The Art of Cake Decorating

Find your culinary voice through the craft of cake decorating. From traditional cake artistry to modern cake design techniques, our comprehensive Professional Cake Design program will give you a solid foundation in this burgeoning area of pastry arts.

Certificate Program

Learn the Art of Cake Decorating

Specialty cakes were once for weddings only, but in recent years, custom cakes in every shape and style have become the centerpieces of celebrations of all kinds. Learning how to create these spectacular show stoppers can be a profitable and creative outlet for bakers who want to widen their skillset. In ICE's Art of Cake Decorating program, you'll learn to craft your own dazzling designs, from contemporary fashion cakes to intricate hand-piped masterpieces, alongside award-winning cake experts. 


Quick Facts

Open House: Feb. 29 at 10:30 a.m.

Duration: 12 weeks

Class Times: afternoon and weekend

Tuition, Fees & Charges: $13,790

Open House Registration

Learn From a Living Cake Legend

ICE’s 240-hour Art of Cake Decorating program was developed and is led by award-winning Chef-Instructor Toba Garrett, one of the country’s most notable authors, instructors and practitioners of the art of cake design. Chef Toba has won dozens of gold and silver medals at cake decorating competitions all over the world and her work has been featured by various media outlets including the Today Show, InStyle, Pastry Art and Design, Gourmet and many more. In 2010, Dessert Professional named Chef Toba one of the “10 Best Cake Decorators in America,” and she has even had her work featured by the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C.

A beautifully decorated cake made by students in the ICE Professional Cake Decorating program

From the Basics to Advanced Techniques

Our cake decorating courses explore the history of this intricate art, including instruction in celebrated traditions of cake design from around the world. Students will also train in various methods of contemporary cake decorating, from the basics of piping, advanced sugarwork and hand-sculpting to airbrushing, hand-painting and novelty cakes. Among the professional cake design program’s many exclusive features, students will enjoy guest lectures with ICE Pastry & Baking alumnus Elisa Strauss, renowned for her custom fashion cakes, as well as ICE Pastry & Baking alumnus and owner of Brooklyn’s coveted bakery Sugar Couture, Penny Stankiewicz.

ICE Professional Cake Decorating Student graduate Genelle, Winner of Best in Show at the 2014 New York Cake Show

Craft Your Own Award-Winning Cake

Armed with expert cake design skills, alumni of our professional cake decorating classes have placed among the highest rated cakes at esteemed cake competitions, including the prestigious New York Cake Show. One of our Art of Cake Decorating graduates won the competition’s grand prize — within mere days of graduating!

Schedule & Cost

Cake%20Decorating-027-72dpi_375x375.jpgThe cake decorating program consists of 240 instructional hours, taught over the course of 12 weeks. This program is part of the school's regular rotation of long-form course offerings, with varying start dates and session times. See below for further details about our upcoming start dates.

  • Hours: Mon.-Fri., 1-5 p.m.
  • Cost: $13,790
  • Starts: March 18, 2020
  • Hours: Sat.-Sun., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Cost: $13,790
  • Starts: TBD

Combine business and culinary expertise to accelerate success.

Learn more about ICE's Double Diploma option.

Tuition, Fees & Charges Include:

  • All Ingredients
  • Uniforms
  • Books
  • Knives
  • Cake Decorating Tool Kit
  • Application Fee
  • All Applicable Taxes

Take the Next Step

The admissions process is the start of a lasting relationship with ICE. Your admissions representative will introduce you to the personal experience the school is known for. His or her mission is to understand your career goals, help you select the right program to fit your needs and ensure you find a class schedule that suits your lifestyle.

Why Choose ICE

You know it's in you — the ambition to pursue a rewarding career in cake decorating. 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 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.

Admissions Services

Applying to ICE

ICE Career Brochure

Cake%20Decorating-005-72dpi_375x375.jpgArt of Cake Decorating Course Curriculum

"Students will learn how to create modern cakes, and also how to make cakes that were done 100 years ago, when the art of pipework was really at its best," said Chef Toba Garrett, Dean of ICE's Art of Cake Decorating program, offering a sneak peek of what's in store for students of ICE's innovative cake decorating program. Over the course of 12 weeks and 240 hours of hands-on class time, students will receive comprehensive instruction in the art of cake decorating, from perfect piping and fondant to sugar flowers and airbrushing. 


