This jiggly Japanese cotton cheesecake has garnered popularity around the world because of its fluffy soft texture and lovely flavour. And the good news is that you can make it at home yourself! A few simple ingredients and a little bit of time is all you need to enjoy this soft and jiggly Japanese cheesecake at home.
What is Japanese Cheesecake?
Yes, it is called “Japanese” cheesecake. It is also known as Japanese cotton cheesecake or Japanese soufflé cheesecake. Because it’s the cotton-like fluffy texture is distinguishably different from the rest of the cheesecakes. Also it does not require oriental ingredients. You just need to master the baking technique to make this jiggly and fluffy cheesecake.
How to Bake a Japanese cheesecake?
Follow these steps to learn how to bake a Fluffy Japanese cheesecake.
- Let the cream cheese warm to room temperature
Leave the cream cheese out of the fridge at least 1 hour prior to start making Japanese cheesecake. (photo 1)
- Prepare a cake pan
Prepare a 7 inch (17cm) diameter cake pan by greasing well with unsalted butter and line the bottom of the cake pan with a round cut parchment paper. (photo 2)
- Sift cake flour and cornstarch to set aside
- Make cream cheese batter
Whisk cream cheese and add heavy cream and milk. Then add sugar to combine. Add egg yolks and mix one yolk at a time. (photo 4)
- Add lemon juice, zest and sifted flour to the cheese batter
- Start to preheat oven to 338°F(170°C)
- Make meringue
Make soft peak meringue.
- Fold the meringue into the cream cheese batter
at three different times. Read the recipe carefully.
- Bake in water bath.
Reduce the baking temperature to 320°F(160°C) and gradually reduce the temperature as stated in the recipe below.
- Glaze the cheesecake top with Apricot jam
Glaze the top of the cake with apricot jam diluted with brandy.
- Cream cheese – not all cream cheese are the same. I recommend using the Philadelphia brand cream cheese.
- 6 eggs – large size (1.8oz/50g each) Although using many eggs, Japanese cheesecake does not have an eggy taste.
- Cake flour + Corn starch – use protein percentage around 9% and corn starch makes the Japanese cheesecake fluffy!
- Lemon – juice and zest. I used an organic non-waxed lemon.
- Apricot Jam – this can be optional but it makes the cheesecake glossy and it also enhances the sweet tangy taste of the Japanese cotton cheesecake.
Troubleshooting Your Japanese Cheesecake
Two common failures when baking this soufflé cheesecake:
- It does not rise well.
- The top of the cheesecake cracks open while it is being baked.
Both of the mistakes can be avoided if you are careful with the meringue and you know how to operate your oven well. Read below to find solutions.
A: Prepare the baking tin and grease it well. I have tried this with baking paper and without baking paper and I have discovered that using lining paper is the best option. This is because if it is not greased well when the cheesecake batter is about to rise, the batter will be pulled by the lining paper if it sticks to it and it causes the top of the cake to crack. Also, if the baking temperature is too high the cake can crack. Every oven is different, so knowing your oven is important.
A: The temperature for baking Japanese soufflé cheesecake is important. If the baking temperature is too low, it will not rise well. My oven has just been installed last year after the previous oven broke. Since then I have had to bake cheesecakes a few times to test to see which temperature and timing work best.
A: Nonetheless, Japanese cheesecake is delicious even if it’s cracked in my humble opinion. They still taste great but just are not perfect looking. Japanese cheesecake deflates a little anyway and will close up the crack. You can hide the crack with fruits and other toppings like the photo below suggests.
Tips to Bake Jiggly Cheesecake
- Carefully separate the egg yolks and egg whites and refrigerate the egg white just before whipping. The equipment to make the meringue must be dry. Any trace of oil and water will impact on the quality of the meringue. Whipping up cold egg whites will make fine meringue and the meringue needs to have soft peaks for Japanese soufflé cheesecake.
- You may have seen these jiggly and fluffy Japanese soufflé cheesecakes before. They have become quite popular and I often see videos of them on Instagram. Japanese cheesecakes are jiggly and fluffy when they are just baked and still warm but they are best served rested in the fridge overnight. They are moist yet airy and soft and don’t have an eggy taste.
How to Store?
They will keep for a few days in the fridge. You can also freeze them. Slice and individually wrap with cling wrap. Keep them in an airtight freezer container. They will keep for a month. Defrost naturally to eat.
Checkout other Fluffy Japanese Baking
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Leave the cream cheese at room temperature to soften. *1
Prepare the 7 inch (17cm) in diameter and 3 inch (7.5cm) tall round cake pan. Spread unsalted butter thinly and line the bottom with baking paper and set aside in fridge. *2
Sift the flour and corn starch and set aside
Separate eggs to yolks and whites. Refrigerate the egg whites in a bowl. *3
Stir the softened cream cheese with a wooden spatula to make it a smooth cream texture.
Combine milk and cream. Add the milk and cream mixture a little bit at a time and mix well each time.
Add sugar and add egg yolks one at a time and mix well each time.
Sieve the cream cheese mixture into a large mixing bowl to avoid any lumpy bits.
Add lemon juice and lemon zest to the mixture and mix well. *4
Sift the flour and cornstarch into the egg yolk and cream cheese mixture and combine them.
Start to preheat the oven to 338°F(170°C) degrees Celsius. * 5
Make the meringue. Set the stand mixer and whip the egg whites till large bubbles form. Add the cream of tartar and whip.
Add 1/3 of the caster sugar in 3 to 4 different times and whip the egg whites each time the sugar is added. Whip till soft peaks form (when the stand mixer’s attachment is lifted, the white egg peak bends a little bit).
Remove the mixing bowl from the stand and hand whip to stabilize the meringue form.
Fold 1/3 of meringue into the cream cheese mixture with a whisk carefully trying not to break the fine meringue form. Repeat the same one more time.
This time, add the cream cheese mixture into the meringue bowl and fold all together carefully with a spatula.
Pour the mixture into a prepared round cake tin. Fill the tin about 0.6 inch (1.5 cm) down the rim of the tin, tap a couple times on a kitchen bench to release the air bubbles. *6
Place and bake it in a water bath in the preheated oven. Turn the oven temperature down to 320°F (160°C) and bake for 20 minutes. *7
After baking on 320°F (160°C) for 20 minutes, turn the temperature down to 284°F (140 °C) and bake for a further 55 minutes. (it took about 20 minutes at my oven temperature to get down to 284°F (140°C)
Turn the oven off after its baked in 284°F (140°C) for 55 minutes. Leave the cake inside the oven for a further 30 minutes to cool the cake down gradually.
After leaving the cake for 30 minutes with the oven turned off, remove the water bath and leave the oven door slightly open and let it continue to cool down gradually.
Place the cheesecake (still intact in the round tin) in an airtight container and refrigerate overnight. *8
Remove the cake from the tin.
Glaze the top of the cheesecake with apricot jam glaze with a brush and slice it with a sharp and warm knife to serve.
Calories: 248kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 143mg | Sodium: 121mg | Potassium: 115mg | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 675IU | Vitamin C: 1.7mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 0.6mg