Video transcript available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62-onA1gzjQ.
What Bakers Do
Bakers mix ingredients according to recipes in order to make breads, pastries, and other baked goods.
Most bakers work in retail or commercial bakeries (manufacturing facilities), grocery stores or wholesale club stores, and restaurants. Work shifts often include early mornings, nights, weekends, and holidays.
How to Become a Baker
Although bakers typically need no formal educational credential, employers may prefer or require that candidates have a high school diploma. Some choose to attend a technical or culinary school. They typically learn their skills through on-the-job training, which may include participating in an apprenticeship program.
The median annual wage for bakers was $29,750 in May 2021.
Employment of bakers is projected to grow 8 percent from 2021 to 2031, faster than the average for all occupations.
About 31,300 openings for bakers are projected each year, on average, over the decade.
Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.
State & Area Data
Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for bakers.
Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of bakers with similar occupations.
More Information, Including Links to O*NET
Bakers prepare various types of baked goods.
- Prepare workstation for baking
- Measure and weigh ingredients
- Combine measured ingredients in mixers or blenders
- Knead, roll, cut, and shape dough
- Prepare and fill pans, molds, or baking sheets
- Set oven temperatures and place items into ovens
- Monitor baking process and adjust oven temperature or item positioning as needed
Commercial bakers, also called production bakers, work in manufacturing facilities that produce breads, pastries, and other baked products. In these facilities, bakers use high-volume mixing machines, ovens, and other equipment, which may be automated, to mass-produce standardized baked goods. They often work with other production workers, such as helpers and maintenance staff, to keep equipment cleaned and ready.
Retail bakers work primarily in grocery stores and specialty shops, including bakeries. In these settings, they produce small quantities of baked goods for people to eat in the shop or for sale as specialty items. Retail bakers may take orders from customers, prepare baked products to order, and occasionally serve customers. Most retail bakers are also responsible for cleaning their work area and equipment and unloading supplies.
Some retail bakers own bakery shops where they make and sell breads, pastries, pies, and other baked goods. In addition to preparing the baked goods and overseeing the entire baking process, they are also responsible for hiring, training, and supervising their staff. They must budget for and order supplies, set prices, and decide how much to produce each day.
About this section
Bakers stand for extended periods while they prepare dough.
Bakers are exposed to high temperatures when working around hot ovens. They stand for long periods while observing the baking process, making the dough, or cleaning the equipment.
Injuries and Illnesses
Bakeries, especially large manufacturing facilities, have potential dangers such as hot ovens, mixing machines, and dough cutters. Although their work is generally safe, bakers may experience back strain from lifting heavy items, as well as cuts, scrapes, and burns. To reduce risk of injury, bakers often wear back supports and heat-resistant aprons and gloves.
Most bakers work full time, although part-time work is common. Schedules may vary and often include early morning, night, weekend, or holiday shifts. Some facilities operate around the clock.
How to Become a Baker About this section
On-the-job training is the most common method of learning for bakers.
Bakers typically need no formal educational credential to enter the occupation; however, employers may prefer or require that candidates have a high school diploma, and some candidates choose to attend a technical or culinary school. Bakers typically learn their skills through on-the-job training, which may include participating in an apprenticeship program.
High school students interested in becoming a baker may benefit from enrolling in culinary classes, if available, at their school.
Most bakers learn their skills through on-the-job training. The length of training varies but may last up to 1 year. Some employers provide apprenticeship programs for aspiring bakers, which may take months or years to complete.
Training or apprenticeship programs cover topics such as baking and decorating techniques, production processes, and food safety.
Some bakers learn their skills through work experience related to baking. For example, they may start as a baker’s assistant and progress to becoming a baker as they take on more responsibility and refine their technique.
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Employers may require candidates to obtain certification in food safety procedures. Check with your state or local health department for certification information.
Optional certification may demonstrate a level of competence and experience that makes candidates more attractive to employers.
For example, Retail Bakers of America offers certification for several levels of competence, with a focus on topics such as baking sanitation, management, retail sales, and staff training. Those who wish to become certified must satisfy requirements for education and experience before taking an exam. Other organizations may offer credentials for specific skills, such as the American Culinary Federation’s pastry chef certifications.
Communication skills. Bakers must be able to convey information effectively to other workers or to customers.
Math skills. Bakers need basic math skills, especially knowledge of fractions, in order to mix recipes, weigh ingredients, or adjust mixes.
Physical stamina. Bakers stand for extended periods while they prepare dough, monitor baking, or package baked goods.
