Hungry Hippo Rolls

Did you know that the first soup recipe, made in 6000 BC, was hippopotamus soup? Just imagine the pot they needed to cook it in!

Healthy and Easy Hungry Hippo Soup Recipe for Kids

Luckily, this recipe for hippopotamus soup requires no real hippos. All you need is bread dough, creative juices and a dash of fun. Oh, and your favorite soup. I used tomato bisque. But it doesn’t matter what kind, because these bread hippos will swim in any flavor.

Healthy and Easy Hungry Hippo Soup Recipe for Kids

My daughter especially enjoyed helping me in the kitchen with this project. It’s a lot like cooking with Playdoh – except you can eat it when you’re done. She made the cutest baby bread hippos. The trick is to not overwork the dough. Just roll the different pieces, align them on your baking sheet, and let them rise together. You’ll be surprised when you see how big they bake up.

Healthy and Easy Hungry Hippo Soup Recipe for Kids

These would be a fun winter cooking craft. You could even bake them and freeze a bunch to use later at a special dinner party or for family soup night. Now that I think about it, one of these bread hippos would look pretty funny wading in a bowl of chili.

What You Need

Makes 8 bread hippos.

  • 16 frozen bread rolls (I used Rhodes dinner rolls)
  • Butter
  • Black eyed peas
  • Black beans
  • Your favorite soup or chili


Healthy and Easy Hungry Hippo Soup Recipe for Kids

Step 1
Place the frozen rolls on a baking sheet. Spray a piece of plastic food wrap with non-stick cooking spray and cover the rolls. Allow the dough to thaw and rise according to directions on the package.

Healthy and Easy Hungry Hippo Soup Recipe for Kids

Step 2
Take one of the thawed dough rolls, and roll it into an elongated oval for the hippo’s body. If needed, use a dusting of flour on your hands to keep it from sticking. Place it on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Next, take another thawed dough roll and break off two small balls for the hippo’s snout. Roll the larger ball for the head. Place it on the baking sheet at the front of the body. Pinch the top sides of the head to make the hippo’s ears.

Then, roll the two smaller balls of dough and place them in the front of the head to form the snout. Continue this process with the remaining thawed dough balls until you’ve made 8 large hippos. The sizes can vary, but typically I used 2 dough balls per hippo.

Cover the hippos on the baking sheet with a lightweight cloth or deep pan. Set the baking sheet in a warm area of your kitchen and let the dough rise again for 20-30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cook the hippos for 15-20 minutes.

Healthy and Easy Hungry Hippo Soup Recipe for Kids

Step 3
Allow them to cool slightly, then brush them with butter.

Healthy and Easy Hungry Hippo Soup Recipe for Kids

Step 4
To add the eyes and nostrils, cut small slits with a knife and insert the black eyed peas and black beans.

Healthy and Easy Hungry Hippo Soup Recipe for Kids

Step 5
Place the bread hippo in your bowl.

Healthy and Easy Hungry Hippo Soup Recipe for Kids

Step 6
Pour in your favorite soup or chili and enjoy!

Healthy and Easy Hungry Hippo Soup Recipe for Kids
  • Kathryn

    This is actually the cutest thing ever!! And so creative. I never cease to be amazed by your creativity.

    And I definitely think that this is a much better version than the original hippo soup ;)

    xx Kathryn

  • Reidun Beate Søreng Hagen

    This was so cute! I love it and promise to try it! :D Thank you for sharing Charlotte :-)

  • Kenni Raye

    Great timing for tonight’s bowls of soup!!! I’m swearing off carbs TOMORROW ;>)

  • Sandra Denneler

    Everything in moderation. Even hippos. ;-)

  • Melissa Q

    Ha!! This is awesome, my kids love that game. What a great way to get my picky eaters into some soup!! (They already love bread, of course).

  • Michelle McInerney

    I hope this works on my little picky eater – hungry hippo cuteness rocks xx

  • southerninstitute

    I wonder if these will convince my boys that soup is good!?! This is amazing!!!

  • Gina

    something for the weekend! Bread is always the perfect door opener and these are adorable. Thank you for sharing.

  • Sandra Denneler

    You might try “dipping” the hippo and letting them lick the soup off. Seemed to work well for my kids.

  • Sandra Denneler

    Thank you! I practically lived on soup when I was a kid. And all we ever had was crackers. I would have loved a hippo in my soup.

  • Sandra Denneler

    Fresh baked bread is my favorite too! That and bacon. ;-)

  • Sandra Denneler


  • Sandra Denneler

    Thank you, Kathryn! I can’t say I’d ever want to try real hippo soup. ;-)

  • yakkafit

    These are so adorable! I love it!

  • Rose Tinted Home

    This is an adorable idea! I can’t wait to make this for my two niecesI shared on my Friday Finds this week – hope that’s OK! Love it thanks for the tip!

    xo Rachel

  • Sandra Denneler

    That’s great. Thanks so much, Rachel. Happy baking!

  • Nicole Overend Murray

    This brought back many fond memories of baking with my grandma – thank you for sharing! – Nicole ( – would you mind if I shared on my blog? I’d give proper credit but I think it would be great to put under my kids recipes. Please let me know – will not share without your OK

  • Sandra Denneler

    I’d love for you to share it, Nicole. Thanks!

  • Shannon

    This is SO fantastic!

  • Kitchen Brasita Gabriela

    Thank you for this idea! Soo cute!!I tried to get them and they came very well
    look ;)
    Sorry for my terrible english :)