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What Is a Photo Cake?

By Deborah Ng
Updated May 16, 2024
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If you've been to a children's birthday party anytime in the past few years, you've probably seen a photo cake. This type of cake has a photograph of the guest of honor imprinted on top. Thanks to the wonders of technology, a non-toxic, edible photograph can be printed out and used as a cake decoration!

How is this possible? It's simple. The person wishing to have a photo cake made gives a favorite photograph to the baker. The baker will make the cake as usual, except that instead of embellishing the top of the cake with pink or blue flowers, he'll adorn it with an exact copy of the photograph.

To make the photograph for the photo cake, the baker will scan the provided photograph. Once the photograph is scanned, it's printed out on special edible "icing paper" made from rice, potatoes or cornstarch. The ink used to imprint the picture onto the paper is made from food coloring.

A rice or potato icing sheet might actually add an extra thin layer to the birthday cake. Though this won't take away from the overall look and taste of the photo cake, it is apparent where the icing sheet was placed. There are special icing sheets made from cornstarch, however, which are made to dissolve once they're placed on top of cake icing, leaving only the photograph behind.

If you're willing to invest in the equipment, you can also make a photo cake at home. The supplies necessary to make one can be ordered over the Internet or from special mail order companies. Included in these kits are edible inks and frosting sheets. The supplies are expensive, though. One can expect to pay between two and three hundred dollars for one kit.

There's another consideration for those wishing to make a photo cake at home. While the kits are designed to be printed from your home printer, think carefully before you do this. If you are going to be running food through your printer, you'll need to first do a lot of scrubbing. The last thing you want is for your guests to ingest ink that was left behind on your printer. Once you're finished printing, you'll need to again clean your printer thoroughly. Unless you're planning on purchasing a separate printer, making this type of cake at home is not recommended.

Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly is a photo cake?

A photo cake is a cake that has an edible photograph printed onto an icing sheet with edible ink. To make a personalized decoration, the image is carefully put on top of the cake. The photograph might depict anything, from a great occasion or a person's face to a brand emblem or a humorous image. Photo cakes are an excellent method to personalize a cake for any occasion.

How do you make a photo cake?

A cake is made and allowed to cool before being turned into a photo cake. The edible photograph is then printed with edible ink onto an icing sheet. The icing sheet is put on top of the cake with care, ensuring that the image is centered and the borders are smoothed out. Following the application of the photo, the cake can be embellished with more icing, sprinkles, and other edible decorations.

What kinds of photographs can go on a photo cake?

A photo cake can employ almost any photo. The choices are unlimited, whether it's a snapshot of a person's face, a particular moment, a company logo, a favorite pet, or simply a funny picture! A photo cake will look wonderful as long as the photo is high-resolution and the colors are vivid and vibrant.

How long can a photo cake be stored?

Photo cakes should be eaten within a few days of their creation. This is due to the fact that the edible photograph on the cake will fade and lose its brilliance over time. To keep the photo cake fresh and at its best, enjoy it within a few days of its creation.

Is it possible to make a photo cake at home?

Yes, with the correct supplies, you can bake a photo cake at home. A cake mix, an edible photo printer, edible ink, and an icing sheet are all required. Most baking stores carry these ingredients. Once you have all of the essential items, bake the cake according to the instructions on the cake mix box and print the photo onto the icing sheet according to the instructions on the edible photo printer. After printing the photo, carefully adhere it on the top of the cake.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By anon99000 — On Jul 24, 2010

I'm in mumbai. where can i purchase edible photo equipment?

By anon78136 — On Apr 17, 2010

where can i purchase photo cake equipment in mumbai (Inida)?

By anon73209 — On Mar 26, 2010

I am in kenya. where can i purchase an edible printer kit?

By anon70397 — On Mar 14, 2010

I'm from Hong Kong. Where can I buy the photo cake equipment? Thanks.

By anon56934 — On Dec 18, 2009

where can i purchase photo cake equipment in mumbai (INDIA)?

By yingboya — On Nov 01, 2009

i'm in the uk. Where can I purchase photo cake equipment?

By anon40018 — On Aug 05, 2009

The cake-printing suppliers sell special cleaning kits.

By anon26618 — On Feb 16, 2009

I was wondering how do you clean your printer to be used for edible images? I do know that you have to start with a new printer.

By carolcake — On Aug 13, 2008

Where can I purchase photo cake equipment?

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