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This is the best Japanese cheesecake recipe for the perfect jiggly cotton cheesecake. Everyone will love this cross between a cheesecake and a sponge cake!

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Japanese Cheesecake

You have surely come across the cute and jiggly Japanese cheesecake while scrolling through social media.

It looks very soft and fluffy, so it’s something that would be hard to replicate at home, right?

Let’s find out below if making a Japanese cheesecake will be a piece of cake or if you’ll get beaten by egg whites! ?

What Is Japanese Cheesecake?

The Japanese cheesecake is more of a cake than a cheesecake.

When you think of a cheesecake, you’ll imagine a dessert with two layers: a thin, crisp crust and a thick, rich filling made from cream cheese.

On the other hand, the Japanese cotton cheesecake looks like a very soft sponge cake. It has no crust or thick cream cheese filling, and you can easily distinguish it from other desserts because it’s so light and airy that it jiggles like jelly!

It’s almost like a souffle with the delectable tangy taste we love in cheesecakes.

This cute and bouncy dessert perfectly combines soft sponge cake and sweet-tangy cheesecake. ?

What Is Japanese Cheesecake

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

More than the light and fluffy texture, there are a lot of things to love about this cotton cheesecake recipe:

  • Aesthetically Pleasing: Despite its simplicity, Japanese cheesecake will surely gain attention at the dessert table. This easy recipe also includes the best tips to get the perfect brown top without cracks for a flawless cheesecake that will inspire you to invest in skincare, haha!
  • Perfect Sweetness: The best thing about the cotton cheesecake is it’s not too rich and sweet compared to other cakes and cheesecakes. If you love sponge cakes and souffle but enjoy the tanginess of cheesecakes, this is your future favorite dessert.
  • Versatile Dessert: Because Japanese cheesecake tastes light, you can customize it with different flavors and toppings. I’ll share some heavenly examples below so you can pick the best ones that won’t ruin the fragile structure of the jiggly cake. ?

What Does Cotton Cheesecake Taste Like?

The Japanese cotton cheesecake is essentially a crustless cheesecake that’s closer to a souffle and sponge cake. It has a subtle tangy taste because it uses cream cheese like a regular cheesecake but is not as rich and sweet.

More than the light sweet-tangy flavor, I think most people will never refuse a slice of Japanese cheesecake because of its incredibly airy and bouncy texture.

It’s just so soft that it even jiggles like jelly when you shake it!

For this recipe, we’ll also serve the light and decadent crowd-pleasing dessert with sliced strawberries for a burst of sweetness.

What Does Cotton Cheesecake Taste Like

Is Japanese Cotton Cheesecake Healthy?

Cotton cheesecake has fewer calories than the sweeter and heavier traditional cheesecake. It’s also delicious on its own, so you don’t need to add any sugary and fatty frosting. (Of course, fresh fruit toppings won’t hurt, especially mixed berries that are rich in vitamins and minerals!)

Want a gluten-free cotton cheesecake? You can substitute the all-purpose flour in this recipe with sweet rice flour!

Next time you’re looking for a scrumptious dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth, you’ll feel less guilty with a slice of Japanese cheesecake. That being said, it’s still important to manage your portions when eating this scrumptious cake, as with any sweet treat.

What Are The Benefits Of Japanese Cheesecake?

If you don’t like very rich desserts but still crave something decadent, you will enjoy the fluffy and jiggly Japanese cheesecake.

It’s a fun baking process because you will beat the egg whites to a certain consistency, then fold them into the cake batter gently to achieve the iconic bounciness of the Japanese dessert. It seems like a lot of work, but the huge, souffle-like cake is very enjoyable to make at home.

Cotton cheesecake is also not too sweet and tangy. It’s just the right taste for a light dessert after a savory meal or while relaxing at home with a cup of hot tea.

