Ceramic processing without firing, sintering and expensive equipment represents a growing research field within materials science. With respect to the search of new synthesis pathways living nature provides paradigms for procedures that occur at ambient conditions and by apparently simple means. In this connection, biomineralization yields highly complex organic/inorganic structures, e. g. within nacre or bones. In general, the formation of these biominerals involves organic molecules that act as templates during the mineralization of inorganic phases. Bio-inspired ceramic synthesis aims to imitate such principles by technical means. Accordingly, these routes consider the template-induced formation and the structural design of ceramics from solutions of suitable metal salts. This paper describes such routes by means of the preparation of ceramics like titania, vanadia, and zinc oxide. The influence of (bio)organic molecules (e. g. polyelectrolytes, self-assembled monolayers, amino acids, peptides and proteins) on the micro- and nanostructure formation and on the evolution of the morphology of these solids will be discussed. Furthermore, mechanical as well as functional properties of the obtained architectures are treated.