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, you’ll learn how to create your own edible images including how to set up, use and maintain your own edible imaging system.

Lisa’s Tips: Creative Uses for Edible Images

Edible images aren’t just for photo cakes. You’ll 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.

Lisa’s 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 Google’s 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.

Lisa’s Tips: Miscellaneous

  1. Airbrush cleaning fluid is not only good for removing clogs from your print head, it’s 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? Don’t 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

http://cakecentral.com/articles/76/how-to-make-realistic-edible-butterflies

How to Make Edible Image Plaque

http://cakecentral.com/articles/132/how-to-make-an-image-icing-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 you’ll 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: http://store.kopykake.com/cgi-bin/oldstore/9008SET.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" >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 printer’s warranty cannot be voided because of the use of aftermarket products.


Comments

Bo_n_arro Says... 22 Dec 2011 , 11:38am

Just FYI, peeps, if sugar/frosting sheets are not fresh, they will crumble. I do not buy them at the store anymore. I buy them directly from Wilton to ensure they are fresh.

jpabon78 Says... 16 Feb 2012 , 7:23pm

I would like to know if this is only for cakes or can i use the canon ip300 for edible images for lollipops ? Please let me know Thanks,,,,

Inkedibles Says... 24 Feb 2012 , 9:30am

There are generally 2 types of printers: 1) Printers with printheads in the printer, and 2) Printers that utilize cartridges that have printheads on the cartridges

Those printers that utilize cartridges with printheads on the cartridges are typically not good for edible ink printing. This is due to 2 reasons:

1) Printheads are where the clogs happen (and its easier to clog a cartridge printhead than a printer's printhead), and 2) There are virtually no compatible cartridges on the market for models that have printheads on the cartridges. This matters, because you need compatible (new) cartridges to use with edible inks, since you do not want to use an cartridge that was once contaminated with regular ink. So this limits edible ink printing to certain models (some Canon's for example, like the ip3600 and others).

abbietee Says... 8 May 2012 , 7:17am

Hi Inkedibles what about the ip3600 ? are you saying its abad printer for rdible inks i just purchased it :(

CarolWI Says... 6 Jun 2012 , 4:05pm

Abbietee, I've owned a Canon IP3600 for a year now and it works great! I just got done printing my own butterflies on rice paper for the 1st time the other day and the printer did great job on that as well.

AngieD01 Says... 4 Oct 2012 , 8:44pm

I have a Canon iP3600 and it works great! I use KopyKakes frosting sheets with this printer. The sheets and the printer as well as the edible inks, I purchased from Amazon. My only problem at first was removing the frosting sheets from the backing after several tires and a lot of google searches I found the freezer method works best for me, although being in the tropics I find I have to work very fast in placing it on the cake or it starts to crack and tear.

redhat Says... 8 Oct 2012 , 8:36am

Which side of the wafer paper goes on the cake the ruff side or smooth side.


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