Recipe: Boma’s Zebra Domes

Boma's Zebra Domes

Boma's Zebra Domes

The Little Dessert That Packs a Punch
Disney theme parks have their iconic treats (think Dole Whips and Mickey Bars), but the Disney World resorts have theirs as well. One of the most well-known and documented of these is the coffee-kahlua flavored Zebra Dome made famous by Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Boma Restaurant.

Animal Kingdom Lodge's Boma Restaurant

Animal Kingdom Lodge's Boma Restaurant

While these take a while (many ingredients and even more steps) to make, the outcome is pretty extravagant. I’ve often found that people either passionately love these little desserts or vehemently hate them. You rarely find someone in between!

These are great to make for your next dinner party, or, if you’re wild and crazy, for your 4th of July Barbecue! (You KNOW that’s what you were thinking! Be honest!)

Now, the flexipan domes the recipe calls for seem really expensive! Does anyone have any good alternatives?

Where to Find ‘Em
Zebra Domes are a staple at Boma, a table-service buffet restaurant at Animal Kingdom Lodge (call 407-WDW-Dine for reservations). But due to popular demand, you can also purchase them in the quick service location, The Mara, as a grab-and-go item.

Zebra Domes Grab-and-Go at The Mara

Zebra Domes Grab-and-Go at The Mara

1 pound milk chocolate
¼ cup espresso coffee
5 egg yolks
¼ cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
6 sheets gelatin
½ cup Kahlua Liqueur
4 cups heavy cream
¾ cup white chocolate ganache
¼ cup dark chocolate ganache
sponge cake (store-bought or your favorite recipe)

1. Melt milk chocolate.
2. Whip heavy cream to soft peaks.
3. Mix yolks with sugar.
4. Soften gelatin leaves in cold water.
5. Mix gelatin with Kahlua and coffee. Set bowl over hot water bath to dissolve the gelatin.
6. Fold ⅓ of whipped cream into the chocolate.
7. Add the yolks, then the gelatin mixture.
8. Fold in the rest of the cream.
9. Pour mousse in flexipan domes almost to the top.
10. Place sponge circle (¼” thick yellow cake cut in a circle) on top. Leave in the freezer to set.
11. Once hard, unmold and place in glazing racks.
12. Make white chocolate ganache and chocolate ganache.
13. Put chocolate ganache in a pastry bag. Ladle white chocolate ganache to cover each dome. Simultaneously, pipe a stripe design of chocolate ganache over the dome.
14. Refrigerate to allow the glaze to set.
15. Decorate the bottom edge with coffee crunch.
16. Place a chocolate covered coffee bean on the center of each dome.

Note: One sheet of gelatin is equal to one teaspoon of unflavored powdered gelatin dissolved in ¼ cup of water.

The Mara photo courtesy of

Recipe from Key Ingredient. Also, here’s a good ganache recipe just in case you don’t have one handy… .


  1. Joanna says

    I can’t believe I’ve not tried this yet. Chocolate is my friend! Thanks for the recipe.

  2. admin says

    You bet! It looks like a tough recipe (I haven’t tried it yet either!), so I admire your ambition! Would love to see pictures if you get around to it!

  3. says

    I have just found your excellent site via Twitter. Boma is one of my favorite restaurants and it is great to see this recipe here. It does look a bit difficult though! No wonder they taste so good

  4. Shanna says

    A few things I learned about this recipe.

    1st – the actual zebra domes have Amarula liquior, not Kahula, as simply stated on the label placed on each container of them, Amarula was easy to find at the liquor store. I do not think they taste the same at ALL, Amarula is a fruity caramel, not coffee.

    2nd- The flexi-domes suggested in this recipe are way larger than the actual ones, the ones suggested here are almost the size of a regular cupcake. The real ones are more like a mini-cupcake. If you can find a mini cupcake silicon pan, do so. Then you can still turn the pan over and push them out.

