You Stack Cakes Like This?

Decorating By Darthburn Updated 22 Jun 2010 , 10:51pm by JaimeAnn

Darthburn Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 6:03pm
post #1 of 43

I have seen it mentioned that people stack their cakes with bubble tea straws? Is that true?

I've been using the expensive and hard to cut Wilton stacky tube thingy's religiously. If I can switch to straws, I will.

But how many do you use per size? Obviously since they give a smaller surface area to rest on, you have to use more... how do you all do it? How many per 12" and such?

Has anyone had a diaster using these yet? I wanna hear about anybody's experience and tips with them please.

42 replies
BeanCountingBaker Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 6:17pm
post #2 of 43

I am interested in this topic too. I haven't stacked anything too big or had too far to travel so I've been using regular drinking straws. I used 6 to support a 6" cake and 9 to support a 10" cake.

kclovesken Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 6:19pm
post #3 of 43

I am also very curious about this. I will now have to lurk your post icon_razz.gif

melmar02 Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 6:20pm
post #4 of 43

I just used them for a small 6" high purse cake. I used a 1/4 sheet and cut it into thirds and then stacked the 3 layers on top of each other. Structurely I didn't need support, but I wanted a 'stopping point' for when we cut the cake so the slices wouldn't be 6" tall. They worked fine for this purpose, but when I tried compressing the straw with the force of my hands it collapsed relatively easily. I personally wouldn't use them on a big cake as actual - I just wouldn't feel comfortable. However, I know several people do use them, and I'm pretty sure I've seen Duff use them on the show. I may have just gotten a cheap brand or something, but I'm too leary.

Katiebelle74 Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 6:21pm
post #5 of 43

I use the wilton tube thingy as well. never tried the bubble tea straws. I will have to watch this topic too. Where do you even buy those bubble tea straws? I have never seen them.

Ladiesofthehouse Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 6:24pm
post #6 of 43

I use bubble tea straws exclusively for stacked cakes. I just delivered two 8-10" stacked cakes this weekend and they were very sturdy. I have never had a problem as long as the straws are cut exactly level. If you cut them even a little bit uneven you will notice it in your finished cake.

I decided never to use wooden dowels after hearing that the wood can leave a taste in the cake--yuk.

**Edited to add--eBay has many sellers of the bubble tea straws if you don't have access to them locally.

arosstx Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 6:24pm
post #7 of 43

I use bubble straws on party cakes only - not on wedding cakes. I love them. Very easy to cut!

For a 6/8/10 stacked cake I use 8 straws TOTAL. Four in the 10", four in the 8". That's it. Placed in a square shape, like table legs.

The key for me is refrigeration - my cakes are very stable and travel well because they've been chilled before transport.

Kitagrl Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 6:27pm
post #8 of 43

Hmm I use Bubble tea straws but I use alot more than others so far and I do chill my cakes, it travels so much nicer that way.

I recently did a 12/10/8/6 and I used 14 straws in the bottom, 12 in the next, and 7 in the next. It was very heavy pound cake though.

Let me tell you though, nothing happened to that cake!!!!

robyndmy Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 6:42pm
post #9 of 43

I've used regular straws in a 8-10 stack, and it worked well. The bubble tea straws are wider and thicker, so they should work well. I'll find out this weekend on a 6-8-10-12 icon_wink.gif

You can buy them at any asian food market for a pretty good price. With melmar's warning that they're not super sturdy, I've read of people that will also place the wooden dowels inside the straws, that way you get extra support with no wooden taste.

Kitagrl Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 6:45pm
post #10 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by robyndmy

I've used regular straws in a 8-10 stack, and it worked well. The bubble tea straws are wider and thicker, so they should work well. I'll find out this weekend on a 6-8-10-12 icon_wink.gif

You can buy them at any asian food market for a pretty good price. With melmar's warning that they're not super sturdy, I've read of people that will also place the wooden dowels inside the straws, that way you get extra support with no wooden taste.




As far as being sturdy...its kind of a physics thing....since they are wide, yeah they are flimsy to cut (which is a GOOD thing!) but set it upright and try to bend it by pushing down flat on it. It would be very hard!!!! Those things don't move once they are in cake. At least not very easily.

robyndmy Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 7:02pm
post #11 of 43

Awesome, thanks Kita Girl! So wooden dowels shouldn't be necessary?

