Debate About Floral Wire In Cakes?????

Decorating By Mikel79 Updated 31 May 2014 , 9:00am by Lizzybug78

Mikel79 Posted 4 Mar 2010 , 9:26pm
post #1 of 36

Hi all!

I am soooooooooooooo confused. I have read countless times on this site that you should NEVER stick wire in cakes.

Answer me this then, on cake shows like Ultimate Cake off, Cake boss, Ace of Cakes, I have seen COUNTLESS times where the cakes have METAL PIPES used for satiability???? The pipe goes through the cake, TOUCHING the cake.

Why is it that I cannot stick a super thin wire in a cake, but these TV Shows are able to stick 1-2" METAL pipe in the middle of a cake????


Am I missing something?

35 replies
tenleysmommy Posted 4 Mar 2010 , 9:47pm
post #2 of 36

Good question,maybe it is safe metal?Don't know if there is such a thing?

sweetflowers Posted 4 Mar 2010 , 10:00pm
post #3 of 36

I'm not sure about Ace of Cakes, since I dont' watch that close. But I did notice in the Cake Boss I saw and the Ultimate Cake off you could see very quickly they covered the pipe with either a plastic wrap (Saran wrap?) or Rice Kripie Treats. Sometimes they put a pvc pipe over the metal pipe, not sure how food safe that is, but I have seen them cover those metal pipes.

tracycakes Posted 4 Mar 2010 , 10:16pm
post #4 of 36

pvc is food safe. Most houses use pvc pipe for plumbing these days instead of copper.

Mikel79 Posted 5 Mar 2010 , 11:14am
post #5 of 36

I am going to rewind my DVR. I remember being horrified when watching the last episode of U. Cake off. They had a camera shot from the bottom of the cake. There was some cake crumbs hanging out of the bottom of the cake from the drilled hole. Then I remeber looking at this large 1" black pipe, not wrapped in anything and going directly in the center......Again, I do not recall it being wrapped in anything, but I will go back and rewind my DVR and pause it to take a closer look....

leily Posted 5 Mar 2010 , 1:46pm
post #6 of 36

Stainless steel is a food safe metal (of course it just needs cleaned of any dirt that may have accumulated on it during transport etc..)

As for the cakes on U.cake Off I caught on the last two at the end that it says "cake served is not the cake from the competition" So i'm guessing this allows them a few shortcuts in not covereing everything up while competing (that is a lot to do in such a short amount of time)

As mentioned above I have seen that CakeBoss uses something to cover the pipes (fondant, seran wrap, rice krispies)

Not sure about Ace of cakes, haven't watched it in awhile and can't remember.

Also... just because someone jumps off a bridge will you? Not everyone uses the same standards and thinks about the metal not being food safe.

AngelaM Posted 5 Mar 2010 , 3:18pm
post #7 of 36

I was also surprised to see both Cake Boss and Ace of Cakes stick decorative wires directly into their cakes. And I've seen it done many times.

KarmaStew Posted 5 Mar 2010 , 3:53pm
post #8 of 36

Hmmmm... my take on it all. I won't send anything out the door that I wouldn't want to eat myself. I don't want cake with wires sticking in it, so I would never do that.

Just because Duff (or whoever) does it, doesn't really mean I should. I mean, they deliver unboxed cakes and I wouldn't even dream of it.

-Tubbs Posted 5 Mar 2010 , 5:25pm
post #9 of 36
Originally Posted by KarmaStew

Just because Duff (or whoever) does it, doesn't really mean I should. I mean, they deliver unboxed cakes and I wouldn't even dream of it.

You mean you don't decorate in no apron with your hair hanging all over the cake? icon_biggrin.gif

leah_s Posted 5 Mar 2010 , 6:24pm
post #10 of 36

Hey Karma, I deliver unboxed ALL the time.

GrandmaSweetiePie Posted 5 Mar 2010 , 7:10pm
post #11 of 36

I ordered gum paste flower, they came with the wires wrapped in aluminum foil. Can they be inserted in the cake if they are covered in foil?

leah_s Posted 5 Mar 2010 , 9:57pm
post #12 of 36

And I stick wires in cakes ALL the time.

mcalhoun Posted 5 Mar 2010 , 10:11pm
post #13 of 36

I just dip my wires in melted almond bark and stick them in the cake like that. The candy coating toches the cake not the wire.

shorty56 Posted 5 Mar 2010 , 10:19pm
post #14 of 36

call me crazy, but all my wires are wrapped in floral tape and i stick them right in like that. its paper tape that touches the cake, not the metal. (not to mention the fact that my floral wire is already wrapped in paper when i buy it, so i guess after i wrap it in floral tape, its wrapped twice)

rainyone Posted 5 Mar 2010 , 10:51pm
post #15 of 36

It's the lead in the wires that are the no no.

Especially for children. The reason kids toys aren't painted in lead painticon_wink.gif there is no safe threshold for lead . Lead poisoning is nasty. I wouldn't want something toxic going into my cake. The idea of coffee stir sticks to insert first so the wire doesn't go into the cake directly is a good one.

rainyone Posted 5 Mar 2010 , 11:04pm
post #16 of 36

oh and metal is generally ok. Think about it we cook in metal cake pans. we eat with metal cutlery... etc

tiggy2 Posted 5 Mar 2010 , 11:12pm
post #17 of 36

Is floral tape food safe???

