Specialty Desserts & Breads

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Culinary Arts: Specialty Desserts & Breads

Associate of Applied Science - Transfer Degree (AAS-T)

Specialty Desserts & Breads program features comprehensive “hands on” and step-by-step training to prepare students to be professional bakers or pastry chefs.

Learn to create rustic artisan breads and doughs, plated desserts, decorative cakes, and mouthwatering pastries. Explore European specialties such as tarts, mousses, truffles, and petit fours. Discover the fine art of wedding cakes and cake decorating. Learn chocolate work with demonstrations on pulled and blown sugar, intricate decoration, and showpieces. Classroom theory instruction includes “hands-on” experience in how to serve breads and desserts for two on-campus restaurants and in our pastry shop.

Sustainable practices are integrated throughout the program, especially in food preservation and cheese production courses. Learn the value of buying seasonally and locally storing the bounties of the summer harvest and purchasing milk from local dairies.

The Specialty Desserts & Breads certificate is accredited by the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation’s Accrediting Commission and received exemplary status.

Specialty Desserts & Breads is a five-quarter certificate program. Students may enter the program Fall, Winter or Spring Quarters. The Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree or Associate of Applied Science - T Degree (A.A.S.-T) can also be earned.

Estimated Length of Completion

Degree Quarters Credits
Associate of Applied Science - Transfer Degree (AAS-T) Full Time: 6
Part Time:

Program lengths are estimates, not guarantees. For the most current program information, please check with the program contact.

There are no entry requirements for this program

Students are strongly encouraged to meet with an advisor to discuss specific career goals and recommended coursework.

For current employment and wage estimates, please visit the following online resources and search for the relevant occupational term:

All costs are estimates and are not guarantees. For the most current program information, check with an adviser by calling (206) 934-4068. There are additional costs for books and supplies. Each student is responsible for the purchase of certain supplies and required tools before the instruction begins.

The following fee is associated with the program:

  • Books and supplies: $2,052

Hours may vary based on specific program requirements.


Course Course ID Credits Availability

An introduction to mixing and baking methods, and to the scientific principles used in this field. This course covers mise en place; ingredient characteristics and functions; tool and equipment identification, usage, and safety; and trade terminology. Includes discussions on mixing, cooking, and baking methods for: cakes, cookies, quick breads, pastries, pies, tarts, creams, icings, syrups, and sauces. Also includes information on baking history and trade opportunities.

BAK 101 4.0

Presents baking theory and ingredients. Includes scientific principles that determine why specific baking techniques work. Emphasizes the formation and exercise of judgment in baking practice, relationships between procedures and products, and evaluation of product quality. Includes discussion of artisan bread production, whole grain baking, European and non-European breads, laminated doughs, and artistic design doughs.

BAK 102 3.0

Introduces students to three areas: desserts, chocolate and confection work, and decorative media. Covers plated and banquet dessert theory, churn and still frozen desserts, entremet components (including glazes and hydrocolloidal thickeners), and confectionery work with an emphasis on cacao and chocolate. Also introduce students to decorative media used for cakes, entremets, and confections.

BAK 103 4.0

Covers the fundamentals of professional baking and standard production techniques in a fully functioning bakeshop. Includes mixing, baking, and finishing of cakes, cookies, quick breads, pastries, pies, tarts, creams, icings, syrups, and sauces. Heavy emphasis on: sanitation and safety; professionalism and work ethic; teamwork and personal responsibility; and building organizational skills. Includes training in retail operations, customer service, and product marketing and display.

BAK 111 9.0

Artisan bread and viennoiserie production with a focus on professional production. This course covers yeasted and levain breads, rye and whole-grain baking, and laminated and non-laminated enriched doughs. There is heavy emphasis on: sanitation and safety; professionalism and work ethic; teamwork ,personal responsibility; and organizational skills. Includes training in retail operations, customer service, and product marketing and display.

