Plastic Straws Instead Of Dowels

Decorating By love_to_crochet Updated 18 Aug 2009 , 12:27am by joy5678

love_to_crochet Posted 16 Aug 2009 , 9:19pm
post #1 of 21

I don't have very strong wrists, so cutting dowels is not easy for me. I need to minimize the amount of CUTTING of wooden dowels, because I don't want to lose the use of my wrists. I am wondering about plastic straws instead of dowels. Has anybody ever had any BAD experiences with plastic straws? What is the maximum weight you can definitely put on straws? I would like to know if there are any definite warnings anybody can give me regarding straws, but if EVERYBODY who has ACTUALLY tried them says they are just fine, then I think I will use them to support my sisters' enormous multi-tier 600-serving wedding cake which I am making a few weeks from now (this is the first, and probably last, wedding cake I will ever make). If you know for sure that straws can't support, say, more than 6 inches of cake height, please DO tell me. Or if there are any other easy-to-cut supporting items instead of straws, that are better than straws, I would love to hear about it.

20 replies
Uniqueask Posted 16 Aug 2009 , 9:27pm
post #2 of 21

I have used the straws to make the three tiered white with burgundy flowers cake in my photo, for my graduation, and have had no problems with them, so I don't see why they should be a problem for a bigger cake but they are not regular straws they are bubble tea straws,

www.bobateadirect.com
that's where I got mine if others have problems with them I am sure they will post

NatalieMarie Posted 16 Aug 2009 , 9:40pm
post #3 of 21

I've also only ever used straws to support cakes as dowels are an absolute nightmare to cut! The great thing about straws is you can put them in the cake, pull them out slightly and just snip them to the right height!

I think you are right to be wary of using them for a large cake. However, I've put a double layer 10" cake on top of straws inserted into cake and there was no problems with it staying sturdy.

I've got a large wedding cake to do next year, and I think I will buy the wooden dowels as these are easier to work with that the plastic ones. Though I will probably place them in straws as I don't like the idea of wood in my cake!!

love_to_crochet Posted 16 Aug 2009 , 9:50pm
post #4 of 21

Wow, Uniqueask, that is quite an impressive cake. I hope the cake I make will turn out looking that good. And thanks for the link to the website that sells those straws. I probably should use that. I assume they are just like drinking straws but a bit wider? Then they should be easy to cut.

matthewkyrankelly Posted 16 Aug 2009 , 10:19pm
post #5 of 21

Why would you run the risk on a wedding cake for your family? What you are thinking of are bubble tea straws. Google it and you'll find them.

Better yet, do yourself a favor and order the sps system. the pieces lock in place and you won't worry about the cake. There is a tutorial here in the forum section. And, I bet, there is a family member or friend who would be willing to help you out with this. Why put all that work into the cake and worry the whole time at your sister's wedding?

Enjoy the day. Get SPS.

leah_s Posted 16 Aug 2009 , 10:36pm
post #6 of 21

600 servings? I've done a couple that big, but I'd only consider it with SPS. And please note, you do NOT HAVE TO CUT SPS, so your wrists will be fine

Seriously, get it.

goodnightelizabeth Posted 16 Aug 2009 , 10:38pm
post #7 of 21

If you are near the gas station chain MAVERICK they have large red sturdy straws i've been using for my cakes...and no problems. They go to their "FUREAL" shakes. Just a note-

kakeladi Posted 16 Aug 2009 , 10:56pm
post #8 of 21

I have used straws for years on most of my tiered cakes. And I don't use that many per tier. Usually 7 or less depending on what goes above iticon_smile.gif
Look thru my photos. As I said, in almost all of them I have used straws instead of dowels.

__Jamie__ Posted 16 Aug 2009 , 11:27pm
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by leahs

600 servings? I've done a couple that big, but I'd only consider it with SPS. And please note, you do NOT HAVE TO CUT SPS, so your wrists will be fine

Seriously, get it.




Uhhhhh, yeah, what Leahs said. Whew....I love boba tea straws, but NOT for a cake that large.

