Sugarshack Successful Stacking Questions

Decorating By Heatherly30 Updated 8 Apr 2009 , 1:05am by FairyPoppins

Heatherly30 Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 9:04pm
post #1 of 28

I just watched this video last night, and I'm hoping to use her method for a cake I am doing for this weekend. I have a few questions for those of you who have used this method:

1. Anyone know of a store that sells bubble tea straws? Michael's, Hobby Lobby, even a cake supply store? Obviously I don't have time to order them online when I need them tomorrow.

2. If the straws are not available locally, any other options besides wooden dowels? Regular straws are probably not thick enough, are they? Plastic dowels? How would I cut those to size?

3. Is foam core the same as foam board? I found some of that at Michael's. Is it the same? This board was only 1/4" think. Would it be safe to layer them if I taped them together? Does the dowel go through this board easily? It seems very thick!

Thanks! I'm excited to use this method, I just want to do it right!

27 replies
amy2197 Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 9:06pm
post #2 of 28

Not sure, haven't had the extra cash to buy the dvd's yet. Giving you a bump though so hopefully somebody else can help.

cas17 Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 10:01pm
post #3 of 28

i have all sugarshack's dvd's and love them. i purchased my straws online but some ppl i have seen get their's from a local asian market.

for next time here's a great link for the straws: http://www.bobateadirect.com/Bag-of-Fat-Bubble-Tea-Straws-7.5-pr-418.html

foam board and foam core board are the same. i get mine from michael's. you could use (2) 1/4" boards and glue/tape them together but it just might be a little tough cutting them exactly the same. i use the 1/2" for my cake base and then the 3/16" size for underneath my tiers as i think it looks just fine that way and i still have that nice edge as a guide when i use the bench scraper to smooth the icing.

sorry can't help you with the plastic dowels as i've never used them. i don't like cutting the wooden ones and the thought of having to cut those large plastic ones is way to intimidating to me. i personally would never try using regular drinking straws but i've seen some that do and then place a sucker stick inside for extra stability but again i wouldn't feel comfortable with that kind of set up. hth!

Arriva Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 11:43pm
post #4 of 28

I ordered my bubble tea straws from the same website as cas17, but prior to that I used Wilton's plastic dowels and I cut them with a serrated knife -- just be careful.

Toptier Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 11:44pm
post #5 of 28

I use regular drinking straws for the smaller cakes and bubble tea straws for the bigger tiers (10" and bigger). I have heard that some people use McDonald's straws as they are fairly thick in diameter so if you're in a pinch perhaps you can go through the drive-thru and ask them for a few extra straws!

Personally if you're doing a smaller scale cake I'd say go for it with the regular drinking straws, I've never had an issue with them.

You can use the 1/4" think foamcore board and yes you just hammer your center dowel right thru - it will go thru don't worry!

tonedna Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 11:58pm
post #6 of 28

Ebay has the bubble straws too..
Edna icon_biggrin.gif

dawnnb Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 2:20pm
post #7 of 28

If you can get into TO any chinese grocer will have them. I got mine at Pacific Mall. Do you have a bubble tea shop in Hamilton? You could check there first. I'm sure you can get the foam core 1/2" at Michaels. It should be in the same place as the 1/4"

Good luck! HTH

ETA Sorry thought I read Hamilton ON just disregard lol! Not enough coffee icon_redface.gif

ladyonzlake Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 2:32pm
post #8 of 28

How large of a cake can you do with bubble tea straws? I have a 5 tier coming up.

I usually use the SPS system but you have to get your cakes 4" tall for it to work and sometimes that doesn't work for me.

eldag0615 Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 2:45pm
post #9 of 28

I also got the bubble tea straws after I watched the DVD. I got them at ebay.
Hola Edna icon_biggrin.gif

Callyssa Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 3:00pm
post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ladyonzlake

How large of a cake can you do with bubble tea straws? I have a 5 tier coming up.

I usually use the SPS system but you have to get your cakes 4" tall for it to work and sometimes that doesn't work for me.