Physical strength. Bakers should be able to move heavy items, such as bulk-sized bags of flour, from storage to a work area.
Total, all occupations
Food processing workers
The median annual wage for bakers was $29,750 in May 2021.
The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $22,820, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $45,450.
Percent change in employment, projected 2021-31
Employment of bakers is projected to grow 8 percent from 2021 to 2031, faster than the average for all occupations.
About 31,300 openings for bakers are projected each year, on average, over the decade.
Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.
Baked goods, including cereals, breads, and snacks, remain a major part of the daily diet for many people and are often valued for their convenience. Population and income growth are expected to result in greater demand for a variety of commercial and retail specialty baked goods, including cupcakes, pies, and cakes.
As a result, more bakers are expected to be needed in food manufacturing and retail establishments that make and sell baked goods.
State & Area Data About this section
The Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. The link(s) below go to OEWS data maps for employment and wages by state and area.
Occupational employment projections are developed for all states by Labor Market Information (LMI) or individual state Employment Projections offices. All state projections data are available at www.projectionscentral.org. Information on this site allows projected employment growth for an occupation to be compared among states or to be compared within one state. In addition, states may produce projections for areas; there are links to each state’s websites where these data may be retrieved.
CareerOneStop includes hundreds of occupational profiles with data available by state and metro area. There are links in the left-hand side menu to compare occupational employment by state and occupational wages by local area or metro area. There is also a salary info tool to search for wages by zip code.
Similar Occupations About this section
This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of bakers.
For details about apprenticeships or other work opportunities in this occupation, contact the offices of the state employment service, the state apprenticeship agency, local unions, or firms that employ bakers. Apprenticeship information is available from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Apprenticeship program online or by phone at 877-872-5627. Visit Apprenticeship.gov to search for apprenticeship opportunities.
Many bakers begin as bakery helpers. Most employers prefer to hire high school graduates. Classes that will help you in this field include family and consumer science, which should teach you about food preparation, health, and nutrition, and math, such as algebra and geometry, so that you are comfortable using numbers and making calculations. You may also want to take science courses such as biology and chemistry to get an understanding of substances’ properties and reactions. If you are interested in working as a bakery-maintenance engineer, take shop classes that will teach you to work with electricity and machinery.
Some bakery workers acquire useful skills through education in technical schools or in the U.S. Armed Forces. However, they usually complete their education on the job.
The skills that bakery helpers need to become bakers in wholesale baking plants can be learned in several ways. In some companies, bakery helpers can learn through formal apprenticeships. Apprenticeships consist of a blend of classroom and on-the-job instruction and take several years to complete.
After they have some experience, bakery workers who have proved they are good employees but want to upgrade their skills may attend training courses offered by the AIB International. Others take correspondence courses and seminars offered by AIB International at various locations. Bakers who successfully complete this training receive specialty certification in bread, cake, or cracker production.
Some chef training schools have bakery programs for students interested in learning diverse baking skills, from basic bread to gourmet pastries.
Some companies provide apprenticeships for employees who are training to be bakery-maintenance engineers. Another option is to take classes, correspondence courses, and seminars offered by the AIB International.
It’s one thing to binge-watch episodes of the Great British Bake-Off and be the recognized champion of every local bake sale.
It’s quite another thing to decide that you want to turn your love of baking into a career.
Are you thinking about making the leap?
Whether you’re an amateur baker who wants to go pro, or a total novice who’s just testing the waters, here’s what it takes to become a professional baker.
Table of Contents
A viennoiserie created by Escoffier student Danny N.
Five Steps to Becoming a Baker
So you’re wondering how to become a baker? Here’s a step-by-step process that has worked for many.
Get Your High School Diploma or Equivalent
There are no formal education requirements to becoming a baker. But if you plan to go to baking school, you’ll need to be at least 16 years old and have your high school diploma or equivalent first.
Learn the Baking Basics at Baking & Pastry School
All bakers have to start at the beginning. In baking and pastry school, you can start by getting introduced to baking fundamentals, which you can then build on for the rest of your career. This education can prepare students for their first jobs in the industry.
Baking is a scientific art, combining chemistry with design to create something both delicious and beautiful. Baking school teaches students not only how to bake a loaf of bread, but why flour, salt, water, and yeast turn into bread when heat is applied.
The Difference Between a Baker and a Pastry Chef
Baking and pastry are often taught together, but the job of a pastry chef is not necessarily the same as that of a baker.
Pastry chefs are usually responsible for desserts of all types, like custards, ice cream, French pastries, chocolates, and more. They could work in a bakery or in the pastry department in a restaurant.
