What Is A Good Start On Getting Into Edible Images?

Decorating By utrwong Updated 5 May 2011 , 7:19pm by icingimages

utrwong Posted 21 Feb 2011 , 4:50am
post #1 of 26

Hi guys! I am new to the world cake baking and decorating and it has been fun so far. I just took one class at a local Hobby Lobby and really enjoy it. But anyways, I have been doing this for about 3 months and now I want to get into creating edible images for cakes. I am trying to find the rights tools, materials, and information, and it is a bit over whelming for a newbie! So any advice or great pointers for beginners is welcome, because that is what I am. I read the articles about Edible Images & Edible Printers on Cake Central and that seems like a good source of info. However, I am torn between getting this kit that is being sold on this website called tastyfotoart (webpage: http://www.tastyfotoart.com/edible_ink_printer_and_kit.htm) or getting the componenents separately. It seems like there are those who are for wafter paper or frosted paper. The paper that is sold on tastyfotoart kit are wafer, but it seems like frosted is the better way to go. Also, the Canon printer that is being sold in the kit uses 4 ink cartridges which seems expensive to operate. I do not think I will be printing many images. I'll be lucky to get one a week. Any advice at all for this new baker/decorater? I would be happy to get a reply on how to go about this. I tend to take a few days before I make a big purchase, esepcially on a printer just for edible images! So any advice I would greatly appreciate it. icon_smile.gif

25 replies
icingimages Posted 24 Feb 2011 , 9:41pm
post #2 of 26

Hi:
If you are not going to be printing at least once per week, it is best to have someone print for you until you do. I am conservative, but I like to help people avoid realistic problems. The paper from TFA is a potatoe based paper, not a sugar based and does not taste very good. I had looked in to carrying that product when I first opened our doors over 11 years ago because the price was so awesome, but the more research I did, the more I realized it did not give the best results for what imaging is suppose to be. The best printer available, in my opinion, is the Canon ip3600 or Canon mp560. They use 5 cartridges, they produce the best color. THe current line of compatable printers take that many cartridges. There use to be a 2 cartridge printer many years ago, but it was actually more expensive to operate because you couldnt replace just the empty color, you were forced to replace the entire color cartridge. Also, I would recommend cartrdiges that do not have a sponge/wick in them. They hold about 60% more ink and are easily refilled in your printer...again a cost savings. Plus they are the only cartridge style on the market that use food grade plastics in the cartridge component. Oh, one more thing, since there is no sponge, alcohol is not used in the ink. This is used to eliminate bacteria in the sponge. We have found the alcohol to reduce the life of printheads. Let me know if you need any assistance.

utrwong Posted 25 Feb 2011 , 8:53am
post #3 of 26

Wow, thank you for the great reply! This is really helpful advice. Well, I do not think my town has a local bakery that is will to print an edible image for the consumer. There are no mom and pop shops that do this, or even fondant work for cakes - which is one of the reasons I got into cake decorating.

Right now if I were to get a printer set up, I am leaning towards the Canon MP560, and buying the catridges and frosted sheets off separately.

Also, from reading on numerious instructions, it seems like you can't use fondant on the images. But I think there was one episode in which Frankie scanned a drawing, cut it out, and pasted them on gumpaste sheets. Buddy did a few image edibles and put them on buttercream frosting. So what is the best way to put the images on the cake?

What do you mean by sponge/wick? Is this someting to consider if I were to go for a MP560? Or is this something to consider when I clean the printer. From the articles I read and website, it seems like you need to use some special cleaner, a airbrush head cleaner Can you simply use a clean towel ?

This is great advice! I may go for the MP560 but like to see what's the best route is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by icingimages

Hi:
If you are not going to be printing at least once per week, it is best to have someone print for you until you do. I am conservative, but I like to help people avoid realistic problems. The paper from TFA is a potatoe based paper, not a sugar based and does not taste very good. I had looked in to carrying that product when I first opened our doors over 11 years ago because the price was so awesome, but the more research I did, the more I realized it did not give the best results for what imaging is suppose to be. The best printer available, in my opinion, is the Canon ip3600 or Canon mp560. They use 5 cartridges, they produce the best color. THe current line of compatable printers take that many cartridges. There use to be a 2 cartridge printer many years ago, but it was actually more expensive to operate because you couldnt replace just the empty color, you were forced to replace the entire color cartridge. Also, I would recommend cartrdiges that do not have a sponge/wick in them. They hold about 60% more ink and are easily refilled in your printer...again a cost savings. Plus they are the only cartridge style on the market that use food grade plastics in the cartridge component. Oh, one more thing, since there is no sponge, alcohol is not used in the ink. This is used to eliminate bacteria in the sponge. We have found the alcohol to reduce the life of printheads. Let me know if you need any assistance.


icingimages Posted 25 Feb 2011 , 11:44am
post #4 of 26

Now, since no one will print for people who just want the image... You do it!!!! Its a great service and allows you to use your machine when you normally wouldnt and will help you pay for your supplies. Also, go to local bakeries and offer them your services to print. I know it sounds crazy to help competition, but if you are getting a piece of their cake sales, than its worth it. Beleive me it pays off!
You sure can use them on Fondant. You cant run fondant through the machine, but you can put the image on it afterwards! You just need a moist flat surface to put the image on. If you are cutting the shape of the image off and going to put it on fondant, I like to put it on the fondant and then cut. People do it both ways. But when you use our Premium Icing Sheets, you will find they are easy to use and do not crumble as easy as other brands.

