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Do you use Bubble / tea straws for cake tiers?

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
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?
post #2 of 36
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
post #3 of 36
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
post #4 of 36
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
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They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.--Terry Pratchett (b.194
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I love you, but your emergency is not my crisis!

They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.--Terry Pratchett (b.194
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post #5 of 36
I use SPS. Extremely sturdy, easy and cheap. Many, many on here use SPS.
Answers to the most often asked questions re: SPS. SPS instructions are on Page 15 of the Sticky at the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Supplies can be ordered from Oasis Supply, Global or BakeryCrafts.
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Answers to the most often asked questions re: SPS. SPS instructions are on Page 15 of the Sticky at the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Supplies can be ordered from Oasis Supply, Global or BakeryCrafts.
Reply
post #6 of 36
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.
post #7 of 36
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 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvaCSW78ybc&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PLDAA016120FAE70FF
post #8 of 36
..... 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.
post #9 of 36
Thread Starter 
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?
post #10 of 36
@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
post #11 of 36
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.
post #12 of 36
Thread Starter 
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.
post #13 of 36
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...
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post #14 of 36
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
Dora Moreno
If you work with your hands you're a laborer. If you work with your hands and your mind you're a craftsman. If you work with your hands, your mind and your heart, you're an artist
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Dora Moreno
If you work with your hands you're a laborer. If you work with your hands and your mind you're a craftsman. If you work with your hands, your mind and your heart, you're an artist
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post #15 of 36
[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.
Answers to the most often asked questions re: SPS. SPS instructions are on Page 15 of the Sticky at the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Supplies can be ordered from Oasis Supply, Global or BakeryCrafts.
Reply
Answers to the most often asked questions re: SPS. SPS instructions are on Page 15 of the Sticky at the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Supplies can be ordered from Oasis Supply, Global or BakeryCrafts.
Reply
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