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edible icing sheets

EDIBLE ICING SHEETS – Everything you need to know

Ever wondered how intricate and beautiful pictures are drawn on a birthday or anniversary cake? Is it all done by some extraordinarily talented artist or maybe there is a trick in it? If you are thinking there has to be a trick in it, then you are right. To know the trick, you must know about edible icing sheets first.

Edible icing sheets are the trick the bakers use to draw those amazing pictures on their cakes. You can do it in your house very easily by using an edible icing sheet too. Because you see, it’s a lot easier to print on something than to draw on it especially on food. Yes, edible icing sheets are food.

They are made with mainly sugar and then a backing sheet usually made of plastic is attached to it. Then it directly goes into a printer and voila! The picture is printed on it. Then just remove the plastic and use it on the cake. Let’s discuss all of this in detail. Stay with us.

What are edible icing sheets?

Edible icing sheets are also known as edible papers or frosting sheets are paper-like substances that are used to print on. Then they are used on cakes. These sheets are made with sugar and they are completely edible. Edible ink is used to paint on them.

These sheets are particularly made to be used in a printer. A plastic sheet is attached to the sheet before inserting it into the printer. Then the desired printing is done with edible ink. And finally, when the sheet comes out of the printer, the plastic part is removed. The edible sheet then goes onto a cake.

Edible icing sheets ingredients

Although they are made to be printed on with ink, edible icing sheets are actually food as the adjective edible suggests. The ingredients used to make these are listed below.

  • Modified starches (E1422, E1412)
  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Maltodextrin
  • Glycerin
  • Humectant (E422)
  • Dextrose
  • Food color (E171)
  • Preservatives (E202)
  • Emulsifiers (E491, E471)
  • Thickeners (E460i, E414, E415)
  • Sucralose
  • Flavors
  • Acidulants (E330)

How to use edible icing sheets?

  • You want to apply the icing sheet on a plainly frosted cake without any decoration.
  • Use buttercream frosting or store-bought ready-to-use ones. And use white frosting for the perfect result.
  • Now keep the icing sheet at room temperature for 15 minutes before applying.
  • Peel off the plastic backing which should come off easily.
  • Apply some water or edible glue on the back of the sheet for easy attachment.
  • Now apply the icing sheet to the cake. 
  • Put it in the middle and attach one side at a time so that no air bubble is formed.
  • Now you can do some more decoration on it if you want with frostings.
  • Design the border of the cake as planned.
  • Mission successful.

 How to make edible icing sheets?

  • The first step is to mix the sugar and the food color until they are completely blended together. Use a snap-bag to the mixing easily. 
  • Now microwave the glucose syrup for 10 seconds. Just turn it into a liquid form.
  • Mix the sugar mixture and the glucose syrup in a bowl with a spoon.
  • After mixing it with a spoon when the syrup is cooled mix it with your hand. And mix properly until you get a sandy texture.
  • Now it’s time to roll and give the mixture its desired sheet-like form. 
  • Put the mixture on a baking paper, silicone sheet, or anything you can put into the oven. Put the same thing on the top of the mixture.
  • Roll it until you get the desired thickness and size.
  • Before drying it make sure the papers on both sides are in the right place.
  • After drying it in the air for 1 hour, put it in the oven. The oven temperature should be 50 degrees or 122 Fahrenheits. Oven it for 12 minutes.
  • Remove the mixture from the oven when it is time and let it cool down for 30 minutes to make sure it’s completely cool.
  • Now cut a line across the mixture to get a perfect plane at one side of the mixture or the sheet. This plane will be attached to the cake.
  • Your edible icing sheet is ready to get printed and then used on cakes.

 

How to store edible icing sheets?

  • While storing edible icing sheets, remember the fact that they are made of sugar. And sugar melts in the presence of water.
  • So, you must keep your icing sheets completely away from water or any kind of humidity.
  • The best thing to use for storing these sheets is airtight zip bags.
  • Keep the sheets in them and make sure when they are laid, the plastic side.
  • Whenever you use one sheet, quickly lock the bag again.
  • For extra safety put the zip bags into an airtight container.
  • If the sheets are already printed then using them right away is the best option. 
  • But you want to store them in the zip bags, keep them flat and away from sunlight.
  • This way you can store them for a few months.