BAK 112 9.0

Builds upon and refines competencies and techniques developed in BAK 111 and BAK 112, and introduces new concepts and methods, including traditional and plated desserts, frozen desserts, garnishing and decorative techniques, advanced mousse cakes, and petit gateaux. Students will gain production experience as they work in teams to provide desserts for banquets, buffets, fine dining, café dining, and a retail display cases. Advanced customer service is covered.

BAK 113 9.0

Design and develop a line of wedding cakes and petits fours using the latest industry techniques. Produce jam and preserves using organic fruits and vegetables. Includes practicing the seed to plate cooking model and designing and marketing a bakery display case.

BAK 124 8.0

Design and develop a line of bakery goods. Purchase and inventory goods and calculate cost analysis as an extension of the class project.

BAK 125 8.0

Explore the unique properties associated with a wide variety of fresh milled whole grains as applied to baking as well as alternative sugars in pastry work. Learn scientific principles applied to yeast products, fermented foods, and food preservation including flour facts and alcohol fermentation.

BAK 126 3.0

Covers identification of known nutrients for human health, demonstration of quality dietary guidelines, and utilization of dietary guidelines in meal planning, including modification of existing recipes to meet nutritional recommendations; Additional topics include understanding of special needs diets and modifications.

BIOL 103 2.0

Students will learn procedures of table service, waiter/waitress responsibilities, restaurant first-aid, and food cost analysis. Students must be registered concurrently with HOS 116 and 194.

CUL 106 1.5

Covers fundamentals of culinary arts. Rotate into a different kitchen each day and prepare a variety of dishes in each area. Includes various types of moist and dry heat cooking methods and preparation methods for breakfast items, poultry or rabbit, fish, soups, stocks, sauces, vegetables and side dishes, salads and dressings.

CUL 116 1.0

Covers the fundamentals of grape growing and winemaking, including table, sparkling and fortified wines. Includes sensory evaluation of classic grape varieties and their growing regions with emphasis on Washington state wines. Learn strategies for food and wine pairing.

CUL 120 1.0

Introductory course exploring the current ecological, economical and political issues relating to the food system. Raises awareness of issues of the food system from producer to consumer, exploring agriculture, fisheries, dairy, meat and poultry production, water and waste. Includes social justice, trade, and health issues, preservation of cultural food traditions and foodstuffs, and activism within the food system. Prereq: Admission into Culinary Arts Program.

CUL 151 1.5

Expansion of concepts introduced in CUL 151. Course explores food system issues related to ocean health, ocean acidification, climate change, plastics pollution, and its affects on fisheries, human health and cultural food traditions. Understanding of food sovereignty, concepts and tools to manage food waste in kitchens and local sourcing.

CUL 152 1.0

Explore the issues relating to a sustainable food system: globalization, food politics, food security and social justice. Examine climate change as it relates to the food system, water and waste issues, heritage foods, and practical application of ideas in the kitchen. Learn how to navigate and purchase from the local producer market.

CUL 153 1.0

Application of basic customer service theory in a full service restaurant or pastry case. Includes busing, housekeeping, mise en place for both casual and formal restaurant settings; and customer service and sales techniques in bakery counter settings. .

HOS 101 1.0

Students refine customer service skills by further practice in a pastry case or full-service restaurant. Includes dining room arrangement, buffet setup and wait staff duties. In the bakery counter setting, students practice product rotation and merchandising.

HOS 102 1.0

Fundamentals of food service sanitation and its importance to the industry. Includes microorganisms in food spoilage and food-borne illness, ways of limiting microbial contamination and growth, creating a clean and sanitary environment, accident prevention and first aid, Material Safety Data Sheets, sanitation in crisis situations, principles of designing safe and sanitary kitchens and government regulations.

HOS 110 3.0

Intro to principles of inventory procedures. Encompasses formal and informal purchasing methods, flow of goods, food buying, legal and ethical purchasing considerations, market analysis, stock rotation, bid specifications, yield and cost comparisons, quality tests and inventory.

