How To Print A Picture On A Cake 

How To Print A Picture On A Cake: Full Guide

Last Updated on April 21, 2024 by Lori Walker

Cakes have always been a significant element in the celebration of important occasions. Consequently, many individuals have begun searching for methods to personalize and attribute significance to their cakes.

And one of the ways to make your cakes more personalized is by putting a photo on top of it. 

But how to print a picture on a cake? With my own foray into the world of baking, I’m here to guide you through the art of printing images on a cake.

Join me as we unlock the secrets to creating edible masterpieces. Get ready to embrace your inner artist.

5 Easy Steps to Print a Picture on a Cake

edible photo on a cake

1. Gather the Materials Needed

Photo cakes require using different materials like an icing sheet, edible ink cartridges, a printer, edible inks, scissors, and a scanner (optional).

Specialized printers are available, but you can also use ordinary inkjet printers [1]. Canon and Epson models can typically handle an edible sheet to create your chosen photos.

2. Choose The Picture

Now, look for the right picture you want to put on your cake. You can search online or make it more personalized using your camera/phone.

But if you plan to use a physical photo, you can use a photo scanner and save it in an image file format. 

3. Edit It Using A Software

Editing is optional, but good photo editing software would help you adjust the brightness, color, and background of your edible image. 

You also need to adjust the size of your photo because it may get blurry after printing. Save your photo in JPEG format to your device after.

4. Print The Picture In The Edible Sheet

Printing edible images requires not just ordinary paper. Icing and frosting sheets usually contain sugar and starch mixtures, but their earliest models were usually made of rice.

Meanwhile, wafer paper is easy and quick to apply, and you can use it to cut shapes like flowers or hearts [2].

5. Let It Dry Before Placing it On The Cake

After printing the edible images, let them dry first. The edible images tend to bleed out when placed on the cake for a long time, especially if it’s still wet. 

“A few last tips: For the best look, you’ll probably want to apply your cake wrap on the day you’re serving the cake.”

– Andrea Beck, Food Writer

It’s better to store it in a sealed bag away from any heat source.

Check out the guide on how to write on a cake without using icing here.

Other Methods to Put a Picture on a Cake  

Plastic Wrap / Laminate the Picture

If you don’t have a printer or are already using it with regular ink, you may opt for alternatives than printing in an icing sheet. 

You can have your non-edible photo laminated or cover it in plastic wrap. It ensures that your photo is protected from the icing on the cake.

Trace the Photo

You can also trace your photo using wax paper and a non-toxic crayon. It would be enough to have the general outline of the image.

Place the sheet on top of the picture and start tracing the borders and internal parts. Then cut the paper close to the image’s borders before icing it over.

Can You Print Edible Paper on a Regular Printer?

Yes, you can use a regular printer to print edible icing sheets. Most edible ink types are usually a combination of food coloring and sugar, so they are safe to consume. 

However, it would be tricky if there is any cross-contamination between the edible and regular inks. You have to clean the printers extensively to avoid this scenario. 

But how can you bake bread in a Dutch oven without parchment paper?

What Kind of Printer To Use?

You would want to use an edible printer that can print large formats and uses high resolution so you can get the best picture quality for your edible image.

It is the best idea to invest in this special equipment. But if you don’t have it yet, most bakeries offer printing services where you can ask them to print edible pictures for any occasion.

How to Put a Picture on a Cake with Wax Paper

Edible Icing Image

Use wax paper to trace the printed image you want to put on a cake. Flip it over after tracing the image so the ink side faces down on a flat surface. 

From top to bottom, start icing to form the image. After the image is complete, flip the wax paper and press the icing onto the cake.

Find out what you can do if your cake is too eggy here.

Tips & Tricks When Printing a Picture on a Cake

  • Use photo editing software to ensure the quality of your image. 
  • Don’t force the edible icing sheet away from its backing sheet because the picture may get damaged. 
  • Ensure the top layer is slightly moist before placing the edible icing sheets. 
  • You can also go to a bakery and have them print the image you want to put on the cake. 

Read: Can I Put A Cake In The Fridge To Cool It Down?


Can you put a picture on an ice cream cake?

Yes, you can put a picture on an ice cream cake. You can also do it with cakes that use buttercream icing, fondant icing, and cream topping.

How do you put a non-edible picture on a cake?

Use plastic wrap or laminate the photo when putting non-edible pictures on the cake. It would help if you explained to your guests that the picture is not edible. 

How much does a cake with a picture cost? 

The cost of the cake with a picture varies depending on the store. But some online shops would charge from $10 to $20 for an edible image. 

How do you put a picture on a cake at home? 

When putting a picture on a cake, use a printer that would be able to support edible printing, and it has not been used with regular ink.


When you have the right materials, making a photo cake is as simple as printing on ordinary paper, but you’re using edible paper.

Ensure that the cartridges do not have any regular inks left over.

If a printer is unavailable, going to your local bakery for printing is also a good option. 

Printed edible photos are usually tasteless and don’t alter the flavors of your baked goods.


Lori Walker

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