Whether it’s girls’ night out or family bonding time, these OC cooking and baking classes will make you feel like a domestic goddess with fun, food, and laughter.
Sweet Crumb Bakery
Every little girl dreams of owning a pet unicorn, and while they can’t be bought, they can be made. Sweet Crumb Bakery runs a class that teaches moms (and children ages 10 and up) how to bake a cake that takes the form of the mystical and elusive horned horse (pictured). Students begin the class by learning how to assemble, cut, fill and level their cakes. Next, they crumb coat the cake and let it chill.
While the cake cools, students begin working with fondant to create the unicorn’s horn, ears, and eyes. Next, participants turn their attention to creating a magnificent mane. It’s made of cascading rows of colorful buttercream rosettes and topped with edible glitter. If unicorns aren’t your thing, Sweet Crumb offers several other themed baking workshops. It hosts an ice cream cone buttercream cake class, crystal geode fondant cake class, and more. Classes are limited to nine to 12 students. All tools and supplies are provided.
Santa Ana | sweetcrumbcakery.com
Sur La Table
Step into Sur La Table’s kitchen to master the secrets of summer cooking. The popular cookware store’s South Coast Plaza location is hosting a slew of classes throughout the year, including girl’s night, family fun, out and date night events. Moms can gather their girlfriends for an al fresco-themed night of culinary fun. Themes vary, but students will spend one two-hour class learning to make lemon and saffron risotto, Sicilian-style grilled chicken, and basil limoncello sorbet.
The store’s hot summer date night series teaches couples to make Italian cuisines, summertime staples and more. During a surf and turf-themed class, couples learn to make spicy shrimp with citrus dipping sauce, grilled New York strip steak with basil pesto, and chocolate-raspberry crème brulee. For a little family fun, parents can register for the summer dessert course, where banana chocolate chip ice cream, summer trifles, and blueberry-lemon cheesecakes are on the agenda. Other family-themed classes include a lesson on no-churn ice cream, and a crash course on grilling. Children must be accompanied by an adult to participate.
Costa Mesa | Surlatable.com
Cooking dinner can be a real drag – unless you’re doing it at this South County cooking school. Tspoons hosts a monthly ladies night out that teaches women how to whip up Spanish tapas, gourmet dishes, Greek recipes and more. The class theme changes each month. The evening begins with a 90-minute cooking lesson, where students receive interactive and hands-on instructions. When the meal’s ready, the class gathers at a large communal dining table to enjoy the food they’ve prepared. Students can indulge in a little wine, too. (Tspoons does not charge a corkage fee for those who bring their own bottles.)
Tspoons also offers a monthly parent-and-me class. The 90-minute lessons teach students how to cook three items. Morning and early afternoon classes are appropriate for children aged five to 10, while late afternoon sessions are reserved for 11 to 15-year-olds. The school occasionally hosts themed classes, such as pasta making or holiday baking, but it does not release its menu selections in advance.
San Juan Capistrano | tspoons.com
The Pastry School
Learn how to create authentic French desserts at The Pastry School, where award-winning Chef Stéphane Tréand leads three-hour lessons on baking macrons, viennoiseries, cakes and more. Students can enroll in a Saturday course to learn pastry basics, or commit to a two- or three-day course to master more complicated techniques. The school’s 10-week program helps participants master a specific dish, and allows them to earn a French pastry baking certificate. Participants have a year to complete their certificate training.
The school’s single-day classes make for a fun mom’s day out. Chef Tréand’s personality-rich, no-nonsense style offers an extra dose of entertainment to an already fun experience. Students of all levels are invited to attend; aprons and baking supplies are provided. Children ages 10 through 15 can accompany parents to lessons, which cost $100 per person.
Costa Mesa | thepastryschool.org
Le Gourmet Culinary
This hands-on culinary school recently launched a parent-and-me cooking class with a French twist. Participants spend an afternoon learning to create French classics such as salad Lyonnaise, chicken cordon bleu with parmesan Dijon sauce, and potatoes au gratin. Brown butter crepes with Nutella and raspberry jam are also on the menu. Le Gourmet Culinary offers a number of group classes for adults, too. Its themes include an evening in Japan (where students learn to make sushi and mango crème brulee) and an evening of pasta making.
The school’s street taco class teaches students to make homemade tortillas, guacamole, carne asada and more. Le Gourmet Culinary’s individualized classes help aspiring bakers master a specific skill. Its specialized classes include French macarons, gourmet donuts, and the best of Artisan breads.
“All of our classes are very hands-on,” says Alexa Ullom, the school’s digital marketing specialist. “(They) not only teach our students essential cooking skills and more specific skills depending on the cuisine, but they are also a lot of fun and students are able to enjoy the food they learned to cook in class with the other students.”
Orange | legourmetculinary.com
The art of cake decorating takes center stage at Pila’s Pantry. The bakery’s Orange location hosts a four-week class that guides novice bakers through the cake-making process. Once students have mastered the basics – leveling, filling and frosting a cake – they’ll learn to create 3-D confections. They’ll make a Volkswagon bug cake, a cake decorated with hearts and flowers, and a jungle-themed pastry. The school also offers an intermediate cake decorating class that helps expand the knowledge of students. The four-week course teaches piping techniques such as cornelli lace, ruffles and basket weave. Students will also learn to make piped royal icing flowers.
More tricks can be learned through Pila’s fondant class, where students learn to prepare and cover cake with the pliable dough. Its gumpaste lessons teach students to create more intricate designs such as flowers and shoes. Pila’s Pantry hosts a variety of other classes on cupcake baking, cookie decorating, cake pops and more.
Orange | pilaspantrycakeandsupply.com
By Michelle Thompson