Students work in a pastry and baking class

Pastry & Baking Associate Degree

Earn an associate degree in 14 months with ICE's Pastry & Baking Arts and Management program.

Diploma Program

Get Expert Training in the Art and Business of Pastry and Baking

Pursue your culinary ambitions with an education that combines hands-on baking fundamentals in the kitchen classroom with management training at our Los Angeles campus and general education courses online on your own schedule. Our new hybrid associate degree program features the Institute of Culinary Education's reputable pastry arts & baking arts career training, instructor expertise, convenient class schedules and established network in the industry. You'll get hands-on training in professionally equipped kitchens with quality ingredients, have access to the learning resource center on campus, and gain real-world experience through an off-site industry externship.

Our program consists of Pastry & Baking Arts, Restaurant & Culinary Management and applied general education courses.

Quick Facts

Program Name: Pastry & Baking Arts and Management Associate of Occupational Studies (AOS)

Program Duration: 14 months

Class Times: morning, afternoon or evening and online

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Pastry & Baking Arts

In no other field of the food industry do art and technique combine so beautifully as in pastry and baking. Your hands-on education starts with our pastry arts chef-instructors, who will guide you through the crucial components of the baking craft. You'll cover a wide range of pastries and begin with a comprehensive exploration and tasting of ingredients to learn how flavors and textures combine. Over the course of the baking school program, you'll experience lessons with multiple chef-instructors, exposing you to a variety of mentors with different perspectives and areas of expertise in the pastry arts. In addition, with a strong emphasis on theory, our pastry school curriculum will teach students the essential techniques of cakes and chocolate, highlighting the key ratios and methods that allow you to go beyond recipes and create your own formulas. Our pastry school program will show you how to decorate cakes by hand until inscriptions and piping become second nature. Ultimately, students have the opportunity to apply these skills and create tiered cakes of their own design. Chocolate confections are also part of the curriculum, from the simple truffle to intricate showpieces.

A Restaurant & Culinary Management class at ICE's Los Angeles campus

Culinary Management

ICE’s Restaurant & Culinary Management program offers pragmatic training in restaurant management, operations and entrepreneurship. Our experienced instructors will teach you how to develop profitable concepts, write a business plan and market your venture to a target audience. You'll get a sense of how to troubleshoot bakery, restaurant and bar management issues concerning operations and staffing, analyze changing trends and make fiscal modifications to keep a business profitable. You'll train to make strategic business decisions with case studies, role-playing and group projects; have a chance to gain valuable professional insights from prominent guest lecturers; and study menu design, social media marketing, kitchen and interior design, and wine tasting and appreciation.

A student studies on a laptop

Applied General Education Online Classes

Students take online courses that are relevant to restaurant industry careers, such as the history and culture of food, social psychology, business communication, leadership, change management and more. You'll study subjects as they apply to the business of foodservice, including written and verbal communication strategies as they relate to recipe writing, reviewing, food blogging and culinary demonstrations; team building through developing and empowering people; and nutrition in terms of dietary preferences and the relationship between diet, health and disease.

Freshly baked bread cools on speed racks


After 400 hours of careful instruction and practice in our pastry arts program, you are ready for the exam that matters: working in a professional kitchen or bakery. Through our externship program, you will spend 210 hours on-site in a restaurant, bakery, hotel, catering kitchen or other culinary enterprise. With myriad options available, we pride ourselves on the diversity and caliber of our professional network. You will put your pastry arts skills to work in real time in an actual kitchen outside of the classroom walls. Best of all, these externships frequently turn into job offers and provide you with invaluable contacts among professional pastry chefs and bakers for the rest of your career. You will live the excitement of pursuing your dream.

Pastry & Baking Arts and Management Associate Degree

Program Highlights

Pastry & Baking Arts

  • Study fundamental pastry and baking techniques including cake decorating, paring, poaching, roasting, macerating, drying and candying.
  • Identification and discussion of the essential baking ingredient groups and their uses in pastries and baked goods.
  • Review the essentials of bread-making, pastry doughs and yeast-raised doughs.
  • Train in the art of baking through theory, technique, palate development, speed and teamwork.
  • Work with chocolate confections through instruction on theory, tempering and production.
  • Discover the theory and techniques, both fundamental and advanced, involved in cake-making. 
  • Prepare and decorate detailed tiered cakes. 

Restaurant & Culinary Management

  • Explore the interplay between concept development, menu design, pricing and profitability​.
  • Study the basics of cost control and restaurant accounting, including the development of a business plan.
  • Examine "the people side" of the baking and pastry business as it relates to staff supervision and service management.

