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Japanese Cheesecake Recipe - Make a soft, jiggly Japanese Cheesecake with my simplified method!

Japanese Cheesecake Simplified

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My simplified Japanese Cheesecake Recipe is as soft as cotton and full of jiggle, reimagined without the complexity.


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:

4.49 from 83 votes
Japanese Cheesecake Recipe - Make a soft, jiggly Japanese Cheesecake with my simplified method!
Japanese Cheesecake
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.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Japanese
Servings: 12 slices
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  1. Grease and line an 8-inch springform tin. A 9-inch round cake pan will also work. 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.

  2. 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.
  3. Next, whisk in the egg yolk, lemon juice, vanilla extract and half the sugar.
  4. 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.

  5. 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.
  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.
  9. 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

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Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

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297 Comments

Write a Comment and Review

  1. Diane Burrowes on November 11, 2018 at 7:53 pm

    Hi I plan to try this soon. It looks delicious. Can I substitute lemon juice with lime juice?

    • Gemma Stafford on November 12, 2018 at 9:50 am

      Hi, yes you can!

  2. NANIVILES on November 11, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    Oh my goodness this is heaven on a plate . it needs nothing else but fruit could be on the side if you like . . my center was under done but I’m at high altitude and didn’t adjust my time accordingly . Don’t hesitate to make it .. Yummmmmm

    • Gemma Stafford on November 11, 2018 at 6:35 pm

      I’m really delighted to hear that!!! Thanks for trying it out 🙂

      Best,
      Gemma.

  3. Susan on November 8, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    So I get water seeping threw my springform pan, it makes it all soggy. What can I do to stop this from happening? Get a new pan or is that normal?

    • Gemma Stafford on November 9, 2018 at 10:21 am

      To prevent this i sometimes wrap the outside of the pan in tin foil to make sure it’s its sealed up.

  4. Samantha on November 6, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    Hi, can I substitute the cake flour for all-purpose flour instead?

    • Kevin Kurtz on November 6, 2018 at 8:07 pm

      yes Samantha you absolutely can use all-purpose flour. Also you can make your own

      Best,
      Gemma.

  5. Crys Miranda on October 31, 2018 at 2:28 am

    Hey is can I use cornflour instead of cornstarch

    • Gemma Stafford on November 1, 2018 at 9:33 pm

      Hi,

      Yes you can, cornstarch and cornflour was the same thing 🙂

      Best,
      Gemma

  6. Tina on October 25, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    Would this recipe be achievable in a muffin tins, or smaller cake pans?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 27, 2018 at 1:01 pm

      Hi Tina,

      Yes you could make maybe 2 smaller cakes but I don’t recommend making it in a cupcake or muffin tin. It can be a sensitive cake and might not work well in a muffin tin.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  7. Kristine on October 25, 2018 at 5:10 am

    Hi Gemma!Good day!Can i use rectangular tray for this recipe?Thanks and Godbless.

    • Gemma Stafford on October 25, 2018 at 6:14 am

      Hi Kristine,
      Yes! no good reason not to, though it will need to have some volume!
      Gemma 🙂

  8. Jessica Wood on October 22, 2018 at 7:09 am

    Hi, do you still need add the lemon if you want a vanilla flavour instead?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 23, 2018 at 6:11 am

      Hi Jessica,
      Yes, to a point! There is a certain chemical reaction which helps to bind the mix. The lemon juice wil lnot affect the flavor, and you can add yuor vanilla too, all will be well.
      Gemma 🙂

  9. Weber on October 21, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    Hi- when I baked it, the middle was still runny and uncooked. When I tried to put it back for longer- the texture of the cheesecake turn into a normal cake and the center was still uncooked. Do you know what could have happened? I’ve made it once before and it came out perfectly

    • Gemma Stafford on October 22, 2018 at 3:04 am

      Hi Weber,
      Generally when you follow the temperature settings in a regular oven you will get a consistent result. Leaving it in the oven at the end of the bake time will set the cake up further, leaving a chink in the oven door during the cooling time will maintain the jiggle and give a more moist finish, but it should be cooked through! I cannot tell what happened for you this time, but I suspect it was a temperature issue.
      I hope this helps,
      Gemma 🙂

  10. Jessica Wood on October 21, 2018 at 1:59 pm

    Do you have to add the lemon juice in this if you already use cream of tartar? Just wondering because I would prefer a vanilla flavour.