Bakers specializes in baked goods like bread, pies, rolls, cakes, pastries, donuts, and buns. They generally don’t venture out into plated desserts. Bakers may work in bakeries or restaurants, especially if they serve breakfast or homemade bread.
“The knowledge from Escoffier has given me the skills and confidence not only in my baking, but to take my baking and creations to the next level.”*
Trista Besecker, Online Baking and Pastry Graduate
We’ll discuss what else you can learn in baking and pastry school a little later in this article.
Get Your First Baking Job or Apprenticeship
After completing your baking program, it’s time to head out into the workforce. At Escoffier, all graduates must complete one or two industry externships before they receive their degrees or diplomas. So for our students, that first job could be part of their education experience. In fact, for some students externships have turned into full-time employment.
Bakeries don’t always have consistent job titles, but many entry-level positions fall under the umbrella of baker’s assistant or associate. These jobs usually include anything necessary to make the baker’s job easier, like stocking ingredients, cleaning, kneading dough, preparing fillings, and possibly helping customers. They may also make fillings and icings for cookies and cakes, and do some of the more basic baking.
Your first job in a bakery is where you can start to discover what the life of a baker is really like.
Consider Bakery Certifications
While they’re not a requirement for becoming a successful baker, some of the best in the industry choose to pursue additional certifications as they progress through their careers.
Respected industry group Retail Bakers of America (RBA) offers prestigious certifications to bakers who have enough experience and can prove their baking skills through rigorous practical exams. These titles may increase your earning potential, as they prove that you continue to improve your craft and are committed to growth and learning.
Certified Journey Baker or Certified Journey Decorator
These introductory certifications are for those early in their careers who assist in the production of baked goods for commercial bakeries. They must have at least 2,000 hours of experience, or a combination of experience and education.
Certified Baker or Certified Decorator
These more advanced certifications are for those who are further into their careers and have a higher degree of responsibility in the bakery. They must have at least 4 years of experience or a Journey certification plus 3 years of experience.
Certified Master Baker
This is the highest level of bakery certification from the RBA, and it’s for expert bakers who also manage the output of others. This certification has extensive education requirements, plus 10 years of experience or a Certified Baker designation and 3 years of additional experience.
All of these certifications also have associated tests. Escoffier Chef Instructor and Certified Master Baker Colette Christian recalls her two-day exam. “It’s 16 hours of baking,” she said, “with the judge literally standing right over you. It’s not like you present them with four Danishes. You present 32 Danish pastries, and they weigh every single one of them. And you can’t be off, everything has to be perfect.”
“I pursued certifications because I always wanted to be taken seriously and to have a credible voice. I didn’t want to be deniable.”*Colette Christian, Escoffier Chef Instructor and Certified Master Baker
Practice and Improve Over Time
The journey doesn’t end once you’ve become a baker! There’s a whole world of baking styles out there, and there’s always more to learn.
Bakers spend years honing their skills, reaching higher levels of consistency and excellence over time. It’s not enough to make one perfect batch of macarons. You must be able to make batch after batch after batch, all uniform in flavor, shape, and size.
Baking is an exercise in consistency, and it takes time to get it right.
What Can You Learn in Baking & Pastry School?
Different programs include different courses, but here are some of the skills you may learn in baking school at Escoffier.
Cooking programs typically start with safety and sanitation so students can avoid any cross-contamination or food-borne illness. The curriculum may cover the concept of mise en place, keeping workstations clean and organized, and prepping all ingredients and tools before they’re needed.
Baking math is another important skill, so bakers can accurately convert recipes to smaller or larger yields as needed. They may explore multiple methods for making and mixing doughs, and prepare custards, dessert sauces, and pâte à choux.
Plus, they can dive into the foundations of bread, exploring the right temperature for starters, pre-ferments, and various doughs for a variety of breads and rolls.
“Since much of baking is really chemistry, our Chef Instructors look at the finished product’s texture, structure, and especially the crumb, to make sure the ingredients were measured correctly and the products baked at the ideal temperatures and time. While flavor is important, it’s the most subjective part of baking. And ultimately, if the ‘chemistry’ of the baked product is off, so will be the flavor.”*Anne Lanute, Escoffier Baking and Pastry Arts Executive Chef
Building on the basics, students may then move on to more advanced pastry skills. They can practice cake design and decorating, working on fine piping and icing decorations. They can be introduced to new trends in desserts and plating to keep their dishes looking modern and fresh.