General Education and Career Development

  • Develop written and verbal communication skills as they relate to recipe writing, reviewing, food blogging and culinary arts demonstrations. ​​
  • Explore the interconnections between cuisine, historical events and international locations, and the growth of America's culinary culture. ​​
  • Connect personal, professional and financial goals to examine how they contribute to career and personal success, as well as the ​​importance of leadership and team-building. ​
  • Study the basics of nutrition and the relationship between diet, health, nutrients and how a culinary professional can use this knowledge in their baking career.

This 60-credit hybrid program leads to an Associate Degree in Occupational Studies (AOS) and is composed of:

  • 23 credits in Pastry and Baking Arts, offered on campus (except externship which is at a food service site).
  • 21 credits in Culinary Management, offered on campus.
  • 16 credits in applied general education, offered online.

Baking and Pastry Arts program duration varies according to the schedule option selected. The length of time normally required for completion of each schedule option is determined by calculating the average number of weeks including student-free days and holidays. International students should note that this associate degree program qualifies for F-1 visa applications. 

Note: This program is offered only at ICE’s Los Angeles campus.

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Program Start Dates

Start Dates: August 13

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Pastry & Baking Arts Classes

  • Morning or afternoon (24 weeks)
  • Five days (20 hours/week)
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Restaurant & Culinary Management Classes

  • Morning, afternoon or evening (24 weeks)
  • Three days (12 hours/week)
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Applied General Education Classes

  • Six online courses
  • 17 weeks
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  • 9 weeks (40 hours/week)
  • Off-site at a foodservice establishment

Tuition, Fees and Discounts

Tuition and fees include a culinary tool kit, knives, uniforms and books so you're fully equipped for your kitchen classroom from day one. Tuition also includes ICE’s popular Wine Essentials series. 



Take the Next Step Toward a Baking and Pastry Career

The admissions process for the Pastry & Baking Arts associate degree is the start of a lasting relationship with ICE. Your Admissions Representative will introduce you to the personal experience the culinary arts school is known for. Their mission is to understand your career goals and help you select the right program(s) to fit your needs and your interests.

Why Choose ICE

You know it's in you — the ambition to pursue a rewarding career in food. ICE is ready to help you find your culinary voice and achieve your culinary career dreams.

12 Reasons Why You Should Choose ICE.

International Students

Like the cities our campuses inhabit, ICE is a hub of multiculturalism. We’re proud to have had students from 44+ countries choose ICE for their career training and we celebrate the unique perspective an international student body provides. International students have the opportunity to gain knowledge and hands-on experience in America’s major food cities, by attending our New York City or Los Angeles campuses and completing an industry externship. It’s no wonder students come from around the world to Find Their Culinary Voice at ICE. International students should note that ICE's associate degree program qualifies for F-1 visa applications.

Learn about International Students at ICE.



Ready to take your interest in ICE further? Speak to an Admissions Representative about your personal goals, start your application or download our career brochure so you can access our program information anytime.

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Image removed.ICE’s Career Pastry and Baking Arts Associate Degree program offers students comprehensive training in the art and techniques of a variety of methods as well as comprehensive restaurant management training.

The first eight pastry arts and baking arts courses are composed of 100 four-hour lessons taught by expert ICE chef-instructors at ICE’s Los Angeles facility. Students start with a foundation of essential techniques and ingredients and build upon that knowledge to study breads, cakes, chocolate and intricately plated pastries. The Restaurant and Culinary Management program is comprised of nine courses, which provide students with the pragmatic training in restaurant management, operations and entrepreneurship necessary to achieve and sustain long-term success in the culinary industry.

The final course is an off-site externship at a location chosen by the student based on his or her career goals, working with our dedicated Career Services advisors to ensure the right fit.

The program is constructed as follows:


1.5 Credits

The pastry arts associate degree program begins by giving students an in-depth understanding of the ingredients, techniques and procedures they will use throughout the program:

• Identification and discussion of the essential ingredient groups: sugar, dairy, fruit, flours and chocolate.
• Weights and measures, culinary math, food safety, sanitation and equipment identification.
• Introduction to basic decorating skills, the use of a pastry bag and making and utilizing cornets.
• Techniques for preparing fruit-based desserts, including paring, poaching, roasting, macerating, drying and candying.
• The theory and practice of sugar cookery including the preparation of sugar syrups, glazes, fudge and caramel.


