Plastic Straws Vs. Wooden Dowels

Decorating By SarahsSweets2006 Updated 8 Sep 2008 , 2:31am by cakemaker61

SarahsSweets2006 Posted 5 Sep 2007 , 1:05pm
post #1 of 38

I have a question...

Has anyone ever used plastic drinking straws as their supports instead of wooden dowels?

My aunt bought me a cake decorating book and the lady who wrote the book swears by plastic drinking straws. She says they are 100% easier to cut as just as strong (if inserted directly up and down).

Just wondering if anyone has attenpted this before I do. icon_biggrin.gif

37 replies
NolansMom Posted 5 Sep 2007 , 1:24pm
post #2 of 38

I have never used wooden dowels, and I have never had a problem.
For smaller two tiered cakes and stuff I find that regular drinking straws work just fine. My husband just runs into fast food places and swipes a bunch of them for me. lol Most of my cakes in my pics used drinking straws.

My newest find is Bubble Tea straws. They are much sturdier and thicker. I used these for the first time in the 5 Tier Pink and black cake in my pics. And I had no problem with them.

Hope this helps.

projectqueen Posted 5 Sep 2007 , 2:11pm
post #3 of 38

There have been tons of posts about this.

Some people swear by the straws and others would never touch them and only go with wood or hard plastic.

I guess it's just what you are comfortable with. I have used the straws with smaller, lighter stacked cakes but personally I would be afraid to trust them with a heavy stacked cake. The preferences seem to run across the board on this one icon_biggrin.gif

Good luck.

Lueet Posted 5 Sep 2007 , 2:23pm
post #4 of 38

I've used them with no problems... I save the wooden ones for a center dowel on tall cakes.

sweetviolent Posted 5 Sep 2007 , 2:29pm
post #5 of 38

duff uses the bigger bubble tea straws- which I have some of but I have never tried I am sooo nervous I will try it on a home cake 1st!!

eneq Posted 5 Sep 2007 , 2:32pm
post #6 of 38

i've only used straws too. bubble tea ones are definitely better but i've used the regular ones on smaller cakes. i have even used the straws on a 3 tier cake.

ccr03 Posted 5 Sep 2007 , 2:35pm
post #7 of 38

I've used both, and like using a combination. I'll use regular ol' drinking straws at the support dowels and then use wooden dowel in the center to 'drive it all home'.

Also, I really don't use Wilton's wooden dowels anymore. I found LONG (maybe like 2-3 ft) wooden sticks in the Walmart crafts department for about fifty cents a stick and they are MUCH sturdier than Wilton's wooden dowels. They also have different thicknesses. I love them!

cakesbyjackie Posted 5 Sep 2007 , 2:35pm
post #8 of 38

I use a combination of straws and wooden dowels. For any 2 tier cakes, I just use straws. For anything more, I'll use straws for the supports but a wooden dowel through all tiers.

afolk Posted 5 Sep 2007 , 2:37pm
post #9 of 38

I use the Bubble Tea straws (buy them off eBay). Granted, I haven't had a ton of expereince with them, but they did support the two 4-tiered wedding cakes that I've done with no problem at all.

gidgetsmom Posted 5 Sep 2007 , 2:39pm
post #10 of 38

My first time with straws was this weekend and my cake bulged which has never happened with wooden dowels...but it might have been more the extremely bumpy road to the shower than the straws not holding.

I think if I ever use straws again I'd get the bubble tea straws. They seem to be much sturdier.

amysue99 Posted 5 Sep 2007 , 2:42pm
post #11 of 38

I use straws or lollipop sticks. Dowells are very hard to cut, in my opinin and even harder to even up. Toba Garrett also uses lollipop sticks.

shantel575 Posted 5 Sep 2008 , 7:56pm
post #12 of 38

I had never heard of using drinking straws until recently... and based on how I found out, I'd never try it even in small cakes! Yikes icon_surprised.gif

Another decorator had made a beautiful 3 tier cake and it had a TON of detail work on it... hours of work fell apart right in front of the customer. She had used straws. No thank you! lol I will stick with dowels...at least I know they won't bend or fold under pressure.

leah_s Posted 5 Sep 2008 , 8:00pm
post #13 of 38

Guys you seriously need to try SPS. It's incrediably easy and cheap. You build the cost into the price of the cake.

I was talking to a venue manager last weekend who was raving (not in a good way) about straws as support.

