Edible Photo Printing

A new generation of photography buffs emerged from the social media frenzy. We all love to take and share photos on the fly. Most of us have figured out how to share photos on Facebook and some have become quite savvy with special effects. But, now photo fans can even turn their work into edible art. You can actually print out any photo on to an edible sheet of icing using food coloring inks. Your print can then become part of a cake, cupcake, cookie or other treat. If you regularly take pictures of family and friends, why not turn one of those memorable photos into a birthday cake? Here’s how.


If you don’t have the supplies, you can upload your image and have it printed and mailed to you. You select the size you need and you can even add text. If you want an 8” circle to top and 8” cake, you would select that and add a birthday message. For cupcakes or cookies, you could order an icing sheet with 12 circles. The sheets also come in standard paper sizes (letter and legal) and you can cut out the image to any size you needed.

Printing Yourself

If you want to print edible images regularly, you’ll need an edible ink printer. The edible ink cartridges are made to fit in a limited number of Canon printer models. If you buy a printer on your own, that printer should be designated for edible printing only as the toxins in regular ink are not safe to use with food products.

The ink cartridges are filled with food coloring and the best kind to buy are spongeless. The sponge in some cartridges encourages bacteria growth. Those without also provide more room for ink. When using food coloring cartridges in a printer, there is a bit more care involved. Food coloring cartridges do not contain the toxins that prevent ink from clumping, so the printer needs to be used once a week and cleaned out periodically.

Icing Sheets

Most of your printing will be done on white icing sheets. In addition to paper sizes, you can print out on pre-cut sheets to create regular photo sizes in round, square, rectangular and oval shapes. There are even chocolate icing sheets which are ideal if you want to print in white.

In addition to printing photos, you can scan or print out any design to incorporate into your theme. Let’s say you are using a couple’s photo for their wedding cake and the bride has a specific color scheme. You can copy that from her invitation or whatever source she got the inspiration from and add it to your cake design. Even if you don’t bake or decorate cakes, if you have a great photo someone would appreciate using for their own cake, an edible image is an inexpensive gift to make that person’s day more special.

Theresa Happe works with Icing Images where you can find edible ink printer packages and icing sheets to create edible photos for any occasion.

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