2.0 Credits

All well-executed desserts rely on a mastery of fundamental techniques. In this course students begin the journey toward that goal by learning:

• The basics of egg theory as they prepare egg-based desserts like crème brûlée, bread pudding, soufflés, mousses, meringues and éclairs made with pâte à choux.
• Preparation of additional egg-based desserts such as soufflés and meringues.
• How to prepare a variety of cheesecakes along with classic pastry cream.
• Production of frozen desserts such as ice creams and sorbets.


2.0 Credits

This course is designed to acquaint students with the realities of a culinary business concept — from creativity to profitability. By surveying the industry, students explore all types of operations and analyze concepts, as well as research feasibility and location selection. Students gain the knowledge required to develop and refine their ideas. This course also gives a comprehensive view of key aspects of a menu, including planning, pricing, layout, and design. Students prepare sample menus as a project, which will become part of their final business plans.


3.0 Credits

Strategies for purchasing and control are vital for the success of any culinary operation. This course examines labor, beverage and food costs, and revenue control. Purchasing guidelines, inventory and control, employee-performance standards, productivity and scheduling, use of point-of-sale systems, computers, and new technology are also reviewed.


3.0 Credits

This course will examine social context and the way it influences our thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Students will be encouraged to reflect on the application of social psychology concepts to real-world problems and to incorporate concepts explored in class to relevance in their own lives.


2.0 Credits

Culinary businesses are marketing businesses from the moment an idea is developed through opening and operation. This course provides an in-depth examination of how a marketing plan is developed, including market research, positioning, product mix, and life cycle. This includes development of potential strategies for advertising, merchandising, public relations, social media, and promotion.


2.0 Credits

Managing the front of the house requires particular knowledge and skill. Students are introduced to the tools and techniques of service and service management in restaurants and other foodservice operations. This course also covers how to build customer satisfaction.


3.0 Credits

This course introduces students to the foundations of communication in a culinary business setting. This course will examine and apply the types and purposes of various business documents; create messages using appropriate channels for delivery based on context, audience and purpose; and explore the effect of technology, such as social media, on business communication. Students will also study written and verbal communication strategies as they relate to recipe writing, reviewing, food blogging and culinary demonstrations.


1.5 Credits

Bread is at the crossroads of the culinary and baking arts. At the heart of this deceptively simple food is some of the program’s most challenging material:

• The technique and theory of working with yeasted doughs: fermentation, dough hydration, temperature control, kneading and shaping.
• How to calculate and utilize bakers’ percentages, with application in sponge, sour and straight dough formulations and more.
• Application of this theoretical knowledge by baking a variety of breads, including braided, rye, olive and sourdough loaves along with brioche, bagels, baguettes, focaccia and pizza.


2.5 Credits

Mixing, rolling, turning and forming: these are the essential skills students master as they learn to prepare the wide variety of doughs that are the basis of so many pastry items. Included are:

• The trio of classic doughs: pâte brisée (flaky), pâte sucrée (sweet) and pâte sablée (cookie) to make individual tarts and pastries.
• Laminated or layered doughs, including puff pastry, croissant and Danish doughs, both by hand and with a commercial sheeter.
• Proper rolling techniques for preparing tarts, galettes, pies (single-crust, two-crust and lattice), palmiers, mille-feuille, fruit strips, pithiviers croissants, pain au chocolat and a variety of Danish specialties.
• Specialty pastry shop items including phyllo, donuts, cannoli, sfogliatelle and handstretched classic strudel.


1.0 Credits

Proper food handling and safety procedures are important elements of a successful culinary business. In this course, students earn the nationally recognized ServSafe certification while learning the essential principles of food safety.


3.0 Credits

A working understanding of numbers is critically important to culinary success. The curriculum for this course focuses on the use of financial statements as a tool for control and decision-making. Topics include balance sheets, statements of net income, break-even analysis, cash flow and financing. Budgets, industry standards and variation analyses are emphasized. Actual case studies are used to provide real experience.


3.0 Credits

People are the most important resource in any culinary business. In this course, students focus on the major functions of management, including leadership, motivation, communication, hiring practices, recruitment, training, discipline and staff organization. In addition, this course focuses on the legal rights and responsibilities of owners and operators. Topics include labor relations, employment law, real estate and contracts. Various business structures are also surveyed.


2.0 Credits

This course explores the importance of food and foodservice throughout history, from prehistoric times to the present. The historical influence on modern foodservice is analyzed, and culinary trends in history are identified and investigated. Topics will include the relation of food to personal and cultural identity and the interconnections between cuisine, historical events and international locations.


