ON THE MENU — Rao’s Bakery Summer Bake Camp inspires “Confidence in the Kitchen”

Published 12:34 am Saturday, May 27, 2023

Rao’s Bakery and Coffee Café is hosting its 23rd Annual Summer Bake Camp for children at the Nederland, Beaumont and Spring locations, beginning on May 30 through Aug. 3.

Baking groups are divided into two age groups, 5-year-olds to 8-years-old and the 9-year-olds to 12-year-olds. Registration is online and the fee is $75 per child.

Registration is available at raosbakery.com.

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“The class will be one day only and parents can choose from Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday,” said Jake Tortorice, owner of Rao’s Bakery and Coffee Café. “We host 300 children each summer at each location. The parents can drop the children off or wait in the café for the class to end.”

According to Tortorice, there is something special about allowing the children behind the counter and into the kitchens to design their own creations.

“It inspires confidence in the kitchen, and over the years, the children continue to come back until the day they are 16-year-olds and working the events,” he said. “A beautiful and lasting relationship is fortified between the café and customers, and they will one day bring their children to attend the classes.”

Each year, the classes feature different cake and cookie themes.

“The goal is to create a lasting relationship with the kids,” he said. “I want the ones from the previous year to attend the next year without getting bored of doing the same thing.”

There are two camps to choose from: cake decorating and cookies.

Cake class is primarily focused on decorating each camper’s cakes. The children are taught how to fill and use pastry bags, what different tips are, the difference between each tip and most importantly, how to properly ice and decorate cakes.

“Campers leave confident and excited to show mom and dad their sweet new skills,” Tortorice said.

Cookie class is for the kids that don’t mind getting messy. Cookies are made by scratch; enabling campers the opportunity to learn what ingredients are, what each does in the baking process and how to properly follow directions and measurements.

“Children will learn how to roll cooking dough and use cookie cutters to make different shapes and designs,” Tortorice said. “They will finish up by decorating them using freshly made icing.”

Each child receives a certificate of completion, take-home recipes, instruction from Rao’s professional baking staff, a drink and cookie break, T-shirt and a pastry bag and tips.

Camps are held at 3504 FM 365 in Nederland, 4440 Dowlen Road in Beaumont and 6915 Cypresswood Drive Suite F in Spring.

Call 409-729-7267 for more information.

— Written by Sierra Kondos