It's time for another copycat recipe!! I admit, I was VERY intimidated thinking about making this, but little man wanted it so badly, I gave it a shot, so that I could guarantee it would be completely safe for his allergies.
Much to my surprise, it was easier than I thought it would be, AND it was really tasty!
Like so many other recipes I do, you can change this up a little bit to suit YOU and your needs. While the original version at Pop Century Resort has Red Velvet Cake on the bottom, don't want it? Do chocolate! Or white, and make those colors really pop! Have a holiday approaching? Don't do the bright neon colors, do pastel, or red, white and blue, or even a team's colors! Make a large one, or make a bunch of minis (I did both!) This is very versatile! The most labor intensive part is the amount of dishes it creates.
I'm going to show you step by step, then put the recipe at the end. This recipe is actually enough to make 24 mini cheesecakes, and one 9 inch springform pan cheesecake, not quite full.
When you think about these bring around $6 each at Disney...it's much better to do it DIY! the total cost of ingredients, for me, was around $7, because I had the icing colors on hand, and the vanilla and sugar, I only calculated the portion that I used in my cost. I'm using the same icing colors that I used in the Copycat Banana Split Cupcakes, because I love (and need) them from a Nut Free Facility.
If you are making a large cake, go ahead and mix the batter, putting about half of it in your springform, and put it in the oven. If you are making only minis, line the pan, and put in the bottom of each something like a vanilla wafer, or a piece of graham cracker.. It makes a nice crust, and makes it easier to handle the cheesecake.
Mix your cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, eggs, vanilla and lemon until smooth.
Divide the mixture into small bowls, one bowl for each color you want your cheesecake to be, and then color it until you are happy with the color.
Cool your cake, and once cool, or if just doing minis, start to drop spoon fulls of colored mix.
Keep dropping spoonfuls until your minis are about 2/3 full, and about an inch from the top of the larger pan, because the cheesecake mixture will expand as it cooks.
Once it is all mixed, take a toothpick and drag it through the batter, swirling and mixing until you think it looks nice.
Isn't that beautiful??? Like a work of art!
Pop it in the oven and keep a CLOSE eye on it.
Of course, the small ones cook faster, but I am not kidding, I thought to myself, naaaah, the big one needs just another minute or two, and in that time, I went from bright colors, to a sepia tone. Still tasty, and attractive, but not the bright colors I had planned for.
The minis turned out great, just as vibrant as when they went in, however....it would appear I didn't take a final picture of those!! Whoops! I guess we ate them too fast!
Here's the recipe! Please note, I used full fat versions of ingredients, sometimes lighter doesn't bake as well. You can try whatever you like though!
1 Box mix of Red Velvet (Or your favorite flavor)
the ingredients needed to make the box mix
3 bricks of REGULAR cream cheese room temp
1 1/3 cups white sugar
16 oz tub of REGULAR sour cream
1/4 all purpose flour
2 tsp Vanilla extract
2 tsp lemon juice
food colors (I used gel) in red, purple, green, blue, yellow, orange OR your desired colors
Make cake batter, and put about a third in the springform pan. Bake until done, and cool. If just making minis, skip this step!
Heat oven to 325
Beat cream cheese and sugar until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating between each. Add flour, vanilla, lemon juice, and sour cream and mix until incorporated, but don't overmix!
Divide batter between bowls matching the number of dyes you want to use, then add dye until you have the color you want. Drop spoonfuls of colored batter over the cake, or the cupcake pan in the spring form pan, leaving about an inch from the top of the pan.
Use a toothpick to swirl and blend colors.
Place in the middle of the top rack of the oven and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes for the large cake, ABOUT 20 minutes for the mini cheesecakes. This is where I went wrong with my larger one. Trust the hour 15 min unless you've made cheesecakes before and know your oven cooks quick or slow.
Don't leave these alone, and keep peeking on them. Sometimes the cheesecake starts to rise too high and will make a mess in your oven. If you see it rising too high, don't turn off the heat, but open the oven door a crack for a few minutes, and then close it, the cheesecake will drop in height.
The large cheesecake will not be set completely at the end of the hour 15 minutes. After the baking time is up, crack the oven door and leave in for an additional hour. After an hour, remove and cool, then refrigerate, overnight.
The minis, can be eaten after just a few hours of cooling!
Final step, slice, serve and enjoy!
Want to see how our minis, compare with the real thing? Here's a picture on Trip Advisor that shows what the Pop Century version looks like! See how tiny it is though???
I really hope you try and make this! It's less intimidating than I thought, and I admit, I feel really proud I was able to make it!
Any ideas what we should make next??
Recently I was told about an awesome Etsy seller. She is a must for any allergy parent, OR Disney lover! The owner of this shop, is a frequent Disney goer, so knows what you need, in, or out, of The Magic Kingdom.
Since I just posted about going on vacation with allergies, I wanted to share my recent purchase! This is what I ordered, two magnetic signs for our front door to remind us to take the epipens when we leave the house. Only $5 each! Click on the picture to go right to the listing.
I was thrilled with the quality, the price and the fast shipping. While I didn't order anything custom Disney right now, and if you browse her site, you won't see much listed, she does custom orders, and from talking with her, can make just about anything you want! You can't get more custom than that!
