An ingenious business plan has developed out of the turbulent saga the TSA has christened Cupcakegate. It all began last month when security agents confiscated a “cupcake in a jar” at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, citing its gel-like icing as a potential national security threat.
The incident inspired Kelly Colgan, owner of Silver Spoon Bakery in Providence, R.I., to create a travel-friendly treat: the TSA Compliant Cupcake. The $4 confection is topped with exactly 3 ounces of frosting and sold in a TSA-mandated clear, quart-size plastic blag. The decorative photo of Richard Nixon with the parodied words “I am not a gel” comes optional.
“We wanted to take a tongue-in-cheek look at what the ideal cupcake would be to be TSA compliant,” Colgan told the Los Angeles Times. “I am not a gel, I am frosting, I am icing, I am harmless, I am confectioners’ sugar and butter!” Each cupcake is cleared for travel (by the bakery, at least) thanks to a fake boarding pass, which shows the baked good’s destination as Las Vegas, a not-so-subtle jab at the sweet-stopping agents.
Cupcakegate has also inspired Wicked Good Cupcakes, the bakery whose treat sparked the whole debacle. The Massachusetts-based business has renamed its red velvet cupcake in a jar National (Security) Velvet and has enjoyed national media attention in the incident’s wake.
Silver Spoon’s staff tested their TSA-friendly cupcake on Sunday at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick, R.I. It successfully passed through all security checkpoints, but it remains unclear if the $4 treat will take off.