They could branch out into confiserie as well. These additional dessert staples like chocolate, sugar confections, fruit desserts, and frozen desserts may come up in future careers.
Foodservice & Business
Beyond the baking, there’s more to cover to help you become a well-rounded baker. Proper menu planning can help to create a profitable, attractive menu, while cost control helps future bakers to properly price their baked goods accounting for food costs, labor costs, and inventory management.
Coursework in business planning, management, and business ethics can help students to become leaders in their future bakeries.
“My excellent baking education and the empowering and supportive chef educators in my program are ultimately what have given me the confidence to reach for the next level. My teachers encouraged me to create the opportunities I could not otherwise find. I am so grateful for my education at Escoffier and all the doors it has opened for this next chapter of my life.”*Monica Paredes, Austin Baking and Pastry Arts Graduate
What Qualifications Do You Need to Become a Baker?
Like all of the culinary arts, there are no industry-wide requirements to become a baker. Some individual bakeries may require a baking and pastry education. Others will only hire those with a certain amount of experience.
In any new position, there is an element of training, so you can learn the recipes and procedures unique to that employer. But bringing universal skills – like food safety and sanitation, baking math, the foundations of bread, and frosting/piping – with you to the job can make you a more attractive candidate.
A degree or diploma from baking & pastry school doesn’t exclude you from an applicant pool, but it has the potential to really benefit you.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Baker?
Everyone’s path to the role of baker will look a little different. Some find that it can take several years to get out of the “apprentice” or assistant stage and into the position of a baker.
By attending a baking and pastry program, it’s possible to reduce the amount of time necessary to take that next step. After all, baking school graduates may already be equipped with sanitation knowledge, baking math, and many other entry-level skills that those without an education have to learn on the job.
The Job Outlook for Bakers Is Good!
The market for bakers is expected to grow 10% between 2020 and 2030 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is about on par with the national average for growth.
But there will be the need for many more bakers than that. Some existing bakers will leave the industry during those years, either due to retirement or changing careers. The U.S BLS estimates that there will be over 28,000 baker positions to be filled each year between now and 2030, between new roles and replacing those who separate from the industry.
Are You Ready to Rise to the Challenge?
The baker’s life is one of precision and attention to detail. It’s a daily dance of perfectly baked bread, evenly-sized macarons, and show-stopping cakes.
If you love to focus on tiny details—weighing the dough for each individual cookie, making temperature adjustments based on your altitude, and knowing by feel whether a dough is too dry or too sticky—then you may have the makings of a baker.
Want to find out? Contact our Admissions Department to discuss what you can learn in baking and pastry school, and get closer to checking your baking education off your list!
*Information may not reflect every student’s experience. Results and outcomes may be based on several factors, such as geographical region or previous experience.
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This blog post is very bittersweet because this past week (AKA 3 days ago) – I quit my full-time nanny job to focus 100% on Lizzie’s Bakery! I’m going to miss those sweet girls so much, but happy to focus on growing Lizzie’s Bakery after 2 1/2 years of it being a side job.
So you’re probably reading this while you’re at your full-time job or being a stay-at-home mom or wherever and thinking how you can start making money by doing something you LOVE to do! Don’t get me wrong though – my background is in digital marketing and social media advertising/partnerships and I LOVED doing those jobs, I just didn’t like how I was always on someone else’s schedule. And that might seem very “millennial” of me to say that but, I love doing things on my own time!
I started Lizzie’s Bakery two weeks before getting laid off at my social media job in Utah and while I was still working that 9-5 job, I would be researching and baking at night because I truly loved to do it! It didn’t feel like a chore or a to-do task at all, which made me happy! Once I got laid off, I had more time to practice my baking and decorating skills but once we moved to LA, I had to get a job with a steady income to support us living in one of the most expensive cities in the US! But I had a choice whether to work at a strict 9-5+ job at an advertising agency or work at a start-up company with more flexible hours. I chose the start-up company because I really just wanted to bake!
Since then, we moved to Boston and I took a nanny job because if I was so busy, I could bake at their home and be perfectly fine! But, I worked some long nanny hours and the thought of hauling all of my cake stuff to the other house was daunting so I rarely baked in their home! Anyways – enough with the rambling and long back story – here are some tips/tricks that helped me managed my full-time job and side hustle:
PRIORITIZE YOUR TIME!
