pastry students

School of Pastry & Baking Arts

Our Pastry & Baking Arts program combines classic technique and modern trends to best prepare you for a new career.

Diploma Program

Now Is the Time – Make Your Mark

If you've been considering a career in the culinary arts and have a special interest in pastry or baking, our Pastry & Baking Arts program delivers an amazing wealth of skills and knowledge. Graduates of our renowned program have gone on to win national awards, write top cookbooks and appear on TV and in leading food magazines.

Quick Facts

Open House: December 11 at 10:30 a.m.

Program Duration: 8, 10 & 11 month options

Class Times: morning, afternoon, evening and weekend

Tuition, Fees & Charges: $34,100-$40,050

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Old World, New World and the Whole World

Drawing from the pastry training and baking traditions of France, Italy, Austria and Switzerland, as well as contemporary American variations, our Pastry & Baking Arts program is both international in scope and constantly evolving with modern global influences. Our award-winning pastry school curriculum has been shaped by Nick Malgieri, the former executive pastry chef at Windows on the World and author of 12 cookbooks, and Creative Director Michael Laiskonis, who has applied his experience as former executive pastry chef at Le Bernardin and 2007 winner of the prestigious James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef.

Pastry Arts students prepare doughs at the Institute of Culinary Education

Skills That Will Last a Lifetime

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 chef instructors, who will guide you through the crucial components of this craft, and set you on the path to becoming an accomplished professional. You'll cover a wide range of pastries, including flaky croissants and crusty breads, and begin with a comprehensive exploration and tasting of ingredients to learn how flavors and textures combine. You'll progress through development of all the dough-based products, from strudels and tarts to puff pastries. Our bread curriculum, designed by Sim Cass, the founding baker of Balthazar Bakery, will teach you to prepare yeast-raised classics like bagels, brioche, pizza and baguettes.


A beautiful hand-piped cake

With a strong emphasis on theory, our pastry school curriculum will teach you 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. You'll learn how to decorate cakes by hand until inscriptions and piping become second nature. Ultimately, students have the opportunity to apply these skills and create a tiered cake of their own design. Chocolate confections are also part of the curriculum, from the simple truffle to intricate showpieces. What's more, Pastry & Baking Arts students have access to study the process of chocolate production from bean-to-bar in the ICE Chocolate Lab.

An ICE pastry student plates a chocolate dessert with sorbet

A Large School Offering an Intimate Experience

With no more than 18 students in any of your baking school classes, your learning is our main focus. By the program’s end, you will have handcrafted everything from cakes and confections to classic breads and elegant desserts, preparing you to create intricate and imaginative recipes of your own.

We offer you a personal experience that extends far beyond the classroom. Our Career Services staff is here for you and your ambition.

Freshly baked bread cools on speed racks

Externships Put Your Career in Motion Right Away

After 400 hours of careful instruction and practice, you are ready for the exam that matters: working in a professional kitchen. Through our externship program, you will spend 210 hours on-site in a restaurant, bakery, hotel, catering kitchen or other culinary enterprise. Myriad externship options demonstrate the diversity and caliber of our professional network. You will put your skills to work in real time in an actual kitchen outside of the classroom walls. Best of all, these externships often result in job offers and provide you with invaluable contacts for the rest of your career. You will live the excitement of pursuing your dream. Explore careers inside and outside the kitchen.

Schedule & Tuition

Bread-021-72dpi_375x375.jpgThe Pastry & Baking Arts program consists of 610 instructional hours. Students are in the classroom for 400 hours and on their externships for 210 hours, acquiring real-world experience in the pastry arts.

To provide the utmost flexibility, we run many different schedule options for our Pastry & Baking Arts diploma, including morning, afternoon, evening and weekend schedules. Choose from schedules that meet between two to five times per week.

  • Hours: Mon.-Fri., 7 a.m.-11 a.m.
  • Cost: $40,050
  • Starts: Dec. 6, Feb. 22
  • Hours: Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Cost: $40,050
  • Starts: Jan. 25, Mar. 7
  • Hours: Mon.-Fri., 3-7 p.m.
  • Cost: $40,050
  • Starts: Mar. 9
  • Hours: Tues., Wed., Thurs., 7-11 p.m.
  • Cost: $34,100
  • Starts: TBD
  • Hours: Sat.-Sun., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Cost: $34,000
  • Starts: Nov. 6, Mar. 12

Combine business and culinary expertise to accelerate success.

Learn more about ICE's Double Diploma option.

Tuition, Fees and Charges Include:

  • All Food
  • Uniforms
  • Books
  • Knives
  • Pastry Tool Kit
  • Wine Essentials Series
  • Electives
  • Application Fee
  • All Applicable Taxes

Take the Next Step

Why Choose ICE

You know it's in you — the ambition to pursue a rewarding career in food. Attending culinary school is one of the best ways to begin the journey. ICE is ready to help you find your culinary voice.