Kitagrl Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 7:04pm
post #12 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by robyndmy

Awesome, thanks Kita Girl! So wooden dowels shouldn't be necessary?




Oh I don't think so at all.

If you have a tall cake and you want to send a sharpened dowel through the center, you can do that...but even recently I delivered a chilled 12/10/8/6 cake with the bubble tea straws as stated earlier and NO dowel and it was totally fine....room temp I'm not sure if it would have slid a bit (without the center dowel) but nice and firm and cold, it did great.

susgene Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 7:07pm
post #13 of 43

I made a 6 , 8, 10, 12, 14" wedding cake this past (very hot and humid) weekend for an outdoor reception... cake sat out for hours after transporting 30 minutes. Stayed in perfect condition! Used only bubble tea straws and two wooden dowel rods through the three bottom tiers... put the two top tiers on when I arrived.

Darthburn Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 8:54pm
post #14 of 43

So I agree with the wooden dowels... I have used them but the look you see on peoples faces when you tell them there are dowels... it's a look of disgust. So I went to the Wilton plastic thingy's.

And I get the physics part of the straw. I know just from Google-ing "bubble tea straw" that you can get like a 50 pack for $3 so I should be able to pick them up locally. And they look a lot more sturdy that a regular drinking straw.

This is pretty interesting! Although I would think you would use more straws, it's neat to hear that some of you use less.

So questions: For the people that used less... how dense are the cakes you stacked?

Ladiesofthehouse - I'm curious about the level remark. I would imagine that any support cut unlevel would make a difference, but are you saying the bubble tea straws make even more of a difference or more noticable?

Arosstx - Why not wedding cakes?

This is really interesting to me, I so want to try using them now! Thank you all for your replies so far... I'm anxious to hear more if anyone thinks of something.

DeeDelightful Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 9:04pm
post #15 of 43

I recently used Bubble Tea straws in a wedding cake, 14"/12"/10" and it held up wonderfully. I didn't transport the cake stacked. It was stacked at the venue, probably 4-5 hours before the reception. I think i used 10 straws in the 14" tier. i just spaced them evenly in about 3 rows in each cake. They are SO much easier to cut than wooden dowels, which almost give me muscle spasms in my neck trying to cut. I felt very comfortable with the straws.

Ladiesofthehouse Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 9:05pm
post #16 of 43

I mentioned about leveling the bubble tea straws since they are very easy to cut with scissors. Because of that you can get very non-chalant about leveling and cut them slightly crooked without realizing it (I know from experience)

Other than that I love them--very sturdy, inexpensive and easy to use.

tastyart Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 9:14pm
post #17 of 43

I'm going to have to get some of these and give tham a try. They sound like a dream.

arosstx Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 9:15pm
post #18 of 43

Why don't I use the bubble tea straws in wedding cakes?

I think that a wedding cake is due respect, especially since around here the only straws I can get at the Asian market come in bright colors. Wouldn't want to cut open a beautiful white wedding cake and it have purple straws in it! Tacky! (my opinion)

I feel like a wedding cake is the most important cake someone will have, so I make sure the cake is well supported using SPS so that I know they will arrive safely. That's for the bride's AND for my peace of mind. The risk is not worth the savings, again my opinion. I'd like to think I'd recover from a party cake disaster - a wedding cake one? That'd be hard to live down.

DeeDelightful Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 9:16pm
post #19 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by tastyart

I'm going to have to get some of these and give tham a try. They sound like a dream.




Yes, you will have to try them. They really are a dream! They are not soft and squishy like regular straws. They are much stiffer and wider. You do have to trim a slanted end off of them, but they worked great and my cake was quite heavy (it's the white diamond pattern wedding cake in my photos)

Occther Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 9:33pm
post #20 of 43

I picked up a pack of about 500 bubble straws for around $6 at Restaurant Depot when I started doing cakes 5 years ago. Have always used them. I like the bright colors because they are so easy for the cake cutter to see. They are definitely food safe (unlike dowels purchased at a hardware store.) If you are the one cutting the cake, be aware that kids love to take them and lick the cake off and suck out the insides.