Any support that you cut has the potential to be not even and to not go in absolutely straight. If your support goes off absolute vertical in your cake, your support is gone. With SPS everything is snapped together, so that if you put it in straight (easy to do) there's no chance of your cake leaning/falling.

woodthi32 Posted 5 Sep 2008 , 8:09pm
post #14 of 38

Hi Leahicon_smile.gif I have an SPS question....Do you always have to assemble on site. I can't imagine travelling without a dowel down the middle.............
I do use bubble straws and have been very pleased....sofar!!icon_smile.gif

cutthecake Posted 5 Sep 2008 , 8:20pm
post #15 of 38

Okay. I'm lost. What are bubble tea straws?

argray1 Posted 5 Sep 2008 , 8:29pm
post #16 of 38

I am lost too, what is SPS and bubble tea straw? Do you insert a wooden skewer inside the straw or is the plastic straw used on its own.
Thanks.

dee-lite Posted 5 Sep 2008 , 8:32pm
post #17 of 38

I switched from wooden dowels to bubble tea straws which are a more sturdy straw (thicker palstic walls and the tube diameter is about 3-4 times that of a regular drinking straw (which I would never use)...Love the bubble tea straws as thay are way easier to cut and seem to be just as sturdy as wooden dowels...Sugarshack uses these and she is a master...You can find these on e-bay for great prices HTH

shantel575 Posted 5 Sep 2008 , 8:32pm
post #18 of 38

this lady used drinking straws, all by themselves! that would scare me! she swore by it though and said she' d never had any problems before. she had never heard of dowels!

woodthi32 Posted 5 Sep 2008 , 9:16pm
post #19 of 38

Bubble straws are learge diameter straws used in specialty tea shops for tea that has tapioca in it?? Not sure what's in it, but I think that's it.icon_smile.gif You can get them on ebay and lots of other shops...just googleicon_smile.gif
Single plate system, it's called, and it looks really good, but I don;t know enough about it..................

leah_s Posted 5 Sep 2008 , 9:49pm
post #20 of 38

Woodthi, no, with SPS the idea is to preassemble and travel with the cake already put together. I truly believe that the center dowel is false security. If your cake starts going sideways, the dowel will stay firmly anchored into the bottom board - and tear right thru your cake.

woodthi32 Posted 5 Sep 2008 , 10:47pm
post #21 of 38

Bubble straws are learge diameter straws used in specialty tea shops for tea that has tapioca in it?? Not sure what's in it, but I think that's it.icon_smile.gif You can get them on ebay and lots of other shops...just googleicon_smile.gif
Single plate system, it's called, and it looks really good, but I don;t know enough about it..................

woodthi32 Posted 5 Sep 2008 , 10:52pm
post #22 of 38

leah, I have always suspected that might be the case! Could you email me SPS instructions???icon_smile.gif

One reason I use the bubble teas is that they are so easy to cut to size. I have read your post before about making your cake exactly 4" tall to match the height of the plastic dowels in SPS, but I just know I could never do that! Are they easy to cut?

calivettie Posted 6 Sep 2008 , 1:55am
post #23 of 38

I have used straws, but only on small cakes. I would be terribly afraid to use it on larger ones.

leah_s Posted 6 Sep 2008 , 1:25pm
post #24 of 38

I'm happy to pass on the instructions, but you must follow the instructions in my siggy.

woodthi32 Posted 6 Sep 2008 , 1:46pm
post #25 of 38

duhicon_smile.gif

sheila06 Posted 6 Sep 2008 , 7:22pm
post #26 of 38

So what is SPS ???

Deb_ Posted 6 Sep 2008 , 9:10pm
post #27 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by woodthi32

leah, I have always suspected that might be the case! Could you email me SPS instructions???icon_smile.gif

One reason I use the bubble teas is that they are so easy to cut to size. I have read your post before about making your cake exactly 4" tall to match the height of the plastic dowels in SPS, but I just know I could never do that! Are they easy to cut?




So does SPS not work on cakes taller than 4"? I have a wedding cake coming up and the tiers will be at least 6" high, the bride wants tall tiers, kind of like the one on the home page of this site except mine will be 3 tiers.

leah_s Posted 6 Sep 2008 , 9:15pm
post #28 of 38

Sure, SPS works fine on taller tiers. You just can't use the pre-cut legs. You have to cut them yourself. But remember the caterer or venue will likely be furnishing 5" or 6" dessert plates to serve the cake on, so your slices may not fit.

Deb_ Posted 6 Sep 2008 , 9:28pm
post #29 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by leahs

Sure, SPS works fine on taller tiers. You just can't use the pre-cut legs. You have to cut them yourself. But remember the caterer or venue will likely be furnishing 5" or 6" dessert plates to serve the cake on, so your slices may not fit.




Oh, o.k....so what is it that needs to be cut, dowels or something? Do these come with the SPS or are they sold separately? And if I need to cut them, what's the difference of cutting these or cutting reg. wooden dowels? Don't I risk not cutting them even also? Hence, having a problem with the SPS supporting the cake correctly. I need to travel 1 1/2 hrs. to deliver the cake so I was going to go early and set it up at the country club, but if I can avoid doing that I will. (since I am also a guest at the wedding)

I'll try to explain how we're going to cut the tiers. Each tier will be 2- 3" layers that are torted and filled with a fruit filling. There will be BC in between the 2 layers so when they cut it they will only cut down 1/2 way through the tier to the BC in between the 2 layers. So the piece will be 3" tall not 6". (3" X 3" X 3") The bride wants bigger than usual wedding sized portions.

Thanks icon_smile.gif

Deb_ Posted 7 Sep 2008 , 11:25am
post #30 of 38

bump icon_smile.gif I'd like to know about SPS and how I use them on the taller tiers.
Thanks

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%