What is a Photo Cake?

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  • Written By: Deborah Ng
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 08 September 2019
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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.


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Discuss this Article

Post 16

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

Post 14

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

Post 12

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

Post 10

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

Post 8

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

Post 7

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

Post 5

The cake-printing suppliers sell special cleaning kits.

Post 3

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.

Post 1

Where can I purchase photo cake equipment?

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