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Bake it Yourself: Recipe for an Animator’s Palate Appetizer from Disney Cruise Line

Jonathan Frontado

by , Public Relations Director, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney and Disney Vacation Club

One of my favorite things about sailing on a Disney cruise is the food. In fact, thinking about it makes me hungry right now! Each of the restaurants on our Disney Cruise Line ships feature unique and delectable dishes created by some of the most outstanding chefs at sea.

What’s our secret to making such mouthwatering meals? I actually want to give you a little taste of how we do it, by sharing a recipe from one of our menus on the Disney Dream. It’s an amazing appetizer at Animator’s Palate that’s sure to please your palate…the Sesame-Flavored Shrimp and Caramelized Onion Cheesecake with Asian Barbecue Sauce. I can tell you from experience that this slice of perfection is both rich and delicious. Yum!

Sesame-Flavored Shrimp and Caramelized Onion Cheesecake with Asian Barbecue Sauce at Animator’s Palate on the Disney Dream
Want to cook it in your own kitchen? Here’s how…

1 1/2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
6 ounces freshly grated Parmesan cheese
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Shrimp Filling
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion
1 1/4 pounds raw shrimp, cleaned
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
28 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup liquid eggs
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup shredded smoked Gouda
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Micro greens, for garnish

Asian Barbeque Sauce
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 1/2 teaspoons Asian barbecue sauce*
1 teaspoon hot bean sauce*
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce*
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup chicken stock

For the crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine all ingredients in medium bowl, stirring until well blended. Press mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan. Bake crust until golden brown, about 15 minutes.
  3. Cool completely before filling.

For the shrimp cheesecake filling:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, and sauté until caramelized. Add shrimp, and sauté until just opaque. Stir in sesame seeds. Set aside to cool.
  2. Combine cream cheese, salt and pepper in large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in eggs 1 at a time; add cream, beating until well combined. Stir in smoked Gouda and chopped parsley.
  3. Spoon filling into crust. Place cheesecake on a baking sheet. Bake until cake puffs and top browns, but the center wobbles just slightly when pan is shaken, about 1 1/2 hours. Transfer pan to rack and cool. (Cheesecake can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
  4. Run a long, thin knife around pan sides to loosen cheesecake. Carefully remove ring, and cut into 14 pieces.
  5. Serve at room temperature with barbecue sauce and micro greens.

For the Asian barbeque sauce:

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine vegetable oil, shallots and garlic. Sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Add Asian barbecue sauce, hot bean sauce and hoisin sauce; cook for 3 minutes. Add sherry and cook for 1 minute. Add soy sauce, sugar and stock; cook for 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to a blender and process until liquefied. Let cool.

*Asian barbeque sauce, hot bean sauce and hoisin sauce are all typical condiments used in Asian cooking. They are available at Asian-foods stores, and in many grocery stores.

Makes 1 (9-inch) cheesecake



  • One large egg = 1/4 cup liquid egg…

    As for the recipe, I can’t wait to try the food – I will be on the ship tomorrow. I am in the hotel near the port as I type this right now! 🙂

  • Can you also clairify what temp to bake the cheesecake? It shows 350 for the crust is it the same for the cheesecake?

  • I agree Danielle and Jean – the directions are not very clear. It never mentions adding the shrimp to the cream cheese mix and it says to add the eggs one at a time – they aren’t individual eggs in the ingrediants, it’s 3/4 cup liquid eggs! How much do you add at a time? All that aside, I am looking forward to trying it out! Sounds yummy!

  • What do you do with the onions and shrimp once cooled?

  • This recipe really caught my eye and I just had to try it…it just came out of the oven and I broke off the tiniest piece when it came out of the over and YUM!! I’m not sure what size shrimp I used, but I cut it up to bite sized before sauteeing it, then added it to the cream cheese misture, not sure if that was right, but it is what I figured from looking at the picture!

  • We were on the Wonder in 2009 and loved the Animators palate. The change in the room with all of the charactors in the picture frames was very awsome. I am sure when we are on the Dream we will be even more pleased with the Animators Palate with the underwater experience. So looking forward to that. Keep ut the great inovations DCL

  • Lol. I was confused as to when to add the shrimp too!

  • YUM! I tried this just two weeks ago on the Disney Dream and thought it was really good and unique! I want to be back on the ship eating yummy food!

  • I agree with Danielle….when is the added???

  • What size shrimp and is it chopped?

  • Looks really good. Hope I get to try it in November.

  • I love the Shrimp Cheesecake at Animator’s Palate. Thanks for the recipe!

  • that looks good, But the pasta appetizer was beyond amazing!!!!! I don’t remember the name, but I will never forget the taste…. and it wasn’t even my appetizer…..

    Can we get that recipe???

  • Thank you, Jonathan – that is my favorite Disney Cruise Line appetizer!

  • Looks good…but when do you combine the cooled shrimp with the cream cheese mixture?

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