When you're looking to expand your bakery operation, one of the things you might be thinking about is offering edible images on your cakes. While you can order many of the character images and other commercial designs from wholesalers, you might find that you want to provide personalized image printing. To do this, you'll want to find an edible printer. Before you take the leap and buy one outright, consider a printer rental to see how your customers respond. Here are some tips to help you choose the right printer for your needs.
What To Consider When Choosing the Printer
You can use either an inkjet or photo printer for your edible printing needs. In some bakery operations, a desktop printer of standard size is more than enough to meet your demand. In other cases, you might need to invest in a larger printer designed specifically for photos. Just remember that you have to either rent a brand new printer or one that's only ever been used for edible ink, otherwise you risk ink contamination. Make sure that your printer rental company confirms that the model you choose is compatible with edible ink cartridges as well, because there may be some models that are not.
Things To Consider When Choosing Paper
There are two different types of edible printing paper. Some bakeries find it best to keep both on hand, but it depends on what you're trying to provide.
Frosting Paper - Frosting paper is actually frosting that's been spread into very thin layers on a plastic sheet. It is then allowed to dry before you print on it. If you want to have your images printed on something that isn't distinguishable in texture or taste compared to your cake frosting, this is a good way to go. The frosting sheet will settle directly into the buttercream and become part of it, leaving the image visible on the surface. Just don't use any fondant under a frosting paper print, because it won't blend in.
Wafer Paper - This is often also known as starch paper. It is thin, flexible and white in color. It won't dissolve into the frosting, though, so you'll want to reserve it for smaller, delicate items like printed flowers. The paper is easy to cut, so you can use a sharp knife to cut around the edges of the picture. Just make sure that you allow your buttercream to crust over on the top before you apply these pictures, otherwise the wafer paper will dissolve from the moisture.
Investing in edible printing equipment and paper will allow you to capitalize on a whole new aspect of the marketplace. If you want to test the waters with your customer base without committing to purchasing the printer, talk with a printer rental company like Office Products Services today.