I can’t stress this enough! If you work a regular 9-5 job, you really need to decide if you are a morning person or night owl because depending on what type of person you are – this will help you prioritize your time! For me, I am 100% a morning person when I have to get things done. If I went to bed at a decent time and I know I have so much to do for baking, I can wake up around 5-6AM and get shizzz done because I know I have to be at work around 9-10. But, also if I’m not busy, I’ll wake up early to work out, meditate, make a good breakfast and just get my day started on the right foot. After I get home from nannying or my past jobs, I am mentally and physically exhausted from the day so I would rather relax knowing that I’ve done most of my side hustle in the morning or during my lunchtime (AKA kids nap time).
I am obsessed with the “reminders” app on my iPhone. If you don’t have an iPhone – there’s also an app called Evernote that I’ve used in the past that has notes to write down your to-do list! I don’t know if it’s the satisfaction of checking something off once it’s completed or what but I love the feeling! A typical baking day (starting on a Monday) would ideally look like this for me:
- Wake up 6:30AM
- Mediate and drink lemon water
- Bake 8″ chocolate cake
- Shower/get ready for work (yes, sometimes I have to schedule a shower in – my husband thinks it’s so weird..)
- Cake emails (during kids nap time)
- Plan pick up / deliveries for the week
- Bake 6″ chocolate cake
I realize that maybe I won’t get everything done but when I have this checklist of things I have to do, I’m more organized throughout my day!
FIND YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEM
This might be reiterating some things I said in bullet #1 – but if you are truly serious about making money off of your side passion/hobby – you need to take the time out of your busy life to get stuff done to eventually make your side hustle a full-time hustle if that’s what you want as your end goal!
KNOW YOUR END GOAL
I hope this gives you an idea of how to manage a full-time job and a side hustle! My main points to focus on are really just to start whatever you want to do and then prioritize your time to make it happen! It’s hard to do in the beginning, but it will get easier once you get a solid routine down!
The baker in you wants to spend your days making chewy cookies and decadent cakes. The entrepreneur in you wants to be your own boss and call the shots. But the realist in you knows that you may not have the resources or the time to start your own retail bakery.
The solution could be a home-based bakery!
This type of small business lets you bake to your heart’s content, be your own boss, and work from home, instead of leasing an expensive storefront and hiring a squad of employees.
If you’re trying to figure out how to start a bakery business from home, you’re in the right place. Here’s a step-by-step guide to turning your home kitchen into a small-batch production powerhouse.
Make Sure You’re Legally Set Before Doing Anything Else
A home-based bakery is a business, which means it’s still subject to state and local laws around food, business licensing, and taxes. Additionally, there are nuanced laws surrounding the sale of food items from one’s home.
Here are some general guidelines, but since laws vary from location to location, make sure to consult your local food and business regulatory agencies before moving forward!
Learn Your Local Cottage Food Laws
Home bakeries are generally covered by a section of law called cottage food. This classification separates home-based bakeries from commercial or retail operations that have designated storefronts or production kitchens. Commercial bakeries have to meet certain requirements for equipment and sanitation, while cottage-food operations are exempt from many of those rules.
To make sure these home-based food businesses don’t get too large (in order to prevent large-scale operations from skirting the regulations of a retail bakery), cottage bakeries usually have a sales limitation. They also have rules regarding who you can sell to. A cottage bakery is generally for direct-to-consumer sales only, so you couldn’t sell to a local grocery store or bakery.
The first step in the process is to assess the rules where you live. Your state and local health departments should be able to provide additional information on your area’s cottage food laws.
Create a Business Entity and Get Licensed
When you start a home baking business, there are other legal issues to consider before you tie on your apron. Some states require you to carry a business license to operate your home bakery. You may need a food manager license from the health department as well, depending on your state.
You should also set up a business entity, like a limited liability company (LLC). Setting up a company, versus operating your business as an individual or sole proprietor, protects your personal assets from legal liability in the event of a lawsuit. You may also need an insurance policy. Make sure you check with a cottage food expert and/or an attorney for advice on the best way to proceed.
Organize Your Finances and Plan for Taxes
One of the cardinal rules in business is to always keep your business banking separate from your personal banking. This means setting up a separate business bank account, which you can do once you’ve created your company.
You may also have to charge sales tax and/or food tax on the items you sell. You’ll need to keep careful track of your sales and document their breakdowns so you can ensure you pay the proper amount of local and state taxes.
Plan Your Bakery Menu
Once you understand the rules and regulations and have your company set up, you can start the fun part!
Many home-based bakeries make cookies, breads, muffins, cupcakes, or cakes. As your own boss, you can choose to make whatever you like best (and choose not to make anything that you don’t enjoy). Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts baking and pastry student Katie Sualog makes legendary biscotti in her home-based bakery!
