Sweet dough, cinnamon rolls, or chocolate strudels that melt in your mouth...anyone?
Baking is an art that requires patience, dedication, and creativity. One of the best ways to learn how to become a master baker is by enrolling in one of the ten best baking schools in the U.K. These culinary schools are conveniently located throughout the U.K. so that you can get hands-on experience in baking and culinary arts.
You'll learn more about baking, how to prepare pastries, cakes, breads, and desserts, as well as culinary science and nutrition. The best part is that classes are taught by professional bakers with years of culinary experience who know what it takes to make a culinary rise to the top. The list includes both full-time and part-time courses, so whether you want to start your career or just enjoy baking at home for friends and family, these schools will have something for you!
16 Best Culinary Schools –The Path to Becoming A Pastry Chef
Sugar Street Studios Cake Academy
Sugar Street Studios is a global cake school that teaches both baking and decorating through its online tutorial school.
They have loads of topics to choose from, including royal icing, advanced cake modelling & sculpting techniques. With 1000s of culinary arts tutorials, Sugar Street Studios has a library collection suited for every level of cake decorator. From beginner guides to pro-level instruction, they can help you make your own professional quality cakes and cupcakes from the comfort of home.
Pricing & Plans
- Hobby: £16.99 / month (learn how to bake at your own pace)
- Business: £29.99 / month (Hobby plan + business advice to help turn your hobby into an income)
Suzanne Esper Cake School
"I run and own the cake school for both online and in person classes and it’s my one true passion. I love to empower others to reach their cake decorating potential fast. The minute you step through my door or join my online programs you will be looked after in every way. I originally started out as a research scientist with a PhD in cancer research who happened to have a secret passion for cake decorating. Following the birth of my two children, I was presented with a chance to start a new career and grasped it with both hands."
Head on over to her site to understand how her cake school will bring out the best in your cake decorating abilities. She has helped 1000's of students grow their confidence.
Pricing & Plans
Prices range from £29.99 to £250 for online classes.
Primrose Bakery Cupcake Decorating Masterclass.
If you love cupcakes, you will adore Primrose Bakery. They provide a fun and hands-on experience where you can discover your own signature style. With the expert guidance of their talented Head Chefs, you can learn how to create unique cupcake icing using a palette knife and create masterpieces with piping on an easy Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Plus, you get to take home everything you make at the end of your class!
Throughout the class, you'll have the opportunity to ask about the myriad of recipes used in the bakery. You'll learn tips and tricks for making your delicious cupcakes following their signature creations, as well as any general baking questions you may have.
Plans & Pricing
- Regular Classes - £60.00 per person (Cupcake Decorating Masterclass)
- Special Classes - £80.00 per person, maximum 15 people (Cupcakes & Layer Cake Masterclass)
- Private Classes - £60 per person. requires a minimum of 8 attendees ( Cupcake Decorating Masterclass)
- Corporate Events / Classes - £70 per person. Requires a minimum of 9 attendees for private bookings and a maximum of 15 people. (Cupcake Decorating Masterclass)
Cakeflix - The Netflix Of Caking Tutorials.
If you are a newbie pastry chef seeking to learn more about culinary arts skills, then Cakeflix is the place for you. Cakeflix has over 1200 cake tutorials ready for you to stream when and where you want them. It's a great resource for learning advanced pastry techniques. And with regular live shows and more than 105 presenters posting content, your appetite for cake will never be satisfied.
Cakeflix was founded with the goal of bringing fresh content to busy people wherever they are. The mission is simple: To help cake lovers learn more about baking and start their own business quickly using expert video tutorials and comprehensive online courses – available on-demand 24/7.
Plans & Pricing
- Standard - £4.99
- Premium - £9.95
- Pro - £19.95
They have a 7 Day FREE trial on plans!
Emma Stewart Wedding Cake Design School
With over 10 years of experience, Emma Stewart has gained and perfected so many skills and techniques through lots of practice, trial and error. She writes monthly tutorials for Cake Decoration and Sugarcraft Magazine and was named in the Top 10 UK and Ireland Cake Artists 2020 by Cake Masters Magazine.
Emma Stewart culinary arts school offers affordable and easy-to-follow pdf tutorials, pre-recorded workshops, and pre-recorded night school.
Plans & Pricing
They have 12 mini-courses covering topics between social media marketing, how to create sharp edges, and floral decorations. Pricing ranges from $5 - $75.
Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts
Le Cordon Bleu offers a wide range of culinary arts courses, including cuisine, boulangerie and wine management, pastry, as well as shorter one-day courses such as Fish and Shellfish, Indian Cooking, and Creative Vegetables. They recently added a three-month plant-based diploma to their repertoire, designed to meet the growing demand for vegetarian and plant-based cooking.
