Cake decorator education requirements

A cake decorator is usually not a stand-alone career. Most cake decorators are also skilled bakers, as most people are looking for an aesthetically pleasing cake that is also great tasting. Because baking is a trade that requires hands-on, on the job experience, a formal education is not necessary in order to pursue this career. In fact, there are a number of ways how students can start their career in this field.
One, some students may have developed their experience from working in a bakery. This may have been an after school job which inspired their interest to pursue further. In some cases, students may supplement their work with part time courses or they may be granted an opportunity to become an apprentice or a baker’s assistant at the bakery to hone in their skills.
Two, other students may have taken a number of home economic courses in high school which provided them with foundational knowledge on baking. They may wish to further their education by applying to a culinary institute or they may choose to take informal or hobbyist courses in cake decorating to broaden their knowledge and skills. Depending on their business interests, a number of independent bakers begin their careers this way.
Three, students who wish to pursue a career as a baker and cake decorator with a large bakery, a retail chain or a hotel should consider an education with a culinary institute to provide them with the credibility and skills required to work in a large scale operation. Furthermore, because career prospects for a baker is hyper competitive, so most applicants have a portfolio which showcase a diverse range of creativity and skill. A certificate program will provide students with numerous project opportunities which they can include as part of their portfolio. Moreover, culinary institutes often participate in industry competitions which provide an additional channel for students to be visible in front of prospective employers.
Below are just some of the courses which students are expected to take as a cake decorator:
• Fundamentals of baking and decorating: Baking and decorating go hand in hand. Students in these courses will learn about basic baking principles and methods of preparing the cakes for decorating.
• Royal icing: Royal icing is a commonly used ingredient for cake decorating, especially for flowers. Students will have the opportunity to learn to prepare royal icing and practice creating flowers with the right tips and techniques.
• Modeling with marzipan icing: Marzipan icing is another commonly used ingredient for cake decorating and frosting the cake. Students will learn to create models and objects which can be incorporated into the cake’s design.
• Decorating with fondant: Fondant has become an increasingly popular ingredient and method to creating some of the most spectacular cakes. From 3D birthday cakes to wedding masterpieces, students will learn various application and molding techniques that will make their visions come alive.
• Tiered cake decorating: There are occasions which call for a multi-tiered cake. Students will learn about the construction as well as approach in decorating that will form the basis of many of their masterpieces to come.
For more information on the courses to take to become a cake decorator, please contact your high school counselor or your local culinary institute.

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