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Are you one of the millions of home bakers who are compelled to knead and pipe like never before? Whether you’ve fallen in love with baking again after a long absence or you’re a first-timer seeking help with basics like measuring ingredients, there’s an online baking class for you.
These classes fall into two buckets: live and pre-recorded. But what makes or breaks them is the instructor, as engaging and connecting with students online is not the same as doing it in person. Continue reading to learn about the best online baking classes available today.
Best Online Baking Classes of 2021
- Best Overall: King Arthur Flour
- Best for Beginners: America’s Test Kitchen
- Best Free Class: Baker Bettie
- Best for Cookies: Learn the Pastry Arts - The World of Cookies
- Best for Bread: MasterClass: Apollonia Poilâne Teaches Bread Baking
- Best for Pastries: Zingerman’s Bakehouse
- Best for Vegans: Rouxbe
- Best for Cakes: Craftsy
- Best for Couples: Cozymeal
- Best for Kids: The Dynamite Shop
Why We Chose It: This trusted Vermont company offers approachable yet thorough live online classes adapted from the in-person ones it has run for years, covering everything from scones to pizza to sourdough.
Excellent variety of classes
Small, interactive class groups
No evening classes for West Coast
Few classes for kids
King Arthur Flour is not just a mill. It publishes a user-friendly baking magazine and blog and has taught hands-on classes in Washington and Vermont for years. Its online classes are for home bakers and cover a range of popular baking classics as well as contemporary favorites.
Bake along with seasoned instructors who know King Arthur’s rock-solid techniques in and out. The class size is limited to keep things customized and interactive. There’s not only an on-screen instructor leading the class, but an off-screen one as well to address questions in the chat and emphasize key points.
Classes available include apple pie, French macarons, flatbreads, tiramisu, and a sourdough basics three-day course. Classes run for 90 minutes and range from $35 to $55.
There are no evening classes on the West Coast, but there are plenty of weekend classes.
Best for Beginners: America’s Test Kitchen (ATK)
Why We Chose It: For years, this well-established brand has guided home cooks to confidence with its attention to detail and foolproof recipes.
Wide selection of basic classes
90 baking and dessert lessons
Gluten-free class options
Sort by type, ingredient, and level of difficulty
Few opportunities for community interaction
No option to sign up for one-off classes
If you’re already an ATK fan, you know you can count on it to get you on your feet in the baking world. If you’re not, rest assured you’ll be in good hands. America’s Test Kitchen specializes in making no assumptions about kitchen literacy. Its recipes are picked apart and then rebuilt from scratch to give you the best results possible.
Instructors may be familiar faces to you from America’s Test Kitchen’s TV show or Cook’s Illustrated magazine’s masthead: Bridget Lancaster, Jack Bishop, and Elle Simone. What makes these on-demand classes well-suited for beginners are the options, with 90 baking classes to choose from. You can start with basics like biscuits, pie dough, and yellow cake. Stick with that or work your way up to notoriously challenging dishes like the pastry kougin-amann. After the class, you can share a photo of your creation on the ATK online class gallery.
The drawback? Access to ATK is a subscription model, so if you just want a few one-off classes, it’s perhaps not the best fit. Cooking school membership is $19.95 per month without instructor access and $39.95 per month with instructor access and feedback. There is a two-week free trial.
Why We Chose It: The upbeat but matter-of-fact Baker Bettie, aka Kristin Hoffman, dives into the whys of baking principles through a free online course via her website and YouTube channel.
Covers baking fundamentals
More classes at Bettie’s Better Baking School
Little person-to-person engagement
Baker Bettie has built an online, retro-tastic cottage baking education industry. Before she was Baker Bettie, with her eye-catching vintage Pyrex bowl collection and trademark red lipstick, she was Kristin Hoffman, a chef and baking fanatic. While her YouTube channel offers plenty of personable guidance through baking basics, those who prefer a more structured approach will love her free online baking course.
Follow through the 12 lessons and videos at the rate you feel comfortable. Simply watching the videos will take three hours, but if you follow the curriculum, you’ll have hours of accumulated real-time baking.
If you really like Baker Bettie, know that she also runs an online baking school, Better Baking School, that charges for classes. If that’s not in the cards, she has online recipes and YouTube videos galore, so either route will enrich your baking.
Best for Cookies: Learn the Pastry Arts - The World of Cookies
Why We Chose It: This class covers the fundamentals of baking before delving into making cookies from scratch.