    • Gemma Stafford on October 21, 2018 at 2:53 pm

      Hi Jessica,

      Yes still add the lemon. It adds nice flavor. You can also add vanilla too.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  11. Raluca on October 21, 2018 at 8:54 am

    Hi Gemma, when you change the temperature from 400F to 320F, do you open the oven’s door to release some of the heat in order to get to the 320F ?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 21, 2018 at 12:58 pm

      Hi,

      All of that info is in the written recipe. I copied and pasted it here for you. Also I recommend watching the video for even more tips.

      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.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  12. Nurul Syahidah Ramli on October 21, 2018 at 7:54 am

    Hi Gemma,
    Can I use honey instead of sugar in this recipe?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 21, 2018 at 1:22 pm

      Hum, it’s probably best to use the sugar given. This can be some what of a temperamental recipe so best not to change it too much.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  13. Sholeh on October 20, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    Hi Gemma,

    Do I need to preheat the oven to 400?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 20, 2018 at 7:50 pm

      Hi,

      Yes, start at 400 and then turn it down to 320 after a while.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  14. Rhea on October 18, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    Hi Gemma. Do I grease the sides of the pan as well? Or can I line both bottom and side with parchment? Will be using a springform pan and I want the sides to be really smooth. Thanks!

    • Gemma Stafford on October 19, 2018 at 2:39 am

      Hi Rhea,
      You can line the bottom and the sides. The best way to do this is to cut a strip of baking paper, the height of the pan with a little over. Butter the pan. Take the strip of paper, butter it and cut little snips into one length of it. This allows the paper to sit in the pan, the cut part will fold on to the bottom of the pan. you then cut a circle to fit the bottom, which will sit on the side paper neatly. Try this, it is worth getting this right for all of your baking.
      Gemma 🙂

  15. Lunisa on October 18, 2018 at 1:53 am

    Hi Gemma, thanks for the recipe. May I just ask what can I substitute for the lemon juice? Right now, I dont have it in my kitchen and I really want to make this cake now as a snack for the kids.
    Thanks a lot!

    • Gemma Stafford on October 18, 2018 at 5:46 am

      Hi Lunisa,
      Do you have cream of tartar, or lime juice? That will do it too, it is the acid ingredient you are looking for!
      Gemma 🙂

  16. Ani on October 17, 2018 at 7:33 pm

    Tried this tonight
    Taste amazing yet the center of my cheesecake seems a little gooey .
    Any recommendations?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 18, 2018 at 6:56 am

      Hi Ani,
      Thank you for your kind comment.
      Sounds like it needed a little more baking time. An extra five minutes will make a difference. The last 30 minutes in the oven also helps to set this cake up. Test it, use your finger to touch the top of the cake at the end of baking time, it should feel jiggly, but not wet.
      I hope this helps,
      Gemma 🙂

  17. Zainab on October 17, 2018 at 5:37 am

    Hi lovely is there any substitution for cream of tartar ? Cause i dont have cream of tartar

    • Gemma Stafford on October 17, 2018 at 6:47 am

      Hi Zainab,
      cream of tartar is an acid ingredient, a by product of the wine industry.
      Lemon is an acid ingredient, and you can use that in this recipe. A teaspoon of fresh lemon juice should do it for you.
      I hope you like this recipe,
      Gemma 🙂

  18. Sabah on October 16, 2018 at 8:09 pm

    Can we add vanilla to it? Does it have an eggie taste? What can I substitute corn starch for?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 17, 2018 at 2:50 am

      Hi Sabah,
      This recipe has a lot of eggs. If you do not like eggs this may be a problem for you. This type of cheesecake is more like a mousse, you cannot have it without the eggs.
      Arrowroot can substitute for the cornstarch/cornflour.
      You can indeed add vanilla to this recipe,
      Gemma 🙂

  19. Melissa van Zyl on October 16, 2018 at 11:51 am

    Please assist. I’m about to attempt this Japanese cheesecake. Can I add a biscuit base? Will it affect the outcome of the cheesecake

    • Gemma Stafford on October 17, 2018 at 3:44 am

      Hi Melissa,
      I think you can add a light biscuit base, just a scattering of crumb to the buttered pan. This is like a mousse, very light, it will not match so well with a heavy base,
      Gemma 😉