Make sure to keep local laws in mind while planning your menu! Remember, in most cases the end-product must be shelf-stable, so anything that requires refrigeration is usually not an option.
One of the best things about a home bakery is that they’re flexible. Let’s say you go to the farmers market one weekend to sell pre-cut slices of banana bread. You hear from a few people that they love your banana bread, and wish they could buy a whole loaf! Well that’s easy for you—next weekend, you can offer both slices and whole loaves for those who want them, versus having to stick to a predetermined menu. You can also switch things up whenever you like, experimenting with different ingredients or scaling back when things get a bit too busy.
Not sure what to bake? An education in Baking & Pastry Arts from Escoffier introduces students to many different types of baked goods. And with the online program, students can practice their techniques right in their home kitchens—perfect for the aspiring home-based baker.
Get Your Equipment and Supplies
Once you know what you’ll be making, you can get what you need to execute your offerings. Whether that’s assorted cake or muffin tins, bread tins, cupcake wrappers, piping bags and tips—make sure you have everything ready to go and a place to store it all.
Some states’ cottage food laws require that you keep your bakery equipment separate from your personal kitchen equipment, so keep those extra space needs in mind. Make sure to track the cost of all of your supplies, so you can account for them when you price your menu and do your taxes.
Price Your Baked Goods to Ensure Profitability
Pricing your baked goods takes much more than simply looking at what your competitors charge and doing the same. Your baked goods must cover your costs of ingredients, labor, and additional overhead like business fees and farmers market fees, with some still left over for profit. But how do you figure out all of those numbers?
Calculate Your Food Costs
Build a spreadsheet of each ingredient that you use, plus the cost of each in common denominations. For example, you could list the costs of:
- a pound of flour
- a pound of sugar
- a dozen eggs
- a stick of butter
- a tin of baking soda
- and so on.
Then, use that information to calculate the food cost of each recipe.
Maybe you plan to sell cupcakes. Based on your spreadsheet, you can calculate the cost of the flour, sugar, baking soda, vanilla, eggs, etc. that go into your recipe for a single batch. If a dozen eggs cost $3 and you use two eggs in your recipe, you’ll know that the cost of those two eggs is $.50.
Let’s estimate that your cost per batch of cupcakes is $5.00. Then, divide that total batch cost by the number of cupcakes in a batch. For a $5.00 batch that yields 24 cupcakes, your cost per cupcake would be $0.21 $5.00/24 cupcakes = $0.21 per cupcake. Remember, this is only the cost of the ingredients required to make the goods.
Calculate Your Labor Cost
Next, assess how long it takes you to make a batch of those cupcakes. Perhaps it takes you two total hours to mix the batter, bake, decorate, and package two dozen cupcakes.
How much could you expect to be paid hourly if you worked in a bakery? Let’s say you would be paid $15 per hour. So a total batch of your cupcakes is worth $30 of your time.
Now, we can figure out the labor per cupcake. Divide the total dollar value of your time by the number of cupcakes. $30/24 cupcakes = $1.25 labor per cupcake.
Calculate Your Overhead Costs
Consider what other expenses you’ll incur for your business. This could include fixed costs like farmers market fees and a monthly website. It also includes variable fees that change based on how much you sell (like labels and packaging costs) plus cooking needs (think parchment paper and cupcake liners.)
These values can be hard to estimate before you have some experience and know approximately how many items you’ll sell per month, but do your best to estimate a total monthly overhead, and divide it by the number of items you expect to sell per month. When getting your start, you may want to under-estimate your sales so you don’t dig yourself into a hole from the get-go.
For easy math, let’s say your monthly costs are $100, and you sell 400 items per month, for an overhead cost of $0.25/item. $100 overhead/400 items = $0.25 per item.
Assess Your Cost of Goods Sold
Cost of goods sold (referred to in the industry as COGS) is the total cost of producing all the items you plan to sell. Add each of these individual costs up to get your cost of goods for a single cupcake!
In our example: $0.21 food cost + $1.25 labor cost + $0.25 overhead costs = $1.71 per cupcake.
Now you have an absolute baseline for your sales price. Anything under $1.71 and you’ll lose money on every cupcake. Anything over $1.71 and you’ll make money on every cupcake.
To get your shop’s COGS, repeat this process for each item you sell.
Ready, Set, Bake!
Bake plenty of your best treats, package them nicely, and head out to sell! Most home bakers sell their goods onsite at events like farmers markets and county fairs. Check your local and state regulations for where you can and can’t sell home-based bakery goods.