Course 1


40 hours

The course will instruct how to prepare several different types of buttercream as well as prepare all types of piped borders and flowers. Through repetition and practice the student will build their skills and develop confidence. Icing cakes, pressure control piping and learning food color applications are a few of the key elements to compliment butter cream use.

Course Highlights:

  • Preparing and using buttercream icings
  • Pressure control piping, cornet preparation
  • Basic cake borders - shells, star flowers, ballooning, zigzag, reverse shells, fleur-de-lis, garlands and rope
  • Intermediate buttercream piping - grape clusters, sweet pea clusters, E shells, curved shells, shells with flutes, ruffles and swags, bows, basket weave
  • Basic floral piping skills - leaves, rose bud, half rose, full blown roses
Course 2


60 hours

This course will introduce students to all aspects of Royal Icing, from elementary flooding techniques, flowers and lace to advanced techniques such as brush embroidery and string work. The intricacies of the advanced techniques require precision and steadiness that students will develop with time and practice. Students will also be introduced to working with rolled fondant and using it to cover a styrofoam cake and boards. They will also be introduced to different methods for preparing pastillage and use these to create plaques.

Course Highlights:

  • Outlining and flooding techniques
  • Royal Icing flowers - apple, cherry and peach blossoms, forget-me-nots, primroses, violets, pansies, sweet peas, daisies, pussy willows
  • Royal icing pipe work - swiss dots, cornelli lace, oval borders
  • Advanced royal icing techniques - brush embroidery, drop string work, basic embroidery piping, basic design transfer techniques, australian string work techniques, oriental string work, fine freehand embroidery skills, introduction to over-pipe techniques, intricate filigree lace designs
  • Covering styrofoam in rolled fondant; round, square or scalloped shapes
  • Covering and finishing board in rolled fondant
  • Pastillage - preparation of different types, creating plaques
Course 3


40 hours

This course will introduce students to the more advanced techniques of rolled fondant including ruffling, drapery and ribbons. Students will also learn a variety of different writing techniques and how to model using marzipan.

Course Highlights:

  • Advanced rolled fondant – ruffling, classical and freehand drapery, smocking, crimping, tassels, ribbon bouquet
  • The art of writing – alphabetic practice utilizing various mediums, greetings on cakes, greetings on sugar plaques made of pastillage and gumpaste
  • Hand modeling marzipan fruits and vegetables
  • Modeling chocolate roses and leaves
  • Finishing upscale decorated cupcakes and cookies
Course 4


60 hours

Students will learn all aspects of preparing and a wide assortment of sugar paste flowers. They will be introduced to the basic equipment needed, coloring techniques along with petal dusting and floral arrangement. Also in this course students will be introduced to airbrushing techniques for basic flower preparation and basic airbrush designs.

Course Highlights:

  • Gum paste preparation
  • Review of tools and flower preparation equipment
  • Gumpaste blossoms, buds, foliage
  • Gumpaste flowers – roses, carnations, closed tulips, azaleas, daisies, tiger lilies, hibiscus, anthirium lily and arum Lily, cymbidium orchid, gardenia
  • Petal dusting and airbrushing flowers
  • Corsage, bouquet, spiral design
  • Floral taping and ribbon work
  • Airbrush techniques
Course 5


40 hours

The final course of the program will focus on hand-sculpted cakes and at the conclusion of the course the students will participate in a 5-day workshop on novelty cake preparation, which will round out their skills as advanced cake decorators and allow them to utilize all of the elements and techniques learned throughout the course. The students will also begin their final project: creating a design and following through to completion. They will present a grand finale of stunning cakes and sugar artistry.

Each student will be responsible for four (4) projects:

  • Three-tier cake (styrofoam) iced in royal icing or rolled fondant and beautifully decorated in a classical or contemporary style
  • Floral spray (made up of a variety of sugar flowers)
  • Pastillage card or plaque with a beautiful handwriting greeting
  • Six elegantly decorated cookies or six designed and decorated upscale cupcakes

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 will 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 pastry chefs or to open their own bakeries and cafés. Others have already worked in the industry and want to sharpen their skills in pursuit of better opportunities.

ICE Cake decorating graduate Genelle Beaton shares her experience at ICE

"I learned everything I needed to know about cake decoration, from the basics of buttercream to techniques of airbrushing, sculpting and designing contemporary cakes. Today I can say I have learned from the best and now have the confidence to do great things as an ICE graduate!"

Genelle Beaton
Professional Cake Decorating, '14