Birthday cakes are a fact of life around here. With 10 kids between Marc and I, a son-in-law, and three grandkids plus various friends we have birthdays nearly every month. Often they happen in multiples. Since my first child’s first birthday I have tried to make each birthday special and unique. Sometimes I don’t do so well and other times I do great – usually it is somewhere between the two.
Erin, my oldest daughter, is often part of the planning – she and I have worked together on parties for so long that it is almost second nature. When we were planning my step-daughter’s party just before Christmas we finally decides on a hippo theme. Christine loves hippos and collects them so it was almost a no brainer. The only problem was how to actually manipulate cake into the shape of a hippo.
I am not Duff Goldman. Nor do I have tons of time to make cakes. With a baked cake you should be able to complete this in about two hours. It took me an hour and a half.
I actually did try to find a shaped pan. I thought it would be easier and less time consuming but there was no pan to be found. Ah, well.
I decided to use a 2 layer round cake, a small square cake, and marshmallows for the eyeballs and teeth. One of Christine’s favorite cakes is red velvet so I did the rounds in red velvet and the back in chocolate. Anyway, if you want to make one of these you’ll need:
- 2 round cakes
- 1 square cake
- A double batch of your favorite confectioner’s sugar based buttercream
- 6 marshmallows
- Black food color
- Pink food color
- Blue food color
- clean paint brush
- A cake board
- decorating tubes
- plastic drinking straws to stabilize the cake
Instructions for Assembly of the hippo birthday cake
- Make sure the cakes are completely cooled.
- Slice the the round cakes in half. These will make up the mouth and head.
- It will be easier to assemble if you freeze the cake before assembly and decoration, especially if you are a novice cake decorator.
- Lay a half cake round on the cake board towards the front. Frost the top with pink frosting and the sides with gray.
- Push straws through two marshmallows, spaced slightly apart, and through the bottom cake layer. Cut the straws off slightly under the tops of the marshmallows. The straws will help hold the top cake up.
- Take the other half of the layer and frost it with pink on the bottom and gray on the sides and top.
- Place it carefully on top of the cake letting the marshmallows hold up the front part.
- Now, take the other two halves and put frosting between the layers. Push them together and secure them by pushing straws through them – one on each side and one at the top.
- Cut the straws slightly lower than the surface of the cake.
- Frost the layers with gray frosting.
- Set the layers flat side down, butted up against the back of the “mouth”.
- The round part of the layers will now be forming the back of the head. Fill in cracks at the joining areas with frosting.
- Push straws through the back of the head into the jaws.
- Flatten two marshmallows and paint pupils in the center with the black food color.
- Attach to the cake with toothpicks.
- Flatten the remaining two marshmallows and make a hollow in the centers.
- Frost the centers with pink frosting and the outsides with gray.
- Attach to the top of the head with toothpicks.
- Push the square cake up against the back and frost the top and sides with gray.
- Using the decorating tubes to create nostrils, and other details you might want.
- Frost blue up the sides to resemble water.
We used sort of a safari theme and used plastic wild animals in the decor. It did come out really cute… If you are decorating this and you have questions just check with me on the RestlessChipotle facebook page. I usually can get back to you almost immediately.
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