Edible cake images (or toppers) are a very popular cake decorating idea. There are a few reasons for this. Firs, you can have a edible cake image is any theme, so there is no limit to what you can do. And second they are simple to apply to a freshly baked cake. Lastly, these cake images can be personalized with the guest of honor’s name, age or any text you would like. You can purchase these edible cake toppers online or at your local bakery. If you are ambitious, you can make you own edible cake images at home. The equipment needed to create your own images at home are somewhat pricey, so unless you plan on making quite a few of them, you may chose to just purchase the cake image instead.
If you do chose to purchase the supplies necessary to make you own cake images, you could make a hobby out of it by creating cakes for friends and relative’s as well as for your own family or even start your own cake image business. Cake images are not difficult to create, the start-up costs are much lower compared to other businesses, it is a great work at home job and creating images is fun.
To get started making edible cake images, you will need a printer. If you have an extra printer at home, you can designate it solely for printing the cake images. Any inkjet printer made by HP, Canon or Epson can be used for printing with edible ink. Manufacturers of edible ink always tell which printers are compatible with their products.
Before you can use the printer for cake images, you will first need to thoroughly clean the printer head to remove all traces of the regular ink. To be on the safe side, you can also replace the printer head with one that is designed more suitably for working with edible ink. Since the cartridges cannot be switched out between regular ink and edible ink, you will need to only use this printer for the images. If you do not have an extra printer at home, you will need to purchase a new printer.
The edible photo printing basics are simple. You use your own home computer, printer and scanner to create customized images, photos and artwork and print them as you normally would. The only difference is that you will be using Edible Inkjet printer ink and you will be printing it on Edible printing paper. Edible paper comes in the form of frosting/icing sheets and are FDA, EEC and Kosher approved. Frosting sheets are so thin they absorb right in the cake frosting leaving a seamless edible picture.
*Rice paper or wafer paper can also be used for edible cake toppers. It is an edible starch based confection that can be airbrushed or easily cut into desired shapes. It is slightly flexible, but is not designed for printer use.
Once your image is printed, you can apply it to the cake. You will need to start with clean, dry hands before handling the cake image. Edible images do need a bit a moisture to blend with the icing, so if the icing is slightly dry, you may want to spray it with water or add a thin layer of icing. Be sure the image is exactly where you want it before you apply it to the cake. First you will need to remove the paper backing on the image. Then, apply it to the iced cake. Once the image is applied to the cake, use your fingertips to gently tap it down starting with the center of the image and working your way out to the edges. Never rub the image! If after the image is applied there are bubbles, gently tap the image to smooth it out. Edible images can also be applied to cupcakes, cookies, ice cream cakes, whipped topping, fondant, sugar paste, and poured icing.
*Note: If you purchase the edible image as opposed to making it yourself, it will come in a sealed bag. Be sure to remove the image RIGHT before you plan on using it and immediately reseal the bag if there are other images in there.