I haven't tried it yet, but somebody here said to use PVC cutters to cut the pillars if they need to be shorter (which mine so far have also......grrrr!).

I also have my first wedding cake, five tiers, coming up in a few months and I'm stressing about how to stack. I do love SPS, but that is my issue with it also. I'd love to try Sharon's bubble tea method, but terrified to on my first huge cake!!

Eisskween Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 3:03pm
post #11 of 28

I bought mine from Amazon.com. Just search "bubble tea straws."

ladyonzlake Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 3:24pm
post #12 of 28

Oh thank you Callyssa! I thought I was the only one who had height issues with the SPS! I've been baking my cakes in 3 layers to eliminate torting and I just can't seem to get them 4" high!

I saw on Amazing weddings cakes that they used the plate and pillar system on the bottom of a large cake and then dowels on the rest so I wonder if you could do that with straws.

It makes me nervous though! If you use straws then I'm guessing you would still put the single dowel through all tiers?

Callyssa Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 3:46pm
post #13 of 28

I've only watched the Successful Stacking DVD once so I can't remember, but I don't think Sharon does use dowels at all, even in the bottom tiers? She uses a fair amount of straws on the bigger cakes, but those bubble tea straws are definitely bigger than even a big drinking straw. They look to be about the same size as the SPS pillars on the video.

I have to say if Sharon uses that method and doesn't have problems I feel safe in using it also......just not on my first big wedding cake order!! Maybe I'll have to do a test cake with her method just to see.......still not sure I'll use it on my brothers' cake though!

kake4me2 Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 10:05pm
post #14 of 28

I got mine at my local Asian market, super cheap 100 straws for under 2 bucks. I have yet to use up my stash!

Not sure I would use for a 5 tier how ever i did a2 layer and no movement or any problems at all.

brownsugar1 Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 10:25pm
post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by kake4me2

I got mine at my local Asian market, super cheap 100 straws for under 2 bucks. I have yet to use up my stash!

Not sure I would use for a 5 tier how ever i did a2 layer and no movement or any problems at all.




I live in Dallas/Ft. Worth area and went to several different Asian Markets with no luck. What aisle did you find the bubble tea straws?

Thx

sjlarby Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 10:33pm
post #16 of 28

I will often use the straws from Starbucks. I find them to be thick and strong enough, but i would not use them on a really heavy or tall cake. I also often use the Wilton decorator preferred smooth edge plates and pillars. You do have to cut the pillars down which is not easy, but they seem to work well. I also like that I can get them at Wal-mart, Hobby Lobby, or Michaels. I also do not transport my cakes already tiered. I stack them at the venue, which makes me less nervous.

doughdough Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 10:43pm
post #17 of 28

You can also try Panera Bread (or St. Louis Bread Company, depending on what they are called in your area)--they use bubble straws in their iced coffee drinks!

tonedna Posted 7 Feb 2009 , 1:18am
post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by eldag0615

I also got the bubble tea straws after I watched the DVD. I got them at ebay.
Hola Edna icon_biggrin.gif




lol...hola...I think we are ebay girls too!
Edna icon_biggrin.gif

tonedna Posted 7 Feb 2009 , 1:23am
post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Callyssa

I've only watched the Successful Stacking DVD once so I can't remember, but I don't think Sharon does use dowels at all, even in the bottom tiers? She uses a fair amount of straws on the bigger cakes, but those bubble tea straws are definitely bigger than even a big drinking straw. They look to be about the same size as the SPS pillars on the video.

I have to say if Sharon uses that method and doesn't have problems I feel safe in using it also......just not on my first big wedding cake order!! Maybe I'll have to do a test cake with her method just to see.......still not sure I'll use it on my brothers' cake though!




Im like this too!..Is obvious that it works for her, but I get so concerned that I just can't do it. I still use thicker wood dowels for my four and five tier cakes. Even PVC works great too for those. And I can finish them completely and travel with them finished without a problem.

