Two squares slices of elegant colorful fruit cakes sit on a white plate

Online - Baking and Pastry Arts & Food Operations

Get comprehensive and convenient online training in pastry and baking arts and techniques with ICE's online Baking and Pastry Arts & Food Operations diploma program.

Diploma Program

100% Online Curriculum + Industry Externship*

Gain foundational, professional training in the artistry and techniques of pastry and baking arts — from the convenience of your own kitchen. This 900-hour intensive curriculum is thoughtfully designed with aspiring pastry professionals in mind, even if all you've ever baked was in your home kitchen. The program explores food theory, the science behind baking, global techniques, the art of plate composition and the culinary business fundamentals foundational to professional success. A hands-on industry externship* gives you the opportunity to enhance your skills and gain real-world cooking and baking experience.

There’s no need to put your life on hold to pursue a career in pastry and baking!

If you’re unable to relocate or schedule consistent classes at an ICE campus in New York or Los Angeles, you can still earn an ICE diploma in Baking and Pastry Arts & Food Operations. Students in a growing number of states can now enroll in our online program featuring a sophisticated curriculum and highly experienced Chef-Instructors.

*The externship portion of this program must be completed in person, typically in your home state.

Quick Facts

Program Name: Baking and Pastry Arts & Food Operations

Program Duration: 16 months

Weekly Virtual Classes: participate live or view on-demand

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Train in Pastry and Baking Theory, Art and Science

Our online approach to pastry school education provides essential training in foundational principals of pastry and baking arts. The curriculum covers the theory, science and techniques that apply to many different types of baked goods and pastries. In addition, students will study food service operations and management, including menu planning and design, foodservice finance and marketing.  A typical week includes pastry and baking labs, assigned readings, instructional videos, individual or group projects, and chef-led classes, which you can view live or on-demand.

A white cake with colorful sugar flower decorations on a silver stand

Weekly Baking Labs in Your Own Kitchen

Our carefully designed labs give you the opportunity to apply what you have learned in readings, videos and chef-led classes. You’ll be using pastry and baking recipes designed to develop your palate and reinforce the techniques that are the core of cuisine. Some of the professional-level pastry and baking skills and hospitality business fundamentals we'll teach are:

  • Techniques ranging from foundational skills to advanced methods and artistry involved in creating beautiful, delicate pastries, confections and baked goods.
  • The cake preparation and decoration skills to equip bakers with the ability to create their own inventive cake creations.
  • Baking and pastry theory, including the traditions of France, Italy, Austria and Switzerland, as well as contemporary American variations.
  • The teamwork, efficiency and organizational skills that lay the groundwork for potential success in a professional kitchen.
  • Menu ideation, foodservice budgeting, marketing basics and the professional "soft" skills vital to running a business.
A student takes a photo of a creme brulee on their phone

ICE’s Proactive Assessment Model

The online pastry and baking school curriculum is structured so students get assessed on their learning path throughout the week. Chef-Instructors provide individual feedback on student's photos, videos and text submissions to support continual progress toward learning objectives and refinement of skills and techniques.

Chef Christina Tosi and ICE alumna Tori Eisenstadt at her externship at Milk Bar

Hands-On Industry Externship

Our career services team will help match you with a bakery, restaurant or food-related business that aligns with your professional goals in order for you to gain real-world experience. You'll put your pastry and baking skills to the test, make connections in the industry and gain business knowledge you can use to launch your career.

Guest Speakers_David Chang_Christina Tosi_Mashama Bailey_Thomas Keller

Past guest speakers have included (clockwise from top left): David Chang, chef, restaurateur, TV host and author; Christina Tosi, Milkbar founder and chef; Thomas Keller, chef and restaurateur, The French Laundry and Per Se, and ICE alumna Mashama Bailey, James Beard Award winner and Executive Chef of The Grey.

Professional Demonstrations and Extracurricular Programming

Experts from all over the world visit ICE's campuses in New York City and Los Angeles (in person and virtually) to lead professional development classes, demonstrations, lectures and events — most of which are available to students and alumni for no additional charge. Online students can take advantage of these exclusive opportunities when they are available, to watch, interact with and ask questions of successful professionals from various areas of the industry.