Covers multiple cookie techniques, recipes
Good for beginners
Website not particularly navigation-friendly
Ever feel flummoxed making cookies? Veteran pastry chef Marko Ropke wants to change that. This 3 1/2 hour on-demand class covers key baking fundamentals before you even get to the cookie part, giving you a stronger foundation to venture into cookie-making in earnest.
Chef Ropke weaves his German background, traditional European training, and international pastry experience into the course, offering insights into the history and science involved. The videos take place in a professional pastry kitchen, with cameras at two angles for a better visual perspective on the processes involved.
For $19.99, you get downloadable videos and recipe PDFs, making this a low-commitment option for the pastry-curious.
Why We Chose It: From pre-ferments to giant, elaborately decorated boules, this course covers the touchstones of baking artisan loaves with engaging instruction from an expert born into the bread biz.
17 lessons available
Comprehensive intro to artisan French bread baking
Few opportunities for community interaction
No classes on making basic American loaves
While we highly recommend King Arthur Flour and Zingerman’s Bakeshop for live online bread classes, scheduled events don’t always fit neatly into your life. The solution? This intensive, on-demand course from MasterClass.
Led by third-generation baker Apollonia Poilâne, the 17 lessons in this pre-recorded course total about 3 1/2 hours, and there’s a class workbook to go along with it. You’ll learn bread baking in the French tradition, from rustic loaves to brioche to pain de mie. Poilâne’s manner onscreen is assured and calm, yet not dull or disengaged.
This course does cover sourdough, though that’s not its focus. If you’re more interested in homestyle American loaves, a one-off class from another site would be a better fit. MasterClass is an annual subscription service that bills $15 per month. That’ll get you unlimited access to all classes, only a small handful of which are baking-centric.
Why We Chose It: The legendary pastries and baked goods at Zingerman’s Bakehouse are doable at home, and these classes will show you how—the gang at Zingerman’s has been teaching for years.
In-depth live classes on individual topics
Chef-instructors and assistants leading classes
Plentiful weekend offerings
Access to classic Zingerman’s Bakeshop recipes
No evening classes for the West coast
Classes are long
Zingerman’s Bakehouse, the baking wing of Ann Arbor, Michigan's legendary Zingerman’s Deli, bakes a lot more than pastries. But its pastries are so good that it’s impossible not to get enticed scrolling through the online class schedule. Cinnamon rolls, Dobos torta, croissants, sweetheart tarts, and tea cakes teach...you'll learn how to make treats at home that are worthy of a real pastry case.
Zingerman’s used to only hold baking classes in-person at its Michigan facility, but it now offers live classes on Zoom as well. The bakehouse takes baking and pastry seriously: Its website says "we highly, highly recommend that you use a scale to ensure best results and accuracy."
Want to make the experience deluxe? Order “basic” or “everything” pastry kits beforehand to get the equipment you need to get started. Classes cost $50–$75 and run three hours or more.
Why We Chose It: Rouxbe was one of the first online cooking schools, with a finely tuned curriculum, custom platforms, and a highly respected Dean of Vegan Baking.
Live online seminars and extensive chef support
Class offerings not suited to casual bakers
The course runs 90 days and costs $499
Veterans of brick-and-mortar cooking schools established Rouxbe in 2005, and it’s been exclusively online since its inception. They’ve had years to work out the kinks, and they’ve built a strong vegan component in their offerings.
Classes are geared toward serious enthusiasts, aspiring professionals, and existing pros who want to add to their skill sets. You’ll be in good hands: chef-instructor Fran Constigan is Rouxbe’s director of vegan pastry, a veteran of in-person teaching, and author of two vegan baking cookbooks. Her recipes appeal to vegans and omnivores alike.
The drawbacks? Sticker shock and time commitment: At 90 days and $499 for enrollment, this is for committed vegan bakers, not you folks who just want to get better at making banana bread. What you get is unmatched classroom community and chef support because your class cohort has live online seminars and chef-graded assignments.
Why We Chose It: With tons of classes on decorating and baking available on-demand, Craftsy is a good budget option you can fit into your own schedule.
Classes from multiple experts
On-demand class options
Business-focused courses offered
Minimal opportunities for community engagement
No option to sign up for a single class series
Craftsy isn’t just for crafts. This popular on-demand video learning platform has built extensive cake decorating classes into its core offerings. Their production values are solid, and their seasoned chef-instructors are camera-savvy—no amateurish snoozefest videos here.
Another distinguishing factor with Craftsy is the number of chef-instructors, allowing you to glean tons of perspectives and try lots of cake decorating styles. Plus, if you’re more into dessert baking than cake decorating, they’ve got you covered, too.
Extras include dozens of free, highly informative articles on the Craftsy site. Premium members have access to class discussion areas where they can post questions, though answers won’t necessarily be from the chef-expert in the video.
