Sunday, July 3, 2011

Hippo Birthday Luau

Posted by Jennifer at 12:07 AM
Easter wanted a really unique birthday cake for Lili's first birthday. In fact, it was so unique that her husband drew a sketch of exactly what they wanted... Safari Lili sitting on top of a giant purple hippo with a friendly alligator and lion inside of a little jungle scene. Yup. That's right! Here's what I came up with. The hippo is all edible. The body and legs are all Ruby Red Velvet Cake with cream cheese frosting and the head is all rice-crispies. The whole cake is covered in homemade marshmallow fondant.

Here is an upclose shot of Lili and her little lion and alligator friend. They are all made out of fondant and so are the palm trees. I thought it was so cool that Easter's husband drew out a sketch and I'll tell you, when I first saw the sketch, I had NO idea how I was going to do it. As Bronwen Weber once said, always say yes and then figure out how to do it later. That's exactly what I did and I'm so glad I took on the challenge.

In order to get the cake this big, there were two full tiers of cake inside of the hippo herself and they were separated by a piece of cardboard and supported with straws so that the cake didn't collapse on itself. I shaped the head out of rice crispies and then covered the head in buttercream. I let that firm up in the fridge for a while, then I sculpted it down to make sure it was cute and in proportion. I covered it again in buttercream and then in marshmallow fondant. I added the eyes, lashes, nose and ears. Then, I used a few skewers to skewer the head in tightly to the main cake, and boy was this head heavy. It was HUGE (like an orange on a toothpick... or a rice crispie hippo head on a skewer, I suppose). Once I got the hippo's body and head put together, I added the legs out of cake and then placed Lili and her animal friends on the top of the hippo.
When I got to the party, Easter had gone all out! There were musicians, dancers, decorations, tons of food and it just looked like an awesome party. She went nuts over the cake and so I was proud to have been a part of Lili's first birthday. As a surprise, I made a matching smash cake with just a little hippo's face on it for Lili to get into and Lili loved it. Well, technically, I don't think Lili cared too much but Easter loved it :) haha



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