Pearl645 Posted 14 Jun 2012 , 6:42pm
post #1 of

I have been hearing and reading a lot about these bubble / tea straws. I saw straws today at a wholesale restaurant store and wondered if these are what everyone is using or referring to. They were called colossal straws 8 1/2" long. I have never ventured beyond using wooden dowels in my cakes because I felt these bubble straws may not support a 4 tier cake. What do you guys think? Any links to photos of bubble / tea straws? Should I buy Wilton plastic dowels or I can use from any restaurant wholesaler that sells colossal straws?

36 replies
kimkake Posted 14 Jun 2012 , 6:51pm
post #2 of

I've always used bubble tea straws - and they work great! I have used them in a 5 tier cake with no problems at all. I do put a couple of long wooden dowels through the whole cake, but use the straws for the support of each individual cake. I always buy mine on ebay - great deal on there, just search "bubble tea straws". icon_smile.gif

dchinda Posted 14 Jun 2012 , 6:55pm
post #3 of

I always use boba (bubble) straws to support my cake tiers. They are so much easier to cut to size & they are very sturdy. I buy them at my local asian store. I can get about 100 for only a couple of dollars. I used them on the 4 tier wedding cake in the linke below.

http://cakecentral.com/gallery/2158055/yellow-rosess

BlakesCakes Posted 14 Jun 2012 , 7:19pm
post #4 of

Yes, I use them. It's the diameter, not the length that matters. The wider, the better. I use the Wilton plastic dowels, too, but they're much harder to cut.

HTH
Rae

leah_s Posted 14 Jun 2012 , 7:41pm
post #5 of

I use SPS. Extremely sturdy, easy and cheap. Many, many on here use SPS.

debbief Posted 14 Jun 2012 , 7:48pm
post #6 of

I use bubble tea straws all the time. I've never had any support problems. I did use sps once for my first wedding cake (5 tiers) because I was so nervous with it being so big and a wedding cake and everything.

I just did another big wedding cake, and due to the shape and structure of the design, I decided against sps and went with the straws. Everything turned out fine. I did use the wilton plastic dowels for the very bottom tier since it was supporting so much weight. But I used straws for the rest.

sweettreat101 Posted 14 Jun 2012 , 8:08pm
post #7 of

Have you tried the cardboard tubes that Tonedna uses? You have to call and place an order they are reasonably priced and easy to cut. You can see her using the cardboard dowels in this video. The phone number to order is 1-800-334-5681


kakeladi Posted 14 Jun 2012 , 8:35pm
post #8 of

..... It's the diameter, not the length that matters. The wider, the better..........

Definately icon_smile.gif
I have *never* used bubble/tea straws. I *HAVE* used thick drink straws amny, many times. To understand compare straws from Taco Bell and McDonald's. McD are much thicker than TBs. That's what I use.
I cannot think of a single time they did not support my cake. Look thru my gallery to see the many, many cakes I have used them in.

Pearl645 Posted 14 Jun 2012 , 8:40pm
post #9 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by kimkake

I've always used bubble tea straws - and they work great! I have used them in a 5 tier cake with no problems at all. I do put a couple of long wooden dowels through the whole cake, but use the straws for the support of each individual cake. I always buy mine on ebay - great deal on there, just search "bubble tea straws". icon_smile.gif




How do you get several long dowel rods down to the base of a 5 tier cake without damaging the cardboard pieces under each cake? I have seen many youtube tutorials on sharpening the tip of dowel rods to send down the middle of the cake. Am I supposed to put whole beforehand in each cake circle? What is the safest way to do this?

kimkake Posted 14 Jun 2012 , 8:48pm

@Pearl645 - I use foam core board between each layer and sharpen each dowel rod with a pencil sharpener before I start and pound in gently with a hammer. Everything I learned about this method is from Sharon Zambito at Sugar Shack! Her dvd Successful Stacking is well worth getting! icon_smile.gif

mcaulir Posted 14 Jun 2012 , 8:52pm

Most of my cakes have been done with regular drinking straws - even four tiers, which was so heavy I couldn't carry it. I've only used the wider ones for a wedding cake.

Pearl645 Posted 14 Jun 2012 , 8:55pm

Wow I feel way more confident about trying these bubble tea strays now. I do like the sound of SPS as well but the thought of having to saw off an inch from a 5" leg for a 4 tier cake seems daunting and time-consuming. I must give both a try and see which I prefer. Of course the bubble straws will be cheaper to use.

BarbaraM0809 Posted 15 Jun 2012 , 7:10am
Quote:
Originally Posted by kimkake

@Pearl645 - I use foam core board between each layer and sharpen each dowel rod with a pencil sharpener before I start and pound in gently with a hammer. Everything I learned about this method is from Sharon Zambito at Sugar Shack! Her dvd Successful Stacking is well worth getting! icon_smile.gif




I have never (thankfully) had to do this yet...I have this horrible vision of stacking my pretty cake and then going to drive the dowel through and not hitting it hard enough or something and the whole cake goes flying off the counter! icon_surprised.gif Such a scary "day-mare" for me lol...

doramoreno62 Posted 15 Jun 2012 , 7:52am
Quote:
Originally Posted by BarbaraM0809

Quote:
Originally Posted by kimkake

@Pearl645 - I use foam core board between each layer and sharpen each dowel rod with a pencil sharpener before I start and pound in gently with a hammer. Everything I learned about this method is from Sharon Zambito at Sugar Shack! Her dvd Successful Stacking is well worth getting! icon_smile.gif



I have never (thankfully) had to do this yet...I have this horrible vision of stacking my pretty cake and then going to drive the dowel through and not hitting it hard enough or something and the whole cake goes flying off the counter! icon_surprised.gif Such a scary "day-mare" for me lol...





