This week's cover story profiles Craftsy, the Denver start-up that's thriving by teaching people new hobbies through high-end online tutorials. Cooking and cake-decorating classes are among the most popular courses on the site, with baking instructors turning into online celebrities and students launching their own pastry businesses. But can Craftsy classes make anyone a kitchen superstar? Check out Craftsy's top free and paid baking and cooking classes below; maybe one will inspire you to reach for culinary greatness. See also: Craftsy Has Created an Arty Online Empire, One Frosting Curlicue and Fancy Cross-Stitch at a Time
Top paid Craftsy cooking classes
- Artisan Bread Making "Let Peter Reinhart, baking instructor at Johnson & Wales University and award-winning author of The Bread Baker's Apprentice, introduce you to bread-making techniques that go beyond the recipes and raise your baking skills to a whole other level. Explore the 12 stages of bread making and learn trade secrets for measuring, mixing, proofing and baking six different types of bread, including supple French bread, rich marble rye and a sweet chocolate babka. Learn to balance time, temperature and ingredients to create delicious, fresh breads in your own kitchen."
- The Perfect Cupcake "Bake and decorate scrumptious cupcakes every time with Trophy Cupcakes owner Jennifer Shea. Make your cupcakes moist and flavorful with fruit layers, such as caramelized pineapple or a blueberry reduction. Create s'mores cupcakes with graham cracker crusts, luscious lemon cupcakes with shortbread cookie crusts and even blueberry pie cupcakes bursting with bright flavor. Fill luscious lemon meringue cupcakes with lemon curd, and chocolate cupcakes with lavender pastry cream. Whip up Trophy's famous buttercream, and use it to frost your cupcakes by hand, roll your cupcakes in sprinkles and decorate them with perfectly piped swirls. Plus, amaze your clients with hi-hat cupcakes, lavender crème brûlée cupcakes and more. Deliver incredible cupcakes that make sweet dreams come true."
Top free Craftsy cooking classes
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- Complete Knife Skills "Become faster and more accurate with your knife work, and create dishes that cook evenly and look truly professional. Guided by chef Brendan McDermott, you'll explore proper hand placement and the four fundamental cuts. Learn to dice, mince and julienne a range of produce. Find out how to chop herbs without bruising them or losing flavor, and never again cry when cutting an onion. Uncover Brendan's favorite shortcuts for working with butternut squash, pineapple, chiles, citrus and more. Discover the four knives every chef needs in their kitchen, and finish the course with a lesson on honing and sharpening your knives at home!"
- Perfect Pizza at Home "Stretch your dough and your imagination as Peter guides you through each step of making a pizza. You'll make pizza sauces, consider cheese options and bake five types of dough in your conventional home oven. Impress Italian purists with a slice of your Sicilian-style, homemade pies, provide your gluten-free pizza lovers with mouth-watering meals or cook creative flavor combinations for more adventurous palates. Sign up today for Perfect Pizza at Home to learn the secrets of building and baking 'the perfect flavor delivery system'!"
- Modern Buttercream "In this free Craftsy mini-class, Joshua shares a fresh take on classic buttercream skills to make your cakes look as wonderful as they taste. If you are a brand new decorator, Joshua will teach you how to cut, level, fill and crumb coat your cake layers like a professional. Then learn his trade secrets for a smooth or textured buttercream finish and add simple accents with gum paste and piping gel. If you loved Joshua in his first Craftsy class, Modern Piping, you'll want to learn his trade secrets for a smooth or textured buttercream finish ... in any weather."