How to Transfer Photos Onto a Cake for Decoration

Written by kittie mccoy
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How to Transfer Photos Onto a Cake for Decoration
Perk up a plain cake with a special photo. (Easter cake image by Igor Zhorov from

Placing photos on your cakes adds a personal touch, but you might be wondering how a novice cake decorator can manage this task. Some sources recommend re-creating the photo with piped icing, but unless you're an artist and skilled at piping icing, this technique will usually result in messy and distorted pictures. Another option is to print the photo onto edible frosting sheets, but you need a dedicated printer and edible ink for that method. Instead of investing in expensive equipment or mastering piping techniques, you can transfer photos to your cake using a method that won't damage your original photo.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Photo paper
  • Printer
  • Scissors
  • Clear laminate
  • Icing
  • Decorator's bag
  • Decorating tip

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  1. 1

    Make a colour copy of your photo by printing it on photo paper on your home computer or having a copy shop print it. You can also resize the photo at this point if necessary.

  2. 2

    Cut the photo out of the paper with scissors until all of the white edges are removed and it is the right size for your cake.

  3. 3

    Sandwich the photo between two layers of clear laminate. You can purchase clear laminate at office supply stores. This will protect the photo from being damaged by the icing on your cake.

  4. 4

    Trim the laminate with scissors until a 1/8-inch border remains around the photo.

  5. 5

    Ice the top of your cake with the icing of your choice. You need to create a sticky layer so the photo will stay in place.

  6. 6

    Press the laminated photo onto the iced cake. You can gently remove the photo and reposition it until you are satisfied with its placement.

  7. 7

    Pipe icing around the edge of the photo using a decorator's bag and the decorating tip of your choice. This step isn't necessary, but it will hide the edges of the photo and make the photo look more like part of the cake.

Tips and warnings

  • Peel your laminated photograph off the cake right before you cut and serve it.

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