Cake Central › Tutorials › Part 1 - Edible Images & Edible Printers

Part 1 - Edible Images & Edible Printers

There was a time when only professional bakeries could afford the technology to create edible images. Now even cake decorating hobbyists can print edible images at home using their own computer and their own printer with the only expense being the edible ink and paper. In this introduction to edible imaging, youll learn how to create your own edible images including how to set up, use and maintain your own edible imaging system. Lisas Tips: Creative Uses for Edible Images Edible images arent just for photo cakes. Youll find new and creative uses for edible images with every cake you make. Here are some creative ways edible images can be used:
  1. Print an outline or coloring book page onto frosting sheets and apply it to a frosted cake. Fill in the design with buttercream. The frosting sheet will dissolve and only you will know you used an outline.
  2. Frosting sheets make cut-out cakes quick and easy. Print your edible image to the shape and size you want your cake. Cut out the edible image and then remove it from the plastic backing. Carefully place the edible image in a zip-loc bag until ready to use. Using the plastic backing as a template, attach it to a sheet cake using toothpicks. Cut around the template with a sharp, serrated knife. Frost your cake or cover it with fondant Apply the edible image to the top.
  3. Like making 3D cakes? You can make buildings and houses, baby blocks and present cakes or even a dart board without ever having to pick up a piping bag just by covering the tops and sides of a cake with edible images.
  4. Use frosting sheets to make activity cakes. Activity cakes are cakes that are topped with an edible image of an activity worksheet such as a maze, dot-to-dot or color by number. Children enjoy finishing these fun cakes with tubes of colored frosting.
  5. Experiment with your edible images. Try using them with gelatin, pies, cheesecakes, cookies, gingerbread houses or hard candy.
You are only limited by your imagination. If you can print it, it can become an edible image. Lisas Tips: Money Savers
  1. Refill your edible ink cartridges.
  2. Always print test and practice pages on regular paper.
  3. Purchase your printer first and then your supplies rather than purchasing them together as a kit or package.
  4. Use Googles Froogle search to find in-stock printers at the best prices.
  5. Shop online auction sites like eBay for your new printer.
  6. Find free printable, frames, fonts and image editing software on the web.
Lisas Tips: Miscellaneous
  1. Airbrush cleaning fluid is not only good for removing clogs from your print head, its also a good cleanser should you get edible inks on your hands or counter tops.
  2. Having trouble aligning your shaped frosting sheets? Use 7.5"x10" ones instead and cut the shapes out. The leftover pieces can be used to color, stamp, paint or airbrush on using edible inks.
  3. Refill bottles leaking? Wrap the threads of the bottle with plumbers tape.
  4. Ruined a printed frosting sheet? Dont throw it out. If possible, save it for a mosaic or to cut colored pieces out of for future use.
Related Articles How to Make Realistic Edible Butterflies How to Make Edible Image Plaque
What is edible imaging? Edible imaging is the process of printing edible images and photos onto a type of edible paper using ink cartridges filled with food coloring and a compatible inkjet printer. What supplies are needed to print edible images? To print edible images you will need: A compatible Canon Bubble Jet Printer Edible ink cartridges Frosting sheets or wafer paper It is also recommended that you have these items on hand: Cleaning cartridges Edible ink refill kit Airbrush cleaning fluid Why are Canon printers recommended for edible imaging? Canon printers have a print head that can be easily serviced or replaced. Inkjet printers as a whole are susceptible to print head clogs, an issue that can be compounded by the use of edible inks. Should the print head in your Canon printer become seriously clogged or damaged, it can be easily removed and serviced or replaced. Which Canon printers can be used to print edible images?* The following printers are compatible with edible ink cartridges and can be used to print edible images. Beneath each heading youll also find the printer settings you should use when printing edible images as well as the style of edible ink cartridges for the listed printers. 2 Cartridge Systems Printer Settings Media/Paper Type: Plain Print Quality: High Edible Inks: KJKCSET
Pixma iP1500 i470 MultiPass MP360 BJC-4000
Pixma iP2000 i470D MultiPass MP370 BJC-4100
Pixma MP130 i475D MultiPass MP390 BJC-4200 MultiPass F20
i250 S200 BJC-4300 BJC-4400
i320 S300 BJC-2000 BJC-4550
i350 S330 BJC-2010 BJC-4650
i450 S330D BJC-2100 BJC-5000
i455 BJC-2110 BJC-5100
4 Cartridge Systems Printer Settings Media/Paper Type: Plain Print Quality: High Edible Inks: 6000-SET
Pixma iP3000 S500 S520 MultiPass MP700 BJC-3000