12 Reasons Why You Should Choose ICE.

International Students

ICE is a hub of multiculturalism. We are proud to have students from over 44 countries, giving our classrooms a unique international character. New York is one of the most diverse and exciting food cities, providing international culinary students with opportunities for vibrant cultural experiences that include access to a vast array of ethnic restaurants, gourmet markets and culinary resources. It’s no wonder that so many international culinary students have chosen ICE as their passport to a rewarding and successful culinary career.

Learn more about International Students.


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.

Admissions Services

Applying to ICE

ICE Career Brochure

ICE%20plated%20dishes%20and%20bonus%20shots-056-72dpi_375x375.jpgICE’s Career Pastry and Baking Arts program contains nine courses, offering students comprehensive training in the art and techniques of a variety of methods. The first eight courses are composed of 100 four-hour lessons taught by expert ICE chef-instructors at ICE’s lower Manhattan 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 ninth 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:


Course 1


44 hours

The program begins with in-depth education on the ingredients, techniques and procedures that the students will use throughout the program, including:

  • Identification and discussion of the essential ingredient groups such as sugar, dairy and fruit.
  • Weights and measures, food safety, knife safety, sanitation, and equipment use and identification.
  • Introduction to basic decorating skills, the use of a pastry bag and making and utilizing cornets.
  • Introduction to hydrocolloids, including pectin and gelatin, for making items such as panna cotta.
  • 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 fudge, torrone, nougatine lollipops and brittle.
Course 2


56 hours

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

  • Introduction to chocolate and tempering.
  • The basics of custards for preparing desserts like crème brûlée, crème caramel, bread puddings and pastry creams.
  • Introduction to pate a choux to prepare items such as eclairs and Paris-Brest.
  • The basics of egg and egg white theory to prepare desserts such as soufflés, meringues and buttercreams.
  • How to prepare a variety of cheesecakes, including sour cream and mascarpone cheesecakes.
  • Production of frozen desserts such as ice creams, sorbets and granitas.
Course 3


40 hours

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, including:

  • The technique and theory of working with yeasted doughs: fermentation, dough hydration, temperature control, kneading and formation methods.
  • Application of this knowledge by baking a variety of yeast items, including braided, olive and sourdough loaves along with brioche, bagels, baguettes, focaccia, pizza, pretzels and doughnuts.
  • The techniques to create laminated doughs such as croissant and Danish.
Course 4


60 hours

Mixing, rolling, turning and forming: These are the essential skills students should master as they're taught how to prepare the wide variety of doughs that are the basis of so many pastry items, including:

  • Classic doughs techniques such as pâte brisée (flaky), pâte sucrée (sweet) and pâte sablée (cookie) to make individual tarts, pastries, scones, biscuits and shortcakes.
  • Creation and utilization of laminated and layered doughs such as puff pastry, phyllo and hand-stretched strudel.
  • Proper rolling and shaping techniques for preparing tarts, galettes, pies (single-crust, two-crust and lattice), palmiers, mille-feuille, fruit strips, pithiviers, croissants, pains au chocolat and a variety of Danish specialties.
  • Specialty pastry shop items such as baklava, cannoli, linzer tortes and sfogliatelle.
Course 5


48 hours

From pound cake to génoise, students go beyond the classic recipes to explore the theory and technique of cake making and expand their abilities to create original cakes. Highlights include:

  • Butter-based and egg-foam cakes including layered and rolled versions.
  • The theory of batter balance for preparing 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.
  • Cupcakes with advanced piping and gluten-free baking.
  • A wide variety of cookies and bars, including biscotti, brownies, madeleines, macarons, rugelach, magic bars and rainbow cookies.
Course 6


52 hours

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

  • Complex layered cakes utilizing an assortment of cake layers including nut sponges, génoise mousseline, biscuit joconde and pain de gênes.
  • An assortment of classic American and European cakes, including opera, miroir, tiramisu, crepe cake, mousse cakes, carrot, red velvet and German chocolate cake.
  • Individual and entremet cakes.
  • A plated dessert section that 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.
Course 7


44 hours

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. Highlights include:

  • Chocolate production, theory and tempering methods.
  • Dipping and enrobing items such as truffles and framed centers.
  • Preparation of chcolate bars and filled chocolates including a wide variety of bonbons.
  • Creation of chocolate and isomalt showpieces.
Course 8


56 hours

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

  • Advanced buttercream flowers and borders, royal icing and rolled fondant decorations.
  • Gum paste flowers, including peonies, lilies, roses and more.
  • Floral arrangement and tiered cake assembly.
  • The use of marzipan, white and dark modeling chocolate for making flowers, fruits, figurines and decorations.
  • This course culminates in the creation of an original three-tiered celebration cake.

