Cupcakegate: Why TSA Won't Allow Cupcakes in Jars Through Security

An answer to a perplexing baked goods question issued forth this week from a very unusual source: The Transportation Security Administration. They have issued an opinion on a pressing question: Is a cupcake in a jar really a cupcake?

In December a passenger was not allowed to bring two of these oversized cupcake-esque treats through security, as the agents on duty felt the icing fell into the "gel" category.

TSA came in for a lot of ridicule after this incident, so Blogger Bob of the official TSA blog offered the photo illustration above, and an explanation:

I wanted to make it clear that this wasn't your everyday, run-of-the-mill cupcake. ... As you can see from the picture, unlike a thin layer of icing that resides on the top of most cupcakes, this cupcake had a thick layer of icing inside a jar.

Not your everyday cupcake — could this cupcake-like confection be a bomb in disguise? According to Blogger Bob, yes:

...the days of the three sticks of dynamite with a giant alarm clock strapped to them are long gone. Terrorists have moved to novel explosives disguised as common, everyday items. ... When you think about it, do you think an explosive would be concealed in an ominous item that would draw attention, or something as simple as a cute cupcake jar?

The lesson here, folks, is that regular cupcakes (real ones) are generally allowed through security. Cupcakes in jars? Not so much. If that doesn't push them into their own category of confectionary overkill, I don't know what does.

Read more about Cupcakegate:
Cupcakegate - At The TSA Blog
Cupcakes Are OK; Cupcakes In A Jar Won't Fly Past Security, Says TSA - NPR
TSA defends cupcake confiscation - At CNN, with a followup from the cupcake-bereft passenger herself.

Have you ever had a baked good turned away for security reasons at the airport? Share your stories here!

Related: Cupcakes In a Jar! The Latest Cupcake Craze

(Image: TSA)

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Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.