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Edible printing – everything you need to know!

An edible printing is made by using food prints in a printer to design different kinds of shapes, patterns, or pictures. Nowadays, edible printing has become very popular in confectionery jobs because you can do a vast variety of designs on your cakes or bakery items.

Though confectionery designs can be done via hand printing, this process requires a lot of time and hard work. Edible printing requires an edible printer, some food coloring, and frosting paper.

However, you need a computer to prepare the print and design it. Edible printers are special printers because their inner components are nontoxic. Also, they need to be easy to clean, and that is also an important factor.

Though you require some time to do edible printers, it doesn’t require much work. First, you need to prepare the ingredients. Then fill the cartridges and place the frosting sheet in the printer. Use a PC to print the picture. After printing is completed, warm the picture a little to make it moist and place it on the confectionary item.

How does edible printing work?

Edible printing means using edible prints to print any image you want on the frosting papers. The color of the paper is both edible and non-toxic. Different types of printers can handle different food colors. You need to choose the food color according to your printer or it can clog inside.

Edible printing work process

One of the main differences between a regular printer and an edible printer is found in their print heads. The regular printers’ print heads don’t recognize whether the print is edible or not, so they spray the color the same way they spray on paper, which just creates a mess on the icing paper.

The edible prints are non-toxic, so they require different properties to set in the edible printer. Edible printing requires editing software to print the photo perfectly on icing paper. You need to measure the size of the picture to see if it will fit on the icing paper or not. If it is not accurate, edit it a little bit and print it through the printer using a computer.

How to do Edible Printing

Now let’s see how can you do edible printing.


Edible Printers

Filling the cartridge

  • At the first pull of the tab of the cartridge,
  • Turn it over.
  • Take off the plastic seal.
  • If there are any bubbles on the cartridges, dab them with paper.
  • Put the cartridge into the inked panel of the printer.
  • Press it down so it sets up.
  • You must check if the food inks have a date or not.

Placing the frosting sheet on the printer

  • Pull out the bottom tray of the printer.
  • Place the backside of the paper on top of the tray.
  • Check if it is placed flat and straight.
  • After that, close the tray.

Printing the picture

  • First, you need to measure the side of the cake.
  • Choose the pic you want to print.
  • Check the size of the picture to see if it can be fitted on the frosting paper or not.
  • If the size of the image is too small or big, use any editing software to resize it.
  • Connect your PC with the printer.
  • Select the image and choose to print it on your printer.
  • The printer will print the image at the right size on the frosting paper.
  • Keep the paper in a safe place for 3 minutes so that it can dry.

Placing the frosting paper on the cake

  • To do it, first, you need to warm the printed frosting paper.
  • You can use the oven or pan on the stove but keep the temperature low.
  • Then cool the sheet for a moment. It should be sticky.
  • Place it on the cake.
  • Cool it in the fridge for 20 to 30 minutes.

What printers can be used for edible printing?

You need special edible ink printers for edible printing. Nowadays, only Canon and Epson are the brands that produce edible printers. But in edible printing, Canon is a little ahead. Canon also produces editing and printing equipment, so they are more popular.

The edible printer requires extensive cleaning and cannot be used for regular printing. And in this aspect, cleaning is easier on Canon printers. You can change the printheads in the Canon printers, and if they are clogged, you can change them. But Epson printers have adjusted printheads so you can remove them for cleaning. As a result, cleaning the Epson printers is very hard.

But you can use a regular printer for edible printing if you don’t want to buy a new printer. Keep in mind that the printer has to be newly bought or have never used regular print. Check if your printer’s printhead is removable or not. After using it for a printing, you shouldn’t use it for at least 3–4 weeks.

How to be successful in the Edible printing business?

Edible printers for customer

You need to follow some instructions to be successful in the edible printing business. They are:

Choosing the right printer

When choosing a printer for edible printing, you should choose a printer that is simple to use and doesn’t cause extensive stress in your work. Only Canon and Epson are the two brands that produce printers for edible printing, but you should choose Canon as they also produce edible printing pieces of equipment that are important for edible printing.

Preferring the best edible ink.

The edible print functions are the same as regular ink, but you can eat them. You can use this edible ink to manufacture edible drawings so that you can use these drawings in the cake or where you need to decorate foods.