  20. Shehzeen on October 16, 2018 at 8:03 am

    Do we keep both top and bottom flame on when cake is in the oven or just bottom bit .. coz mine iss not browning up on top

    • Gemma Stafford on October 17, 2018 at 4:03 am

      Hi there,
      This sounds like an OTG oven, and really this is a question of learning to manage the oven. for a delicate cake like this you may need to ‘fiddle’ a bit with the source of the heat, these ovens tend to behave in different ways, I do not have general rules. Your instruction book should help you,
      Gemma 🙂

  21. Ann V. on October 15, 2018 at 4:57 am

    I definitely going to make this. But my question is how do you remove the baking paper without damaging the cake?
    Thanks, Ann

    • Gemma Stafford on October 16, 2018 at 8:44 am

      Hi Ann,
      I tend to use a silicon baking paper, which does not stick to the cake. You can also use pre-cut circles of baking paper, held in place by the butter in the pan. This can remain attached to the cake. It is easy enough to remove it from the loose bottomed pan, just gently does it really. If you line the whole pan the paper will be your friend, acting as a lifter, to a degree.
      I hope this is of help,
      Gemma 🙂

  22. Marsha on October 13, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    This is my 2nd attempt at Japanese cheesecake. It doesn’t come out fluffy. I think it’s my meringue. How long does it normally take? I felt like I was beating it to death and it wasnt like yours. Could I add more cream of tartar?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 14, 2018 at 10:47 am

      Hi Marsha,
      There is no specific time for this. I am presuming you mean the egg whites? In my training days we whisked them until we could turn the bowl upside down over our heads, and nothing would come out! not asking you to do that. However the foam should be completely firm. This may be to do with one or two things.
      1. The whisk/beater you are using. You will get good results with a hand held whisk, but it takes a lot of ‘elbow grease’. An electric hand held whisk will work well, a stand mixer is quicker.
      2. The temperature of the other ingredients. Where it says ‘melt’ it means just melt, do not heat as such. The ingredients should be warm enough to come together, but not ever hot.
      I think you do not need more cream of tartar. This is an acid ingredient, as is lemon juice. their purpose is to stabilize the egg whites.
      I hope this helps you to figure this out.
      Thank you for being in touch,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Katherine on October 15, 2018 at 8:34 am

        I tried the cheesecake this weekend. And i think i overwhipped the egg whites. The cake did not rise. I will try again

        • Gemma Stafford on October 16, 2018 at 9:22 am

          Hi Katherine,
          You may have over whipped it, or you may have knocked out the air when you were adding the other ingredients, and I think that is what happened. Use a large metal spoon, and do not try to get every lump out, all will be well. down to the bottom of the bowl, up and over, and again, until it feels right. A few little lomps will work out in the baking.
          I hope this is of help,
          Gemma 🙂

          • Katherine on October 16, 2018 at 9:36 am

            I did use the large metal spoon. i may have overfolded. I thought i was gentle. But i think it was that the meringue was nearly dry. I had beat the meringue too soon in the instructions. And then felt i needed to whip it a first more times before incorporating.

            Will try again. Thank you

            • Gemma Stafford on October 17, 2018 at 3:57 am

              Hi Katherine,
              Yes, you can over whip egg whites, they then become granular. Take it to the point where it is thick and glossy, that will be sufficient, it is a lot of the leavening for this recipe. Let us know how you get on,
              Gemma 😉



  23. Susan M on October 7, 2018 at 3:29 pm

    Could I use your homemade cream cheese recipe as the cream cheese in this?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 8, 2018 at 1:21 am

      Hi Susan,
      Yes, get the cream cheese right and you can use it in any recipe. This is a farmers/simple cheese. Use full fat milk and vinegar to get a large curd. If you need to add back a little whey to cream it, then do so, all will be well.
      Gemma 🙂

  24. annette on September 30, 2018 at 1:27 pm

    I have made this cheesecake for years I think the problem with the other bakers is that they are looking for the consistency of regular cheesecake this is light and fluffy very soft and moist with a very delicate flavor. the secret to this cake is beating the egg whites to very stiff and being careful when incorporating them into the batter if your batter is really smooth then your cake will not cook correctly the batter should be somewhat lumpy

    • Gemma Stafford on October 1, 2018 at 2:21 am

      Hi Annette,
      Yes, really more souffle! When you get this right, it is pretty perfect.
      Thank you for your input here, perfect description,
      Gemma 🙂

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