How to peel edible icing sheets?

  •  The easiest way to do it is using the edge of the table.
  • While using this method always peel the backing sheet away from the icing. Don’t bend the icing sheet or it will break.
  • The second way is to use the refrigerator. 
  • Freeze the icing sheet before removing it. It will harden the sheet and shrink it a little bit in size.
  • Then you can easily peel off the backing sheet.
  • Then you can try another method of using a fan oven.
  • Place the icing sheet in the fan oven for 10 minutes. Keep the fan oven warm not hot.
  • You will be able to remove the backing sheet after 10 minutes quite easily.
  • Another easy way is to use your hairdryer.
  • Dry the whole thing off for a few minutes and the sheet will detach from the backing easily.
  • While drying don’t keep icing facing down or it will be detached and break down after hitting the table surface.
  • Or maybe you can use a heating mat if you want to.
  • Just put it on the mat and leave it there for 10 minutes.
  • And the peeling should be easy after 10 minutes.

How to print on edible icing sheets?

  • At first, make sure the backing sheet is still attached to the icing sheet. Don’t remove it. It is there for helping with the printing.
  • Now insert the sheet with the icing side facing upward.
  • Prepare the printer for printing with ink and the design you want on the sheet.
  • Now press print and wait for the sheet to come out.
  • After the printing is done leave the sheet for 5-10 minutes to dry.
  • Now you can use it on the cake.

Where to buy Edible Icing sheets?

These sheets are readily available anywhere you want them to buy. You can check your nearby bakery for these sheets. They will most likely have them. Or the online option is always available. You can find the edible icing sheets on amazon, eBay, Alibaba, and a lot of other online markets.

If you have a super shop in your area or any other small online shop you can always order from them. And if you want to try making some edible sheets yourself, the process is not that hard too.

How long do edible icing sheets last?

The shelflife can be ideally 6-12 months for these sheets if preserved correctly. But bakers suggest that once they are printed on, the sheets should be used within 2-3 weeks for best taste and looks. If not printed they will last for months in airtight containers.

FAQ

Still have some questions in mind? Have a look at the section below.

How do you print edible icing sheets?

The sheets are made with sugar mainly and a backing plastic sheet is attached to each of them before printing. Edible ink is used to print on the icing sheets. The sheet attached to a plastic sheet is inserted into the printer and after pressing ‘print’ the sheet comes out of the printer being printed on.

Are icing sheets edible?

Of course, they are. That’s why they are called edible icing sheets. These sheets are made with mainly sugar and food color with necessary flavor, emulsifier, and preservatives. So, everything edible is used to make these sheets. And they made to be eaten.

Can you print edible paper on a regular printer?

Technically you can use a regular printer to print on an edible paper. The printing process is the same for both printers. Just the materials used are different. But you shouldn’t use a regular printer for this purpose. Because, if the edible ink damages the printer the manufacturer will not repair it.

Are sugar sheets and icing sheets the same?

They are the same product. These are just two different marketing terms for the same product. The only difference you may notice with these two terms is that the packaging of the product might differ from each other. But the product inside is just the same.

Can a normal printer be used with edible ink?

It can be used if it is brand new. Because normal ink has been used in a normal printer you cannot use edible ink with it, now. Because normal ink is not edible. But there are some problems with this idea such as the printer head can become clogged with edible ink and the product warranty won’t cover it.

Conclusion

Since you have stayed with us so far, you now know the trick that bakers use to decorate their cakes with pictures. They use edible icing sheets! We have hopefully been able to convince you that you can do the trick yourself at home too. All the information is now in your hands. 

You can buy the icing sheets from a nearby bakery or an online shop, then use them on your cake. Or even better, you can make it yourself if you can collect the ingredients. To guide you through the whole process every step has been discussed in detail. Now go and decorate some cakes. 

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