As the density of the ink required by various brands varies, you should choose the ink that can be used in your printer. The more expensive the inks, the better they work. Don’t purchase low-quality ink, or it will damage your printer by obstructing your printhead.

Preparing the perfect icing sheet.

The icing sheet is utilized to pertain to the nimble plastic backing sheets with coatings of ice. These icing sheets are used for icing textures like buttercream, fondant, royal icing, or ice cream. Your edible image will be excellent and colorful if you use the best quality white icing sheets with elite edible inks.

Chocolate Transfer Sheets

The chocolate sheet is made with a thin layer of cacao-butter properties. These sheets are safe to use in food, and they have been created exclusively to be utilized in the edible ink printer. When you use these sheets in the printer to print an image to design a food product; the cacao butter layers meld with them for excellent finishing.

Choosing the best cutting tools.

You should choose those cutting tools that can easily cut your icing sheets. With precise cutting tools, it is easy to cut different patterns, even in large batch jobs. Cutting with a sharp and precise tool provides neat lines in the sheets without any kind of fracture.

Using software

Using preferred software to design the affectionate edible image is one of the most useful features of the edible printer. With accurate software, you can draw any kind of pattern or design as precisely as possible. This process saves your precious work time.

Applying some tips and applications

You need to organize the designed edible icing sheets with proper care. Don’t use wet hands on the sheets or they will fall apart. You can also use gloves, but keep in mind that they should be safe for food. Use backing sheets to cut the edible images.

Extra tools for faster and precise finishing

While backing a cake, it is important to sharpen the edges as precisely as possible. Consider using ganache lids or an offset spatula to give the finest finishing on the edges. When you need to wipe out air bubbles, use acupuncture needles for better texture. If you need a narrow coating of water or gel, you can use thin print brushes for perfect finishing.

What is the difference between an edible printer and a regular printer?


Comparison points Edible printer Regular printer
Preferred ink FDA compliant food coloring ink. Regular printing ink.
Preferred company. Canon and Epson. Of these two, Canon is the most well-known, as they also manufacture food printing equipment. Many companies produce regular printers, like HP, Canon, Epson, Brother, Lexmark, Kyocera
Which types of sheets are used. Frosting sheets. Normal paper
Can it use different print No No, but you can use a regular printer if it has never been filled with regular printing ink.
Have toxic ingredients/ tools No Yes
Attached with extra equipment for edible printing. Yes No
How well it functions to design the edible sheets. Best for edible printing. It doesn’t work very well. Also, if you use foodprint, it tends to clog.
Recommended by experts for edible printing. Yes No

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s see some commonly asked questions.

Can any printer be used for edible printing?

No, it is not recommended to use any printer for edible printing. If you use edible ink in normal printers, they tend to clog. So, using an edible printer is much safer for the job and requires less preparation. But still, if you want to use a regular printer, you must ensure that it has never been filled with normal ink before and will never be filled with normal ink.

Where to print Edible images for cakes?

It is recommended to use frosting sheets in the edible printer to print edible images. These ice sheets are coatings of ice, and they are utilized for printing edible images. You can use these frosting sheets to make designs like buttercream, fondant, royal icing, or ice cream.

Can you print on edible paper?

With the help of perfect edible printers, you can print on edible paper. You need to use exact software to produce the exact design that you want to apply to your edible paper. The printer will print them on paper.

Can I put edible ink in a normal printer?

If you want to put edible ink in a normal print, the ink will clog the printer’s print head. The ink can also damage its parts. As a result, edible inks should not be used in a standard printer. But still, if you want to use them, ensure that your printer has not been filled with regular ink before and will not be filled in the future.


The edible printing business is one of the fastest-growing businesses these days. Decorating confectionery items with your hands requires lots of time and work. You need a couple of hours to draw some patterns or print a beautiful picture. Edible printing can do these jobs flawlessly with less time. When selecting an edible printer, you should consider whether or not the print head is adjustable. Because edible printing requires a lot of cleaning, if you cannot change the print head, you cannot clean it perfectly.

Edible printers only use edible prints. If you use a regular printer for edible printing, never fill it with regular print. You shouldn’t buy cheap food colors or frosting papers for edible printing as they contain toxic elements. Do the edible printing as perfectly as possible to be successful in the edible printing business.