The next time I am at Restaurant Depot, I need to price a case because I think fellow cakers are being ripped off. I'll let you know. By the way, Panera uses the bubble tea straws in their smoothie drinks. They were first introduced to use with bubble tea (which is actually pearl tapioca.) I had a coffee shop at the time that I started doing cakes. Never got into the bubble tea thing.

superstar Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 10:43pm
post #21 of 43

I use bubble straws a lot, I like them in the top of a cake when placing a topper as I can cut them to just lift the topper off the cake slightly. I always buy a bunch of them at an Asian market when I visit Los Angeles. $2.00 for 50.

3GCakes Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 11:02pm
post #22 of 43

I now use bubble straws exclusively.

The train cake, my niece's wedding cake, the church cake in my pics...are all bubble-tea strawed.

I have a general rule I use.....1 straw per 2 inches, plus one in the middle, maybe two for every inch over 12. So for an 8' cake on a I use 5 straws...for a 10' , I use 6....for a 12 , I use 7.

The only disasters I've ever had have been where my design abilities didn't live up to my dreams....but nothing ever structurally.

***I always use a long middle wooden dowel though.***

neecerator Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 11:19pm
post #23 of 43

I don't get how they support multi-stacked cakes. Especially if you cut them on an angle. Am I missing something? I've seen Ace of Cakes use them on their show. Can someone show me a picture of how you use them exactly, or at least explain it to me well? I'm a visual learner, so if I see it, then I understand better. Thanks in advance for any assistance.

arosstx Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 11:27pm
post #24 of 43

Who cuts them on an angle? And if so, why?
I cut and use mine just like you would those hard-to-cut Wilton pillars, or wooden dowels - they're just cheaper than Wilton and more food-safe than wood.

Darthburn Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 11:27pm
post #25 of 43

Here you go neecerator:

Yellow is cake
Pink are the straws
White is the cardboard

You shove the straws into your cake from the top down, then the cardboard holding the next cake is supported on the straws below it.

Think of it as columns holding a roof up. icon_smile.gif
LL

Darthburn Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 11:29pm
post #26 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by arosstx

Who cuts them on an angle? And if so, why?
I cut and use mine just like you would those hard-to-cut Wilton pillars, or wooden dowels - they're just cheaper than Wilton and more food-safe than wood.




I think they were referring to cutting your cakes at an angle... like topsy turvy. icon_smile.gif

And you still do the stacking the same neecerator... the cakes just give the illusion they are not in a straight line.

Marianna46 Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 11:46pm
post #27 of 43

I read in another thread on this site that there's an additional reason for preferring straws over dowels: dowels displace more cake than straws do and, if you use too many, they can actually weaken the structure of the cake. This seems logical to me. And the bubble tea straws should be strong enough to withstand any amount of vertical pressure. I've never made a cake large enough to need anything but regular drinking straws (although, hopefully, that day will come), and I haven't had any structural problems, either. My disasters generally have other causes, and they are many and varied, but they never involve a cake collapsing because it isn't properly supported.

Darthburn Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 11:48pm
post #28 of 43

I remember reading the same thing just the other day Marianna... that the cake can go up inside the straw rather than getting displaced like a dowel does. Nice job! icon_smile.gif

cas17 Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 11:51pm
post #29 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3GCakes

I use bubble straws exclusively.


I have a general rule I use.....1 straw per 2 inches, plus one in the middle, maybe two for every inch over 12. So for an 8' cake on a I use 5 straws...for a 10' , I use 6....for a 12 , I use 7.

The only disasters I've ever had have been where my design abilities didn't live up to my dreams....but nothing ever structurally.

***I always use a long middle wooden dowel though.***




this is my method as well for all my tiered cakes which i learned from sharon zambito's "successful stacking" dvd. no problems on the 4 tier i delivered last month but i only traveled with the bottom 2 stacked and placed the top two at the venue--no problems. i think if i did a cake with 5 or 6 or more tiers i'd use something like the sfs stacking system of steel rings after i recovered from fainting dead away upon receiving such a huge order icon_smile.gif

tonimarie Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 12:21am
post #30 of 43

I've only used bubble tea straws, I learned this from Sugarshack's stacking DVD. I've never had a problem. If it's a tall cake I use a wooden dowel down the center. They are a lot easier to work with than wood icon_smile.gif

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