How To Put A Picture On A Cake – Step By Step Guide

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Placing edible images and photos onto your cakes can look fantastic and is a great way to create a special bespoke birthday or celebration cake for your loved one. Learning how to put a picture on a cake is easier than you think and can even be done at home.

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If you do not fancy giving it a go at home, there are plenty of companies that can print your designs for you. All you have to do is then place the edible picture or photo on your cake and voila! Done!

In this article we will show you how to print out an edible picture or photo at home and where you can send your design to if you would like a professional to print your design.

Table of Contents

putting edible photo on cake

How Do You Put A Photo On A Cake?

Printing an edible photo or picture for a cake is easier than you think!

Nowadays, there are clever printers that are designed for printing edible photos and pictures quickly and efficiently, leaving no smudges. You can send your design to a business to print off and return to you. Or you can invest in one of these printers yourself. It is also possible to use a normal printer but with edible ink cartridges to print your edible photo or picture. This may have complications as switching between normal ink cartridges and edible ink cartridges can be tricky.

If you can get access to a printer that has edible ink cartridges, you are good to go when printing your edible photo or picture! There are many businesses that print out edible designs for cakes everyday. Most of these businesses will use FDA-approved edible inks. You can be sure that the ink you will be eating will be 100% safe for ingestion.

Once you have a printer or a printing service, you will need to consider what paper to print off. There are a variety of edible cake papers that you can use and most are made from a mixture of sugar and starch. The most popular edible printing papers are wafer papers, rice papers, chocolate transfer paper and edible icing sheets.

Once you have your chosen edible printer or printing service and your edible paper of choice, you will need a digital copy of the photo or picture you would like to print. A high quality photo will always produce better results. The printer can then print a clear image and not a smudged design.

Once you have printed the image, the key is to leave the icing sheet or edible paper of your choice in a dry location. Ideally, leave the edible printed design at room temperature just for a few minutes to allow the inks to fully absorb and dry. You do not want to move your design before the inks have fully dried. You could end up smudging your design.

All edible icing sheets normally come with a backing sheet at the back of the edible paper. This backing sheet can be peeled off to reveal a sticky side. This will catch the printed design to the cake.

This should be the last step you do as once you peel off the backing sheet you will need to place the image down onto the cake to allow it to have the best chance of sticking.

edible photo on cake

How Do You Put A Picture On A Cake By Yourself?

How do you print edible pictures on cakes?

Printing an edible picture to put onto a cake can be easier than you think. Trying this at home may take a lot of practice. But once you get the hang of it, you will never want to stop adding edible photos and pictures to your cakes.

Here is a simple step by step method to follow to print an edible photo or picture at home:

You will need:


  • Step 1: Choose the photo or picture you would like to print as your edible design. Save the image onto your computer . Scan the image into your computer if the picture is in a physical form.
  • Step 2: Change the file to a JPEG file onto your computer.
  • Step 3: Place the edible ink cartridges into the printer. For the best results follow the printer’s instructions. Once the printer is ready to go, place your choice of edible paper, such as an edible icing sheet, into the printer. Press PRINT.
  • Step 4: Once your printer has printed your edible design, leave it to dry at room temperature for 5 minutes to allow all the inks to set.
  • Step 5: Using the scissors, cut the images close to the borders.
  • Step 6: Remove the plastic backing from the edible icing sheet. Place it onto the cake where you would like it placed.

What Place Puts Pictures On Cakes?

There are plenty of companies that offer printing services for edible photos designed for cakes. Once that we recommend is Dairy Queen Photo Cakes. They allow you to submit your own photos and picture designs. Dairy Queen Photo Cakes also offer a lot of premade photos and designs for you to choose from, making ordering very easy.

Can You Use A Regular Printer For Edible Images

Using a regular printer or edible images and photos is a tricky one. It really all depends on the printer you are looking to use and if that is compatible with edible inks and normal inks. Most edible inks are made from a mixture of food coloring and sugar. If there is any cross contamination of normal ink left in the printer then this may make your edible picture not edible. Most printers will clog at times if you are switching between non edible ink cartridges and edible ink cartridges.

Canon has a range of printers that are compatible with edible inks. They don’t tend to be so prone to clogging up. If you are looking to print edible pictures of photos consistently, investing in a printer that is designed for edible inks may be worth it.

