Delicious But Dangerous: TSA Stands By Cupcake Confiscation

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Rebecca Hains / AP

A TSA agent holds a jar containing a cupcake that was confiscated at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas on December 21, 2011.

Attention all fliers: your cupcake is a flight risk – if it’s in a jar, that is. And that’s an order served piping hot from the TSA.

Security agents caught the ire of the Internet after confiscating a “cupcake in a jar” last month at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport, but the Transportation Safety Administration is standing by its decision, as noted in a blog post.

Rebecca Hains found her Red Velvet cupcake in the hands of a TSA agent because it “wasn’t your everyday, run-of-the-mill cupcake,” Blogger Bob Burns writes. Indeed, the cupcake was no doughy puff with icing on top, but instead resided in a jar. And it was the thick swabs of icing inside that caught the eye of security. “Terrorists have moved to novel explosives disguised as common, everyday items,” he explains. And even though it was only harmless icing inside the jar, the Bourbon vanilla cream topping nonetheless broke the ubiquitous 3-1-1 rule that pipes constantly through every airport, as there was more than 3 oz. of the gel-like icing in the jar. He goes on to cite two “very real” (and very serious) incidents from the past decades that led to limitations on the amount of liquids and gels fliers can bring aboard.

The blog post is a mix of snark and severity, which is par for the course for the TSA blog, the less-serious, slightly irreverent online home of those responsible for keeping the skies secure. When they’re not at your local airport barking commands about removing your shoes or fretting over fractions of an ounce in a shampoo bottle, they, well, do the same thing online. The bloggers take no shame in displaying to the masses the obvious, offensive and downright outlandish items that they’ve confiscated at security checkpoints across the country.

Each week, the TSA posts a “week in review” round-up, highlighting recent confiscations as a sort of warning to passengers. But the “cupcake in a jar” debacle – which they cutely dubbed “Cupcakegate” – warranted its own clarification post. Fliers can still bring (presumably un-jarred) cakes aboard, Burns notes, but they might be subject to extra scrutiny. The Red Velvet “cupcake in a jar” in question, crafted by Massachusetts-based Wicked Good Cupcakes, has been affectionately renamed the “National (Security) Velvet” cupcake in honor of the incident. And even though the company says they’ve replaced Hains’ confiscated cupcakes, we’re sure the frustrated flier still has a bad taste in her mouth about the tight security measures.

READ: Cupcake-Flavored Vodka: Delicious or Disastrous?