Japanese Cheesecake Simplified

4.56 from 808 votes
My simplified Japanese Cheesecake Recipe is as soft as cotton and full of jiggle, reimagined without the complexity.
Japanese Cheesecake Recipe - Make a soft, jiggly Japanese Cheesecake with my simplified method!

Hi Bold Bakers!

Whatever you know and love about cheesecake is about to change after you try my Japanese Cheesecake recipe! Think cheesecake but with the volume on high. Think “not just impressive,” but pro level. Think rich, creamy taste and light fluffy texture, but to the absolute max. 

What is Japanese Cheesecake?

Japanese bakers have refashioned one of my most beloved desserts and somehow made it even better. Japanese Cheesecake (otherwise called a “Japanese cotton cheesecake” or “jiggly cheesecake”) maintains the same tangy sweetness of the popular American dessert but is known for its signature ultra-fluffy texture and custard-like wobbliness.

What makes this cheesecake jiggly?

The not-so-secret secret to my fluffy cheesecake is plain ol’ meringue. Yep, you read that right. Instead of mixing whole eggs into cream cheese, sugar and heavy cream, separate your eggs and whip the them into a glorious glossy meringue. Just at the point when your meringue is done, gently fold it into your warm mixture of melted cream cheese, eggs, sugar, flour, milk and cornstarch. This introduction of the meringue into the cheesecake mixture adds loads of structure and air into your Japanese Cheesecake. Through the baking process, the meringue will set into a tall and fluffy cake that requires no crust, no special toppings, and no bells and whistles. My cheesecake is that impressive on its own!

How to avoid a cracked cheesecake

While this recipe is truly fool-proof, I understand that these steps may be a bit of a departure for those that are used to American cheesecake recipes. That being said, here are things you can do to ensure your Japanese Cheesecake comes out perfectly every time:

  • First off, LIBERALLY grease and line your tin as this will ensure you can get the delicate cheesecake. Secondly, it’s essential that you make sure to properly make the meringue mixture to give the cheesecake its texture.
  • The next thing you need to do to buy insurance is baking the cheesecake in a water bath. This means baking the cheesecake in a large tin filled with boiling hot water. Water creates steam around the cake, keeps it super moist, and helps it rise like a souffle – this is exactly what you want.
  • The baking temperature plays a really important role. In the instructions for this recipe, I explain that you start the cheesecake at 400 degrees then lower to the temperature 320 degrees after 18 minutes. It is vital to the success of this cheesecake that you do this exactly on time – definitely a step you’ll want to use your timer for!
  • Precisely 12 minutes after lowering the temperature, turn off the oven and crack open the door. Leave the cheesecake in the oven for 30 minutes exactly. The purpose of this is to allow the baking process to stop gradually. Your cheesecake will continue cooking on the outside from the residual heat while the inside of the cake remains creamy and custard-like. This also ensures the top of the cheesecake doesn’t crack from the shock of the temperature change or from the moisture in the air that would be caused by taking it right out of the oven.

I promise that your Japanese cheesecake will look and taste like it was made by a pro if you follow all of these steps. Have no fear Bold Bakers, you’ve got this!

For more incredible cheesecake recipes check out my:

Watch The Recipe Video!

Japanese Cheesecake

4.56 from 808 votes
My simplified Japanese Cheesecake recipe is as soft as cotton and full of jiggle, reimagined without the complexity so any Bold Baker can make it.
Servings: 12 slices
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 55 mins
My simplified Japanese Cheesecake recipe is as soft as cotton and full of jiggle, reimagined without the complexity so any Bold Baker can make it.
Servings: 12 slices


  • 1 cup (8oz/225g) cream cheese
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 7 tablespoons milk
  • 6 large eggs , separated
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup (6oz/170g) granulated sugar, divided
  • ¾ cup (3 3/4oz/105g) cake flour
  • 2 ½ tablespoons corn starch
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar


  • Grease and line an 8-inch waterproof/leakproof springform tin. A 9-inch round cake pan will also work. To ensure it is water-proof you can wrap the outside of the pan closely with tinfoil. Line a deep baking tray with kitchen cloth. The baking tray has to be larger than the springform tin. You are creating a water bath to bake your cheesecake in. You want to have everything ready to go so you can bake off your cheesecake straight away.
  • Melt together the cream cheese, butter and milk in the microwave for roughly 1 1/2 minutes. Whisk the mix until there are no more lumps.
  • Next, whisk in the egg yolk, lemon juice, vanilla extract and half the sugar.
  • Place a sieve over the bowl and add in the cake flour, corn starch and salt and sieve into the cream cheese mix. Whisk in the dry ingredients until there are no more lumps. Set aside.
  • Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, whip the egg whites with the whisk attachment on medium speed. When the meringue starts to take shape, add the cream of tartar. Once thick and at soft peak stage, slowly add the remaining sugar. Whip until meringue turns glossy, has increased in volume and holds a stiff peak.
  • Using a thin edged metal spoon, take 1/3 of meringue and fold it into the cream cheese batter to loosen the mixture. Cut and fold the meringue swiftly but gently to minimize deflation of the meringue. Fold in the remaining meringue until blended. The resulting batter be light and airy at this point should.
  • Pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared cake pan. Place the cake pan in the larger dish then place both in the oven. Pour hot water into the water bath until about half way up the sides of the cake pan. Be careful not to splash water into the batter.
  • Bake on the bottom rack in a preheated 400oF (200oC) oven for 18min, then lower to 320oF (160oC) for 12 mins only. Then turn off the oven and open the door of the oven slightly for 30 minutes only. Then remove from the oven completely to cool at room temp.
  • Turn out the cheesecake from the pan onto a cake plate and serve. Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Recipe Notes