You may (depending on state regulations) also be able to sell your baked goods online. If this applies to you, a simple website can let customers place orders throughout the week that you can deliver whenever it’s convenient for them. Be sure to include a disclaimer about how far in advance customers need to place orders to ensure they’re delivered on time.
Promote Your Home Baking Business
Showing up with baked goods ready to sell is a start. But with some marketing and promotion, you can get people excited about finding your stand at the local farmer’s market.
Not Sure If You’ve Got the Skills to Start a Home Baking Business?
A home bakery is a business, just like a retail bakery. While it has its own set of rules and regulations, it must still abide by the same principles of great baking, customer service, cost control, and marketing.
5 Steps to Starting a Bakery Business From Home
- Create your business entity and acquire the proper licenses.
- Plan the bakery menu.
- Get the right equipment and supplies.
- Review your overhead costs and price your products accordingly.
- Start baking!
If you’re not sure if you have all of these skills, it may be time to invest in an education by attending pastry school to help you with both the pastry and business skills. With Escoffier’s online program in baking and pastry, you can earn a diploma or an associate degree—from home—in less than 60 weeks!
The Spring is here and at the Bake Works we are stocking up for all the sweetness of the season! We have a large of assortment of delicious candies and chocolates for gifts and Easter Baskets. Chocolate Eggs, Chocolate Bunnies, Spring Gummies and beautiful foil wrapped Chocolates.
And of course we are taking orders for you Passover and Easter Celebrations. Holiday Special Menu is below. You can also order favorites off our regular Menu.
Easter Sunday is April 9. We will be closed that day. Passover is April 7, We will be open Good Friday 10-5pm Saturday April 8 10-4pm.
Easter and Passover Menu
Easter Egg Cake $30serves 6-8vanilla or chocolate cake filled with buttercream, iced in white buttercream or covered in coconut, or poured in chocolate ganache
Cake Eggs $4individual vanilla or chocolate cakes poured in chocolate ganache and decorated like an Easter Egg Personalized $4.50
Easter Bread $6.50
Cheesecakes6″ $18 9″ $24$5 additional for strawberry or cherry
Masterpiece Cheesecakes6″ $25 9″ $35cheesecake with a special crust chocolate chip cookie, brownie, sugar cookie, peanut butter cookie
Lemon Pound Cake
Pound Cakes S15 lemon, coconut, chocolate chip
Pies 9″ Deep Dish Pies
Top Crust or Crumb: Apple,Cherry, Blueberry, Peach Blueberry $18
Coconut Cream, Banana Cream, Key Lime, Lemon Meringue, Peanut Butter Mousse $20
Bavarian Apple Tart $27French Macarons $2.50Cake Pops $2.25 Cupcakes $4Crème Brulé $4Chocolate Lava Cakes $5Cannoli sm $3 lg $4
Apple Bavarian Tart
Special Dietary Considerations
Vegan Cupcakes (Contains Wheat and Soy) -4pk $13 Vegan Brownies $6Gluten Free (Contains Egg, Milk, Butter, Soy) 4pk Cupcakes $13 GF Brownies $6
Flourless Chocolate Torte6″$18 9″$24 Individual $4Matzo Crunch $8 (0.5 lb bag)
12 French Macarons $30
The Bake Works is seeking a talented Pastry Cook to join our team!
We prepare a variety of scratch made pastries, desserts and cakes for our busy bakery.
The ideal candidate is someone with a positive and professional attitude who is passionate about making and presenting quality desserts and has a desire to expand their knowledge.
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing and Filling
Minimum Job Requirements:
Delving into the world of baking and pastry arts allows you to tap into your artistic, creative, and scientific side. From towering, multi-layered cakes to light and fluffy puff pastries, baking and pastry arts offers students endless opportunities to create some seriously delicious — and jaw-dropping — desserts.
If you’re passionate about baking and pastry arts you might be considering a career in this field. Whether you’re interested in opening a specialty bakery in the future or you’d like to spend your days creating stunning cake designs, a baking and pastry arts degree will help you navigate your career path. First, let’s explore the myriad of exciting baking and pastry arts careers and then we’ll dive into some noteworthy mentions about JWU’s Baking and Pastry Arts degrees.
