Specialty Desserts & Breads

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Specialty Desserts & Breads


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 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 four-quarter certificate program. Students may enter the program Fall, Winter or Spring Quarters. The Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree can be earned with the completion of 16 additional elective credits. A cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher in all core and related instructional courses is required to attain a Culinary Arts Certificate and/or A.A.S. degree.

Estimated Length of Completion

Degree Quarters Credits
Certificate Full Time: 4
Part Time: Part Time Option Not Available

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.

Full Time Cost

Quarter Credits Resident Non-Resident International
1 19 $1,678.85 $1,844.75 $3,646.28
2 18 $1,678.85 $1,844.75 $3,646.28
3 18 $1,662.82 $1,828.72 $3,602.08
4 19 $1,694.88 $1,860.78 $3,690.48

The following fee is associated with the program:

  • SCA Fees – $1170
  • Seattle Central College Fees – $450

Equipment Fee associated with this program:

  • Estimated Additional Materials for Course Completion: Uniforms, Hand Tools and Food Handler : 1271

Hours may vary based on specific program requirements.

Worker Friendly

This program is offered at times and in formats that meet the needs of working adults. This includes:

  • Daytime
  • Courses offered between 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM


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

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

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

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

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
Course Course ID Credits Availability

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

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

This course takes you behind the scenes of the everyday fermented food products we take for granted. Learn the scientific principles of cheesemaking and fermentation-based pickling, as well as fermented ingredients and beverages. Understand the differences between yeast and bacterial fermentation; learn cheese production, including sanitation and safety; become familiar with the processes for making European-style butter, kombucha, vinegar, and other fermented products.

BAK 117 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

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

Exploratory course designed specifically for those in the Culinary field: Includes resume writing, interviewing for jobs and maintaining social media presence while fielding a Culinary career; maintaining wellness and mental health in a stressful environment; understanding human resources management concepts and introduction to hospitality law.

HOS 127 2.0
Course Course ID Credits Availability

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

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

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

This class introduces key concepts for using business spreadsheet applications such as MS Excel and teaches various menu layouts and designs using MS Word. Students will use proper language in the creation of menus with these software applications. They will review the basics of cell formatting, functions, and data manipulation in a spreadsheet, and perform weight to volume conversions while learning how to cost out recipes. A foundation for the COD notebook will be created during this course.

HOS 113 2.0

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
Course Course ID Credits Availability

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

BAK 108 3.0

Builds upon skills and knowledge obtained throughout previous quarters in preparation for a capstone practicum. Students will review and practice topics from prior coursework along with introductions to new concepts in advanced-level pastry work, storeroom management, and higher-level organizational skills. They will help manage retail operations and assist with the training of freshman students in the program.

BAK 118 8.0

Students will demonstrate the combined knowledge and skills obtained from all their previous practical and theoretical SDB training. Over the course of six days, students will prepare a variety of bread, pastry, and dessert items, then present them to a panel of evaluators for critique. Along with the baked items, students will provide written information about their projects that includes recipes, production schedules, food cost, and waste reports.

BAK 127 1.0

This course utilizes theoretical knowledge gained from BAK 103 for practical applications in the kitchen. Students will learn different chocolate tempering and decorative techniques; work with sugar and nut pastes for decorative purposes; cook basic crystalline and non-crystalline candies; and learn to make ganaches for molding and enrobing. This class will also touch on non-nutritive sugar substitutes for decorative work.

BAK 130 2.5

In this theory companion to the HOS 139 practicum, students will identify the tools and equipment used to make espresso and coffee drinks: covers classic espresso drinks and how they are prepared, and customer service essentials and espresso program fundamentals. Students also learn an abbreviated history of espresso - the foundation of a fifteen-billion-dollar industry.

HOS 138 1.0

Covers practical knowledge of contemporary barista service in a real-world setting. Students will apply methods and skills used to make and serve classic espresso-based beverages in a working coffee business, practice industry standards related to maintenance and upkeep of espresso-related equipment, demonstrate familiarity with proper food safety and sanitation procedures, and assess and requisition product inventory to maintain adequate supplies for the venue.

HOS 139 1.0

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