KarmaStew Posted 6 Mar 2010 , 1:06pm
post #18 of 36

There are differences in plastics and differences in metals. The metals we cook with and use for eating utensils are deemed food safe..... that's why we use them. Other metals, just because they're metal, doesn't necessarily mean that they're meant to use with edibles.

Same with plastic. All plastic isn't food safe. Pvc isn't always food safe. The inside of PVC water pipes is safe... if they're the pipes that bring water in. The outside of the pipes and pipes for drains out may not be.

Thanks, Leah, for letting me know. I'd be hard pressed to order a cake from you icon_sad.gif

Cakepro Posted 6 Mar 2010 , 4:58pm
post #19 of 36
Originally Posted by tiggy2

Is floral tape food safe???

No, it sure isn't...and I sure as heck wouldn't eat something that had floral tape in it.


tonedna Posted 6 Mar 2010 , 5:06pm
post #20 of 36
Originally Posted by leah_s

Hey Karma, I deliver unboxed ALL the time.

Im with you on that..Who says a box is food safe. Sometimes they are stored in open spaces and God knows what crawls over it.

MissRobin Posted 8 Mar 2010 , 3:13pm
post #21 of 36

I always deliver my cakes unboxed!

Lydia227 Posted 19 Aug 2012 , 11:40am
post #22 of 36

Wow I would have never known about the floral wire being "toxic"! I'm new at using floral wire on cakes and had heard you should not put it right into cake but not the why. Thanks for the info! I'm making my first cake using floral wire today and will be going out and getting some coffee stirrers.

Bluehue Posted 19 Aug 2012 , 1:48pm
post #23 of 36

Plus there is always the risk of a wire snapping when being pulled from a cake - thats why over here we all use cake pics.
Imagine biting into one of those - icon_cry.gificon_confused.gif

Wellllllll everyone should...


akrainis Posted 19 Aug 2012 , 6:29pm
post #24 of 36

I'm not sure anyone should take the practices seen on competition cake shows as real world practices. First and foremost, those cakes are made for entertainment, for drama and for tv ratings. I've been told by chefs that have competed in some of those challenges that it's more about doing whatever they can to present a huge, dramatic finished product and food safety is not a high priority.

LNW Posted 19 Aug 2012 , 9:51pm
post #25 of 36

Ive always used straws. I just cut them a little shorter than the tier and stick them into the cake. Sometimes if the decoration at the end of the wire is really heavy and the wires start to swing around and move a lot Ill pull the straws out, squeeze the cake out and then reinsert in the cake. Then I fill the straws a bit with royal icing, put in the wires and let it sit until the icing has hardened. That usually keeps the wires from moving around.

I try not to use wire at all if I can avoid it. I always use beading wire from the local hobby store. I have no idea if its food safe but I have to assume its not.

Not-Betty-Crocker Posted 24 May 2014 , 8:33am
post #26 of 36

@ mcalhoun: Fantastic idea for those who are still squirmish about putting paper wrapped floral wire in cakes!!

@ Karma: all my cakes are delivered unboxed! How do you find huge boxes anyway?

Jeff_Arnett Posted 28 May 2014 , 12:33pm
post #27 of 36

So do I Leah...and have for 30 years without an issue!  And from what I gather, pretty much every high profile decorator I've seen on TV or in print does the same!

Jeff_Arnett Posted 28 May 2014 , 12:37pm
post #28 of 36

Interesting logic...and I agree..after all, does anyone really know the composition of the metal items you we use everyday?  Take for instance an iron skillet...cooks have used them for probably hundreds of years...they're even passed down through generations in families.  Who knows what's lurking in those metals??

Dani1081 Posted 28 May 2014 , 1:08pm
post #29 of 36

Wires in cakes.....haven't we discussed this before?  LOL!  If I have wires, I stick them in little coffee stir straws and stick those in the cake.  I've really started using skewers instead...they are bamboo and you buy them in the store in pkgs of 100 or so. They are for shish kabobs and are meant for food. They can be painted with food colors if you need a certain color.  I've NEVER heard of any one taping wire with floral tape and then sticking that into a cake! UGH! I would take my chances with the bare wire WAY before I'd want to eat that.  I box most of my cakes unless they are just too huge.  I buy boxes intended for food, usually in bulk, and normally toss the top and bottom ones in the trash right off the bat when they are delivered.  In my mind, they might have gotten dirty in transit. I have no problem delivering an unboxed cake though... I know my delivery vehicle is kept spotlessly clean! Absolutely much cleaner than most houses or venues I deliver to. 

Lizzybug78 Posted 28 May 2014 , 4:28pm
post #30 of 36

ACan anyone point me to somewhere - other than a cake blog/forum etc - that gives information about this please?

I keep seeing it crop up, but after a bit of googling the only places I can find that talk about it are cakey people, I've not found anywhere yet that's anything other than anecdotal. I've also checked the packets of wires I have (ones sold for cake decorating, not a roll), and I would have hoped that if these items meant for food use were made of a poisonous metal it would be mentioned on there.

I have always wrapped wires in a layer of clingfilm, but that's always been in case I've accidentally clipped it badly and missed any little bits.

In any case, even if wire was inserted and does contain tiny amounts of lead, I was under the impression that lead poisoning took considerably longer than a few hours, and would need more than a tiny amount. Kids toys aren't covered in lead paint anymore because there was prolonged contact and ingestion, I'm not sure a comparison between the two is fair.

I'm not saying it's right or wrong, simply because I can't , but if someone can point me to some facts and figures about it I'd really like to read up on it.

Quote by @%username% on %date%