    3rd – You need the gelatin sheets, the sub does not work, since you need 6 teaspoons of powered gel you will need to dissolve that into 1 1/2 cups of water, which adds too much watery volume to the mix, no matter how delicately you fold the whipped cream to the chocolate, adding the watery mix deflates the whipped cream no matter what you do. The first time we made the full recipe it filled 2 sheets of mini cupcake pans and 2 full sheets of regular cupcake pans, way too much. Before I make these again I will have to purchase the gel sheets online, can not find them anywhere.

    4th – The domes were not garnished with coffee crunch, it was chocolate confetti.

    5th – If you are trying this for the 1st time, start with trying to make 1/2 or 1/3 a batch.

    Hope that helps

  5. Su says

    Thank you so much to everyone! I love these things — the Mara is always my first stop at Disney so I can get some of these!

    I found some silicone pans at amazon — they are called “World Cuisine Nonstick Silicone Mold, Mini.” I do not know if they are the right size, but at $19.95, they are far more affordable than the others I’ve found. I also think that perhaps Sur La Table sells something similar, but I would suspect it is far more expensive.

    Here is the link to the pan — happy baking!

  6. Su says

    I just made this recipe, just 2 weeks after my trip to Disney World (and after eating many, many Zebra Domes to reference!). Let me say, this recipe is great!! My mom, husband, and I all think this is spot on to the ones you’ll find in Animal Kingdom Lodge!

    Just a few notes:

    1. This recipe makes a TON of the mousse. It filled my entire 5 qt. mixing bowl. (I decided to freeze 2 ziplocs for future use; hopefully, it will be still be good in a few weeks!).

    2. I used espresso from an actual espresso maker. I don’t know if this makes a difference, but I thought I’d note it.

    3. Shanna was right about the Amarula liqueur — it is perfect. Amarula is actually from South Africa, so it makes sense that you’d only find these treats at Animal Kingdom Lodge!

    4. I used homemade ladyfingers for the sponge cake. I think it was a good match for the needed sponge cake! I don’t know if the store-bought ones would be as good, but with all the work and effort you’re putting into the mousse, you might as well have fresh ladyfingers and make them yourself! Here is the recipe I used (I piped them in a circle on a silpat):

    5. I used Ghirardelli chocolate for all types of chocolate (milk chocolate chips, bittersweet baking, and white baking). Turned out wonderfully!

    6. If you make these for a party, set aside an entire evening for making them — (especially if you make the ladyfingers from scratch).

    7. After you have frozen the domes to set them, you have to pop them out of the silicone pans immediately after taking them out of the freezer, otherwise the mousse will thaw and they won’t be as easy to remove.

    I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as I have! Thanks so much to Disney Food Blog for posting the recipe (especially with the Amarula suggestion) so that I can enjoy my favorite food from Disney World anytime!

  7. says

    Su, this is great! Thank you so much for the notes and highlights from your experience making the zebra domes, as well as for the ladyfingers recipe. Great idea!

  8. Romy says

    Well, the only thing I know to be different in this recipe is that they don’t use Kahlua. They use Amarula liquor, which has a vanilla-ish flavor. It is made from the Amarula fruit found in Africa, and it is wonderful. ABC Liquor sells it in central Florida. Jiko has changed their signature pistachio creme brulee to an Amarula pistachio brulee, to give it an African flavor. It is truly wonderful.
    Asante Sana!

  9. Vicky says

    I thought I might give these a try and I like the idea for making half the recipe first. Can the Zebra Domes sit in the silicone trays in the freezer overnight or is it just for a few hours. I’m also wondering how to make the chocolate confetti on the bottom. I could substitute for sprinkles but didn’t think they’d look quite right.

  10. says

    Romy — Thanks for the info!

    Vicky — Good questions! I hope someone comes by who can answer them; I’m not 100% sure on the freezer question!

  11. melbournCM says

    while i do not work in the boma bakery, i do have direct experience with this recipe. to most points above:

    1. the recipe looks like the full restaurant recipe; so yes, the yield is tremendous.

    2. gelatin sheets are generally not difficult to find…. local Michael’s and JoAnne’s stores often carry them in their cake/baking section. yes, the gelatin sheets are crucial – powdered gelatin just won’t work well in this application.