Learn more about ICE's Professional Cake Decorating program.

Course 9


210 hours

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.

Smoking-050-72dpi_375x375.jpgFinancing Your Culinary Education

At this point, you’ve already decided that you’re interested in a professional future in food and hospitality. But should you attend culinary school, and can you can really afford it?

The ICE Office of Student Financial Services puts an award-winning culinary education within your reach. Our Financial Aid advisors are available six days a week to help make your dream of attending culinary school at ICE a reality. 

Learn more about ICE's Student Financial Services.


ICE provides various scholarship opportunities to assist students on their journey towards a career in food and hospitality. Whether offered by ICE itself, our food industry partners or a vetted list of outside organizations, these scholarships provide students with additional resources to realize their dreams of attending our career training programs. Please be aware of the varying deadlines and application requirements for each individual scholarship. For additional information about any of the available scholarships, feel free to contact our Office of Student Financial Services directly at (888) 921-CHEF or

View all ICE Scholarship Opportunities.

Pasta-024-72dpi_375x375.jpgFinancial Aid Options

ICE offers financial assistance from both Federal and Private sources. The following is a list of aid available to those students who qualify:

• Federal Pell Grant
• FSEOG Program
• Federal Stafford Loan
• Federal Direct PLUS Loan
• State-Funded Grants and Loans
• Private Student Loans
• Payment Plan
• Tuition Flex

To learn more about financial aid options, feel free to contact our Office of Student Financial Services directly at (888) 921-CHEF or

View all financial aid options. 

Applying for Financial Aid

Please contact us with any Financial Aid or financing questions, problems or suggestions. We will work closely with you in preparing the necessary forms and documents on student grants, loans or scholarships and employment programs.

Learn how to apply for financial aid at ICE.

externship-infographic-12616_375x375.jpgIn Europe, aspiring chefs learn their trade through culinary apprenticeships. ICE's global teaching perspective takes inspiration from this centuries-old tradition, with our hands-on externship program.

What exactly is an “externship”? Similar in concept to a culinary internship, these paid or unpaid placements are chosen at a student's discretion with the assistance of Career Services Advisors. Each externship is is designed to fit the interests and career goals of the individual student, and externships consistently prove to be an exceptional opportunity for hands-on training and networking at the heart of the industry. What’s more, many externships lead to job offers and full-time employment.

How does the externship program work? The final course of our Pastry & Baking Arts programs is a 210-hour externship at a restaurant, bakery or other culinary business.

Proven Results

Our incredible track record.

ICE placed over 500 externs in over 300 establishments in the past few years - and each experience was as unique as our students. Noteworthy among these placements were restaurants and bakeries owned and operated by many of America’s most celebrated chefs, including Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Tom Colicchio and Daniel Boulud, as well as leading food publications, catering companies and luxury hotels. Getting your “foot in the door” with one of these organizations could be the start of the career you have dreamed of.

See the full list of externship sites.

The range of ICE externships reads like a Who's Who of the food world: Gramercy Tavern, Jean-Georges, Eleven Madison Park, Le Bernardin and Per Se. The multiple restaurants headed/owned by chefs April Bloomfield, Daniel Boulud, Andrew Carmellini, Tom Colicchio, Alex Guarnaschelli, Daniel Humm, Thomas Keller, Anita Lo, Alfred Portale, Marcus Samuelsson, Jean-Georges Vongerichten and restaurateurs Danny Meyer and Stephen Starr, took a combined 136 student externs in 2016. One of the prime benefits of ICE’s program is that externships expose students to a deep professional network and often lead to job offers. With our finger on the pulse of the New York food scene, we can get your foot into some amazing doors and remarkable kitchens.

Choose your path, and make your success.

An ICE externship gives you a chance to customize your education. For example, if you’ve always dreamed of working in a sushi restaurant, food truck, butcher shop or artisanal bread bakery, we can gear your search towards the goal of placing you in that particular type of establishment.

Some students also choose to pursue externships outside of the restaurant environment. For students passionate about food media, we've facilitated externships at Food Network, Every Day with Rachael RaySaveur, Tasting Table and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. In the catering realm, externship placements were made at Abigail Kirsch, The Cleaver Company and Oliver Cheng Catering. Students interested in hotel externships found placements at Le Parker Meridien, The Standard and The Waldorf-Astoria.

Our staff has the connections.

Our faculty and advisors assess your culinary career aspirations, skills and academic record to pair you with sites that align with your goals and background. Each hospitality, pastry or culinary arts externship is structured so that your performance is monitored by ICE’s professional staff, and subsequent feedback and evaluations are incorporated into your overall grade.

