SNE Spotlight: Woman sells TSA-compliant cupcakes

By Gene Valicenti

Of all the things people try get through airport security, a cupcake isn't the item you'd think presents a risk.

But a TSA screener thought the thick icing topping a cupcake in Las Vegas might really be explosive gel that could threaten fliers in the same way travelers can't bring more than three ounces of any liquid onto a plane.

The cupcake confiscation got Kelly Colgan thinking in Warwick.

So she devised the "compliant cupcake."

"The response has really been overwhelming," Colgan said.

Newspapers and Time magazine have run articles on Colgan, who doesn't even have a bakery. She whips up her cupcakes in a commercial kitchen and sells them online at

She said the deliveries have really picked up since she started packaging a dozen vanilla cupcakes with a clever boarding pass, an airport security-style bag and some funny toppers.

One of the toppers shows former President Richard Nixon saying, "I am not a gel."

Another says "Cakes on a plane," a play on the movie title "Snakes on a Plane."

The cupcakes, at $4 each, can really travel. She tested them with a traveler headed to Florida through T.F. Green Airport.

"We had him take one of our cupcakes in (a bag), and the frosting on top is three ounces or less. He brought it through security, it was scanned, and I was standing on the sidelines. He gave me a thumbs up and it was through," Colgan said.

Colgan said the TSA-compliant cupcake won't be on her menu forever, but for now the idea is helping her new business.

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