Executive Pastry Chef
Executive pastry chefs are responsible for creating all the sweet treats we know and love such as rich custards, decadent cupcakes, buttery croissants, and so much more. The primary role of an executive pastry chef is to oversee sous chefs and pastry chefs as well as create new dessert recipes and develop the dessert menu. Their keen eye for detail and passion for the culinary arts is what leads them to create sensational desserts and pastries that are aesthetically pleasing. Executive pastry chefs also have extraordinary measurement skills which allows them to have precise chemical reactions when baking.
Executive Pastry Chef Responsibilities
- Create and test new pastry recipes
- Plan the dessert menu including custom menus for special events
- Analyze and adjust the cook time, shape, measurements, and color of baked goods
- Manage pastry staff including hiring, scheduling, and training
- Monitor health and safety of the kitchen
- Work with suppliers to ensure the kitchen is receiving the best possible ingredients
Education & Training
Many executive pastry chefs have a minimum of five years of experience in a related field along with a bachelor’s degree in baking and pastry arts.
Research & Development Pastry Chef
Research & development (R&D) pastry chefs play a large part in product and menu development and testing kitchen equipment. R&D chefs are also typically responsible for analyzing recipes and offering improvements. This career is best suited for chefs who have a deep understanding of how culinary science and culinary arts are connected.
Science Meets Pastry Arts at JWU: Students in our Baking & Pastry Arts bachelor’s degree program enroll in a food science course where they learn about the relationship between the chemistry and functionality of food systems and the chemical and physical changes that take place as we prepare and process food.
R&D Pastry Chef Responsibilities
- Develop recipes that are shelf-stable and can handle mass distribution
- Develop new flavor profiles and improve existing ones
- Monitor emerging trends and food products that can be incorporated into the menu
- Prepared baked goods for taste testers and adjust recipes based on feedback
A formal culinary education is highly preferred by employers. A bachelor’s degree in culinary science, food science, culinary nutrition, culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, or a related field allows students to sharpen their culinary skills while also learning about the science behind their food.
Chocolatiers have the extraordinary ability to blend science and art to create beautiful chocolate confections. Filling candies, crafting truffles, and molding chocolate are just a few of the fun day-to-day tasks completed by chocolatiers.
Chocolatiers are often used interchangeably with chocolate makers but the two roles are actually quite different. Chocolate makers’ sole focus are to grind, roast, refine, conch and temper the cocoa beans to create chocolate. Chocolatiers use this chocolate to make truffles, ganaches, pralines, and other tasty confections. Although uncommon, some chocolatiers do make their own chocolate.
Get to Know a JWU Alum Chocolatier: Aura C. Fajardo Quintero’s ’17 passion for chocolate led her to enroll in JWU’s Baking & Pastry Arts program where she later went on to intern at Hebert’s Candy Mansion in Massachusetts. Quintero now owns Aura’s Chocolate Bar located in Cranston, Rhode Island where you can find unique creations such as the Lemon Lavender Honey Chocolate Bar, Tutti Frutti Swirl, and the Rosé Raspberry Sommelier Series.
- Precisely temper and mold chocolate to achieve the right finish
- Create customized chocolate artwork
- Make chocolates that require a filling such as caramel or fruit
- Design and create chocolate centerpieces for events and holidays
An associate degree in baking and pastry arts is strongly preferred by employers because chocolate is incredibly complex and it requires a deep understanding of its chemical makeup. Apprenticeships and entry-level positions provide aspiring chocolatiers with hands-on experience and allow them to work their way up in the industry. Chocolatiers usually work at specialty chocolate shops, chocolate manufacturing companies, or open their own business.
Cake decorating is a prime example of turning your hobby into your dream career. Not only are cake decorators incredibly creative, they’re also patient, meticulous and work with the utmost precision. Professional cake decorators have a wealth of knowledge about the different types of cakes and how they interact with various frostings and icings; this is extremely helpful when it comes to assembly. Some other common tasks include piping, molding fondant or frosting and incorporating embellishments/accessories.
Cake Decorator Responsibilities
- Design and decorate cakes according to client specifications
- Provide clients with recommendations to ensure they’re receiving the best possible design
- Bake, assemble, and sculpt cakes
- Design cakes for special events such as weddings
- Strategically blend icing colors to achieve the desired result
A formal education is not required to become a cake decorator but many professional cake decorators have enrolled in online courses or received a baking certification. Some companies may require an associate or bachelor’s degree in baking and pastry arts. Having a formal education is also an excellent way to stand out among the competition and feel more confident entering the field. Students who enroll in a baking and pastry arts degree learn how to produce different types of buttercreams and icings, how to efficiently assemble and stack, and how to make flowers with marzipan, rolled fondant, gum paste, and other mediums.