Le Cordon Bleu culinary arts programs are designed to meet the needs of a thriving culinary industry by providing culinary professionals with a spectrum of possibilities in terms of career choices. The culinary arts industry is projected to add more than 100,000 jobs by 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Nina’s Cake Cabin
Nina's Cake Cabin is based in Llanfechell on Anglesey. Nina, the owner, began baking at an early age and discovered her passion for baking while recovering from a major operation in the Police Force. She read different cake projects in magazines that got her interested, and she would then bake as a hobby before it turned into a business.
Nina’s work is well recognized in the cake world. Her work has been featured in multiple magazines such as Cake Masters, Cake Craft & Decoration, Cake Geek, Cake Central, and Wedding Cakes and Sugar Flowers.
Nina has won multiple awards for her work, the latest being Gold at the world’s biggest cake show, Cake International, with one of her wedding cakes. Besides designing beautiful cakes, Nina also teaches sugarcraft from her stunning, private cabin, which can comfortably seat up to 10 students.
Plans & Pricing
- The Simply Cupcakes Class – Cost is £125
- The Perfect Finish Cake Class – Cost is £85
- The Flowers Class –
Victoria’s Kitchen –Create Beautiful Buttercream Cakes.
Victoria’s Kitchen offers culinary classes to teach beginners how to pipe, sculpt, and paint with delicious buttercream. It doesn't matter if you want to learn for fun or want a culinary career; these classes will make anyone a buttercream master in just a day!
All the classes include professional materials and tools available for the students. They also have plenty of freshly brewed coffee, tea, biscuits, and cake and cake to keep you going, usually along with the odd glass of Prosecco too! All you need to get started is a lot of enthusiasm, a pen & a notebook!
Plans & pricing
- They have 12 mini-courses covering topics between social media marketing, how to create sharp edges, and floral decorations. Pricing ranges from $5 - $75.
- Pricing ranges from £45- £150
Nestled at the heart of Borough Market, Bread Ahead Bakery School is the perfect place to learn and experience culinary arts first hand. Whether you're a beginner or seasoned in culinary arts, their world-class master's bakers provide excellent guidance in the art of baking. Bread Ahead culinary school has two more different locations in London, Chelsea's Pavillion Road, and Wembley Park. Other extra classes on offer include bagels and croissant classes, gluten-free baking, both with full or half-day options.
- They have 4 main courses divided into 50+ mini-courses
City of Westminster Kingsway College
Other than baking and pastry courses, this culinary arts school also teaches culinary management and culinary science. The culinary arts courses offered by this culinary institute are tremendously popular amongst students, so make sure you apply early for the September intake to get a spot in culinary classes. You'll need to complete 16 weeks of foundation training before moving on to the more advanced culinary courses.
If you're interested in pastry baking, then the City of Westminster culinary school offers a Professional Patisserie course. You'll spend the first four weeks learning about the history and science of baking and pastry, as well as how to prepare pastries, desserts, breads, and entremets. The next eight weeks are dedicated to more advanced baking skills, such as French patisserie, which includes crème patissiere, mousseline, and culinary buttercream.
Ashburton’s Chef Academy
If you're looking to become a professional baker & chef, then Ashburton’s culinary school is a great place that you may want to consider. You will learn how to create culinary art pieces such as cakes, bread, pastries, and other tasty culinary treats. Also, if you're interested in catering for weddings or dining parties, this culinary institute offers culinary management courses and a culinary art internship.
The culinary arts courses at this institute are taught by some of the best culinary instructors in London who have years of culinary experience and culinary education behind them. You will also learn about culinary theory, food history, economics, management, and social sciences.
Leiths School of Food and Wine
If culinary art is at the top of your culinary career goal list, then you might want to consider culinary classes at Leiths School of Food and Wine. This culinary school offers a range of culinary arts courses from culinary management, pastry chef courses, culinary art courses, and culinary nutrition.
While most cases require culinary students to have some experience before they begin culinary arts classes at Leiths culinary institute, there are also a few courses for new beginners and home cooks who want to learn how to prepare tasty culinary treats on their own kitchens. Leiths culinary institute also offers cooking workshops where you can learn how to cook delicious Thai, French, Italian, and Indian culinary delights.
Leiths offer fantastic baking courses for beginners who are looking for a culinary confidence boost. Once you complete the course, you'll never (probably) have another cake-tastrophe.
Leeds City College- Diploma In Culinary Skills
Leeds City College also offers baking and pastry arts courses. Their diploma course covers how to develop a range of cookery methods for food preparation & cookery, how to correctly use kitchen equipment and helps you understand health, safety, and food hygiene practices.
Leeds culinary school also offers/and helps students to get a culinary internship where you'll get first-hand culinary experience working at a professional culinary facility after culinary school. Students can choose to continue their culinary education by completing pastry chef courses or continuing with culinary management training at the college's higher culinary arts academy.
