From the cupcake craze to a summer scone, we're going back to baking. Rise to the occasion by taking part in one of these classes around the UK.
LONDON AND SOUTH
Squires Kitchen’s International School
Squires Kitchen’s International School was established in 1987 and is the largest and one of the most popular schools of its kind in the UK. The school is located at The Grange, a beautiful Georgian-style building in Farnham, Surrey where you can learn everything from baking bread and pastry to mastering the art of cake decorating, chocolate and sugarcraft.
Whether you’re a beginner, a home cake maker or a pastry chef there’s a course to suit you, from covering a cake with icing to creating chocolates like the professionals. Each course is taught by leading names in the industry who share their expert knowledge and experience, giving you the skills and confidence to take your interest to the next level.
One-day courses start at £120.
Leiths School of Food and Wine
Leiths School of Food and Wine in London has an international reputation as a first class training school for chefs. Alongside the professional diploma programmes, Leiths also run a selection of specialist and enthusiast courses, such as bread-making, pastry classes and a cakes and baking workshop. The cake workshop lasts half a day and students are taught how to make five mouth-watering cakes including mini pistachio cakes with lemon drizzle icing. Afterwards you can take home three self baked cakes and a tray of Leiths chocolate brownies. Half day courses cost from £125.
Paul and Tricia Barker, owners of the award-winning bakery Cinnamon Square in Rickmansworth, open their doors to teach courses in traditional home-baking, Italian breads and pizza, classic cake-making (Victoria sponge, Swiss roll) patisserie (making pastry, ganache, creme patisserie) and working with chocolate. Classes include the art of chocolate (£85), where participants learn how to master the art of tempering chocolate and then proceed to make a host of goodies such as ganache, pralines and chocolate figurines. Cinnamon Square also run a similar workshop for children, which costs £25.
Newlyn’s Cookery School
Newlyns Cookery School aims to show you how to get the best out of the seasonal foods offered in their Farm Shop. Cookery courses are provided for anyone who wants to learn the basics, to classes on how to prepare impressive specialist menus. Newlyns offer hands-on courses for up to 12 people or demonstration courses for up to 20 with all of the courses designed to be fun and interesting. The school also runs young chef courses.
Seasoned Cookery School
Ruth Clemens, finalist of the Great British Bake off has joined forces with Seasoned Cookery School to offer fun, informative one day courses in the Midlands. Courses include Baking Bonanza, Cupcake Heaven and Cake Decorating & Sugarcraft. These one day courses are perfect for people who are looking to improve their baking and learn tips of the trade from an expert. All courses are one day, £125-£149 and taught in a lovely converted barn in Derbyshire.
Lighthouse Bakery School
Lighthouse bakery is a small wholesale bakery and bakery school overlooking Bodiam Castle in the beautiful East Sussex countryside. The school offers a diverse range of one-day courses to help you make fabulous breads at home with baking for beginners or advanced baking. Courses are often themed around seasonal holidays and cultures and courses that run include: American baking, Jewish baking and baking for Christmas. Fees for day courses are £165 and include a home-made lunch.
The Bertinet Kitchen
The Bertinet Kitchen was opened in September 2005 by French chef and baker, Richard Bertinet, who has featured in delicious magazine. Originally from Brittany in North-west France, Richard trained as a baker both in Brittany and at the Grand Moulin de Paris. Set in historic Bath, The Bertinet Kitchen offers a range of relaxed and fun courses for food lovers of all abilities. The programme includes: an introduction to bread-making at £145; the more advanced croissant and Viennoiserie masterclass (£175); or a three day cooking the books course (£450) where students focus on all three of Richard's books - DOUGH, CRUST and COOK. There is now a specialist cupcake class, too. It's a very popular school, so courses book up fast.
Bettys Cookery School
Bettys has been an established name in the world of baking since the opening of their first Harrogate tearoom in 1919. Taking inspiration from both its Swiss heritage and the Yorkshire location, Bettys Cookery School offers a wide selection of practical courses and demonstrations for all ages (including kids) and abilities. It's all in the pastry is a practical, one-day course, which costs £160 per person and specialises in mastering the creation of various pastries. Also, for when you begin to feel festive, Bettys offers a special Christmas cakes and puddings course for £170.
Take a class at Harmony House, where the name speaks for itself; the school, once the village post office, is set in peaceful surroundings in a quaint Yorkshire village five miles south of York. Your day commences with tea, coffee and biscuits while you meet your tutor and fellow students and get an introduction to your surroundings. Then its into the kitchen to don aprons and begin your culinary creations. The school offers a range of courses for children and adults and covers all aspects of cookery including home baking for both kids and adults. Once you’ve worked your way through the extensive menu, sit back, relax, and dine on your good work. Full day courses, £80; half-day courses, £50. The school also offers accommodation for cooking weekends from £30 per night.
J&R School of Cooking
The friendly chefs at J&R School of Cooking welcome anyone who has ever wanted to learn to cook. Courses start with a welcome briefing to discuss the day’s activities over freshly brewed tea and coffee and homemade Welsh specialties. The fun starts when you enter the kitchen, where there will be tips and guidelines provided by professional chefs. The atmosphere is relaxed and while taking part in the cooking course you can sip wine and chat informally throughout. Forthcoming patisserie days can be found on the website and cost £150 for a full day's course.
The Cookery School of Glasgow
This Scottish school offers popular home-baking classes where you can learn to make a classic Victoria sponge and receive instruction on how to perfect the ubiquitous cupcake. There are also chocolate-making, dessert-making and canapes and petit fours classes. Prices start from around £100 for a day. There are courses for both adults and children.