HOS 122 1.0

Explores connection between profit and food cost; discusses product waste and defines costing terms and purchasing units; introduces principles of inventory procedures; encompasses formal and informal purchasing methods, flow of goods, food buying, legal and ethical purchasing considerations, market analysis, stock rotation, bid specifications, yield and cost comparisons, quality tests and inventory.

HOS 123 2.0

Covers management and communication theories and practices within the culinary arts and baking industries. Includes intro to the hospitality industry and overview of the Americans with Disabilities Act, sexual harassment, as well as other legal and human resource topics. Presents communications skills, functions of management, beverage management, financial statement analysis and résumé writing.

HOS 201 3.0

A series of one-credit short classes which provide a brief hands-on intro to one type of commonly used industry software using both PC and Macintosh. Attendance mandatory and additional 2-4 hours per week required during Computer Center hours.

MIC 102 1.0

Total of 20 credits from all three related instruction areas

Course Course ID Credits Availability

English 101 is a college-level writing course that emphasizes academic writing and major strategies of reading and writing analytically. Writing assignments focus on engaging with and responding to a variety of texts. Instruction encourages students to develop, through revision and reflection, as readers, writers, and critical thinkers.

ENGL& 101 5.0

College-level Math with MATH 098 prereq.

Choose 1 course listed below:

Course Course ID Credits Availability

Intended for non-science majors; fulfills QSR requirement for AA Degree. Topics include financial computations (e.g. loans and interest), modeling linear and exponential growth (e.g. population growth and disease spread), and basic probability and statistics (e.g. understanding data and risk), with an emphasis on applications. Other topics selected by instructor.

MATH& 107 5.0

(Formerly MATH 109) Covers descriptive methods, probability and probability distributions, samples, decisions, hypothesis testing and statistical inferences. Fulfills QSR requirement for A.A. degree.

MATH& 146 5.0

Choose 2 from the following:

Course Course ID Credits Availability

Introduction to the study of human culture, including social organization, economics, politics and power, the environment, language, identity, religion, technology, and art. Focuses on the interactions within and between cultures in an increasingly globalized world.

ANTH& 206 5.0

This course is a one quarter intro to biology. Basic biological concepts will be introduced, with an emphasis on biological molecules, cell structures and processes, genetics, evolution, and a survey of biodiversity. Includes lab.

BIOL& 160 5.0

Introduction to Chemistry (CHEM&121) is intended for non-science and allied health majors. Completion of CHEM& 121, and either CHEM& 131 or CHEM& 122, fulfills the chemistry requirement for many health science majors (e.g. nursing, dental hygiene, etc). This lab science course covers the fundamentals of chemistry, including: measurements, atomic structure, types of reactions, thermodynamics, stoichiometry, equilibrium, kinetics, and acid base chemistry. Includes lab.

CHEM& 121 5.0

Intro to communication as a transactional process, with attention to personal, cultural, group and public communication. Covers verbal and nonverbal messages, listening, self-concept and perception.

CMST& 101 5.0

Examines the skills in communication and empathy required for intercultural communication. Includes an interdisciplinary study of diverse cultures and perspectives in the United States in the context of economic, political, and cultural globalization.

HUM 105 5.0

Intro to nutrition, with an emphasis on the relationship of nutrition to growth, development, health, physical and mental functioning. Examines sources, functions, interrelationships and human requirements of proteins, carbohydrates, fat, minerals, vitamins and water. Includes changes in energy and nutrient requirements throughout the life cycle. Prereq: Eligible for MATH 084 and ENGL& 101 (C).

NTR 150 5.0

Introduction to the scientific study of human behavior including research methods, brain and behavior, learning, cognitive psychology, development, personality, abnormal psychology, and social thinking and behavior. Additional topics may include: emotions, perception, motivation, intelligence, genes and evolution, and health.

PSYC& 100 5.0