    3. silicon molds are, in my opinion, a must for this recipe. again, Michael’s and JoAnne’s often carry them in the baking/cake decorating area. Target was carrying a small supply of silicon baking supplies as well, under the Wilton label (i think). btw, the room service menu carries a Zebra Dome that is about 3″ in diameter and about 2″ tall, so don’t be afraid to use the larger molds.

    4. specifically to vicky’s question, not only should you freeze the mousse BEFORE unmolding, but i actually do recommend freezing overnight… the harder the better for this recipe. also, when you unmold the mousse, set them onto a cooling rack on top of a sheet pan (or cookie sheet) then PUT THEM BACK IN THE FREEZER – again, the harder the better before applying the ganache.

    5. use amarula not kahlua. this is not a coffee dessert… the boma does have another dessert made with kenyan coffee that is also very good (even though i don’t like coffee).

    6. and lastly – try using a dark chocolate coin instead of the sponge cake. in my opinion, the chocolate coin tastes far better than the sponge cake and it adds the “crunch” component to the dessert. if you ever go to the boma or to the mara, just ask for the gluten-free zebra domes to experience the difference.

    7. i lied – one last thing, i highly recommend serving them cool to cold. as they sit, the mousse softens and has less flavor. notice at the boma that the zebra domes generally come straight from the cooler and only sit out a few minutes before consumption.

    i hope this helps and makes sense. cheers and sante sanna!

  12. Vicky says

    Thanks MelbornCM! I have most of the ingredients at home so it’s just a matter of finding the silicone molds. I’ll definitely give Michael’s a try. Any ideas for the chocolate confetti on the bottom? I’m assuming that Disney has buckets of these sitting around – maybe I’ll try crumbled cookie wafers to give it that crunch.

  13. Christine says

    What is wrong with using the brownie domes by Wilton, they are much cheeper and are flexable also.

  14. Mia's Musings says

    I may not be up to the challenge but these things are so ridiculously awesome I might have to try it.
    We stayed at AKL for our anniversary last year and I now believe everything anyone EVER said about Zebra Domes! We tell everyone who goes to WDW, “You MUST have Zebra Domes!”

  15. Linda says

    I received a copy of the recipe for zebra domes while we were at the Boma restaurant. It does not include coffee of any kind. It calls for Amarula liqueur and yellow cake.

    Unfortunately i can not find gelatin sheets anywhere locally and i do not have time to have them shipped, so I am going to try it with powdered gelatin. I have been reading up on gelatin and I will try letting the powder bloom in the liqueur. I will try a small batch first. If it does not work, I will go to dessert plan B, order the gelatin sheets and try for another occasion.

    I will post how it all goes.

  16. Linda says

    Okay folks, so i served the zebra domes last night and I want to start by saying they were a big hit. They were even competing with my Amaretto chocolate cheesecake .

    One thing i did was to make the ladyfingers recipe for the bottom. It was sticky and difficult to work with, but people liked them just fine.

    The big thing was the gelatin. i could not fine gelatin sheets in the KCMO area and did not have time to order them on line. I did talk to a chef friend and he helped me come up with a plan. I used 1.5 packets of the Knox gelatin powder. I let it bloom (sit) in the liquor for about 5-8 minutes, i stirred it almost consistently. Then i put it over the hot water (double boiler style) and stirred until the gelatin was dissolved. It took a while but it did happen.

    From there I followed the recipe.

    The mousse was amazing all on it’s own. As i started to fill mini cupcake flexible cookware i realized my two, 12 mini-cupcake, pans would not be enough to hold all the mousse. So i called a friend and she brought over 2 2 regular sized cupcake pans. I was able to fill all of those with the recipe. There was very little left over.

    They firmed up well, i put the ganache on top and put them in the freezer overnight. In the morning i went to transfer them to another plate. They were solid and sticky at the same time. I took a bite out of one of the little ones. It tasted ok, but i let them thaw in the fridge for about 2 hours before serving. They were much stickier then, but they held their shape. And they tasted great. They were not “domed” shaped but they looked really good.

    If i were to make them again i would order the gelatin sheets and give them a try.

    There was ganache left over, i am going to see if I can save it for something else.

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