One-time classes range from $9.99 to $69.99. As of May 2021, the normal $97 per year premium membership allowing unlimited class access was just $3 for the first year for new members.
Why We Chose It: Personalized instruction and plentiful variety in chefs and class times—plus options for custom private classes—make Cozymeal a flexible choice for couples planning a date night.
Small class sizes for live classes
Big selection of chefs, topics, and class times
Website navigation is clunky
Cozymeal specializes in curating culinary experiences with working chefs and experts across the United States. Its virtual classes are always live, a crucial element that transforms a couple’s onscreen class from blasé to memorable.
You’ll hop on Zoom to make a trendy Basque burnt cheesecake, learn the ropes of gluten-free baking, or keep it classic with chocolate-raspberry cupcakes. There’s even a homemade dog treats class.
Classes range from $29 to $39, depending on the subject and length. Miss your pals? Invite your friends in multiple households to sign up and make it a party. For an especially memorable experience, you can spring for a custom online cooking class.
Why We Chose It: The Dynamite Shop’s live instruction engages aspiring young bakers who may be burned out on static pre-recorded videos, and parents get tons of supporting materials to make shopping and prep easy.
Variety of pricing options
Classes call for real ingredients
Groups can take a class on one device
Not suited for kids under age 7
This Brooklyn-based “culinary social club” was founded by longtime food writer Dana Bowen and Kitchn founder Sara Kate Gillingham. Now with an online culinary club, they offer their Home Ec. 2.0 for kids ages 7 to 15 and have a robust selection of weekly baking classes you can sign up for individually or as a block.
Don’t expect classes that are just mashing together sprinkles with frosting from a tub. With The Dynamite Shop, kids actually bake. Gillingham and Bowen have decades of combined experience developing terrific recipes for beloved publications and websites. Choose from tres leches cake, rhubarb crisp, no-wait cinnamon buns, and other full-fledged recipes. Before class, you get a packet with shopping and equipment lists, recipes, and tip sheets.
If you’re looking to keep kids’ connectivity levels up, you’ll find it here with spontaneity, interaction, and community. These are live classes with real instructors and other kids. Bonus: Siblings and good friends can participate together in the same kitchen for the price of one enrollment. Drop-in classes are $40 to $50 per device, with discounts for camp and semester enrollments.
The best online baking class depends on your own expectations and availability. Nothing beats live classes with an enthusiastic, experienced chef-instructor, but if that’s not realistic for your schedule or budget, other excellent options here will serve you well. We recommend starting your search with King Arthur Flour, which boasts a wide selection of classes.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do Online Baking Classes Work?
Live baking classes (usually held on Zoom) are meant for baking along with the chef. You measure, mix, and knead as your instructor and classmates do. For the best experience, shop, prep ingredients, and set up your kitchen with your laptop and workspace well before the class begins. It can take longer than you think.
On-demand classes may or may not be designed for baking along. Some are edited to make a smoother viewing experience; in that case, just pause or rewind the video.
Baking takes time, and your cake, bread, or pastries might not be fully baked by the time the on-screen portion of the class is over. Some classes break work into sessions on multiple days to allow for chilling or rising time.
Most live classes will give you a recording of the Zoom class to download after. Many pre-recorded streaming classes let you watch the class unlimited times. If you plan to re-watch classes, check before signing up.
What Do You Learn in an Online Baking Class?
Do you want to take a class just for fun, or do you want to learn nitty-gritty skills? There’s no wrong way to do it. Think about your learning objective, and that will help you select the class that’s right for you. In a good class, you don’t just learn to make one recipe; you pick up valuable expert tips you’ll use often while baking.
Some classes focus more on single recipes, while others are a multi-class course that examines fundamental techniques.
How Much Do Online Baking Classes Cost?
Pricing all depends on the length of the class and the platform. On-demand classes typically cost less, but they lack the personalized attention you get from class via Zoom with a live instructor. Many subscription-based learning services such as Craftsy offer free trials, so you can see if how you like the service before committing.
Most live online baking classes charge you per device, so you can have multiple people baking in your kitchen at once for a fun family or couple’s experience.
Some subscription-based services also offer a “classroom” where you can share ideas with classmates and enjoy post-class access to the instructor. Take the time to see what you’re getting before you sign up and consider whether you mainly want access to videos or resources after the class.
We looked at class variety, the expertise of chef-instructors, class cost and length, availability, customer reviews, and value. We strived to include classes for all baking levels, from beginners to more experienced home bakers, along with options for kids. Our roundup has both live and on-demand options.