Need something Disney, or allergy or maybe even both? Drop her a note, and support both a Disney lover, and an Allergy Mom!
While this is primarily a quick guide for those new to traveling with food allergies, maybe it will be a good refresher for those of you who do it all the time!
Winter is almost over, and thoughts keep turning to one thing...vacation! Whether you are planning spring break, or summer trips, if you or a family member have allergies, it takes a little more planning that usual.
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you get ready to get going!
1. Do a little research
Just like we talk here about getting a plan before you go, getting an idea of the restaurants that will be on the way, and also at your destination. If possible, check for allergy friendly places, or stick with chains that you are familiar with. Bring snacks just in case, and always, always check with staff before you order!
You might even consider printing some Chef's cards, and handing them to the waitstaff. There are some great free ones from F.A.R.E, jut click the underlined link here!
2. Don't forget the phone numbers!
Bring along the number to the doctor or allergist, just in case you do have a reaction, or a question.
3.Pack the Epipens, and a few extras, too!
You probably are in the great habit of always bringing your Epipens, but if you were to need them on a trip, it is better to have a few extras with you, not just because you may need more than one, or one may malfunction, but because after you have been treated, you are going to need to replace the ones you've used. With the current Epipen shortage, it might be harder to find a pen, especially in an unfamiliar town.
4. Keep your extra medicines where you can get them, and at the right temperature!
Those extra Epipens aren't going to do you any good if they are packed in a suitcase, in the bottom of a massive stack. They also might be subject to too much heat, or cold, which can reduce the effectiveness of the medicine. Always keep your Epipens with you, and never in a hot car.
You can find insulated, or even evaporation cooling bags online, those will help a lot when you are out in the hot sun!
5. Travel with Apps
If you have a smart phone, there are several great apps for you, or access to helpful websites. remember to ALWAYS verify the information on there yourself, but these are great for getting you started, or getting reviews from others. Here are two that we really like. You can click on any of these to learn more.
Spokin (sadly, not available yet for android they are working on it, just iphone but the website is still amazing)
Traveling with an allergy is a little more difficult, but it doesn't have to be impossible. Food allergies make life more difficult, but they don't have to take away the fun of traveling! Just like anything else, plan a little in advance, pack your epipens, and always check before you eat!
If you are planning a road trip this upcoming spring break, I'm sure you already know how to check before you go, and how to keep your home safe while you are gone but if you have kids like I do, you might be looking for fun, and inexpensive ways to keep them entertained.
Did you know that Crayola, has HUNDREDS and HUNDREDS of FREE printable activity sheets? I didn't know until recently! There are even awesome ones with facts about the various states, perfect for printing off and letting our kids color and learn a few fun facts as you drive through!
You can go here, to go directly to those, and follow the links on the side for more awesome and FREE activity sheets! Thank you Crayola!
Ahhh... rain! The spoiler of fun, the maker of more difficult and dangerous driving... I don't usually mind rain unless I've got some where to go, and I bet you are the same way. Nothing is worse than rain at Disney on vacation, right?
Rain at Disney actually isn't TOO bad. It's the storms with the lightning and thunder that can put a stop to the fun, but plain old ordinary rain? It actually can be a great thing on your vacation, and here's why!
With your poncho draped around you, you are going to find:
1. Smaller Crowds
When it's just plain rain, or one of those afternoon storms Florida is famous for, you will see three kinds of people. Those, who start to run for the exit, those who check the weather radar and make their call, and those, the tiny little group who enters the park. Why?
People start to leave the parks in droves when it rains, maybe because they aren't familiar with how fast some of those storms cam push through, or maybe they just don't want to get their one and only pair of sneakers soaked. (That's why we recommend you take two!)
If you can stick it out for a little in a gift shop, or find an indoor attraction to enjoy, and don't mind your damp poncho clinging to you a bit, you're going to find...
2. Rides Still Stay Open
Unless there's lightning, Disney is going to keep rides open. This is another reason for your poncho, no one wants a wet tush, and your tush WILL get wet on most any ride, even if it's indoors, like It's A Small World, just from someone else dripping on the seat!
Best of all about the rides being open?
3. Lines are shorter
It is just simple math! Less people, less wait time! Now, you won't get to meet some of Mickey's pals if they are usually outdoors, but there are still a lot of friends to meet that have indoor area!
If you aren't at the park, or switched your days because tomorrow will be sunny?
We have some...
4. Non Park Suggestions
Ever wanted to resort hop? Do it! Take the monorail, drive by car, whatever, go explore! You might find your next resort, or you might discover a new restaurant. Each resort is themed differently, so just hopping from place to place is such fun!
Disney Springs has bowling, movies and lots of shopping! Visit a spa, or HYPE, hit an arcade, relax watching all the Disney your eyeballs can handle, or rest up for tomorrow!
There's one more great thing about those rain storms...
5. It Drops the Temperature
Ahh!! It's some temporary relief from the blistering heat that Florida often gives visitors (at absolutely no charge, too!)
Next time you have rain, don't immediately consider the day a wash. Whatever you want to do, if you do it with the attitude of I'm at Disney, and I'm going to enjoy it!, then you will have a great time. After all, isn't a rainy day at Disney, better than most anything else? I think it is!!