Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Zoe. Zoe Wonders, “How can you take a picture and put it on a cake?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Zoe!
Some cakes have personal messages written on the top in icing. Others might have favorite cartoon characters or superheroes hanging out to wish you a happy birthday. The latest trend, though, is for a cake to feature a photograph of the birthday girl or boy.
Bakers call these special treats photo cakes. The photograph on the top of the cake looks just like one you'd see in a frame on your wall. The difference, though, is that you can eat the photo on your cake!
Making an edible photograph that can be used as a cake decoration is a fairly simple process today thanks to modern technology. Bakers first need the photograph you want to put on the cake. If you have a digital photograph, you're good to go. If not, the baker will need to scan your photograph to create a digital file.
An edible photo can then be printed much like you would print a photograph at home on a printer. Some home printers can print edible photos with the right materials. Most bakeries that make photo cakes have special printers used only to produce edible photos.
The earliest versions of icing paper were made from rice. Today, though, there are several different types of icing paper and frosting sheets available. They're made from a variety of materials, including potatoes, cornstarch, and sugar and starch mixtures.
Most edible photos have very little texture and no significant taste. They're designed to dissolve on a moist surface, such as the top of a frosted cake. Once applied and dissolved, the photo looks like it was printed directly onto the top of the cake itself.