Holiday Baking Retreat

San Francisco, California
November 7–8, 2020


Get into the holiday spirit with this two-day baking retreat at San Francisco Cooking School. You’ll bake alongside our editor-in-chief, Brian Hart Hoffman, and learn from James Beard Award-winning pastry chef Nicole Plue.

During this retreat, you’ll learn how to decorate showstopping holiday cookies, peppermint choux puffs, a pumpkin linzer tart, an eggnog tres leches cake, pavlova wreaths, and classic stollen. 

If you want to up your holiday baking game this season, this weekend is for you. You’ll watch every dough and batter come together and be elbow-deep in flour and sugar as you work on a wide variety of recipes and refine your holiday cookie-decorating skills. When you leave this workshop, recipes in hand, you’ll be equipped to bake impressive recipes for family and friends throughout the holidays. In addition to new recipes and the confidence to bake them again and again, you’ll also learn ways to troubleshoot common pitfalls in your own kitchen.

Each day at San Francisco Cooking School includes morning coffee, lunch (with wine to celebrate your baking accomplishments!), and plenty of time to taste and talk about all things bread. So, roll up your sleeves, tie on your apron, and let’s bake.

Please note all 16 spots of this baking retreat must be filled by October 5 for the retreat to take place. Don’t wait! Register today.

We will send an email confirmation to all participants when this number has been met.

Testimonials from Previous Retreat Guests

“The weekend was priceless . . . full of joy and laughter centered around baking in an incredible environment. An amazing opportunity to immerse myself in baking, with new knowledge and friendships gained. I came home inspired and confident to replicate techniques at home.”

“Everything I’ve come to love about Bake from Scratch magazine I experienced tenfold in the baking retreat! Along with the fabulous food and spot-on instruction, the conversation and laughter shared over rising dough or wine glasses with fellow bakers was an absolute highlight!”

“The first-ever baking retreat with Bake from Scratch was an incredible experience! There’s nothing better than baking alongside other passionate bakers and having plenty of fun and delicious food along the way. This is one baking experience I will always remember!”

What’s Included
  • All classes at San Francisco Cooking School, including coffee, lunch, and wine
  • A gift bag from Bake from Scratch
What’s Not Included
  • Travel to/from San Francisco
  • Hotel accommodations.

Have a question about this baking retreat? Contact us.

Reserve Your Space

About Chef Nicole Plue, Director of Pastry Arts at San Francisco Cooking School

After Nicole won the 2010 James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef, Michael Bauer, former food critic of the San Francisco Chronicle, praised Nicole as “one of the best pastry chefs in the country.” Now, she is on her way to becoming one of the best pastry instructors in the country.

A Los Angeles native, Nicole began her restaurant career in San Francisco, where she led the celebrated bread program at the former Hawthorne Lane before jumping coasts to New York City when Danny Meyer recruited her to be the pastry chef on the opening team at Eleven Madison Park. While on the East Coast, Nicole also opened Terence Conran’s Guastavino’s and went on to manage the pastry programs at the three-starred AZ restaurant and its sister restaurant Pazo.

In 2004, Nicole returned to California to serve as executive pastry chef at Julia’s Kitchen at COPIA in Napa. She then held the same position at Richard Reddington’s Redd, and during this tenure, in 2010, she received the James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef. Nicole’s last post was as executive pastry chef at the celebrated Michelin-starred Cyrus restaurant in Healdsburg, California, which closed in October 2012. Nicole then joined San Francisco Cooking School as Director of Pastry Arts. Her role includes creating the curriculum for the program, teaching, and mentoring students to develop their skills and careers in pastry and baking.

Saturday, November 7

San Francisco Cooking School Holiday Baking Retreat
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Sunday, November 8
San Francisco Cooking School Holiday Baking Retreat
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The entire trip cost (100%) is due at booking. Your reservation will be confirmed upon receipt of payment. We accept payment by American Express, Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, and Amazon Pay. Trip prices are in US dollars.


The price of trip includes all classes at San Francisco Cooking School.

Since the trip is nonrefundable, we suggest buying trip insurance through a company like Travelex. You can also check with your credit card company to see if they provide travel insurance.

If you don’t purchase travel insurance, you agree to indemnify us against any charges that might otherwise be covered by your insurance. You further agree that we are not responsible for any costs of cancellation by you.

Your credit card will be charged by Hoffman Media, the parent company of Bake from Scratch.

We reserve the right to cancel the trip if fewer than 16 participants have signed up by October 5, 2020. If Bake from Scratch initiates the cancellation, we will refund all payments.

Have a question about this baking retreat? Contact us.

Are children able to attend this retreat?
All participants must be 18 years old or older to attend this baking retreat.

Is this baking class hands-on?
This class is hands-on. You will be paired up at a baking station with another baker. You will bake holiday cookies, peppermint choux puffs, a pumpkin linzer tart, an eggnog tres leches cake, pavlova wreaths, and classic stollen. 

How many people will be in class?
This retreat is limited to 16 people, so the class size will be intimate.

Is this retreat better suited for professionals or home bakers?
Our retreats are geared for passionate home bakers, but professionals are always welcome.

Where should I book a hotel room in San Francisco?
There are a lot of hotel options in the Union Square area of town, which is nearby.

If I am visiting and don’t have a car, what’s the best way to get to San Francisco Cooking School?
Several ride-sharing services, such as Lyft and Uber, are available in San Francisco. You can also ask your hotel to arrange transportation for you.

Is there parking available at San Francisco Cooking School?
There is one parking lot nearby: Opera Plaza Garage. Street parking is available, but please do not leave anything (even empty bags) visible in your car.

What should I plan to wear?
Comfortable clothing and closed-toe shoes. Long hair should be pulled back. Aprons will be provided.

Reserve Your Space