Submit your own photos of this recipe

86 Images


Rainy Sunshine



Christina Totaro Renfer

Michaela Jade

888 Comments and Reviews
most useful
newest oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Sharon Lee, Kuala Lumpur, West Malaysia
Sharon Lee, Kuala Lumpur, West Malaysia
8 months ago

Hi Gemma, I tried baking this Japanese cheesecake and followed your ingredients and instructions to the “T”. Unfortunately, the cake was only cooked on the top and the inside was uncooked. I was pretty disappointed. What do you think went wrong? The cake rose after 18 minutes at 200C. However after lowering the heat to 160C for baking time of 12 minutes and leaving the oven door ajar for 30 minutes after that did not result in the cake being thoroughly cooked. Appreciate your feedback. Thank you.

11 months ago

Hi Gemma, need help. Im so excited to try this for my daughter’s 25th month on Dec2. However, my springform tin is 24cm and my round cake pan is only 7 inches. Please advice which is better to use and how will I adjust the baking time. Thanks a lot in advance.

1 year ago

I halved the recipe because I wanted to make 4-ounce ramekin cheesecakes. I was able to make seven. Because I could only bake up to four at a time, I decided to try different baking times. For the first batch I reduced the baking times by two minutes each. I had to take them out right away instead of letting them sit in the open oven because they were already quite browned on top. They were more cakey, but still tasted like cheesecake! The second batch I reduced the baking times by five minutes each. The texture was much better,… Read more »

Gemma Stafford
1 year ago

Hi there, it is best not to fiddle with a recipe. 1 cup (8oz/225g) cream cheese 4 tablespoons butter 7 tablespoons milk 6 large eggs, separated 1 ½ tablespoon lemon juice 2 teaspoons vanilla extract ¾ cup (6oz/170g) granulated sugar, divided ¾ cup (3 3/4oz/105g) cake flour 2 ½ tablespoons corn starch ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar This is what you need for this one if you change the value of one ingredient you change every ingredient, the size of the pan and then bake time. If you decide to do it then it is math, to… Read more »

Kay C.
Kay C.
7 months ago

Followed the recipe “to a t” but having troubles having baking it all the way through. It’s still delicious and though my troubleshooting has resulted in possible overbaking and ruining the “fluffiness” (though what ruined the fluff is still up in the air…), it was still edible and the new texture wasn’t bad. It’s not too sweet and makes a delightful breakfast/tea bread. It’s not a bad recipe but the way it cooks definitely puts a damper on things. I’m going to try out a few more baking time/temp combos… I tried this a couple times… For those experiencing the… Read more »

Am Holub
Am Holub
10 months ago

Hello Gemma! I just made your Japanese cheesecake for the first time and it was a success! Thank you so much for your foolproof recipe! It was delicious and the texture is super light and moist! I used only 140 grams of sugar and it worked perfectly for our taste buds. Totally like what I remembered from a Japanese restaurant! Love your recipes! Many thanks again!

22 days ago

Tried this at the weekend after seeing one on Bake Off. Was absolutely lush. Thank God you can freeze it otherwise I’m in danger of consuming my own body weight it’s so nice. Complete convert from the New York version!

Carol Yaldo
Carol Yaldo
6 months ago

Hi Gemma, I attempted this recipe yesterday and it didn’t go well, it had an egg base in the bottom half of it and didn’t come out light and fluffy like the top half did. I believe there were 2 things I did wrong, I didn’t use a 9 inch pan, I used a 10 inch one and also, the egg whites were completely stiff, they could definitely hold their shape but when I flipped the mixing bowl over, they did slide a bit. Is it absolutely crucial that I use a 9 inch. The only 9 inch I have… Read more »

2 days ago

Please tell me how much ahead of time this can be made. I make cheesecake all time but so excited to try !! Happy Thanksgiving

Mauritz van den Heever
Mauritz van den Heever
3 days ago

Great recipe. Mine keeps cracking. Have even lowered the temp a little and happened again. Is it due to the fact that I am using the Thermo-fan? Should I not?

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!

Buy the Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook by Gemma Stafford