How to Put a Picture Onto a Cake

One of the best ways to decorate a cake is to put a picture on it. Not only is it cool and clever, but it makes the cake distinct. There will be no second-guessing whose special occasion it is when their face is plastered all over the cake!

Whether you want to print a picture on a cake for a birthday, graduation, anniversary, or another event, you’re likely wondering how to do it. After all, regular photographs aren’t exactly edible. So, how’s it done?

There are a few options. The most popular choice is to print a picture on a specialty printer using edible paper and ink. However, you can also lay a photo wrapped in plastic on top of the cake or trace it using wax paper and icing.

Hello! I’m Michelle, and I’ve been baking for years. One of my favorite things to do is put pictures on cakes. It’s just so cute! And today, I’m here to show you how it’s done.

Let’s put a picture on a cake!

How to Put a Picture Onto a Cake (3 Ways)

Did you know there are three successful ways to put a picture on a cake at home? And the best part is that all of the methods are relatively simple. Even newbie bakers won’t have trouble translating an image onto a cake.

Method 1: Edible Paper and Ink

Did you know that you can print a picture that’s 100% edible? It might sound like some kind of new age phenomenon, but it’s all too real. All you need is a specialty printer that can print edible pictures – the same found in most bakeries that make picture cakes.

Once you have your printer, simply do the following:

Step 1: Select your digital image in JPEG format. If you’re using a physical photo, you will need to scan it and save it as a JPEG document.

Step 2: Print using edible paper and ink. There are several options, including wafer paper and frosting sheets. Don’t forget the edible ink, too. The last thing you want is to whip up a toxic cake.

Step 3: Allow the picture to dry for five minutes. This will give the ink time to soak into the paper, creating a vibrant image.

Step 4: Cut the borders, if desired. If your photo has a little extra, go ahead and use your kitchen scissors to cut off the excess.

Step 5: Place the image onto the cake. It’s that simple and looks great.

Note: If you do not want to purchase all of this equipment for a one-time cake, many bakers will do the hard work for you. Call your local bakeries to see if they can print an edible image for you.

Method 2: Plastic Wrap/Laminate

Not everyone wants to go out and purchase special equipment to put a picture onto a cake, and that’s okay. If you want to use a physical photo or print a digital image using regular paper and ink, you can still use it.

Obviously, you won’t want to put the picture directly onto the cake – and people should not consume it. Not only will the photo not taste very good, but it can be toxic. What can you do?

You have two choices:

  • Wrap the photo tightly with plastic wrap. The plastic wrap will protect the image from being overrun with delicious frosting.
  • Laminate the photo. You can be extra safe by having the photo laminated before placing it on top of your cake.

Either way, you can place the photo directly onto the cake. Be gentle, as you do not want the picture to penetrate the icing. When it’s time to consume the cake, remove the photo and enjoy it as usual!

Method 3: Trace the Photo

If you want to test your creativity, you can always trace the image instead of using wax paper and a photo. Using this method, it’s best to keep the image more uncomplicated with minor detail. Otherwise, the details can get lost in translation.

Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Place a sheet of wax paper over the image.

Step 2: Trace the image.

Step 3: Flip the wax paper over, so the ink is facing down.

Step 4: Use icing to create the image. It’s best to work from the top and move downward.

Step 5: When you’re done, flip the image over and press the frosting side down into the cake.

Step 6: At this point, you can perform any necessary touch-ups until you’re happy with your cake.

Serve and enjoy!


See? I told you putting a picture onto a cake was a cinch! If you still have some questions, don’t worry – I’ve got you covered. Here are a few commonly asked questions people have asked.

Can you print edible paper on a regular printer?

Canon and Epson printers are said to be able to handle edible ink. The only issue was when the printers were used for regular ink. Before printing something edible, you would have to perform an extensive cleaning job to ensure there are no leftover chemicals or toxins.

Can you refrigerate a cake with an edible image?

Are you thinking about refrigerating your cake with an edible image? The good news is that you can successfully refrigerate a cake with an edible image. The only potential downside is that the image may lose quality. However, it’s still 100% safe to consume.

Does Walmart make edible images?

Walmart should be able to make edible images. However, this could vary by location. While it’s more common than not, it’s best to give your local Walmart a call to see whether or not they make edible images.

Is an edible printer worth it?

If you regularly bake cakes with edible images, then yes, an edible printer can be an excellent investment. On the other hand, if you only need an edible image once or twice a year, it might be best to use another option or have the image professionally printed.

Final Words

Putting a picture onto a cake is surprisingly simple. The best way to do it is with a printer, edible paper, and ink. However, you can also test your creativity by tracing the image with frosting on wax paper or going the simple route by laminating or wrapping the photo in plastic wrap.

What is your favorite way to put a picture onto a cake?

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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