What Are The Benefits Of Japanese Cheesecake

Ingredients For Japanese Cheesecake

  • Eggs – You’ll have an easier time separating the yolks from the egg whites if you work on the eggs while they’re still cold from the fridge.
  • Cream of tartar – This ingredient helps stabilize the egg whites so they won’t collapse when you beat them.
  • Sugar – For the right amount of sweetness on your baked cheesecake.
  • Cream cheese – Bring your cream cheese to room temperature so it’s soft enough to mix with the other ingredients.
  • Low-fat milk – For deliciously moist cotton cheesecake!
  • Unsalted butter – To add a delectable buttery taste to the super soft souffle-like cake.
  • Fresh lemon juice – Lemon juice not only adds a tanginess to balance the sweet cheesecake. It also helps the meringue to rise.
  • All-purpose flour – This easy recipe uses all-purpose flour for convenience.
  • Cornstarch – Make your Japanese cotton cheesecake even lighter with cornstarch.
  • Fresh strawberries – Use any toppings you like, but you can never go wrong with sweet and juicy strawberries for the jiggly cheesecake.

Tools Needed To Prepare Japanese Cheesecake

Ingredient Additions & Substitutions For Japanese Cotton Cheesecake

Matcha powder

I really love matcha on desserts, and this bouncy cotton cheesecake recipe is perfect for matcha’s earthy flavor. Just add two tablespoons of matcha powder to the yolk batter for a crowd-pleasing matcha Japanese cotton cheesecake. ?

Confectioner’s sugar

Want to impress your guests with an Instagram-worthy Japanese cheesecake? Place a stencil over the delectable dessert, then dust it with confectioner’s sugar!

Apricot preserves

Besides fresh berries, apricot preserves will pair deliciously with the light cheesecake.

I recommend adding a few teaspoons of hot water to the preserves to create an apricot jam glaze. Preserves can be too heavy and cause the delicate cheesecake structure to collapse, so spreading a glaze on top of the airy cheesecake will be a better idea.

How to Make Japanese Cheesecake

Ingredients:

Tools you need:

Instructions:

STEP 1: Gather and measure all your ingredients for cotton cheesecake.

step 1 Japanese Cheesecake

STEP 2: Prepare a water bath for the Japanese cheesecake. Place a large baking pan on the lowest rack of the oven and fill it halfway with water.

STEP 3: Preheat the oven to 315°F

STEP 4: Line the bottom and sides of the springform pan with parchment paper. Seal it with several sheets of aluminum foil to prevent leaks.

STEP 5: Separate the yolks from the egg whites.

STEP 6: Beat the egg white on low speed for about 30 seconds, then increase to medium speed and continue beating until foamy.

step 6 Japanese Cheesecake

STEP 7: Add the cream of tartar and beat at medium-high until the egg whites thicken.

STEP 8: Add ¼ cup granulated sugar in increments. Continue beating for about 3 minutes until soft peaks form, then set aside.

step 8 Japanese Cheesecake

STEP 9: In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese and milk on low mixer speed for about 2 minutes or until smooth.

step 9a Japanese Cheesecake
step 9b Japanese Cheesecake

STEP 10: Add the butter, ¼ cup sugar, and lemon juice to the cream cheese mixture. Beat for another minute.

step 10b Japanese Cheesecake

STEP 11: Add the flour and cornstarch to the cream cheese mixture and beat for 1 minute.

STEP 12: Pour the egg yolks into the batter and mix until incorporated. Strain the Japanese cheesecake batter through a sieve.

STEP 13: Divide the beaten egg whites into three, then fold one at a time into the batter until incorporated. Be gentle when folding, and do not beat the mixture.

step 13 Japanese Cheesecake

STEP 14: Pour the cream cheese batter into the springform pan, then spread it evenly with a spatula. If there are air bubbles, you can pop them off by gently dropping the pan on the counter.

step 14b Japanese Cheesecake

STEP 15: Place the cake pan into the water bath. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes, but you can check for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center of the cake after an hour.