i550 S530D BJC-6100 i560 S600 MultiPass MP730 BJC-6000
i850 S630 MultiPass F30 BJC-6200
MultiPass F60 BJC-6000 S400 S6300 MultiPass F50 BJC-3000 S630N
MultiPass F80 BJC-6100 S450 S750 BJC-6200 S4500 BJC-6500
5 Cartridge Systems Printer Settings Media/Paper Type: Plain Print Quality: High Edible Inks: 4000-SET
Pixma iP4000 Pixma iP5000 i860
All-in-One/Multifunction Systems Printer/Scanner/Copier 2 Cartridge 4 Cartridge
Pixma MP130 MultiPass MP700 Pixma iP5000 i860
MultiPass MP730 MultiPass MP360 MultiPass MP370
MultiPass F30 MultiPass MP390 MultiPass F50 MultiPass F20
MultiPass F60 MultiPass F80
6 or 8 Cartridge Wide Format Systems for printing on 10"x16" or 10" round frosting sheets Printer Settings Media/Paper Type: Plain Print Quality: Standard (Do not print at photo quality) Edible Inks: 9006-SET 6 Cartridge 8 Cartridge i9100 i9900 S9000 *Before purchasing any printer for use with edible imaging, contact a manufacturer or retailer of edible ink cartridges to be sure your printer will be compatible with their edible ink cartridges. **Only edible inks should be used with your printer. You cannot switch back and forth between standard inks and edible inks. Which Canon printer system should I choose?* 2 Cartridge 4 Cartridge 5 Cartridge All-in-One/Multifunction 6 or 8 Cartridge 2 Cartridge Choose a 2 cartridge printer system if you will be printing on average less than four edible images a week. These printers use two ink cartridges: A black ink cartridge and a tricolor ink cartridge (three colors in one: Cyan, magenta and yellow). If you refill your edible ink cartridges, this can be a very cost efficient system. If you do not refill your edible ink cartridges, when one color runs out in your tricolor cartridge, the entire cartridge will need to be replaced. 4 Cartridge Choose a 4 cartridge printer system if you will be printing on average four or more edible images a week. These printers use four ink cartridges: A large black and a separate one for each color (cyan, magenta and yellow). Individual ink tanks mean that only the color that runs out will need to be replaced. This will be the most cost efficient printer system to operate and maintain. 5 Cartridge These printers use five ink cartridges: Two blacks (one large and one small) and a separate one for each color (cyan, magenta and yellow). This system provides the same benefits as a 4 cartridge system but will be more expensive to operate and maintain. All-in-One/Multifunction Choose an All-in-One or Multifunction system for settings where a computer is unavailable -or-If you would like a scanner and the cost of purchasing a scanner in addition to your printer is higher than the cost of purchasing an All-in-One. 6 or 8 Cartridge Choose a 6 or 8 cartridge system only if you need wide format capabilities (for printing 10"x16" or 10" round frosting sheets). These printers require the use of 6 or 8 cartridges. Only printing at photo quality and during cleaning cycles will the extra ink tanks be used. Do not print at photo quality when printing on frosting sheets. This is the most expensive printer system to maintain and operate. Important: Not all 6 or 8 cartridge printers have wide format capabilities. Please see 6 or 8 Cartridge Wide Format Systems for list. *Recommendations are based on a formula calculating 12 weeks or more of uninterrupted use +/-2 weeks. Uninterrupted use is defined as a length of time before having to refill or replace the edible ink cartridges. Cost efficiency is based on a formula calculating cost per print. Individual experiences may vary. I already own a compatible Canon printer. Can I use it for edible imaging? If your printer has been used with standard inks, it should not be used to print edible images. The internal components of that printer will contain standard ink. For health and safety reasons, those components should not be allowed to come into contact with anything edible because of the risk of cross contamination. Only edible inks should be used in your printer. You cannot switch back and forth between standard inks and edible inks. Can a refurbished Canon printer be used for edible imaging? A refurbished printer is likely to have been used with standard inks. The internal components of that printer will contain standard ink. For health and safety reasons, those components should not be allowed to come into contact with anything edible because of the risk of cross contamination. Only edible inks should be used in your printer. You cannot switch back and forth between standard inks and edible inks. Will using edible inks in my Canon printer void my warranty? No. Edible ink cartridges are considered an aftermarket product. According to federal law as outlined in the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, your printers warranty cannot be voided because of the use of aftermarket products.

Comments (35)

Epson Printers also have edible ink cartridges, that is the one that I have.
i can't find these types of printers anywhere...can someone give me some insight on where to buy? Please tell me more about the Epson "ASimpson2"!!!
