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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:

4.48 from 134 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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379 Comments

Write a Comment and Review

  1. Lauren Hirano on January 15, 2019 at 6:52 am

    I have a convection oven. Do I have to make any adjustments to the time or temperature?

    • Gemma Stafford on January 15, 2019 at 2:35 pm

      Hi there, i might just bake it as 25 degrees less. Enjoy!

  2. Melissa on January 12, 2019 at 9:16 pm

    I followed these instructions to the tee, AND watched the video. I was MORTIFIED when I cut into the cake and the center was TOTALLY RAW! What in the living world could have gone wrong?!

    • Gemma Stafford on January 13, 2019 at 3:55 am

      Hi Melissa,
      It sounds like oven temperature and time. It was not baked through, and this can be to do with your oven thermostat being a little off. This is really common, and it is why it is important to always check the ‘doneness’ of a bake before finishing it out.
      With a very moist cake like this, which is almost mousse like, this is a matter of checking the color, seeing the rise, and feeling top of the cake to see if it feels firm to the touch, that is a simple and reliable way to check baking.
      I hope this sounds right to you, I know how upsetting it is to have a bake go wrong, and I am sorry you had a bad result from this recipe.
      Gemma 🙂

  3. Ruth on January 7, 2019 at 6:44 pm

    Gemma… I made my fourth cake within the past week & a half. This time I used orange juice & zest. It was fabulous! The Drs & Staff at worked loved it. Have you ever made it with chocolate?

    • Gemma Stafford on January 8, 2019 at 5:10 pm

      Wow, those are lovely addition, great job. I have not tried it with chocolate. I think that might require some adjustments to the recipe.

  4. Katy Viviano on January 6, 2019 at 12:25 pm

    Okay, I gotta give this a five because you make it so easy to make, but honestly, we prefer the taste of your 5 minute microwave cheesecake so much more!!

    • Gemma Stafford on January 7, 2019 at 12:12 pm

      I’m delighted to hear that, enjoy!

  5. Julia Andrew on January 4, 2019 at 5:10 pm

    Hi Gemma
    I would like to make a smaller version of the cake with 3 eggs.
    Is it possible to just halve the recipe and would there be a difference in the cooking time?
    I have a 7″ tin.
    Thanks
    Julia

    • Gemma Stafford on January 7, 2019 at 11:05 am

      Hi there, that will work quite well i think the bake time will be cut by 1/3. Enjoy!

  6. Carrie on January 3, 2019 at 8:12 pm

    I tried and it came out looking beautiful. But it was a total letdown when I later found out that it was undercooked inside. Perhaps I need to let it sit inside the oven longer and/or set the temperature a little higher??

    • Gemma Stafford on January 4, 2019 at 3:26 pm

      Hmmm i have not had that happen before, did you leave it in the oven with the door open after baking?

      • Carrie on January 11, 2019 at 11:57 am

        I did. But perhaps my oven temperature was lower than the actual temperature needed. I have since bought a thermometer. Hopefully it will help!

  7. Ruth Minsk-Whitehead on January 3, 2019 at 6:55 pm

    If I could give this 10 stars I would. Absolutely fabulous. The texture is sensational and the taste can make you swoon. My husband who detests cheese cake did not want to taste it. I caught him unawares and shoved a spoonful into his mouth. He looked at me in total amazement and took the plate from me. He kept going back for more. Can’t wait to make this for my Japanese daughter-in-law. I will definitely will make this again and often. Gemma thank you so much for a fabulous recipe
    Ruth Minsk-Whitehead

    • Gemma Stafford on January 4, 2019 at 3:28 pm

      Wow, great job! I am delighted to hear you enjoyed this so much. Next time submit a photo 😀

  8. Tharmini on December 31, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    Hi Gemma,
    Really excited to make this tomorrow. I have a gas oven. Is there any change to the temperature or cook time that I should be aware of? Thank you!!

    • Gemma Stafford on January 1, 2019 at 2:13 am

      Hi,

      I don’t think so as every oven is different but I would just suggest keeping an eye on it after 35 minutes.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  9. BrookeTheDietitian on December 30, 2018 at 6:05 pm

    I made this recipe exactly as written without any substitutions, omissions or additions of any kind. This cheesecake was excellent. It was perfectly fluffy, jiggly, and golden brown. My friends loved it and described it as “angel food cheesecake”. The only change I will make next time around is to wedge a spoon in the oven door instead of leaving the door cracked open about 6 inches between help slow the cooldown process. The middle came out slightly under cooked and I think a slower cooldown will be the perfect solution.

    • Gemma Stafford on December 30, 2018 at 8:39 pm

      This is one a great one! I;m so glad you gave it at try and enjoyed the result. Next time submit a photo to us 😀

  10. Cathy on December 29, 2018 at 11:51 am

    Thanks Gemma for this great recipe! I made it the first time three days ago and the center bottom was not fully cooked. The rest is fluffy and light except that center bottom. So reading your comments, I’m trying to make one today and added 3 more minutes to the 12mn baking period under 320 degrees. But I saw the top showing a crack line when the time was about 14mn so I turned off the oven and slightly opened the oven door.
    Could you explain what cracking would do to the cake, besides its look? I hope the cake will turn out ok and fully cooked this time. Thanks!

    • Gemma Stafford on January 7, 2019 at 1:19 pm

      If it cracks in the center that is usually because it’s over cooked or over heated. For the outside to be overcooked with the inside still raw that means you might have an oven that’s not baking evenly. I hope this helps, let me know how you go!

      • Catherine on January 12, 2019 at 4:43 am

        The cake turned out great, and all cooked. I used an oven mitt to keep the oven door slightly open after turning off the oven for 30mn. I think that helped keep the inner hot temperature longer to keep baking the cake. Thanks Gemma for a delicious fluffy and light cheesecake recipe!

        • Gemma Stafford on January 13, 2019 at 1:00 am

          Hi Catherine,
          That was well thought out, good job, a clear understanding of the process.
          Thank you for your input, it will be of help to other bold bakers.
          Gemma 🙂

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