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.

Explore earning an associate degree.



Quick Facts

Program Duration: 8-12 months

Class Times: morning, afternoon and evening

Tuition, Fees & Charges: $37,514

Open House: June 24th, 2023

Register Here


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 “Outstanding Pastry Chef in America” award from the James Beard Foundation.

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. 

An ICE pastry student plates a chocolate dessert with sorbet

A Large School Offering an Intimate Experience

With no more than a 16:1 student-teacher ratio 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. With myriad options available, we pride ourselves on 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 frequently turn into 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.

Hunger for Knowledge Arrives at All Hours. So Do Our Chef-Instructors.

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 and evening schedules.

  • Hours: Mon. - Fri., 12 p.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Cost: $37,514
  • Starts: June 8th, 2023
  • Hours: Tues. - Thurs., 6 p.m. - 10 p.m.
  • Cost: $37,990
  • Starts: July 25th, 2023
  • Hours: Mon. - Fri., 7:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
  • Cost: $37,514
  • Starts: TBD

Combine business and culinary expertise to accelerate success.

Learn more about ICE's Double Diploma option.

Tuition, Fees & Charges Include:

  • All food
  • Uniforms
  • Books
  • Knives
  • Pastry Tool Kit
  • Wine Essentials series
  • 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.


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 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 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 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.

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 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.

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:

• 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, foccacia and pizza.

Course 4


60 hours

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.

Course 5


48 hours

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. 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.

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 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.

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. 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.

Course 8


56 hours

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.

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) 826-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) 826-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.

In 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.

Tori Eisenstadt with Christina Tosi at Milk Bar

Tori Eisenstadt

  • Current position: Lab Assistant, Milk Bar
  • Externship site: Milk Bar

Tori Eisenstadt (Pastry, ‘18) always loved to bake. After starting her own business and working at a few small bakeries, she realized that culinary school would help take her to the next level.

“Before Milk Bar opened, they needed to rent out kitchen space before their health department inspections were completed,” Tori explains. “They rented space from ICE, and I ended up volunteering a few days after school. I got comfortable enough to ask for an externship. I sent in my resume and I’ve been there ever since.”

Read about how Tori enrolled in Pastry & Baking Arts as a stepping stone towards her goal of working at prestigious bakeries.

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 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 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

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.