Looking for the best Japanese cheesecake recipe?Here’s the best traditional Japanese cheesecake recipe for you to try!
Japanese cheesecake is probably my favourite dessert. The fluffy texture and the light flavour is a treat to your taste buds!
Did you know that Japanese cheesecake goes by other names as well? It is also called Japanese cotton cheesecake or Japanese soufflé cheesecake.
Japanese cheesecake was created by Tomotaro Kuzuno after a trip to Berlin where he tasted the local käsekuchen cheesecake. He was inspired by this light dessert that was very different from Western-style cheesecakes.
It was lighter and used less sugar, butter, and cream cheese. Japanese cheesecake gained worldwide popularity after it became the signature dish of Uncle Tetsu’s Cheesecake bakery in Fukuoka, Japan.
Japanese cheesecakes are traditionally made in a bain-marie. But over the years, for the sake of convenience, people are baking it in ovens, water baths and some even in pressure cookers.
Top Japanese Cheesecake Recipe
After a long search and many trials later, I have found the best Japanese cheesecake recipe. It is easy to follow, quick, and adaptable to most brands of conventional ovens with top and bottom heating.
This recipe yields about 12 servings/ slices.
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes- 1 hour
You will need the following equipment:
· 8 inch waterproof/ leakproof springform tin – get this springform tin form Amazon
- Baking paper – I got this Parchment baking paper from Amazon and I haven’t used anything else since!
- Deep baking tray I got this non-stick baking tray from Amazon. Great value for money!
- Electric hand mixer with the whisk attachment (I use this one from Amazon. It’s easy to use and very efficeint)
- Kitchen towel
- Large bowl
- Measuring cups / weighing scale (These measuring cups from Amazon are so worth it!)
- Conventional oven
Ingredients needed for best Japanese Cheesecake:
- 1 cup (8oz/225g) cream cheese ( I love this KRAFT cream cheese. You can get it on Amazon)
- 4 tablespoons/60g/2ozs unsalted butter (This President unsalted butter is the best one)
- 7 tablespoons/105g/3.5ozs milk
- 6 large eggs, separated
- 1 ½ tablespoons/22ml lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons/10ml vanilla extract (This Watkins Vanilla Extract is the best one)
- ¾ cup (6oz/170g) granulated sugar, divided
- ¾ cup (3 3/4oz/105g) cake flour (King Arthur Unbleached cake flour is my favorite to use)
- 2 ½ tablespoons corn starch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar (I love this Cream of Tartar by Pure. You can get it on Amazon)
How to make best Japanese Cheesecake
1. First you will need to prepare your cake tin and baking tray. Grease the cake tin with butter and line with baking paper. Next, wrap the outside of the cake tin with tinfoil to make it waterproof. Place the kitchen towel at the base of the baking tray. Ensure that the tray is larger than the cake tin as you are trying to create a water bath.
2. Preheat your oven to 200 C (400 F).
3. In a large, microwave-safe bowl, melt the cream cheese, butter, and milk in the microwave for about 1 to 1 and a half minutes. Whisk this mixture to get rid of any lumps.
4. Next, add the egg yolks, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and half of the sugar to the bowl and whisk well.
5. Using the sieve, sift the cake flour, corn starch, and salt into the bowl with the cream cheese mixture. Whisk together to remove any lumps. Set this aside.
6. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites at medium speed. When the meringue begins to form, add the cream of tartar. When you see soft peaks forming, add the remaining sugar. Whisk this until the meringue looks glossy, has increased in volume and can hold stiff peaks.
7. Using a spatula, fold one-third of the meringue into the cream cheese mixture. Once the batter has loosened, fold in the remaining meringue until blended. The batter formed should be light and airy.
8. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and place this tin in the larger baking tray. Place both in the oven. Pour boiling water into the baking tray until halfway up the sides of the cake tin.
9. Bake the cheesecake in the preheated oven at 200 C (400 F) for 18 minutes. Then lower the temperature to 160 C (320 F) for another 12 minutes. Next, turn off the oven and leave the oven door slightly ajar for 30 minutes. Then take out the cheesecake and cool completely at room temperature.
10. After the cheesecake has completely cooled, take it out of the cake tin and slice.
Japanese Cheesecake Recipe Notes:
- Measuring the ingredients is the most important step in the recipe. I found that altering even one measurement results in a failed cake. I suggest using a kitchen scale to measure your ingredients as it gives more accurate measures when compared to measuring cups.
- Using room temperature ingredients makes for a better batter.
- Use sugar with smaller granules. This will prevent the sugar from caramelizing when baked.
- Cake flour is lighter than all-purpose flour. You can replace cake flour with all-purpose flour. For every cup of cake flour measure a cup of all-purpose flour. Remove 2 tablespoons of flour from this measurement and replace it with 2 tablespoons of cornflour.
