Posted on by Brian Morrison

WHAT ARE EDIBLE ICING SHEETS?

Edible icing sheets (also referred as frosted sheets) are paper-thin sheets of flexible, printable frosting that easily adhere to most types of cake topping such as buttercream, fondant, chocolate, and royal icing.  Icing sheets come with a plastic backing sheet that helps keep the frosting pliable until you are ready to work with it.

The icing sheets are a blank canvas which can be printed on using an edible printer and edible ink. The pictures above are just some examples of the kind of cake toppers that can be produced, if fact we have found over the years that there is very little that cannot be produced on an edible icing sheet. Some of my favourite toppers are photo topper which range from baby scans, gender reveal and old black and white pictures.  Edible cake topper can turn a nice cake it a beautiful professional looking cake for little effort and money. In fact you can take a simple shop bought cake and turn it into something special by adding a personalised edible topper. I posted a video on YouTube showing how it's done video check it out.

The icing sheets that we use at top cake topper are gluten and dairy free and are suitable for vegans, vegetarians. For those of you who like to know exactly what the ingredients are here is the full list.

Ingredients:

Icing Sheets - Modified starches (E1422, E1412), maltodextrin, humectant (E422), sugar, water, thickeners (E460i, E414, E415), dextrose, food color (E171), emulsifiers (E435, E471, E491), preservative (E202), flavour, acidity regulator: (E330)

Wafer - Potato Starch Water

Ink ingredients:

Black: water, humectant (E422), propylene glycol (E490), preservative (E202), food colors (E122-carmoisine, E133, E102-tartrazine), acidity regulator(E330).

Yellow: water, humectant (E422), propylene glycol E490), preservative (E202)  food color: E102 (tartrazine), acidity regulator(E330).

Magenta: water, humectant (E422), propylene glycol (E490), preservative (E202), food colours (E122-carmoisine, E124-ponceau), acidity regulator(E330).

Cyan: water, humectant (E422), propylene glycol (E490), preservative (E202), food colors (E133, E124, E102- tartrazine), acidity regulator(E330)

Storage:

Now down to the technical stuff.

CUTTING EDIBLE ICING SHEETS AND WAFER PAPER
Cutting icing sheets and wafer paper is as simple as cutting a piece of paper! Use scissors, a craft knife, paper guillotine or paper punches. Icing sheets can be cut with or without the plastic backing still attached. You can also use a cutter, remove the icing from the backing sheet and then attach it to a piece of rolled out sugarpaste before cutting, this will give you a nice clean cut when using cookie or sugarpaste cutters.

HOW TO APPLY WAFER PAPER AND ICING SHEETS ONTO CAKES              For best results applied the topper to a cake at room temperature NOT a cake straight out of the fridge as this can cause the moisture to come up through the icing sheet.

Wafer paper (also known as rice paper) does not have a backing sheet it can be applied onto cakes really easily. Simply lightly moisten the back of the wafer paper or the surface you are applying it to using a fine mist of water and apply but don’t over-wet. Wafer paper does have a tendency to curl if it’s applied to wet icing. If being used on buttercream apply it at the last minute or when the buttercream has formed a crust. Working from the center outwards, smooth any bubbles that may exist. A decorative piped edge can be added around the cake to hide the edge of the wafer paper.

Hint:
Wafer paper can start to absorb the moisture from the buttercream which can cause grease patches. This can be overcome by making a backing layer of roll-out fondant which you apply the wafer paper before applying it to your cake.

Top Cake Topper Icing Sheets are really easy to remove from the backing paper. You simply peel it off (when removed the back of your topper has a shiny surface) this is the icing ready to apply. Icing sheets will stick when directly applied to a ganache-covered or buttercream-finished cake. If using edible icing sheets to decorate a fondant-finished cake, first brush or spray the fondant or back of the icing image with a tiny amount of water but don't over-wet it this could cause the colours in the image to run or bleed. Icing sheets won’t stick directly to a cake with buttercream that has already set.  If the butter cream has formed a crust you will have to apply your will need to moisten the frosting by either smearing a light coat of butter cream or a light spray of water (not to must).

Hold the topper gently and and line it up on the cake where you want it to side, then lower it into position, smooth it out to with the palm of your hand (make sure your hand is dry and clean).  If any bubbles or wrinkles appear on the icing sheet cake topper gently pat them out with your fingers. You can, if you desire, pipe a decorative edge around the cake to hide the edge of the icing sheet.

Link to instructional video

If the icing sheet is applied to frosting which has high moisture content such as whipped cream it may cause the colour from the printed cake topper to run or bleed into your frosting.  The following tip will help avoid colour run or bleeding:

  1. When applying the icing sheet to a cake covered in whipped cream apply a light coat of buttercream to the back of the icing sheet this will form a barrier between the whipped cream and the icing sheet.

  2. Roll out a thin layer of sugar paste and smear it with a light coating of buttercream, lay the icing sheet on top and cut round the icing sheet and the sugar paste. The icing sheet along with the sugar paste can then be applied to the cake.

  3. Freeze the cake before applying the icing sheet and keep frozen until you need to serve. 

HOW TO STORE YOUR EDIBLE PHOTO TOPPER.
• Keep your topper in its bag until you are ready to use it.
• Keep it flat and don't put anything on top of it to risk spoiling it.
• Keep it out of direct sunlight or the colours may fade

Apply the icing sheets to the side of a cake
If you are using our cake bands on the side of your cake, measure the height of the cake and cut the icing sheet with a craft knife or scissors.   Depending on the size of your cake it is likely you will need more than one band so the smoother and straight your cake is finished the better the cake bands will sit. Once your cake is covered with frosting peel the acetate backing off your first icing sheet and line it up with the bottom of the cake pressing it gently against the frosting.  Once you are sure it is straight slowly wrap it round and up the side of the cake pressing it gently to secure.  

It is important that the icing sheet is straight at both ends to ensure you have a good finish when joining your next icing sheet cake band. If it is not straight there is still time providing the frosting is still soft you can gently remove the icing sheet and reposition it.

When you are happy with the icing sheet position smooth it with the palm of your hand (dry palm) or a fondant smoother. The edges of the icing sheet need to be pressed flat against the cake.  If you need to use a second cake band cut the icing sheet to the correct height.  Before removing the acetate backing line the second band with one edge of the band which is already in place bring it round to the second edge to gauge the band length, make and cut. If you are worried about the length leave it a little bit longer you can trim it with scissors when it has been applied although this can be a little bit tricky.

To apply the second sheet line up the edge of the first sheet with the second sheet making sure both edges are touching the whole way along. Then press the icing sheet bands around the cake until it reaches the other end of the first band. If you have gotten your measurements right the edged of the first and second band should match.  Don’t worry if they don’t you can trim off any excess with scissors or you could overlap the edge although you will need to apply some edible glue or piping gel.