Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Abe's Hippo Birthday Cake

While chewing his piece of Chipmunk cake at Scout's family birthday party, Abe excitedly told me that I had a couple of weeks to rest up from cake making before I got to make his birthday cake, and that it would be a hippo.

What have I done to myself? :-)

I love those two kids so much that I simply can't say of course I made him a hippo cake. This birthday was a special one too--it was Abe's 8th birthday and he was baptized. I had to make a great cake to celebrate such a poignant a hippo it was! Abe requested a vanilla cake since the last couple of cakes I have made, I've used our family Chocolate Economy Cake recipe.

After Abe's baptism, the family all went to Seneca Lake State Park and had a pizza and wing picnic and hippo for dessert. I wish I had a picture of Abe's face when he first saw the hippo cake. It was priceless.

I think my favorite thing about the hippo, other than how happy it made Abe, was that the little guy looked like he was smiling...A happy hippo!

I started by baking a vanilla sponge in two 8-inch rounds and a medium-sized loaf pan. Once the cakes were completey cool, I cut one of the rounds in half to make two thinner rounds. I made my very favorite buttercream
recipe and iced each of the items. I used the Wilton's fondant and colored it a grey using the wilton's black gel food coloring. I rolled
out the fondant after it was kneaded and the color was consistent. I covered the bottom round with the fondant and smoothed it over
the cake and then cut off the extra fondant along the bottom.

I then colored, kneaded, and rolled the fondant to cover the loaf, and then put it right up against the first circle.

I cut two small rounds out of the
2nd round (the one I didn't cut
in half...) to use as a nose and
placed them on top of the other
round. I iced over the nostrils
and then kneaded, colored, and
rolled out the fondant for the top
of the mouth. I carefully
smoothed the fondant over being
very careful to smoothe it gently over the nose. Before placing this round I used buttercream to attach two large marshmallows in the front to be the front teeth. I put a dab of buttercream on top of each marshmallow to help secure the bottom of the round. I set the nose round on top of the first and butted the back up against the loaf and the edge on top of the marshmallows.

The next step was the eyes. I cut circles out of the extra round for eyeballs. I cut a slant off of each of these small rounds so they would sit at a slight angle. I frosted each of them with the buttercream and then covered them in white fondant the same way I did the other pieces. Then I colored, kneaded, and rolled out a small amount of black fondant which I cut two small circles for pupils. I attached the black circles to the eyeballs with a small dab of vodka, and attached the eyes to the hippo head the same way.

I made little nostrils the same way after coloring a tiny bit of fondant a light pink color to use for ears and nostrils. I rolled out a little bit of grey fondant to make ears and cut two raindrops  out of it. I rolled out the remaining pink fondant and cut two slightly smaller raindrops.  I attached the pink on top of the

grey with a tiny bit of vodka. I shaped the ears and let them dry over the rolling pin. Once completely dry, I attached the ears with Vodka as well and put a tiny piece of skewer to act as an anchor for each ear. The hippo was finished! 
I am so pleased with the way it turned out. This was my very first time working with Fondant. I read a lot online, and found a really great blog that taught a lot of info. Due to time constraints, I used the Wilton's premade rolled fondant. I would use it again due to the ease of use, but it really does not taste good at all. I think I would really like to try a marshmallow fondant the next time. The recipe for it is on the blog I linked to above.

I showed the cake to Abe before his baptism, and he was so excited. He gave me a great big hug, and Scouty approved too! Once we got to the picnic at the park after Abe's baptism, the kids were so excited to finish their pizza and eat some cake. I put 8 candles on the hippo's head, and they kinda looked like hair!

We lit the candles and sang to Abe while he very seriously thought about what his wish should be. Scout just couldn't wait to get a piece of the hippo cake! After her first bite, she said it was almost as good as her squirrel cake. :-) They were so darn cute! Happy birthday Abraham... Make a wish! (He looks so serious in this picture...I keep wondering what his wish was!)

The hardest part of making these cakes, is cutting and serving them. After all that time, you take a knife to this creation, and destroy it... with one slice of a knife. So depressing. Since I made the cake, my mother handed me the knife, and I had to make the cut. I felt like I was murdering the poor little
hippo. :-( was worth it though, because he was delicious!


  1. I am planning on making a "Poopapotamus" cake for my nephew that is turning 2. (He's not trying to be funny, he's just that cute!) I came across this and just wanted you to know that you did a WONDERFUL job!

  2. I used your blog to create a hippo cake for my 11year old. She LOVED it! Thank you.