- Cream of tartar is used to stabilize the meringue. If you can’t get your hands on the cream of tartar, you can replace it with the same amount of lemon juice or vinegar.
- Folding the meringue is probably the most important step in the recipe. You have to be very careful while folding the egg whites into the batter so that you minimize the deflation of the air pockets in the meringue. While being gentle, make sure the meringue and batter are well combined.
- While filling the cake tin, keep in mind that the cheesecake will rise. So only fill the batter to about half an inch from the rim. Overfilling will cause the batter to spill over as the cheesecake bakes.
- The water bath creates steam around the cheesecake and keeps it moist. It also helps the cheesecake rise like a soufflé.
- Leaving the cheesecake in the oven for 30 minutes with the door ajar allows the baking to stop gradually. The residual heat will stop the top of the cheesecake from cracking.
- Cooling the cake in the oven is another important step.
- While unmolding the cake, the tin should be cool enough to handle with bare hands. Use a plate or cake board and place it on the top of the cake tin. Invert the tin and remove it slowly. If needed, tap lightly to release the cheesecake.
Common problems bakers face while making Japanese cheesecakes:
1. The cheesecake doesn’t rise well or sinks in the middle.
2. The Japanese cheesecake has a cracked top.
3. The cheesecake comes out with a dense and heavy texture.
4. The cheesecake is baked on the top but uncooked in the middle.
5. There is an eggy smell to the cheesecake.
6. The cheesecake full rises but shrinks when taken out of the oven.
How to avoid these issues while baking a Japanese cheesecake:
- The temperature matters while baking your Japanese cheesecake. The cheesecake will be ruined if the oven is not at the right temperature. Every oven is different and it may take a few tries to figure out what temperatures work best in your oven for a Japanese cheesecake.
- The egg whites need to be whipped well until they form stiff peaks. If the egg whites are not stiff enough, the other fats in the batter (from the cream cheese, butter, etc.) will cause the air bubbles to break while folding the meringue into the batter. At the same time, care must be taken to not overbeat the egg whites. This will make it hard to combine them with the batter.
- Since there is a lot of liquid and fat content in the cheesecake batter, the water bath is important to ensure gradual cooking of the cheesecake. If the water bath isn’t present, the high temperature of the oven will cook the outside of the cheesecake while the centre remains uncooked.
- Do not open the oven door too early. This can cause the cheesecake to sink and lower the oven’s temperature.
- Use a kitchen timer to keep a track of the baking and cooling time.
What can Japanese cheesecakes be paired with?
Japanese cheesecakes can be eaten by themselves but for those of you who want a little more flavour, here are some good pairing options.
- Powdered sugar- This is probably the most common topping for Japanese cheesecakes. Sprinkle some powdered sugar on top of the cheesecake while still warm and it will add a little extra sweetness to your cheesecake.
- Berries and cream- This is my favourite topping on Japanese cheesecakes. The fruity flavours combined go well with a warm slice of cheesecake with the cream balancing the flavours well.
- Nutella or chocolate sauce- Because the cheesecake is so light, the rich taste of the chocolate is perfectly balanced out so this treat is not too heavy on the taste buds.
- Jams- Pairing a warm slice of this fluffy cheesecake with your favourite jam or compote makes for the perfect accompaniment for your evening tea.
What is the difference between a Japanese cheesecake and a Western-style cheesecake?
The main difference between these two popular desserts is that a Japanese cheesecake doesn’t have a crust while a Western-style cheesecake has a crust that is usually made of butter, sugar, flour, and eggs.
Another difference is that Japanese cheesecakes have a very light and fluffy texture as compared to Western-style cheesecake that is quite dense. Japanese cheesecakes also require a lesser amount of sugar and cream cheese, but a whole lot of eggs.
Best Japanese Cheesecake Recipe: FAQs
1. What is the difference between Japanese cheesecake and regular cheesecake?
Japanese cheesecakes are lighter and crustless. They also use lesser amounts of cream cheese and butter. A regular cheesecake has a crust and a much denser texture.
2. How long can you store a Japanese cheesecake?
Japanese cheesecakes should be stored in an airtight container. They can be stored at room temperature for 1- 2 days and in the refrigerator for up to 3- 4 days.
Hiya! I’m the main author of Japan Truly. I love everything Japan and love testing out Japanese products, be it skincare and makeup or gadgets! You’ll find reviews of some of the best selling Japanese products (tried and tested) right here!
Best Japanese Cheesecake Recipe
Check out the best Japanese cheesecake for you to try!
Keywords: cheesecake, Japanese cheesecake
Recipe Yield: 12 servings
Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes