Unit of competency details

FDFRB4005A - Apply advanced finishing techniques for specialty cakes and desserts (Release 2)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to FBPRBK4005 - Apply advanced finishing techniques for specialty cakesRedesigned unit incorporating content from previous unit, excluding desserts 22/Jan/2018

ReleaseRelease date
2 (this release) 01/May/2012
(View details for release 1) 04/Nov/2011


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 110107 Baking And Pastrymaking 

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 110107 Baking And Pastrymaking 12/Apr/2012 
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Modification History

April 2012: Minor typographical corrections.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor

This unit of competency covers the skills and knowledge required to research and apply a range of finishing and decorating techniques for cakes, petit fours, pastries and desserts.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit

This unit has application in a retail baking environment. It targets the worker responsible for the decoration, finishing and toppings used for bakery products, such as cakes, petit fours, pastries and desserts, in order to meet customer requirements.

Note that this unit specifies minimum finishings, fillings and final product preparation requirements. Where these have been covered in earlier units of competency, these aspects of the unit do not need to be reassessed.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Prerequisite units


Prepare fillings


Produce meringue-based products


Produce pastry


Produce sponge, cake and cookie batter


Decorate cakes and cookies


Bake sponges, cakes and cookies


Bake pastry products


Produce and decorate gateaux and tortes

Employability Skills Information

Employability skills

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Conduct research into finishing and decorating techniques

1.1 Information resources are identified and accessed to inform the technical and creative aspects of finishing and decorating cakes, petit fours, pastries and desserts

1.2 Events and festive seasons celebrated with bakery products are identified and a range of presentations explored

1.3 Research is conducted into taste, texture, appearance and presentation of cakes to determine key features of finished effect

1.4 Resources and suppliers available for creating different finished effects are identified and documented for future use

1.5 Costs associated with different finishing techniques and features are estimated and cost-efficient alternatives identified

2. Design finish and decoration for bakery products

2.1 Purpose and desired effect for bakery product are confirmed with customer or from product development criteria

2.2 Design parameters, including colours, flavours, any special requirements or preferences, budget, required servings and quality are confirmed

2.3 Type of bakery product is assessed to inform decoration and finishing options

2.4 Design for decoration and finishing is developed to meet product/customer requirements

2.5 Feedback is sought from client and design adjusted accordingly and final design confirmed

2.6 Design is documented

3. Plan finishing

3.1 Ingredients used in finishing are examined and key uses and limitations identified

3.2 Plan is developed for bakery product finishing which specifies required resources and plans work sequence

3.3 Ingredients are sourced and prepared for use

3.4 Equipment is prepared for use

3.5 Bakery product is prepared for finishing

4. Produce finishing and decorating effects

4.1 A range of decorative pieces and garnishes are produced

4.2 A range of fillings and toppings are produced

4.3 Bakery product decoration and finishing is completed according to plan and customer requirements

4.4 Work is conducted according to food safety requirements

4.5 Work is conducted to minimise waste and meet workplace environmental standards

5. Cost and price final product

5.1 Product ingredients are costed

5.2 Production costs are estimated

5.3 Product is priced within business pricing policy

5.4 Actual costs are measured against estimated costs

6. Prepare final product for market

6.1 Product shelf life is estimated and required storage conditions identified

6.2 Bakery product is prepared for display, sale, packaging or presentation

Required Skills and Knowledge

This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills include:

Ability to: 

  • select decoration to meet product/customer requirements
  • price ingredients for use in product
  • estimate cost of decoration
  • select ingredients to meet decoration requirements
  • prepare finishings and toppings to meet recipe requirements, including:
  • chocolate
  • creams/butter creams/pastry creams
  • glazes
  • fruit
  • cream cheese
  • finish and decorate final product
  • store ingredients, finished and part-finished product in appropriate storage conditions
  • clean equipment and utensils to meet hygiene standards
  • maintain workplace records as required
  • maintain work area to meet housekeeping standards
  • provide customer advice on storage, preparation and portioning as appropriate to product type and intended use (advice must be consistent with food safety and quality requirements)
  • measure actual production costs against estimate and account for any variation
  • determine an appropriate price for final products
  • use oral communication skills/language competence to fulfil the job role as specified by the organisation, including questioning, active listening, asking for clarification and seeking advice from supervisor
  • work cooperatively within a culturally diverse workforce.

Required knowledge includes:

Knowledge of : 

  • ingredient characteristics, purpose and preparation requirements, including:
  • scope to substitute or vary ingredients in a recipe
  • the effect of ingredients on shelf life and food safety
  • the role, preparation requirements and uses of additives, including colours, flavours and stabilisers
  • optimum storage conditions and shelf life for finishings and related sequencing and preparation requirements
  • optimum conditions for use of finishings, such as temperature and moisture content
  • the effect of refrigeration and freezing on finished product as appropriate to product type
  • optimum storage conditions for the finished product prior to sale
  • storage, handling and preparation requirements of the finished product, including information to be provided to consumers as appropriate to product type and consistent with food safety requirements
  • ingredient suppliers and pricing information
  • methods of estimating fixed and variable costs, and profit margin to determine sale price range
  • trade practice issues when pricing products
  • business policy and parameters in pricing products.

Evidence Guide


The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment

Assessment must be carried out in a manner that recognises the cultural and literacy requirements of the assessee and is appropriate to the work performed. Competency in this unit must be achieved in accordance with food safety standards and regulations.

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit

Evidence of ability to:

  • research finishes and decorations for cakes and identify suppliers
  • design finish and decoration for a minimum of five (5) cakes
  • plan and prepare ingredients, equipment and processes required for finishing
  • combine and process ingredients according to requirements
  • finish and decorate cakes according to requirements using a minimum of three (3) decorative pieces and garnishes
  • assess outcomes against quality standards
  • take corrective action in response to typical faults and inconsistencies
  • apply safe work practices and identify OHS hazards and controls
  • apply food safety procedures

Context of and specific resources for assessment

Assessment must occur in a real or simulated workplace where the assessee has access to:

  • work procedures, including advice on relevant product requirements, safe work practices, food safety, quality and environmental requirements
  • recipes and customer specifications
  • production equipment appropriate to product type
  • materials/ingredients to meet recipe requirements
  • ingredient pricing information
  • personal protective clothing, equipment and material safety data sheets (MSDS) as required
  • cleaning procedures, materials and equipment as required.

Method of assessment

This unit should be assessed together with other units of competency relevant to the function or work role.

Guidance information for assessment

To ensure consistency of performance, competency should be assessed on more than one occasion over a period of time in order to cover a variety of circumstances, cases and responsibilities, and where possible, over a number of assessment activities.

Range Statement


The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Policies and procedures 

Work is carried out according to company policies and procedures, regulatory and licensing requirements, legislative requirements, and industrial awards and agreements

Legislative requirements 

Legislative requirements are typically reflected in procedures and specifications. Legislation relevant to this industry includes:

  • the Food Standards Code including labelling, weights and measures legislation
  • legislation covering food safety, environmental management, occupational health and safety (OHS), anti-discrimination and equal opportunity

Workplace information 

Workplace information can include:

  • verbal or written operating procedures
  • specifications
  • production schedules
  • recipe instructions


Equipment may include:

  • round icing tube
  • bow cutter
  • blossom cutter
  • templates
  • rolling pin
  • knife
  • paint brush
  • ametal scriber
  • grease-proof piping bags
  • cornflour dusting bag
  • cutter
  • ribbon
  • cake toppers
  • spatulas
  • double boiler, microwave or a chocolate melter
  • airbrush
  • moulds
  • crimpers 
  • cutting wheels
  • press sets
  • modelling tools
  • veiners
  • whisks
  • artificial flowers
  • charms
  • paper covered wire


Ingredients may include:

  • white sugarpaste
  • gum Tragacanth
  • chocolate couverture
  • marzipan
  • royal icing
  • food colouring
  • rolled fondant
  • edible paper ,edible images,wafer paper and rice paper
  • edible ink
  • meringue powder and egg whites
  • buttercream
  • pettinice
  • ganache
  • flavours
  • sprinkles
  • garnishes
  • confectionery
  • glaze


Cakes may include:

  • fruit cake
  • mud cake
  • torte
  • continental cakes
  • croquembouche
  • sponges
  • cup cakes
  • gateaux
  • special occasion cakes
  • macaroons
  • pastries

Decorative pieces and garnishes 

Decorative pieces and garnishes may include: 

  • sugar flowers
  • cut shapes
  • moulded shapes
  • sculptures
  • cake toppers

Fillings and toppings  

Fillings and toppings may include:

  • syrups
  • flavoured sources and toppings
  • cream
  • cream cheese
  • glazes
  • chocolate
  • pastillage
  • croquant
  • marzipan

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector

Retail baking

Custom Content Section

Not applicable.