I wanted to copy the idea from this other cake, where the lady made a giraffe out of royal icing. Instead of real royal icing (with egg whites), I used another recipe just using powdered sugar, corn syrup, and milk. It was way easy and tastes good, too.
I put a picture of the hippo on a cookie sheet with wax paper over that so I could trace the hippo. It worked out really well. I liked this idea because I knew I could make as many hippos as I needed instead of just one if I did it right on the cake.
My first hippo was too big, but looked pretty good. I originally considered him a practice hippo. When I decided to make a round cake instead of a 9x13 cake, I knew I had to try again. My second hippo was even better, but this was the day before the party, so I knew I was risking it not drying enough. FYI - to get the colors looking so varied, I actually mixed blue food coloring with some almond extract (mostly alcohol) and "painted" chunks of blue with my fingers.
It didn't turn out as cute as the other hippos, but it still looked good.
I added color to some of my white fondant and made a little fondant braid to go around the bottom of the cake. It looked really cute and I was pleased.
Most importantly, Lucas loved the cake. Friday afternoon I had to keep him from trying to play with the cake or stick a spoon in it. He actually got a spoon out of the drawer and brought it over - hence the dent in the fondant.
Here are some pictures of the process:
First rolling out the fondant.