I do use the bubble straws for my upper level.
Edna icon_biggrin.gif

MORSELSBYMARK Posted 7 Feb 2009 , 1:36am
post #20 of 28

I bought a case of 1000 (or 2000 can't remember) for $15 at a local restaurant supply store

Callyssa Posted 7 Feb 2009 , 1:46am
post #21 of 28

Edna, you use PVC pipe? What do you use as cake boards? And you can travel with them stacked with the PVC also? I'd be terrified to drive with a stacked cake! I even stressed having to drive with a two tier cake stacked, and the top one was only a 6"! Do you really drive with four and five tiers stacked? Have you ever had a disaster?

I think you need to make some videos like Sharon, I bet we'd all buy them! icon_smile.gif

tonedna Posted 7 Feb 2009 , 2:14am
post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Callyssa

Edna, you use PVC pipe? What do you use as cake boards? And you can travel with them stacked with the PVC also? I'd be terrified to drive with a stacked cake! I even stressed having to drive with a two tier cake stacked, and the top one was only a 6"! Do you really drive with four and five tiers stacked? Have you ever had a disaster?

I think you need to make some videos like Sharon, I bet we'd all buy them! icon_smile.gif




Aww..thanks!..Anyways..yeah I use either PVC or wood dowels the thicker ones...not the wilton wood ones, although the plastic ones that they sell are really good, just a bit expensive. Specially for cakes that are 5 tiers or more. All my cakes travel finished, so they need a good support system.
I am like others in here, I have issues cutting the SPS system. Plus I am concern with not putting a dowel holding all my tiers. I respect everybody's work here and opinions, but it just didnt work for me. And this never fails me..
The only disasters I had was and accident,were my boss got hit by another car with the cake inside. And another time, where the delivery girl was doing a delivery for the first time and tilted the cake sideways. Even though the cake didnt fall, it did slide to the side it was tilted.

Another thing that helps, is leaving one of the dowels sticking out so that one person holds the dowel while driving, so that the cake won't shake as much. Of course, careful driving comes first! icon_lol.gif

Edna icon_biggrin.gif

Callyssa Posted 7 Feb 2009 , 2:43am
post #23 of 28

Thank you Edna! That makes sense holding one of the dowels; would it be the long one going down the center?

tonedna Posted 7 Feb 2009 , 3:03am
post #24 of 28

Yes..ones is already all the way down and then I put another one that I leave some of it out, enough to hold to it..I do this only in big cakes. Have in mind that cakes like this are very heavy. You need help to carry them.
Edna icon_biggrin.gif

tlreetz Posted 7 Feb 2009 , 3:15am
post #25 of 28

I use Bubble Tea straws on all my stacked cakes and then a sharpened dowel clear down through the center. I have not had a problem. I buy the straws at a local Asian market for 99 cents for a bag of 50!

Justbeck101 Posted 7 Apr 2009 , 3:01am
post #26 of 28

If you go to sugar shacks blog and click on the recipes link I think, you will find a link for her favorite things. There is a link for where she purchases the foam core board

Hopefully my memory is correct about where it is on her site

sugarshack Posted 8 Apr 2009 , 12:55am
post #27 of 28

Hey ya'll! just saw this thread. I been caking last 2 days

yes bubble tea straws will work on 4 or 5 tiers. They are very wide and very sturdy. U have to make sure you use a lot of them, and they are all level. if I was taking the 5 tier stacked to venue, I would drive one long wooden dowel thru the first 2 tiers off center a bit, then another one thru bottom 4 tiers off center a bit , and then one thicker wooden on all the way down all 5 down the middle.
if you use the straws correctly with fomecore, and the center dowels, and drive right, you will not have a failure.

they are fat, strong, cheap and easy as hell to cut. Can't beat it in my book.

FairyPoppins Posted 8 Apr 2009 , 1:05am
post #28 of 28

Purchasing bubble tea straws on Ebay or through Amazon is pretty expensive. I googled "asian stores in MI" and started calling them asking for the straws. I found some at a store about 25 minutes away - 50 for 99c.

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