2.0 Credits

From the humble pound cake to the classic génoise, students go beyond the recipes to explore the theory and technique of cake making and expand their abilities to create original cakes. In this course of the pastry arts associate degree program, students will learn:

• Butter-based and egg-foam cakes including layered and rolled versions.
• The theory of batter balance as they prepare cakes using various mixing techniques including: one-stage, high-ratio and creaming method. Cakes prepared include carrot, pound, white, yellow, crumb and chocolate along with muffins. Egg-foam cakes such as angel food, chiffon and génoise are also included.
• Icings and fillings such as curds and ganaches as well as both Swiss and Italian meringue-based buttercreams. 
• A wide variety of piped, dropped, molded, bar and sheet cookies including biscotti, brownies, madeleines, macarons, spritz, Florentines and rainbow cookies.


2.0 Credits

Batters produce more than the familiar cakes we often see: more complex techniques give us an international assortment of cakes and plated deserts. Covered here are:

• Complex layered baked goods including plain and chocolate-nut sponges, génoise mousseline, biscuit joconde and pain de gênes.
• A classic assortment of cakes, including opera, miroir, tiramisu, crepe, mousse and charlotte royale.
• Our plated dessert section includes theory, preparation and presentation of multi-element, contemporary plated desserts. Students recreate and prepare recipes by award-winning chef and ICE Creative Director, Michael Laiskonis.


3.0 Credits

An introductory course in the study of the principles of human nutritional needs. Students examine current dietary guidelines, the function of nutrients and dietary preferences. Students will study menus and recipes for modifications to optimize nutritional content and balance the current trends in nutritional study with culinary and baking techniques. The course highlights the relationship between diet, health, disease and how applied nutrition can benefit not only immune-challenged populations but average healthy populations as well.


2.0 Credits

Beverage sales is a challenging business. This course explores all areas of beverage service, including wine, spirits, beer, mixology, nonalcoholic drinks and bar design. Wine tasting and appreciation are included. Students will study proper alcohol service and receive safe beverage service certification.


2.0 Credits

This course examines how to bring a concept to life, from design through construction and final inspection. Whether planning to renovate or build a restaurant from scratch, students gain insight into capital costs and budgeting, as well as how to work with architects, designers and contractors. Topics include equipment and systems basics, space analysis, product and people flows, and kitchen and interior design.


1.5 Credits

Of the various mediums used by pastry chefs to express their vision, none is more seductive than chocolate. This comprehensive course takes students beyond the basic techniques and allows them to experience the joy of creativity as they produce and assemble a chocolate showpiece. Students will learn:

• Chocolate production, theory and tempering methods.
• Dipping and enrobing.
• Preparation of fondant, truffles, butter crunch and nougatine; molded, dipped and filled chocolates and, the highlight of this section, showpieces.
• Advanced methods including piped and framed centers and isomalt casting.


2.0 Credits

Cake decorating represents the ultimate fusion of art and craft. Students’ effort and practice in prior classes is rewarded as they take their skills to a new level by preparing tiered cakes. Students learn:

• Buttercream flowers and borders, royal icing and fondant (draping, crimping and ruffling).
• Gum paste flowers, including azaleas, lilies, roses and more.
• Floral arrangement and tiered cake assembly including splitting, filling and crumb coating and the usage of marzipan for covering cakes and making flowers, fruits, vegetables and figurines.
• Finishing techniques like petal dusting and tier assembly. This course culminates in the creation of an original two-tiered wedding cake.

Learn more about ICE's Art of Cake Decorating program in New York City.


2.0 hours

This course is designed to enhance student success in transitioning to, and succeeding in, the hospitality industry by providing career planning tools, expected behaviors, and soft skills essential for career success. The course emphasizes three key areas for professional success: life planning, workplace skills and career planning. Students study how to connect personal, professional and financial goals and how these goals ultimately contribute to career and personal success.


2.0 Credits

Great leadership goes beyond good management and permeates a culture. This course will explore leadership variables and principles, the power of vision, the importance of ethics, the empowerment of people, understanding people, multiplying effectiveness, developing others, and performance management. Additionally, in this course, students will identify their own leadership styles and how best to utilize them to maximize leadership through organizational change and team building.


4.0 Credits

At the end of their in-class training, all students are assigned an externship. While the Institute of Culinary Education recommends that students extern in restaurant kitchens, they may request venues such as hotels, catering companies, pastry shops, bakeries or test kitchens in order to meet their professional goals.