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Although the professional baking industry was the first to use images printed on cakes, the process of printing edible figures is so simple that even a novice pastry chef can do it at home. This process requires a small investment in materials and time to learn the basic steps, but the result is worth the effort. Many people use these edible images only for cakes, but they are also great for cookies and muffins.
Buy a printer. Image prints on edible paper can be done on any type of inkjet printer. If you have one that you no longer use, clean it up and put it to work. Do not try to make these prints with another type of regular printer. Although you can use any inkjet printer, you must assign one exclusively for this use. Likewise, there is a scanner with a printer on the market in which you can make your prints without using a computer.
Things you Require for Printing Edible Images
- Photo which you want to print on the cake
- Frosting sheets
Unlike rice paper, sugar paper is not really paper but rather frosting turned into very thin sheets that are created on flexible plastic sheets using a special pressure process. It is the most used by pastry artists worldwide, and its most common use is to create patterned patterns that are applied directly to pastels as long as they have completely smooth and perfect “walls”.
- Wafer Paper
This paper receives many names: rice paper, wafer, wafer paper, rice paper, etc. It has a base of rice semolina and vegetable oil among other ingredients. You will find them in various thicknesses, to create edible images on wafer paper it is advisable to opt for the finest ones that give a more delicate result.
The most popular use of this paper is in edible flowers, but also to print leaves, feathers, wings, flowers and butterflies and although we will see in detail the result in printing images, its most popular use in high-level confectionery is mostly for flowers with a modern and minimalist finish.
- Cake printer
VERY IMPORTANT: CANNOT USE printers that have been used with NON-EDIBLE inks, as these printers have toxic residues. Food grade printers must be NEW and use EXCLUSIVE for edible printing. The best edible paper printers can be found here: https://cookingtimejournal.com/best-edible-ink-printers/ here)
How to Print an Edible Image
Select the image to transfer
Make sure it fits without you having to edit it. If the size is not adequate, because it is too large or too small, use an image editing computer program such as Paint or GMP to make it shorter or longer.
Install the edible ink in the printer
These types of ink cartridges are placed in the same way as regular ones. Do a test before printing the image to make sure the cartridges are installed properly.
Load the printer with edible paper
Edible paper includes types of paper such as cookie paper, rice paper, and sheets of frosting paper. Icing sheets are layers of icing pressed onto a plastic backing and are most commonly used for printing edible images for cakes.
Print the image
Use your computer or printer scanner and print the image that you will place on the cake. This procedure is very simple, but you will probably have to try several times before you get the final image. When the print is ready, put it in a resealable bag and make sure it doesn’t get direct light.
What can you print on an edible image?
Printing on edible paper is a great way to decorate cakes and cookies. One cook went so far that he created a complete menu out of edible paper. In the world of confectionery, edible printing has become a great ally: a way to personalize cookies, cakes, etc. with a photograph, a logo, a symbol. Everything you can imagine and a little more! But keep in mind that edible printing is expensive and requires a dedicated printer, so make sure you want to do it often before you think about buying edible printing equipment.
Are there any drawbacks to using an edible image on my cakes?
In summer, if you put the fondant covered cake in the fridge when you take it out, the fondant can “sweat” a bit and can make the print wet. In this case it is better to put the cake in the fridge without the edible print. When you take the cake out of the fridge, let it rest in a cold place and when it absorbs the “sweat”, place the impression on top of the cake.
What types of icing or cakes can you use edible images on?
You can use the edible images on any type of icing or cakes: you just have to know how to choose the type of paper for each decoration. For example, if you wanted to make a cake in the shape of a wine bottle and you wanted to cover it with a label, you should use sugar paper, since we could fold it and adapt it to the cylindrical shape of the cake without problems. With the wafer we would have a greater risk of it breaking and it would cost us more to adapt it to the contour of the cake.