Even confident cooks sometimes feel like they need a little extra help when it comes to baking, a pursuit that is as much science as it is art.

Watching a professional pastry chef roll out pastry dough or ice a cake can be worth far more than a thousand printed words. Cooking schools all over Long Island offer classes in the pastry arts; here are four venues and a sampling of their courses:

Sur La Table1468 Northern Blvd., Manhasset, 516-365-3297, cookingclasses.surlatable.com

CLASS: Spring cupcake workshop

WHEN: April 24

HOW MUCH: $70

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During this hands-on class you'll learn to make both devil's food cake and yellow sponge cake as well as frostings and cupcake-decorating techniques.

CLASS: Artisan bread workshop

WHEN: 2 sessions: May 22 and 23

HOW MUCH: $150

This intense workshop, designed for those with some bread-baking experience, will enhance your skills. Breads include sourdough, baguette, pumpernickel, challah and focaccia.

CLASS: Retro desserts

WHEN: May 29

HOW MUCH: $70

Relish the memories - and recreations of whoopie pies, cream-filled chocolate cupcakes, strawberry-chiffon pie and homemade doughnuts.

Viking Culinary Center: 835 Franklin Ave., Garden City, 516-877-1010, vikingcookingschool.com

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CLASS: Cakes

WHEN: March 24

HOW MUCH: $49

Learn to bake, frost, and slice different types of cakes including chocolate layer cake, angel food cake and key-lime cheesecake.

CLASS: Pies and tarts

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WHEN: April 6 and May 25

HOW MUCH: $99

Learn to make and roll out pie dough, line a pan, make lattice tops, fill and glaze pies and tarts. Recipes include sweet pastry dough, apple pie, fruit tart with lemon curd and caramel-walnut ice cream.

CLASS: Baking Classics

WHEN: Four sessions: April 17 and 24, May 1 and 8

HOW MUCH: $499

Each 5-hour session of this intensive four-part workshop series focuses on a different area of baking: cookies and custards, breads, pies and tarts, cakes and souffles.

SCCC Culinary Arts and Hospitality Center20 E. Main St., Riverhead, 631-548-3700, www3.sunysuffolk.edu/ContinuingEd/

CLASS: Sweet and savory souffles

WHEN: Two sessions: April 20 and 21

HOW MUCH: $115

The first class will cover dessert soufflés including chocolate and Grand Marnier; the second class, savory soufflés such as crab and cheese. Accompanying sauces will be introduced as well.

CLASS: Sweet and savory crepes

WHEN: April 6

HOW MUCH: $85

Arie Pavlou, formerly chef-co-owner of Coeur de Vignes restaurant in Southold, demonstrates both sweet and savory crepes.

Chocolate Duck310 Main St., Farmingdale, 516-249-0887, chocolateduck.com

CLASS: Cake decorating, Level 1

WHEN: Four sessions: April 12, 19, 26 and May 3 and May 10, 17, 24 and 31

HOW MUCH: $95

This four-session introductory course is, at $95, a great value. Learn to make frostings, fillings, borders (shell, fluted, rope and pearl), star tips, basket weave, flowers, buds and leaves.

CLASS: Cupcake creations

WHEN: April 29

HOW MUCH: $135

Cupcakes are the latest dessert trend. In this class you'll bake them, make fondant and buttercream frostings and learn professional decorating tips.

CLASS: Cookies

WHEN: April 25

HOW MUCH: $125

Learn how to bake and decorate cookies for a party for any occasion, including favors and holiday cookies. Decorating techniques will include color flow, rolled fondant and royal icing.