ICE LA graduates throw their toques in the air at graduation

Graduation and Career Placement

Upon successful completion of the program, you’ll receive a diploma in Baking and Pastry Arts & Food Operations with the option to join our commencement ceremony in Los Angeles. You’ll also benefit from the ongoing support of our Career Services department, which has helped thousands of graduates secure jobs in the restaurant and hospitality industry.

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Online Program Schedule

ICE is approved to offer online distance education to students in select states. The online Baking and Pastry Arts & Food Operations program is taught asynchronously, which means you are not required to login to a virtual course at a specified time

Tuition includes all books and supplies, including a laptop, so you're fully equipped from day one. All online Baking and Pastry Arts & Food Operations program students are also eligible to take our popular Wine Essentials series on campus at no additional charge. Visit our Tuition and Discounts page for complete information on the cost for specific class dates.

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Online (weekly)

  • Program duration: 16 months
  • Hours: approximately 18 hours per week
  • Start Dates: June 26

Take the Next Step Toward a Pastry Career

The admissions process is the start of a lasting relationship with ICE. Your Admissions Representative will introduce you to the personal experience the culinary 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.

Learn about Career Services

Attending a well-established school like ICE has many benefits, including the vast professional network available to students. With campus recruitment from top hospitality brands, regular ‘hot job’ emails and ongoing support long after graduation, your Career Services team is here to help.

Explore Our Career Services Page. 


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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Applying to ICE

LA Career Brochure

NY Career Brochure

Red and golden brown striped croissants sit on a parchment paper lined sheet tray

ICE’s Online Baking and Pastry Arts & Food Operations program contains 16 courses, offering students comprehensive training in the art and practice of pastry and baking arts. The 63-week program is designed so students can attend classes on their own schedule each week. Expert Chef-Instructors from ICE’s Los Angeles and New York City campuses introduce students to the time-tested fundamentals of pastry and baking and techniques from modern masters.

Many culinary professionals work hand-in-hand with business leaders or run their own businesses outright. To enhance students' education, the Baking and Pastry Arts & Food Operations program includes multiple business and operations courses. These important sessions will introduce you to skills and topics such as marketing, purchasing and staff management. Operations courses are taken concurrently with lab courses. 

The final course in the program is an off-site externship at a location chosen by the student based on their career goals. ICE's Career Services advisors consider the student's career aspirations, skills, schedule and academic record to help find the most beneficial externship placement.

The program is constructed as follows:

Course 1


13 hours

This course is designed to familiarize students with best practices for success in our online program and in the restaurant industry. Topics include learning management system use, internet research and time management. We also introduce the tenets of professionalism and the expectations of the food service industry. 

Course 2


90 hours

After a comprehensive introduction to knife skills and food safety, students learn about equipment, baking tools and baking measurements. This course is designed to teach about ingredients and how they function, with a focus on sugar and fruit. Students will use a range of methods for preparing fruit desserts, progressing from sautéing techniques to complex fruit garnishes. This course has a comprehensive practice of sugar cookery to prepare classic and modern sugar confections. The course teaches basic decorating skills and how to use a pastry bag and cornet.

Course highlights:

  • Apple Tart Tatin — A French caramelized upside-down apple tart
  • Honeycomb Candy — Cooked honey and sugar lightened with baking soda to create a light, airy confection
  • Chocolate Dipped Confections — Strawberries and meringue cookies dipped in chocolate
Course 3


21 hours

This course is designed to acquaint students with the realities of a culinary business by exploring concepts — 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 the menu, including planning, pricing, layout and design. Students prepare sample menus as a project.

Course 4


60 hours

This course focuses on dairy and egg functions in the bakeshop with an emphasis on custards, frozen desserts and classic French pastries. The class will prepare dishes to practice each technique and build confidence and competence. The course teaches the art of plating techniques such as sauces, garnishes and plate composition that students can use throughout the program.

Course highlights:

  • Crème Brûlée – A crispy caramelized layer of sugar over a rich custard
  • Ice Cream and Sorbet – Various flavors of churned frozen desserts
  • Eclairs and Cream Puffs – Pate a choux pastries filled with custard and topped with chocolate and whipped cream
Course 5


30 hours

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 cost control and decision-making. The course progresses from training students to associate numbers with financial and logistical aspects of a foodservice business to an overview of budgets, industry standards and variation analysis. Case studies are used to provide real world examples.