Most culinary schools in America, and Europe, do require externships as part of their programs. Employers and students routinely agree that it is a fantastic opportunity that provides both better training and stronger networking opportunities than a school-run restaurant that is insulated from the real world. When you are choosing which culinary school to attend, be sure to ask about externship programs and learn how each program incorporates in-the-field training into your education.

Below is just one example of our alumni externship stories.

Thea Habjanic is a Pastry & Baking Arts graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education

Thea Habjanic

  • Current position: Executive Pastry Chef, La Sirena
  • Externship site: Le Bernardin

Thea Habjanic has the qualities to thrive in the restaurant world—though that wasn’t always her career path. She graduated from NYU with a degree in journalism and worked for several years as an entertainment writer before deciding to enroll in the Pastry & Baking Arts program at ICE. When it came time for her externship, there was just one place Thea knew she needed to be: Eric Ripert's three Michelin-starred restaurant, Le Bernardin.

"I had been there once as a child—my parents had a wedding anniversary dinner there and I tagged along. When I was looking for externships, I didn’t know if I wanted to work in a bakery or a restaurant, and I thought of that dinner at Le Bernardin. I looked up the pastry chef, Michael Laiskonis (now ICE Creative Director), and I found out that he was very well known and respected. At the time, I didn’t realize what a pastry celebrity Michael was. I wrote him an email, he responded and the rest is history. I went in for a trail and it went well. I think Michael saw something in me that he believed in. He’s been my mentor ever since."

Proven Results

Pastry-alums-6-Program-Page_1x1.jpgFrom award-winning restaurateurs to food media leaders, test kitchen chefs to food entrepreneurs, our alumni continue to rank among the most noteworthy names in food and hospitality. Click through the names below for just a taste of the many successful ICE alumni.

Pastry Chef Zac Young is an ICE Alum

Zac Young

When Zac Young was growing up, his vegan mom rarely baked. His love of cookies meant he had to master making them for himself. Before he ever worked in a kitchen, he worked in the wig department of the Radio City Rockettes. Eventually he followed his passion for sweet treats to ICE. After graduating in 2006, Young went on to work at Bouchon Bakery and Butter. He was the Executive Pastry Chef at the critically acclaimed Flex Mussels where he was responsible for a dessert menu that complimented the almost all seafood menu. In 2010, he was a contestant on Bravo’s first season of Top Chef: Just Desserts. Now, Young heads the pastry team at David Burke Kitchen. He recalls using his time at ICE to experiment with new flavors and techniques to discover his culinary voice.

Read more

The Most Critical Connections of Your Career Are Often Right Next to You.

Tour the classrooms at ICE and you'll see diversity of age, experience, background and goals. Your classmates may come from all over the United States and around the world.

Some are at the start of their careers, studying at ICE to become executive chefs and managers in the nation's top restaurants. Still others have long sought out ICE to train them for the next chapter in their lives, be they carpenters, lawyers, medical technicians, firefighters, bankers, advertising executives, journalists or actors. Others have already worked in the food industry and want to sharpen their skills in pursuit of better opportunities.

Lauren Katz shares her reasons for wanting to enroll in a professional pastry arts education program

"At 24, I’m so lucky to already work at a food magazine, but I knew that to further my career, the hands-on part of my professional education still needed to be fulfilled. Now that I’ve enrolled in culinary school, those dreams are closer to being realized than ever before."

Lauren Katz
Pastry & Baking Arts, '16
ICE career program students can use class credits to take hundreds of available extracurricular classes at the culinary school.

Endless Electives

Regarded by many as the home of America’s largest menu of hands-on specialty cooking classes, ICE's Recreational division in New York City offers hundreds of cooking, baking, beverage and professional development classes each year. All career students at ICE’s New York campus have access to recreational classes to complement their education. Today, our recreational classes and professional development events are all virtual and promoted weekly in student newsletters.

Professional Demonstrations and Extracurriculars

ICE offers enrichment classes focused on cooking and beverage-related aspects of the food industry, free for alumni and students. Experts from all over the world come to ICE to teach, lecture and cook for our students, providing the exclusive opportunity to watch, interact with and ask questions of these successful epicureans. What's more, ICE hosts great culinary entrepreneurs, from California winemakers and New Orleans chefs, to food website founders and specialty food company presidents, as part of our Meet the Culinary Entrepreneurs series.

ICE students use iPads for their pastry school lessons and coursework.

iPads at ICE

ICE is one of the first culinary institutes in the world to fully incorporate the iPad into its’ educational program. As of April 2013, all matriculating Culinary Arts and Pastry & Baking Arts students at ICE's New York campus have received an iPad along with their knife roll and uniforms. The device has replaced traditional textbooks, compressing all content, curriculum and lesson material distribution into a more portable, interactive format. But it is this second element—interactivity—that defines how revolutionary this shift has been for our teaching kitchens.