Advice, Information & Instructions
Edible pictures are printed on thin sheets of fondant icing. They should be handled with dry hands and treated with care. Applying them successfully is not difficult but there are some things you should pay attention to...

Step 1: Inspect your Edible Picture
Make sure it’s correct and check to see if it is easy to remove from the backing sheet (see Step 4) – if required plan ahead and allow adequate time to remove it. Consider removing the edible picture in advance and re-sealing in its zip lock bag so it is ready when you need it.

Step 2: Storing the Edible Picture
Keep it sealed in the zip lock bag until you are ready to use it.
Keep it in a cool place, non humid place out of direct sunlight.
Keep it flat and do not put anything on top of it.
Use within 3 months.

Step 3: Preparing the Cake
An edible picture can be applied to icing such as fondant, sugar paste, royal icing, butter cream or glacé. It can be any colour but lighter ones are better as the edible photo is made from very thin icing.
If you have wet icing or a covering with high fat content (such as butter or cream cheese) the thin icing of the edible picture is at risk of absorbing moisture or fat. Making a backing plaque from fondant or sugar paste will prevent this. This should be about the same size and shape as your edible picture. Place the edible picture on the plaque and then place on your cake top. Alternatively you should apply the edible picture just before serving the cake to minimize the time available for absorption to occur.

The effect of too much absorption can be blurring and in the case of dark colours (particularly black) it can alter their colour as the moisture or fat causes the constituent colour pigments to separate out (as in chromatography). Edible inks are not as stable as conventional inks.

Step 4: Remove the Edible Picture from Backing Sheet
Note: If you have had multiple images printed on an icing sheet and you need to cut them out, use a very sharp craft knife of scalpel. Cut them out whilst they are still attached to the backing sheet.

Removing From The Backing Sheet
Bend back the backing sheet at the corners (or edge if a circle) to find a starting place. When the edible picture begins to lift, slowly peel the backing sheet away from the edible picture, the edible picture should fall away - never grip or pull the edible picture from the backing sheet. If you cannot release the edible picture at the corners or edges, or if it fails to fall away after you have started peeling - it means the edible picture is too moist.

Under no circumstances try and force the edible picture – for example do not try and lift the edge with a knife or try and pull the icing away from the backing sheet – it will almost certainly tear or break.

The moisture in the edible picture keeps it attached to the backing sheet during printing and handling.
Too much moisture can be due to the icing being very new or high humidity in the room. Images with large blocks of colour can also be moist due to the large amount of ink used.

Use the methods below to reduce the moisture content and remove the edible picture. Warming method 2 is the most efficient method of removing cupcake discs.

Passive Method

Leave to stand in a non humid environment (humidity will increase the moisture content). Check every 30 minutes to see if the backing sheet will peel off. Do not leave overnight to dry out excessively.

Warming Method 1
Place on a flat surface and use a hair dryer/heat gun on a warm setting. Keep it at a minimum distance of 15cm/6” and always keep it moving in order to ensure even drying.  Focusing on one point runs the risk of excessive drying and cracking. Stop and try to peel the backing sheet frequently.

Warming Method 2 (best method for pre-cut cupcake discs)
Place on a warm baking tray in a warm (not hot) oven for 2 minutes, remove then try and peel backing sheet. Repeat for 30 second periods. Do not leave unattended.

Do not dry out excessively – stop and check the edible photo frequently – excessive drying will cause the edible photo to crack or shrivel.

Friction Method
Hold each end of the backing sheet gripping as much width of the sheet as possible – place it over a rounded edge of a table or work top – and pull it down and then pull it up rapidly (think of shining a pair of shoes). Don’t worry about damaging the edible picture as it is quite flexible when moist. When you see an edge lift away stop and peel off the backing (be prepared for some discs to fall off quite quickly).

Freezing Method (only recommended for experienced users)
Put the edible picture in the freezer ensuring that it does not get moisture on it. After 30 seconds remove and try peeling the backing sheet away.

Apply the Edible Picture to your Cake
If you have a shop bought cake or the icing on your cake has dried or formed a crust, a little moisture will help the edible picture attach to the icing and blend in. Dampen the cake icing using a pastry-brush but don't over wet it, only a small amount of moisture is needed to allow the edible picture to adhere.

The effect of too wet icing can be blurring and in the case of dark colours (in particular black) it can alter their colour as the colour pigments separate out.
Do not get any moisture on the printed side of the edible photo – it will run or smear

Hold the edible picture at the edges and place the middle onto the cake first. If any bubbles or wrinkles appear gently pat them out with dry fingers. If you accidentally tear the icing just rub very gently with a dry finger and it will merge back together. The tear will disappear after an hour or so.

Your Finished Cake
After a few hours your picture will blend into the icing and look like it has been painted onto the icing. The time this takes and the results will vary depending on how dry your icing is.
If you have used a very dry topping, or if you need to serve the cake straight away then pipe some icing around the image to hide any visible edges.