The two cartridge Canon systems are a thing of the past. You can no longer find new printers that have the 2 cartridge system. Canons 4 or 5 cartridge printers is all you need for everything whether you are a hobbiest or a professional. Several years ago, that breakdown was applicable but with the change of pricing of printers and the increase in technology, you do not need that differentiation in printers. The only exception is the wide format. Several companies are offerint their own versions of wide formats and they will vary. But you only want a wide format printer if you are consistantly going to print the large 10x16 sheets. Otherwise all the Canon printers will print up to 8.5x13.75 sheets which is the largest sheet you can print that is available for all other Canon edible printers. Any printer with more than 4-5 cartridges is not needed and does not improve the quality of an edible icing image. It only changes the cost per print. But there is only so much ink you can put on an icing sheet before it is saturated after that, you will find it causes more problems than anything else. Nowadays, Canon is not producing 4 cartridge printers, they are only producing 5 cartridge printers so that is what you want to look for. Currently the ip3600, ip4600, ip4700, mp510 and mx620 are the best suited for edible printing. If you are not buying the printer from an edible printing company than those are the best suited printer. Be careful not to over buy. You only need the mp, or mx models if you do not have a scanner or if you are trying to consolidate space or if you want to be able to print without a computer. But I am assuming you have a computer if you are reading this! Otherwise, save your money and go with the ip models. I have found the lower the model number the better the printer is for edible printing. Do not think that by buying a more expensive model will give you any advantage over a less expensive model. It really does not unless it has a specific purpose. For example the mx860 will allow you to print up to 8.5x13.75" whether it is hooked up to a computer or not. All other mx or mp models will allow you to print that large if it is hooked up to a computer, but not if it standing by itself without being hooked up to the computer. Purchasing a printer from an edible printing company or not. Depending on the company, the advantage to purchasing from an company who specializes in edible printing is service. Though Canon cannot decline the warranty service, they still try and will give you a hard time IF THEY KNOW you have been printing with edible ink. Some companies offer warranties so you dont have to deal with any problems. Epsons. The difference between the Epsons and Canon is that removable printer. If you get a clog in an epson and you cannot get it out you must replace the printer. If you can purchase the Epson cheap enough, it may not matter. But the Canons are priced at about the same as the Epsons but come with an removable printhead which can be cleaned out manually as well as through the printer. The Canon inks, depending on where you purchase them from are also priced about the same as the Epsons so the Canon is usually the better choice because of that one feature.
"Lisa’s Tips: Money Savers 1.Refill your edible ink cartridges." You mention refilling the edible ink cartridges but not where to get edible refill ink. Can I use airbrush ink?
I would just like to say thank you for the info here. I have asked and asked about using a regular new printer for edible images no sales person in the store will answer me so I really appreicate the info. Now I am off to purchase a printer for my cakes!
So far I just have this laptop. Please tell me which Canon to get!
I don't have the printer to do this does anyone know of a company that will do this for me?
I use an Epson with 6 colors with a large format printing so I am able to print the Full Sheet size. I personally started out years ago using a Canon and for me the Epson is 110% better!
Will any of these canon printers work for edible prints prixma mx340, prixma mp560, prixma mp250 these are like the only ones I can find that are in stock at a good price.
I would like to know where to get the edible ink cartridge for my Canon MP620?
to breholloway, i have that same printer. Some one here on CC said to google "kopy kakes". I did and found that you can purchase the ink there. Hope this helps.
thanks for the info, much appreciated
Thanks so much for the information, You have been such a big help in this area, thanks again!
My hubby purchased a Canon MX870 as it is listed as an improved MX860 which we've read has been used as an edible image maker. I question if the feed is acceptable as most seem to feed downward. I'm thinking about returning this printer because of this concern. And hubby, aka Mr. kakeboo, did order refillable tanks, edible paper and edible ink. This unit will not be connected to a puter and the bakery has WIFI. BTW, first post on this most helpful and awesome site and I wish to say hi to all. Bet there is a better space for that eh. THX, kb
I can't seem to print the true colors. I have an epson workforce and can't seem to print red blues or anything I need to just a lot of purple
Can I purchase a regular printer and use the edible ink with the printer or would it be wise to purchase a printer that comes with edible ink and paper. I see that ebay offers cannon and epsons, but the printers are a little more expensive. Can anyone help me on this? Thank you
hi can anyone help me plz??? does anyone no what edible ink is compatable with a cannon pixma ip3600 and where i can purchas it and frosting sheets greatful thanks a lot
go to surgarcrafts website. They sell all of the food coloring ink cartridges and refill inks. They have lists of all cannon and epson printers that can be used for edible printing. They will be able to tell you what food coloring cartridge to buy.
I have used edible prints before, but this time I am having a really big problem lifting the image from the paper, Do you have any suggestion? I tried the freezer trick, also rubbing the back to pop it but the image keeps breaking in little pieces , I am really frustrated because I have a cake to deliver and I just can not find a good solution.
Cake Central › Tutorials › Part 1 - Edible Images & Edible Printers