Just how do those bakeries do the birthday cake printouts?
Can I do this on my inkjet printer at home?
I'll answer those questions for you in this article.
Printing on a sheet to overlay your birthday cake might seem like something you could not do at home.
If you don't want to eat that printout, it is something you can accomplish with your printer, existing ink and some tracing paper. If you do want to eat that printout, it is another story entirely.
To do a birthday cake printout that you can eat you are going to need some specialized equipment and paper.
- A compatible printer
- Edible Ink Cartridges
- Edible Paper
- Edible Pens
You don't have to buy a new printer to print edible birthday cake printouts. It's possible to convert an old printer that has been used for regular printing jobs as a printer for edible ink. All that you need to do is to clean the printer, especially the printer head, thoroughly to remove all traces of the regular ink that was once used with it.
There are two brands of printers out on the market that have readily available edible ink cartridges for birthday cake printouts. Epson and Canon.
The Epson printers that are currently supported are:
WORKFORCE 500, WORKFORCE 600, NX100, NX200, NX300, NX400, CX5000, CX6000, CX7000F, CX7400, CX8400, CX9400F, and Stylus 1400.
Stylus Models: 1400, C87, C87+, C88 and C88+
The Canon printers that currently allow you to do birthday cake printouts are:
ALL-in-One Systems: MP510, MP520, MX700, MP500, MP800, MP810, MP830, MX850
Printers: IP3300, IP3500, IP6600D and IP6700D. There are various discontinued Canon printers out there in the Pixima line that can be used as well but I can't vouch for them.
Edible Ink Cartridges
Your printer is the first step in making birthday cake printouts. The second thing you're going to need is the specialty ink used to print your pictures. Not just any old ink will do. There are specialized FDA approved inks for use on your cake's edible paper.
These inks are not just any old ink. A great deal of care, cleanliness and formulation goes into the making of edible inks. Plain old food coloring injected in your old inject cartridge won't work, not to mention be safe!
Each printer has a specific requirement for the cartridges needed. Canon printers can get by with a black cartridge and a color cartridge. This might be fine if you are doing some very basic, low volume printing but remember the single color cartridges will not give you as much print output as individual tanks will.
Something else to consider is just how many prints are you going to make? Is this going to blossom into a little side business or do you plan to just print out one or two for your son's birthday?
If it is the former, by all means, get yourself a printer, ink and paper and go for it. If you just want to print out one sheet and put it on a cake, you might want to consider contacting one of the myriad of companies out there that do birthday cake printouts and have them do it for you.
The prices might seem high for a single printout but consider what it would cost to buy the ink cartridges ($50 or so) and clean your printer and buy the edible paper.
The next item required for making a birthday cake printout is edible paper. While edible paper is related to the paper you use everyday at work and home there is a key difference. The ingredients. Edible paper is made from rice or potato starch.
Nearly all of the papers out there are Kosher to boot!
Depending on the brand and composition, the paper can be somewhat brittle so you have to be a little more careful handling it than you would with regular paper.
Most of these papers are designed only to melt in water (i.e. your mouth) and not on the cake. You can be assured of a very nice looking product if you pick a quality edible paper for your birthday cake printout.
Edible Ink Pens
Maybe you don't want to print on your cake but you would like to write on some of the edible paper with an edible color marker. Wilton, the everything about cakes company makes these and they are wonderful.
Let your kids draw on the edible paper and create their own decorations without all of the mess that would happen if you gave them a pastry bag and let them go to town on the cake.