Pastry Chef Degree Programs and Courses

Baking and pastry degree programs are offered at the associate's and bachelor's degree levels, and certificate programs are available as well. Courses cover the fundamentals of baking, cakes, chocolates, cookies and more. Continue reading for more examples of courses and skills you can learn. Schools offering Baking & Pastry degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

A pastry chef is a chef who specializes in the production of baked goods and desserts. There are various routes to becoming a pastry chef, whether through a certificate program, a degree program and/or, most importantly, hands-on experience.

Degrees Associate's and bachelor's degree programs are available
Other Programs Certificate programs are also available
Courses Knife skills, food safety, nutrition, sanitation procedures, methodologies in baking, advanced pastry arts, general education

Do I Need a Formal Degree to be a Pastry Chef ?

In the foodservice industry, you can acquire entry-level positions and advancement from hands-on kitchen and food preparation experience with minimal education or formal training. However, if you're interested in receiving education as a pastry chef, preparation can include certificate programs, as well as associate's and bachelor's degree programs. Culinary institutes, community colleges or professional career schools often provide this type of training. You can also find some hotels and restaurants that offer apprenticeships led by chef-mentors. Due to the hands-on nature of this job, you won't find many programs that have online instruction.

What Kinds of Courses Would I Take?

You'll typically start out learning the fundamentals and basic techniques in baking, such as knife skills, food safety, nutrition and sanitation procedures. You may work with a variety of breads and pastries, from loaves and rolls to cookies and other confectioneries. Advanced courses generally include methodologies in baking and advanced pastry arts, where you'll learn how to create such products as cakes, tarts, chocolates, ice creams and sorbets. Some classes may introduce you to making sugar showpieces.

What Certificate Programs are Available?

A Baking and Pastry Arts Certificate requires hands-on coursework for students who want to learn about the role of a pastry chef without entering into a degree program. However, this program might allow students to transfer credits to a degree. Coursework may include soups, sauces and basic techniques, industry food production, food theory and food service sanitation procedures.

What Degree Programs are Available?

Besides the straightforward baking and pastry training, pastry chef degree programs can help you integrate your culinary skills with business knowledge. Associate's and bachelor's degree programs might encourage you to take courses on customer service and restaurant management, as well as purchasing and costing. To practice what you learn in lecture, many programs require you to complete an internship or externship. You can work in the setting of a professional kitchen, either on-campus or off-campus. This component allows you to earn the experience required to become a pastry chef.

Students might choose an Associate in Applied Science in Culinary Arts or Baking and Pastry. A Bachelor of Science in Baking and Pastry Arts may also be available. Courses for these programs often include the following:

  • Pastry theory
  • Culinary basics
  • Basic cake decorating
  • Human nutrition
  • Breakfast pastry
  • Cost control
  • Wedding cakes
  • Banquet service

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

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    Online Programs Available

  • Milwaukee Area Technical College

    Campus Locations:

    • Wisconsin: Milwaukee
  • Johnson & Wales University

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    • Colorado: Denver
    • Florida: Denver, North Miami
    • North Carolina: Denver, North Miami, Charlotte
    • Rhode Island: Denver, North Miami, Charlotte, Providence
  • William T McFatter Technical College

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    • Florida: Davie
  • Wilkes Community College

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    • North Carolina: Wilkesboro
  • White Mountains Community College

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    • New Hampshire: Berlin
  • Westmoreland County Community College

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    • Pennsylvania: Youngwood
  • Western Technology Center

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    • Oklahoma: Burns Flat
  • Sullivan University

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    • Kentucky: Louisville
  • Washtenaw Community College

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    • Michigan: Ann Arbor