There are essentially 2 products to choose from when edible printing, either wafer paper (sometimes known as rice paper) or icing sheets (otherwise known as frosting sheets or sugar sheets). We often get asked what’s the difference between the two and which should I choose for? Here’s a quick reference guide:
Wafer paper is a vegetarian product usually made from potato starches, water and oil. It closely resembles standard paper. EPS wafer paper is available in a selection of thicknesses varying from 0.3mm wafer paper to 0.65mm wafer paper (otherwise known as wafer card) or our thickest 0.7mm gloss wafer paper / card. The thicker wafer paper tends to be used for stand up cakes toppers unsurprisingly because of it’s ability to ‘stand up’ when inserted into a cupcake / cake.
Icing sheets are a thin layer of white icing pressed onto a plastic backing paper to allow feeding through a printer. The backing sheet is peeled off before applying the icing onto a cake. Some types of icing sheets require freezing or heating to remove them from the backing sheet which can be problematic. However, the EPS icing sheets have been specially developed for their ability to quickly and easily peel away from the backing paper. As icing sheets are thicker than wafer paper and closely resemble fondant icing they tend to produce a higher quality print finish than wafer paper. EPS Icing sheets are also suitable for vegetarians or vegans and are gluten free.
Which is the best Product to Print onto? Wafer Paper or Icing Sheets?
Wafer paper is treated in exactly the same way as printing onto normal paper. Simply insert your wafer paper into the feed tray a few sheets at a time and print through your edible printer. Wafer Paper tends to be less flexible than icing sheets, although the EPS High Gloss Wafer Card has been specifically developed from improved flexibility and it’s ability to feed easily through printers without a back feed ie the most common edible printers the Canon IP7250 and Canon MG5750. The thinner 0.35mm wafer paper has a rough and a smooth side. The best results are achieved by printing onto the smooth side. The Wafer Card is smooth on both sides.
EPS Icing sheets have been specifically engineered for edible printing. The smooth, bright wihite finish of icing means printed images are very clear and they achieve the best possible printing results. It’s really important to remember the image you’re printing from must be of high resolution. If the image is poor quality the printed result will be poor quality too – no matter what you’re printing onto!
How do you Apply Wafer Paper and Icing Sheets onto Cakes?
Wafer paper can be applied onto cakes really easily. Simply moisten the back of the wafer paper using a fine mist of water and apply. There’s no backing paper to remove, you just print and go. Wafer paper does have a tendency to curl if it’s applied to wet icing. If being used on buttercream always apply them at the last minute or when the buttercream has hardened. Another downside of wafer paper is it doesn’t tend to mould into fondant icing, It can also be difficult to cut when applied to the top of a cake.
EPS Icing Sheets are really easy to remove from the backing paper. You simply peel them off! Other brands of icing sheets can be difficult to remove which can cause problems. Once printed, again icing sheets are easy to apply. Simply spray your ready iced cake with a fine mist of water and press the icing sheets gently into place. Unlike wafer paper they are easy to cut through and mould into fondant icing easily.
How does Wafer paper taste compared to Icing Sheets?
The standard EPS Wafer paper and Wafer Card is flavourless. An advantage of it’s lack of flavour means it doesn’t affect the flavour of the cake you’re applying it to. For those preferring a sweeter taste it’s available in a Sweetened Wafer Paper which has a slight vanilla flavour.
Icing Sheets tend to have a very slight, sweet and vanilla flavour. However, as the icing is generally absorbed into the cake / cupcakes any taste is not usually noticeable.
Price of Wafer Paper vs Icing Sheets
Wafer Paper is considerably cheaper to purchase than icing sheets, with prices from £ 4.95 or less for 25 sheets. Icing sheets are as little as £13.00 per 25 sheets. Unlike wafer paper, icing sheets are also available in pre-cut options.
For more information please see our website edibleprintsupplies.co.uk or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org