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Career in Baking and Pastry Making

Cake, a mouth watering name, no occasion is complete without it. Cakes have become an indispensable part of most of our celebrations. Cakes and pastries signify expressions of joy, fun, festivity, happiness and special occasions. So why we cannot think of a career in bakery if cakes, pastries and other bakery products are so much in demand.

Cake making involves high quality of creativity as the cakes, pastries are directly related to the occasion of joy and happiness. So to make the occasions more memorable a beautiful and well decorated cake that goes with the mood of occasion is very important. Cake makers decorate the cakes according to the different occasion, like wedding cakes, birthday cakes, Christmas cakes and for other different occasions. Special cakes are also made on special orders. According to the occasion and the number of people, size of the cakes also matters. There are cakes available in different sizes that starts from 1 pound to 100s of Kgs. Different flavours are also kept in mind while preparing these cakes and pastries i.e. strawberry, chocolate, vanilla, apple, banana etc.

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The bakery industry is the grain-based food industry which includes breads, cakes, pies, pastries, cupcakes, cookies, baked pet treats, tarts, etc. The field of baking and pastry arts is a small part of the food preparation industry. This fast-paced industry is competitive, have high turnover and can provide good career opportunities.

Why degree is required in the field of Baking, why not only experience?

The professional degree and training are very essential for the bright career in this field. Bakers fall under the category of ‘food processing occupations’ which are responsible for processing raw food products into finished goods. So for learning minute technicalities of the field, the complete technical education, experience, on-the-job training and industry certifications are all important. These are important for obtaining higher-paying positions in the 7- star, 5-star restaurants, hotels, bakeries, cruise ships, etc.

Academic Credentials Required in the field of Cake and Pastry Making

A minimum of high school diploma or high school equivalency is a common requirement in this profession. Courses at different levels like bachelors, masters and diplomas are available for this field. PhD degrees are also available in bakery and pastry making field for higher education. On-the-job training programs are the essential part of the baking courses. These courses help students to gain skills and knowledge in ingredient selection and preparation, bakery ingredients and products, baking, icing and decorating, mixing and baking equipment, nutrition, sanitation rules and regulations, business concepts, understanding how ingredients mix together and are affected by heat and production processes, machinery maintenance and operations.

Universities offering Courses in this Field

Various universities all round the world offer programs and courses in the field of Baking and Pastry Making. Some of them and their courses are as follows:
-University of Richmond in USA offers Baking and Pastry Arts (BPA) certificate program.
-London South Bank University in London offers BSc Honours degree in Baking Technology Management.
-Darlington College in England offers Diploma in Food Production & Cooking, baking and Diploma in -Professional Cookery in Patisserie & Confectionery.
-G.D. Goenka University in India offers 2 years Diploma in Culinary Arts.
-Stratford University in US offers Bachelor of Arts in Hospitality Management in Baking and Pastry Arts.
-The Cardiff Metropolitan University in UK offers BSc Honours degree in Food Production Management.
-The KDU University College in Malaysia offers Undergraduate and Honours courses in Baking and Pastry.
-The Culinary Institute of America offers Bachelor of Professional Studies in Baking and Pastry Arts Management.

Professional Designations of Baking and Pastry Making Industry

With the increasing number of bakeries, restaurants, hotels, stores, etc. the demand for professional bakers is increasing. They can engage in different roles from sales, baking and management of corporate support staff to the owner of their own bakery. There are various opportunities available in this career. Some of the designations in this field are given below:

Pastry Chef or Pâtissier : A pastry chef’s role is not limited to making pastries. He is the in charge of the dessert menu. She/he does all the necessary preparation of the various desserts. Many pastry chefs also perform administrative duties such as preparing budgets and ordering supplies for pastry making.

Bakers : A baker is responsible for making a wide range of breads, pastries and other baked goods. Becoming a baker requires a great amount of training as this is a highly skilled job.  A baker should be the master in using a large number of tools for producing quality baked items.

Food Service Managers : Food service managers are responsible for organizing, managing, and coordinating all the daily functions of the staff within their department. Food service managers perform the duties like; scheduling, hiring, training, inventory, ordering and inspecting of work stations.

Cake Decorator : A cake decorator works at a bakery, grocery store or specialty cake shop and decorates cakes using a variety of tools, materials and food items. Cake decorators prepare icings, apply toppings and decorate cakes by writing customized messages.

Bakery Technologist: The bakery technologist is responsible for the development, creating, launching and implementing new products and commercialization of new and existing products. They are responsible for the management and analysis of R&D projects.

Bakery Sanitation Manager: They are responsible for general sanitation of the plant. Looking after all on-the-job activities, product safety, legality, quality, etc.

Funding Opportunities in this Field

There are many funding opportunities available in the culinary field in the form of grants, scholarships, loans, etc. Many public and private institutions offer scholarships for students seeking to build their careers in the baking and pastry arts field. Some of these are James Beard Foundation, Vancouver Island University and Institute of Culinary Education etc. Applicants can also go through Scholarships for Women Studying Culinary Art and Culinary Scholarship. 

How to Become a Pastry Chef 

Ghosia Tabassum