Can You Put An Edible Image On An Ice Cream Cake?

The quick answer is yes! You can place an edible picture or photos onto all kinds of different cakes and toppings. This would include cakes that use buttercream icing, frosting topping, swiss meringue, fondant icing, whipped cream topping, ganache and ice cream cakes.

You can place the edible photo or picture onto the ice cream cake just like how you normally would with any other cake.

The other alternative to this is you could have your edible photo or picture frozen, to match your ice cream cake.

There are lots of edible decorations that are now available as frozen. They work best on frozen products such as an ice cream cake.

You can place the frozen edible photo or picture onto the frozen ice cream cake and it will stay intact. You can then also place the frozen ice cream cake with the frozen edible photo or picture back into the freezer. Even when placing the edible photo or picture back into the freezer, it will not smudge or crumble.

painted on cake

How To Put A Non Edible Picture On A Cake

Putting a non edible picture on a cake can be problematic. It is very important to express to those who are going to consume the cake that the picture or photo is not edible.

The best way to put a non edible picture or photo on a cake is to wrap it in plastic wrap. This makes sure that the photo or picture is protected. It won’t get damaged by the icing on the cake.

Another way to protect your non edible picture on a cake is to get the picture or photo laminated. If you get the picture or photo laminated it will protect the image on the cake.

How To Print Edible Images For Cakes

Printing edible images for cakes is easier than it sounds. The process is very similar to printing a normal photo or picture. But you will need special edible ink cartridges and a printer that is compatible with those edible ink cartridges.

It is best to choose a high quality photo when choosing what to print out. This will make the overall results look a lot better when the photo is on the cake.

It is important that once you have chosen the photo or picture you would like to have printed on your cake, save it as a JPEG file on your computer. If you do not have the photo already on your laptop ready to change into a JPEG, you can use a printer scanner or photo scanner to scan the physical photo into your laptop.

It is best to purchase an edible icing sheet to print your photo onto. An edible icing sheet is made from sugar and starch and therefore is perfect for printing photos. Edible icing sheets work like normal paper when printing. The edible icing sheets can soak up the edible inks to make sure that your design stays intact and does not leak or smudge.

To actually print your edible photos and pictures you will need a printer that will be compatible with edible inks. It is best to use a printer that you do not use for ordinary printing. This way, you do not accidentally cross-contaminate the edible inks and the normal inks.

If you want to print off edible photos and pictures consistently, investing in a printer designed for edible printing may be worth it. Brands such as Epson and Canon offer printers that can print edible photos along with edible frosting sheets and edible ink cartridges all in one bundle.

How To Put A Picture On A Cake With Wax Paper

Putting a picture on a cake with wax paper is very simple and quick.

It is best to place the wax paper over the printed image that you would like to use. By placing the wax paper over the printed image you will then be able to trace the image outlines onto the wax paper. Keeping the image simple is the best thing to do when using wax paper and using a tracing technique.

Once you have traced the image onto the wax paper, turn the wax paper sheet ink side down onto a flat surface. After the tracing is flat you can begin to build up icing to form a picture. Whatever you ice first will be on the top of the cake so it is best to work from the top details of the picture to the bottom. Once the icing is complete you can flip the icing over onto the cake.

black Canon photo printer

Placing Edible Photos On Cakes Is Easy!

Placing your edible designs on your cakes is easy. Printing your edible designs is even easier.

If you want to print your edible designs at home, investing in an edible printer and edible ink cartridges is the best idea. Once you start printing edible photos at home you will not be able to stop. Picking your edible printing paper is key to making sure your designs sit nicely on your cake.

It may take a few tries. But once you can successfully place your edible printed image onto your cake, we are sure you will be addicted!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this introduction to this fun form of cake decorating, it’s a pretty low effort – and beginner friendly way of making a beautiful looking cake!

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By Anna

Anna Brooks, the voice behind, is a seasoned writer and editor with an insatiable love for food. While not a professional chef, her culinary adventures and unique insights have captivated readers for years. Anna believes in the transformative power of food, stating it "feeds the soul." Dive into her writings for a mix of inspiration, entertainment, and culinary wisdom. Author Pinterest Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Tumblr Reddit Quora

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