Course 6


60 hours

This course introduces students to yeast leavened doughs, with a focus on lean and rich doughs, proper shaping techniques and how to achieve the perfect crust. The course teaches content on different types of flour and yeast, naturally leavened breads and how to cross-utilize their skills with an introduction of multiple savory baked items.

Course highlights:

  • Baguettes – Demi- or half-sized loaves made from a lean bread dough
  • Sourdough Bread – Making a starter from scratch to use as a leavening agent
  • Braided Bread – Using a rich bread dough, forming strands and braiding them all together
Course 7


27 hours

People are the most important resource in any culinary business. This course focuses on the major functions of management communication, hiring practices, recruitment, training, discipline and staff organization.

Course 8


60 hours

In this course students will the learn art of how to properly roll pastry doughs. The class is designed to build upon the baking fundamentals they have already learned and how to apply those skills to retail pastry items. The course teaches lamination techniques, sweet and savory tarts and pies, and classic and European cookie production.

Course highlights:

  • Croissants – Laminating dough and butter to create rich viennoiserie
  • Tarts – Caramelized onion and cheese puff pastry tarts and classic fruit tarts
  • French Macarons – Combining almond flour, powdered sugar and meringue to make macaron shells sandwiched with chocolate
Course 9


27 hours

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.

Course 10


90 hours

This course will review cake mixing methods, baking times, and temperatures for various cake sizes and shapes. Students will be exploring filling and icing options used to create classic retail bakery cakes. Cake decorating techniques used in this course will set the foundation for future cakes and edible works of art.

Course highlights:

  • Gluten-free baking – Baking with alternative flours to create cakes, cupcakes and cookies
  • Buttercream-Iced Cakes – Cake, fillings and meringue buttercreams
  • Mousse Cakes – Fraisier cake composed of strawberries, mousse and sponge cake
Course 11


21 hours

Effective communication is essential for success in all areas of food service, from management to menus. This course uses media, including reviews, blogs, tweets, videos and press releases, for students to explore the relationship between restaurants, communication and public relations.

Course 12


60 hours

This course covers more complex techniques for an international cake portfolio. The course teaches how to create multi-component cakes and entremets with a review of mousse applications and understanding the proper fundamentals of glazing and enrobing cakes.

Course highlights:

  • Entremet cakes – Multi layered cake enrobed in a reflective mirror glaze
  • Lemon Chiffon Roulade – Jelly roll cake with a tangy lemon meringue filling
  • Opera Cake – Almond sponge cake and coffee buttercream assembled and glazed with chocolate
Course 13


21 hours

Great leadership goes beyond good management and permeates a culture. This course explores leadership variables and principles, the power of vision, the importance of ethics, the empowerment of people, understanding people, developing others, and performance management.

Additionally, instructors help students identify their own leadership styles and how best to utilize them to maximize leadership through organizational change and team building.

Course 14


60 hours

Our plated dessert section includes theory, preparation, and presentation to give students a platform to expand their creativity. The students start with artisanal desserts and work their way up to a multi-element, contemporary plated desserts. This course also introduces students to mignardise applications which can be applied to many pastry buffet preparations, such as tempered chocolate confections, Petit French pastries and tea cookies.

Course highlights:

  • Plated Desserts – Baked Alaska and summer pudding
  • Hand Rolled Truffles – Made with tempered chocolate
  • Petit Choux – Mini cream puffs with crunchy components baked in
Course 15


60 hours

Continuing the foundations of cake baking and building, slicing and icing, this course aims to expand student’s advanced decorating elements.

The course teaches how to use modern cake decoration such as, drip cakes, side piping techniques. introduction to rice and wafer paper, gum paste and fondant applications. This course also covers how to stack and travel with cakes securely for cake deliveries.

Course highlights:

  • Drip Cakes – Chocolate glaze piped onto the top of a cake with precise, picturesque drips down the sides
  • Stacked Two-Tiered Cake – Preparing a cake to be ready for delivery
  • Fondant-Covered Practice Cakes – Decorated with gum paste flowers and leaves
Course 16


200 hours

This is the last course in the program, during which students work in a foodservice-related site. While ICE strongly recommends that students extern in restaurant kitchens, they may request venues such as hotels, catering companies, corporate dining rooms or test kitchens in accordance with their professional goals.

ICE alumna Perla Velazquez paints a sugar flower while looking at a laptop

"I think what makes ICE special is the wide variety of pastries that we made in the program."

Perla Velazquez
Pastry & Baking Arts