I am dowling a cake for the first time eeeeeeek! And I've got some bubble tea straws on order, but they won't arrive on time.
I have some paper straws - can I use those instead? Or normal drinking straws (straight of course)? Or should I go for wooden/plastic dowels instead for this cake?
Its 2 7" cakes stacked that are about 3" high each.
Thanks so much for all help in advance!
Use the wooden dowels. Paper straws disintegrate in the cake and regular plastic straws aren't sturdy enough!
Remember that the straws are there to support the cake on top. Therefore they must be relatively strong. Paper straws will not support anything and a lot of ordinary straws are not very strong either. Wooden dowels are a much better option than those two and sometimes better than the bubble tea straws if the tiers above are heavy.
Thank you both so much for replying so quickly! Wooden dowels it is!
My saved cake thanks you both !
Plastic drinking straws are better than wooden dowels [and obviously paper straws] any day.
The hollow cylinder [a straw] is much more stable and capable of withstanding more pressure than a solid cylinder [a skinny wooden stick/dowel]. This is not an opinion, it's a physical fact.
A wood dowel has, essentially, a single point of contact on the board and displaces cake when inserted. A straw has multiple points of contact going around the entire O and it does NOT displace cake, but instead finds itself better stabilized by the cake that winds up inside of it when inserted. And, you only use half as many straws as dowels for support.
The weight, or size of a tiers, has no bearing on how well straws will support a cake. If the # is correct and they're cut straight, they'll hold. They CANNOT be crushed or bent vertically and it's difficult for them to shift. Wooden dowels can slip & shift in a damp, greasy environment and extreme downward pressure can cause them to bend.
My only use for a wooden "dowel" in my cakes is if a stacked cake will be traveling some distance for delivery. Only then do I insert a single, sharpened spike all the way thru a 2 tier cake and 3+ tiers gets 2 spikes. I NEVER use skinny sticks to support cake tiers.