Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Hidden Dangers of British Birthday Cakes

I noticed fairly early on in the States, that when you buy candles for birthday cakes, they don't come with the handy little rosette to hold the candles.

 For those unfamiliar with them, you stick the pointy end in the cake and place the candle in the petal end. This stops the candle wax dripping onto the cake.

In the 22 years of living in the States, I've only ever bought boxes of the little candles, which are stuck directly into the cake. (I have to say, I've never gone out of my way to find the rosettes but they aren't packaged with the candles.)

The other day, we had a joint birthday party for the Little Guy and my mother, complete with lots of candles in their holders. The kids remarked on the holders, and there followed a US/UK discussion about whether it really mattered that the wax dribbled onto the cake. (Presumably it's not toxic.)

What we didn't realise however, was that when the Little Guy had been allowed to take the candles out of the cake, he hadn't known what to do with the rossettes, so he just buried them into the cake.

There were a few near fatal incidents of choking and one cracked filling as a result, making it fairly obvious why they aren't widely sold in the States!

14 comments:

Joanne said...

I can't remember seeing these since I was a child. And that was a long time ago. I buy a lot of grandchild candles, and don't remember seeing them. But, I have enough trouble locating a box of ordinary birthday cake candles among all the speciality numbers and decorations.

Expat mum said...

I picked some up at the corner shop the other day and the holders were in the same package as the candles. God knows where they are now though!

Trish @ Mums Gone To... said...

Mum tells me she had a great time yesterday seeing you and the family again. She didn't mention any broken teeth so I presume this cake was on a different day or that she was just lucky!?

Expat mum said...

Lucky!

Melissa Stoey said...

We had those when I was little and I swear I've seen them in the store since. Now you have me curious. I'll have to keep an eye out for them.

Little G. makes me laugh! Glad no one was seriously hurt in the eating of his birthday cake.

MsCaroline said...

Hmmm...I grew up using them (and still buy them) but I'm from the East Coast. Maybe 'going commando' with your birthday candles is a Chicago thing...? ; )

Expat mum said...

Ha ha ha. Well, I have three kids, the oldest being 19 and I've been buying candles here for that long. Must definitely be a mid-west thing. Of course now, there will be candle rosettes all over the place!

Maggie May said...

I can't remember ever seeing any child ever do this before & I've never heard of children choking on candle bases either. Maybe its a cultural thing as its common place here to have these little candle base rosettes.
Not sure I like the idea of the candles going directly into the cakes either.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Roly Clu said...

I can remember my wife having some of those, years ago. Too many candles soon brought a halt to their use.

Almost American said...

You inspired a blog post on birthday cake candles and candle holders. We have birthday cake candle holders here - maybe it IS an east coast thing as Ms Caroline suggested?

Expat mum said...

I will have to make a concerted effort to find them in the mid-west.
Yes Maggie, when kids aren't used to a certain thing (like candle holders) it's often very interesting to see their reactions. Maybe he thought they were edible flowers.

Adventures of a Middle-aged Matron said...

I reckon that is a conclusive argument against emigration!!

nappy valley girl said...

I don't think I've seen them here...but maybe I am looking in the wrong places?

Jay said...

I always use them, in fact I have 13 of them in a cake right now! Never knew they were SO dangerous, I'll be on my guard!

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