__Jamie__ Posted 16 Aug 2009 , 11:28pm
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodnightelizabeth

If you are near the gas station chain MAVERICK they have large red sturdy straws i've been using for my cakes...and no problems. They go to their "FUREAL" shakes. Just a note-





Interesting! And how many come in a package?

shisharka Posted 16 Aug 2009 , 11:40pm
post #11 of 21

I second the BOBA straws suggestion (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0001N7RJS/?tag=cakecentral-20) I've been using them ever since I saw a post about them here on CC. They are much wider in diameter and offer better suport for larger cakes. The 3-tier 12-9-6" cake I made for a wedding yesterday was supported by boba straws, and it was EXTREMELY heavy becase of the type of cake and filling used. It survived for over 3 hours in the sun with no suport issues whatsoever.

sugarMomma Posted 16 Aug 2009 , 11:42pm
post #12 of 21

I also use straws because of the dowel cutting issue, but have never made a cake that big so i cannot comment.

I still dowel through multiple tiers to hold them and for when I have to cut dowels I found a pretty easy way. Just use clean pruning shears. Anvil pruners, not bypass, are best and ratchet pruners even better for saving hand and wrist strain. Snaps those rods effortlessly!

xstitcher Posted 16 Aug 2009 , 11:59pm
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by __Jamie__

Quote:
Originally Posted by leahs

600 servings? I've done a couple that big, but I'd only consider it with SPS. And please note, you do NOT HAVE TO CUT SPS, so your wrists will be fine

Seriously, get it.



Uhhhhh, yeah, what Leahs said. Whew....I love boba tea straws, but NOT for a cake that large.




Ditto






Quote:
Originally Posted by __Jamie__

Quote:
Originally Posted by goodnightelizabeth

If you are near the gas station chain MAVERICK they have large red sturdy straws i've been using for my cakes...and no problems. They go to their "FUREAL" shakes. Just a note-




Interesting! And how many come in a package?




icon_lol.gif

leah_s Posted 17 Aug 2009 , 12:19am
post #14 of 21

6/9/12 = 100 servings. We're talkin' a cake SIX TIMES that size. Once you get past 300 or so servings, it's a whole different ballgame.

__Jamie__ Posted 17 Aug 2009 , 12:43am
post #15 of 21

Caught that one, eh xstitcher? icon_biggrin.gif

Kookie Posted 17 Aug 2009 , 9:33pm
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by kakeladi

I have used straws for years on most of my tiered cakes. And I don't use that many per tier. Usually 7 or less depending on what goes above iticon_smile.gif
Look thru my photos. As I said, in almost all of them I have used straws instead of dowels.




Hello Kakeladi,
I just looked your photos and did you use straws for Basketweave and Orange blossoms cake??? icon_surprised.gif
Thanks

Kookie Posted 17 Aug 2009 , 9:37pm
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by kakeladi

I have used straws for years on most of my tiered cakes. And I don't use that many per tier. Usually 7 or less depending on what goes above iticon_smile.gif
Look thru my photos. As I said, in almost all of them I have used straws instead of dowels.




Hello Kakeladi,
I just looked your photos and did you use straws for Basketweave and Orange blossoms cake??? icon_surprised.gif
Thanks

Kookie Posted 17 Aug 2009 , 9:41pm
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by kakeladi

I have used straws for years on most of my tiered cakes. And I don't use that many per tier. Usually 7 or less depending on what goes above iticon_smile.gif
Look thru my photos. As I said, in almost all of them I have used straws instead of dowels.




Hello Kakeladi,
I just looked your photos and did you use straws for Basketweave and Orange blossoms cake??? icon_surprised.gif
Thanks

beachcakes Posted 18 Aug 2009 , 12:06am
post #19 of 21

600 servings?! No way would I trust straws! How much would that sucker weigh anyway? Over 150 lbs?

Save your sanity and get SPS!!! Leahs knows her stuff!

KitchenKat Posted 18 Aug 2009 , 12:24am
post #20 of 21

600 servings! Man! Run, don't walk, and order the SPS. The investment is well worth it.

I use bubble tea straws on my stacked cakes but the largest I've used it for a is a 3-tier. Anything bigger and I'd definitely use something sturdier. SPS is the way to go thumbs_up.gif

joy5678 Posted 18 Aug 2009 , 12:27am
post #21 of 21

I have used bubble straws, dowels & sps and I totally agree with Leah. The straws are great for a couple of layers but for anything over that........only sps. The dowels and straws shift too easily in transport especially in humid weather. I feel totally safe with the sps and do not have to worry about shifting. They are very inexpensive considering the "stress relief" they will give you. IMHO.....Hope this helps! icon_smile.gif

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