MP560... awesome choice. The sponge/wick, is in the cartridge. We manufacture our cartridges without them. But it has to do with the cartrdige in our Gold Label Series, not the printer. Without it, you get more ink in your cartridges plus there are many other benefits previously listed.

Cleaning. We sell a non toxic cleaner. You do not want to use anything with alcohols. Also, I have found the best cleaner is a steamer. We sell them on our website, but you can purchase them from Amazon, or even Walmart I think. They important thing is the thin nozzle to be able to get in to the small areas. But note, while the steamer is the best way to clean, what is more important that you just use your printer regularly. With our inks, we have very few customers who get to the point where they need the steamer. It is always from lack of use. While the steamer is a great tool to have since I now use it to clean all kinds of stubborn stains in the house...even carpet cleaning, if you use your printer, that is the best way to prevent clogs....I love prevention!!!

tiggy2 Posted 25 Feb 2011 , 7:56pm
post #5 of 26

The MP560 is a wonderful printer as are the gold label inks from icingimages! If I don't print once a week and do happen to get a clog I can easly clean the print head with hot water. I do have a steamer but haven't had to use it.

utrwong Posted 26 Feb 2011 , 1:16am
post #6 of 26

Are there any recomendations for photo printing programs? I was thinking Picasa will just do since I just want photos. I plan to mostly use these image prints for sheet cakes. But I do forsee in the future I will have a friend or family who might request a circular cake. I don't thnik Picasa takes into account a individual might want a crazy shapped photo. I came acorss one websitem kopykake, and you can either purchase their editing cd or if you buy your frosting sheets from them, you can edit them online. Any suggestions for how to print or programs?

icingimages Posted 26 Feb 2011 , 1:49am
post #7 of 26

You can use any software you would like to to print. We have free printing software used for lining up the images when they are multiple or circlular. We are coming out with an upgraded version of our printing software as well. Most graphcis programs will allow you to cut images in to shapes as well as it is a pretty basic program, but if you are printing multiples on pre cut icing sheetes, you will need to go with the software that the manufacturer recommends.

tiggy2 Posted 26 Feb 2011 , 3:16am
post #8 of 26

I use edible artist which can be downloaded free. Just do a google search.

cheatize Posted 26 Feb 2011 , 5:03am
post #9 of 26

I think putting the word out that you will sell edible images is a great idea for you!

utrwong Posted 26 Feb 2011 , 6:08am
post #10 of 26

I have Cake Boss running in my background and that episode where Frankie puts the balerina drawings on the gumpaste/fondant mixed, it looked like he peeled it off the sheets. So i am guessing they use wafer paper unless they use frosted sheets for other projects? The few times I seen Buddy use images, I don't see him peel the image off a backing. The frosted sheets is where you just lay it on your buttercream or fondant and smooth it out when dry right? From just about every decorater's opinion I read, frosted sheets is the best way to go.

I cannot wait to order my supplies for this project. I think the edible images will add a nice touch to my cakes and make it more personal.

A user mention it might be a good idea to sell edible images. What is a good price to charge to sell the images for? I took a quick glance at Icing Images where a 4 pack of 25 sheets cost $100, which basically equates to $1 a image. Adding ink and operation cost, what would be a fair charge? I seen sites asking $5 a image. I think I might take a quick glace at my local grocery store and see if they have an option to add a persnal image on cakes for a charge. Does $3 sound fair or too little? Or is $5 really a good price according to this website? I hate to overcharge, especially when most the ones requesting me to make a cake are friends and family. Plus, I hate to get muddled in state laws dealing with cake baking. My state requires bakers to have a commercial kitchen.

platinumlady Posted 26 Feb 2011 , 6:32am
post #11 of 26

The amount you would charge is really up to you and the area you live in...Here if the grocery store prints an image for you it's $8 plus tax. Also when thinking about the price also consider the price of ink & not just the sheets. I just purchased a MP560 a couple of weeks ago & I didn't think I would be using it very much However, people have been asking me for EI on their cakes.

The frosted sheets have a paper backing as well. It's hard to say if they used wafer paper or not.

Ariel22 Posted 26 Feb 2011 , 6:40am
post #12 of 26

I've purchased edible images at my local cake decorating store whenever I have wanted them as I don't use them too often. I just bought one last month...she charged me $7.00 for an 8 1/2" x 11" sheet.

cyndiK Posted 26 Feb 2011 , 7:53am
post #13 of 26

I buy my images from a local ice cream shop, they charge $11 per sheet. I just got a Canon. I'm really looking forward to putting it to use!!

