Gooooooddd Day Disney Bakers!
Some people might think I’m crazy but one of my absolute favorite resorts on Walt Disney World property is Pop Century. Just thinking about it makes me smile.
If you have never visited Pop Century then let me say I’m excited to introduce you to it. Plus later we are going to make probably one of its top desserts: the Tie-Dye Cheesecake. It’s exactly what you are imaging and taste a thousand times better tasting.
Full disclaimer before we start, I cooked mine a little too long. We will get to that later though. Hey, they don’t teach you tie-die food in pastry school.
The resort is meant to look like a huge time capsule. The buildings are separated by decades; 1950 to the 1990s. A lot of guests don’t know that the 1900s to the 1940s were also built but never finished. They were left abandoned for years. They were later transformed into the Art of Animation Resort. If you search online there are some creepy looking photos of the old buildings. They would have been neat to explore though. I’m sure many people did now that I think about it.
This 2,880 room resort is just pure fun. There is larger-than-life toys, dance crazes and catch phrases everywhere. You can’t help but walk around and say “holy cow, I totally forgot about that” or “I used to love that!”. It’s a celebration of your childhood. Well, Americana at least.
The Classic Hall is where you check in and I could honestly spend hours looking at all the iconic pictures and artifacts on the walls. It’s just so bright and cheerful.
I love that it’s impossible to feel stuffy or that you don’t belong there. Some resorts are so fancy and beautiful that guests can feel out of place. That just doesn’t happen at Pop Century. Everyone is laughing and having a good time. Well, maybe not late at night when everyone is hot, tired and cranky. Disney can make for a long day for little kids. A super fun but long day sometimes. Ok, every day. That’s one of the reasons the resort busses are so awesome at the end of the park day. You don’t have to worry about anything. Staying on site is the absolute best for things like that.
Pop Century doesn’t have a million places to eat like Disney’s Boardwalk Resort but they do have a pretty good food court. It’s similar to what the other value resorts do. They serve things like pizza, burgers, and bakery items.
Since they first opened in 2003 they have been serving an incredibly groovy cheesecake; the Tie-Dye Cheesecake. It may be kind of crazy looking but it’s so worth a try. Have you tried it yet?
This recipe is all over the internet but I’m using the http://www.disneyfoodblog.com version of the recipe. For no other reasons than it seemed to be the simplest to read. You should check them out for everything Disney food related. Well except for sweets of course… wink. Around here we normally try to only use official sources. They didn’t post where they found it but I think it’s a pretty reliable park recipe.
Ingredients Red Velvet Cake:
1/4 cup butter (softened)
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp cocoa
1-ounce red food coloring
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup flour
1/2 tbsp vinegar
1/2 tsp baking soda
Ingredients Cheesecake Filling:
1 1/2lb cream cheese
1 1/3 cup sugar
5 Large eggs
16oz sour cream
1/4 cup flour
2 tsp Vanilla
2 tsp lemon juice
Before we continue with the directions I’ll point out the obvious about this cheesecake. It isn’t cheap to make. It’s not going to take a million dollars but you will need a few ingredients and they all add up pretty fast.
Now on to the cake. The cake is made in two stages and took me about three hours start to finish and then it needs to sit overnight. So with that in mind, this cake needs to be made way in advance. It’s not a last minute dessert.
The first thing we need to do is make the red velvet cake base.
1. Preheat your oven to 350F. Normally here I would say grease and flour your 9” springform pan, but since we want to clearly see the color sides later, just grease this one. It will be fine.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and eggs. Let this cream for a while to make sure it is well mixed.
3. In a small bowl, make a paste by mixing the cocoa and food coloring. It’s about 6 tbsp of red food coloring I worked out.
4. In a small bowl, mix the salt, vanilla, and buttermilk. I just did this in a measuring cup. I hate dishes and try to save on them as much as possible.
5. Into the butter mixture, alternate adding the milk mixture and the flour. Make sure to mix well after every addition.
6. Lastly, fold in a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. I was like a little kid when I mixed them together and they bubbled like an 8th-grade science project.
7. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes. You know it is cooked when a toothpick is inserted in and comes out clean.
It was the first time I used our new oven and it cooks way faster than our old one. So make sure you watch to adjust your cooking time.
8. Let cool completely.
While that’s cooling, let’s move on to the cheesecake part. Lower the temperature of your oven to 325F degrees.
All your ingredients should be room temperature. For example, cream cheese at room temperature is super simple to work with. Cream cheese cold is a pain in the …. let’s move on.
9. On a low setting, beat the cream cheese until it’s light and fluffy. This may take a couple minutes to get the desired fluffiness.
10. Slowly add the sugar to the cream cheese mixture. Beat well after adding the sugar.
11. Add the eggs one at a time. Making sure to beat well after every egg. That’s actually always a great rule when a recipe calls for multiple eggs.
12. Add the flour, vanilla, and lemon juice to the mixture. Again, mix well after incorporating ingredients.
13. Add the sour cream last and beat the mixture.
I didn’t buy enough sour cream and only had half the amount. I only mentioned this because it still turned out. Just wanted to mention that the increase it happens to you.
Note future self: Write down quantities when going to the grocery store. Not just what the item is called. So many times I realize I have no idea if I need a tablespoon or a cup.
14. Divide the batter into 6 bowls and color each bowl with a different color. The colors you should use are red, purple, yellow, light blue, green and orange. If you don’t have all those colors, let’s be honest here, and say who is going to know you left one out? Noone, they will just be excited they got cheesecake.
15. Take your cooled red velvet cake and alternated dropping spoonfuls of the colored batters randomly on top. Swirl each layer slightly.
16 Place on the middle rack of the oven and cook for one hour and 15 minutes.
Ok, so normally it is always a good idea to place the cheesecake in a water bath to avoid cracks. It helps keep the moistures in the air and the cheesecake will cook evenly. The recipe did not call for one and I try to follow the recipe exactly. The cake cracked as expected. I recommend one always use a water bath. Especially if you are displaying the cake somewhere.
17. When times up, open oven door slightly, turn off the oven and leave the cake in the oven for one hour. After that hour is up, let it cool on the counter and then place it in your refrigerator for 24 hours to set.
I told you guys this was a long process. It is worth it though. If you love cheesecake, you’ll enjoy this rad dessert.
Happy baking people!