I also use foam core boards between my layers and hammer a sharpened wooden dowel all the way to the bottom until it cannot go any further. Before hammering them through, I measure the height of the cake and cut the dowel 1" shorter. I counter sink it with a smaller piece of dowel and put a icing "plug" where the hole is. I get them from the craft section at Walmart or the wooden dowel section from Lowes or Home Depot.
I have NEVER had a cake slide (knock on wood) when using this method

leah_s Posted 15 Jun 2012 , 8:19am

[quote="Pearl645"] I do like the sound of SPS as well but the thought of having to saw off an inch from a 5" leg for a 4 tier cake seems daunting and time-consuming. I must give both a try and see which I prefer. Of course the bubble straws will be cheaper to use.[/quote]

Why would you have to saw 1" off a 5" leg? SPS comes pre-cut in a 4" leg.

Pearl645 Posted 15 Jun 2012 , 3:43pm

I have never see 4" SPS legs locally. Only 5,7 and 9". Found that to be very odd for a cake store to carry those lengths esp since wedding cakes are 4"H.

FromScratchSF Posted 15 Jun 2012 , 4:14pm

I use drinking straws, wood dowels, and cakes over 3 tiers I use foam core. I have never had a cake fall or shift - and I deliver cakes in one the the most challenging places to do so - San Francisco.

Correction - I have had one 4 tiered cake shift, but that was because it was the 2nd delivery of the day out of the city up in the mountains, that cake literally sat in my van for well over 2 hours before I got it where it needed to be. I know that cake was 100% fine until I had to go down a dirt driveway with probably an 8% downgrade and man-made dirt speed bumps. It shifted a fraction and cracked the SMBC on the bottom tier. All I had to to was push it back in place with a spatula and the cake was perfect.

sillywabbitz Posted 15 Jun 2012 , 4:34pm

I love SPS and I do normally order the 4inch legs. You can get a small table saw at places like Northern tool for around $30 and it makes cutting the legs super easy. If you like SPS and have trouble getting your cakes the perfect height, the saw is a great investment.

KoryAK Posted 15 Jun 2012 , 7:52pm

I'm in the plain old drinking straws camp. 700+ weddings and counting! (up to 4 tiers, that is, and then I throw in a few wooden dowels to ease my mind)

Pearl645 Posted 15 Jun 2012 , 7:59pm

Where do yal buy foam core? Is this just a 1" styrofoam dummy? I googled photos of foam core and I've never seen this selling anywhere locally. I just see dummy styrofoam pieces 1" high.

AZCouture Posted 15 Jun 2012 , 8:02pm

Google foam core again. I promise what you are seeing is what we're using.

AZCouture Posted 15 Jun 2012 , 8:03pm

http://www.google.com/search?q=foam+core&rls=com.microsoft:en-us&oe=UTF-8&startIndex=&startPage=1&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=en&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=CJXbT9T8IOry2QXz8L2HBg&biw=1024&bih=567&sei=DJXbT_2nLorg2AWKxInYCA

You cut your own cake rounds from sheets of this.

Pearl645 Posted 15 Jun 2012 , 8:48pm

Yes this is the link I saw. Interesting. I suppose a hardware will sell this? Never seen this in cake stores here. Do you use an exacto knife to cut this and cover the foam core with any material to protect the cake?

AZCouture Posted 15 Jun 2012 , 9:13pm

Michaels, Joanns, Exacto knives, drywall knives..lots of ways! Good stuff.

cakegal1195 Posted 15 Jun 2012 , 9:24pm

sorry to hijack (never used boba straws) but this foam core...what I dont understand is when you put a dowel through it, dont tiny bits of foam get into the next cake layer??

AZCouture Posted 15 Jun 2012 , 9:28pm

Nope.

gmfcakes Posted 15 Jun 2012 , 9:38pm

I'm not sure if this is a dumb question or not, but I'm going to ask anyways because I don't make a ton of tiered cakes, I only make them for family & friends, so when placing the straws do you mark where you put the straws?

For instance after you stick the straw in to cover the hole do you use a different colored icing to know where you put it? Or do you remove the straws before you cut it?

Because I did a tiered cake for a friend and when we cut the cake we kept cutting some of the straw off.

YummyCreations Posted 5 Oct 2012 , 7:10am

I also use foam core boards between my layers and hammer a sharpened wooden dowel all the way to the bottom until it cannot go any further. Before hammering them through, I measure the height of the cake and cut the dowel 1" shorter. I counter sink it with a smaller piece of dowel and put a icing "plug" where the hole is. I get them from the craft section at Walmart or the wooden dowel section from Lowes or Home Depot.
I have NEVER had a cake slide (knock on wood) when using this method[/quote]

My cake instructor told our class to be sure to use only wooden dowels made specifically for cakes since they are food safe. She said the wood used for craft dowels and hardware dowels are usually treated with pesticides and other chemicals. Just wondering if you had heard anything about this since you mention that you get your dowels from Lowes or Home Depot. If she was wrong then I'd like to know.

leah_s Posted 5 Oct 2012 , 8:48am

SPS only for me. I wouldn't trust anything else!

Dani1081 Posted 5 Oct 2012 , 1:11pm

I normally combine the two support systems. I have had several 4 tiered wedding cakes that I have used an SPS or Wilton plate on the bottom tier to support the 2nd tier, and then use bubble tea straws on the other tiers that don't have so much weight resting on them. It's very stable and I've never had a bit of a problem.

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