University of Hertfordshire Culinary Institute
If you're interested in culinary arts classes and culinary management training, then the main culinary institute at the University of Hertfordshire might be just for you. This culinary school offers a range of culinary summer courses that start from 10 weeks to ten months and include culinary management, baking, pastry chef courses, decorating classes, and culinary nutrition and culinary history.
If you're interested in culinary arts, then Hertfordshire culinary school might be a good place to start! The University of Hertfordshire offers the best culinary schools for those who want to master all aspects of culinary arts, including culinary management, baking, pastry chef courses, and culinary artistry.
Escoffier School Of Culinary Arts
If you're looking for culinary art classes from a culinary institute that's been around for over 90 years, then Escoffier culinary school might be the place to start. It's one of the best pastry schools in the world. This culinary school offers one of London's best culinary arts courses (on their Austin & Boulder branches). It is suitable for both professional cooks and talented amateurs who have a passion for cooking or culinary arts.
Escoffier culinary institute offers culinary courses from culinary nutrition, pastry chef courses, baking classes, culinary management lessons, and culinary arts for children. They also offer online classes, so aspiring culinary arts students have the choice of taking the classes at the comfort of their home – whether they live in London or anywhere else in the world!
Loaf Cookery School
Homemade bread is not only tastier, but it's more nutritious than a standard store-bought bread because you get to control the ingredients you put in. Or you could make your bread less healthy depending on how your day is going, and it's totally fine!
In the Loaf Cookery School’s impressive kitchens, you’ll learn the tricks of baking delicious bread and be handed unique bread recipes for you to try out at home. Their courses range from simple ‘back to basics’ bread baking tips to sweetbreads and pastries. If you've got a sweet tooth, you will love the Macarons course, which only takes about three hours to complete.
Things to Know Before Enrolling To Culinary Courses.
- It's going to be an emotional roller coaster when you are starting out. Commercial kitchens are a harsh and cruel environment. You’ll have to develop a thick skin and throw your sensitivity out of the door.
- You probably won't make a lot of money in the first two years. Life might start to get a little easier once you get about 4+ years of experience and connect with more people in the industry.
- Graduating from culinary school won't automatically make you a Chef. It takes hard work and sacrifice to climb up the ladder in the professional world. If not starting your own venture and looking to work in commercial kitchens, get ready to be thrown at the garde manger station, where soups and salads are prepared. It’s not all rosy, and it's going to be hard. But the more you build your experience, the better it gets.
- A full culinary arts course is expensive. Depending on the school and what you choose to specialize in, the cost can range between $1,500-10,000 for a basic culinary skills cooking and pastry chef course. If you want to get a degree from culinary school, then it could cost you upwards of $50,000+.
- Not every pastry chef went to culinary school. A majority of successful chefs are the product of esteemed culinary arts schools. However, there are plenty of other chefs who have risen to fame without any formal training—the likes of Thomas Keller, Ina Garten, Gordon Ramsay, and Rachael Ray.
- Your work-life/balance will probably be crushed. The average chef has a 12 hour work day, seven days a week. You’ll be working on weekends, holidays, and late nights to make that perfect dish for your customers.
A Career In Culinary & Pastry Arts: FAQs
Are online culinary courses any good?
There definitely are! You can take your pick from accredited online baking classes or even digital pastry chef courses that will help you perfect your skills from home. All of these options will have a curriculum that’s designed to suit your needs, and you can always contact your teachers if you have any problems.
How Long Does A Culinary & Pastry Arts Take?
It depends on the program you choose. Some basic skills culinary arts programs can take just 3 hours or less, but most comprehensive courses are year-long certificate courses, which may take longer if your schedule only allows for part-time study. Other schools offer associate’s degrees that require two years or more of full-time study.
Can I Learn Baking At Home?
Sure you can. With thousands of videos online, you don’t necessarily have to attend a school to learn how to bake. However, many would argue that there is no substitute for learning from an expert in person. The advantage of being taught by someone who knows exactly what they are doing is that your chances of successfully making baked goods will be much greater.
What Is The Average Income Of A Pastry Chef?
The average income of a pastry chef is around $100,000 per year, which is much higher than the national average salary for a food-sector employee. This will also depend on your location and where you work.
One of the main factors affecting pastry chef income is experience. The longer you’ve been in the field, the more you can charge for your services, and the more opportunities will open up to you.
What Is The Average Income Of A Pastry Chef?
The amount you will get paid as a pastry chef depends on your experience and your location. Most pastry chefs in London receive an average salary that ranges between £24,000 – £32,400 per year. In the U.S., pastry chefs are paid more than average culinary and food-sector workers.