The New York area offers some of the best baking schools in the world. You can be a world-class pastry chef, bake Kosher breads or educate and entertain your children–all while eating delicious food. By Sherry Mazzocchi

The Culinary Institute of America

1946 Campus Drive, Hyde Park NY 12538

America’s premier culinary school offers degrees in Baking and Pastry Arts. Learn to make a mean mousse and fabulous frozen desserts–plus everything about the chemistry of cooking, equipment technology, menu planning and inventory control. This is the place to go if you are passionate about a career in pastry.

The French Culinary Institute

462 Broadway NYC 10013

FCI offers training for pastry professionals as well as classes for home cooks who want top chef skills. Learn how to construct triple-tiered wedding cakes, bake petits fours and spin sugar flowers. Then start your own TV show.

Le Pain Quotidien

65 Bleecker St. NYC 10012

Le Pain Quotidien offers bread baking lessons taught by their own professional chefs. It’s an easy way to learn the basics. Students can also take classes in biscuits, baguettes and the fine art of brioche.

(image: courtesy of Butter Lane)

Butter Lane

123 E. 7th St. NYC 10009

Dream of owning your own cupcake empire? Butter Lane teaches classic icings–chocolate, vanilla and cream cheese. Students are encouraged to invent their own versions of peanut butter, raspberry and cinnamon frosting. Once you start scraping vanilla beans and become a power icer, there’s no turning back.

(image: courtesy Levana Cooks)

Levana Cooks

210 W. 101 St. NYC

Levana Kirschenbaum is famous for healthy gourmet Kosher food recipes. Her Monday night classes are high energy and highly amusing. Learn the secrets of making quick breads or indulge in chocolate fantasies. Eat! It’s good for you!

(image: courtesy Classic Thyme Cooking School)

Classic Thyme Cooking School

710 South Ave. West, Westfield NJ 07090

Their motto is “Cooking is always serious fun.” Children’s classes include recipes for Teddy Bear Bread with Honey Butter and Cub-cakes. Adults can try their hand at cake decorating–including borders, piping and writing inscriptions. Delicacies like strawberry macaroons and gingerbread biscotti are taught at cookie workshops for parents and kids.

(image: courtesy of What Cooking?)

What’s Cooking?

30 East Main St., Oyster Bay NY 11771

What’s Cooking offers fun classes for children ages 2 -15. Kids think they’re just making pretzels, baking cakes and eating frosting, but adults know they’re also learning math, reading and kitchen safety. Bubble Wrap stomping is also on the menu.