, confiserie, and more, plus the entrepreneurial foundations necessary to understand the business side of the industry.

As long as deadlines are met, it lets you practice at your own pace, in your own kitchen. No need to quit your job or uproot your life. Online pastry school aims to level the playing field, making an education accessible to anyone who wants one.

Contact our admissions department to get more information and start your education in the Baking & Pastry Arts!

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