1Cake-At-ATime Posted 26 Feb 2011 , 9:12am
post #14 of 26

I have a canon MP560 and haven't used it yet because I have found it economical (for me) to just purchase the images. There is a place online, chef tools, that sells the images I need in bulk (12/pkg) for like 28 bucks. CakeBoss calculated the unit cost at $2.33 and have set a price to the customer at $6.00 per image.

I think it would cost me more (at this point) to print them myself by ordering the ink and sheets based upon my volume right now. Maybe in the future, but for now that brand new printer is still in its box. I do look forward to using it though, but I'm not at the economies of scale level yet.

If you plan on making edible image cakes a part of your "product" offering, then I say go for the ink and paper.

HTH

cms2 Posted 26 Feb 2011 , 4:42pm
post #15 of 26

Thanks for all the valuable information. thumbs_up.gif

utrwong Posted 26 Feb 2011 , 9:31pm
post #16 of 26

How risky is it to buy a 2nd hand printer and clean it yourself? I seen people toute that this is more economical and cheaper. However, I don't want to EVER run the risk of cross contanimation just because my steam cleaner missed one little crevice in cleaning the 2nd hand printer. I'm just one of those guys who think it is better to buy new for certain products anyway. I found the MP560 for a great price on Amazon and a few other retailers. The price difference between new and used isn't that great to justify the cleaning and risk for me.

I am about to check out Edible Artist! Cannot wait!

tiggy2 Posted 26 Feb 2011 , 9:33pm
post #17 of 26

If it's been used for regular ink it should never be used for food products.

utrwong Posted 26 Feb 2011 , 9:51pm
post #18 of 26

That's what I thought! I just hope those who are using 2nd hand printers are reading this forum! Thank you guys for the wealth of info!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tiggy2

If it's been used for regular ink it should never be used for food products.


utrwong Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 8:44am
post #19 of 26

I'm so excited! I just ordered a Canon MP560 off of Amazaon (BRAND NEW), and ink color and edible sheets from icing images! I cannot wait to get the products to test out! I got some major projects and I know the edible images will add a personal touch to my cakes =)

Any tips for making a beautiful image? I started out with regular sheets the 8.5" x 10.75. I can't wait to get them!

icingimages Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 12:10pm
post #20 of 26

Once your order is shipped, you can access the support section on our website. There you will find all the set up information and printing tips you need! Remember images are not just limited to putting a picture on a cake, you can use it for accents and more! There are a few tutorials on our website as well by Julie Bashore. We will be adding a new one hopefully this week. But the idea that we are trying to develop is that you can put images on almost anything and get really awesome results! Have fun with it!

utrwong Posted 16 Mar 2011 , 4:31am
post #21 of 26

When you want to print, is it best to use the rear tray of the Canon MP560 or the bottom tray? My edible images came in and it instructed to use the rear.

June_m Posted 16 Mar 2011 , 9:11am
post #22 of 26

I'm in the uk and my mum just bought me the canOn ip3600 yesterday. Havnt tried it out yet but the cartridges look really small. Is there a way of refilling them? We are £40 (about $60) for new cartridges an £25 ($40) for icing sheets. I want to try an get the most out of them as there is only 2 online places other than eBay to buy the cartridges an paper.

utrwong Posted 5 May 2011 , 5:03am
post #23 of 26

What is the best way to get the image to stick to the cake? I did a edible image cake for work a few weeks ago and it was a hit. But it didn't stick to the fondant, so when people cut into it, the paper came off easily.

icingimages Posted 5 May 2011 , 2:14pm
post #24 of 26

utrwong: Use the rear tray. I dont know if you are a customer of ours, but if you are you can log on to your account and access the support section of our website which gives setup instructions and proper settings for that printer in that section. If not, shoot me an email at [email protected] requesting that information.

June_m: depending on the edible cartrdiges, you can refill them. Ours are refillable, plus there is no sponge in the cartridge so you get more usable ink per set of cartridges.

utrwong: Water! Just mist the top of the cake with water or lay a damp paper towel on top to moisten the fondant and place it on the cake. Some people use corn syrup or other liquids which work as well. But it basically needs moisture.

utrwong Posted 5 May 2011 , 7:10pm
post #25 of 26

awesome - the instructions from the frosting sheets said to get it the cake a bit wet but not the colored side as it could ruin the image. I thought about spraying a simply syrup on top and see how it goes. I purchased my sheets from icing images and try to look up the FAQ or support section. The taste of the sheets are great, I just wish it could be integrated flawlessly. I'll try it with water and see how it goes. Most of my friends have been happy with the work I produced. May not be Cake Boss quality but it's the thought that counts icon_smile.gif

icingimages Posted 5 May 2011 , 7:19pm
post #26 of 26

We have a support section for our customers. You can log in to your account and then look on the left side for support and there is all kinds of great info for you! Do not put water or any liquid on the image side, only on the fondant and then place the image down center first smoothing the image out as you go!

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