STEP 16: Once the toothpick comes out clean, bake for 10 to 15 minutes more or until the top is brown. If the top cracks, the cheesecake might be too close to the heating element, or the heat is too high.

step 16 japanese cheesecake

STEP 17: Turn off the oven and open its door slightly. Let the Japanese cheesecake cool inside the oven for 1 hour to minimize deflating.

STEP 18: Remove the cheesecake from the pan and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. You can also enjoy the jiggly Japanese cheesecake warm.

STEP 19: Top with strawberry slices, but feel free to serve your cotton cheesecake with anything you like!

step 19 Japanese Cheesecake

What To Serve With Cotton Cheesecake

You can serve the fluffy and jiggly Japanese cheesecake with any toppings since it’s not too sweet. Try a simple dusting of powdered sugar, whipped cream, fresh fruits, or caramel syrup!

However, I recommend trying a slice of the souffle-like cheesecake on its own to appreciate its airy texture.

What To Serve With Cotton Cheesecake

Pair it with cozy beverages like matcha dalgona (a clever take on the viral dalgona coffee) or an indulgent glass of salted caramel milkshake. ?

You can also try other trending recipes from this collection of the best viral TikTok recipes.

Tips About Making Cotton Cheesecake

Nervous about not getting the perfect jiggly Japanese cheesecake on your first try? Here are some tips for home bakers:

  • When lining the springform pan, make sure your parchment paper extends 2 inches above it to support the cake once it rises. However, the cake might not brown properly if the paper is taller than 5 inches.
  • Bring your chilled ingredients to room temperature before making the cheesecake for better mixing. But since eggs are easier to separate while they’re still cold, you can separate them first and then just allow the separated yolks and whites to come to room temperature.
  • When adding the whipped egg whites to the batter, do not beat the mixture vigorously, or you’ll end up with a dense and flat cheesecake. Just gently fold the egg whites into the batter, and remember to add them in three increments.

How To Store Japanese Cotton Cheesecake

Keep your cotton cheesecake in its best quality and shape with these storage guidelines:

  • Fridge: Prevent your Japanese cheesecake from drying in the fridge by storing it in an air-tight container. Consume within a week for the best texture.
  • Freezer: You can freeze the cotton cheesecake for up to three months. Just wrap it securely in plastic wrap and foil.
How To Store Japanese Cotton Cheesecake

Is Japanese Cheesecake Gluten Free?

This Japanese cotton cheesecake recipe is not gluten-free since it uses all-purpose flour. But if you want a gluten-free version, just replace the all-purpose flour with sweet rice flour!

How Is Japanese Cheesecake Made

Japanese cheesecake is made by incorporating meringue or beaten egg whites into a simple cake batter of flour, cornstarch, cream cheese, milk, butter, sugar, and lemon juice. The result is a cake called “cotton cheesecake” because it’s as light as cotton. ?

What’s In Japanese Cheesecake?

Japanese cheesecake, like regular cheesecake, features cream cheese. However, it’s not as rich and sweet because it’s essentially a very light and bouncy sponge cake than a crisp crust topped with a thick and creamy filling.

The reason behind its iconic jiggly texture is the meringue made from beating egg whites, cream of tartar, and sugar.

FAQ About Cotton Cheesecake

Can I freeze Japanese cheesecake?

Yes! You can freeze Japanese cheesecake for extended storage. Just thaw it overnight before serving.

How long does Japanese cheesecake last?

When wrapped securely and frozen, Japanese cotton cheesecake lasts up to three months!

What flour to use for Japanese cheesecake?

You can use all-purpose flour, cake flour, or even sweet rice flour to make Japanese cheesecake.

How is Japanese cheesecake different?

Japanese cheesecakes are different from American cheesecakes because they’re light and jiggly. Japanese cheesecake is more like a sponge cake; it doesn’t have layers of crust and filling like the dense and rich regular cheesecake. 

Japanese Cotton Cheesecake Recipe

Japanese Cheesecake

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes

This is the best Japanese cheesecake recipe for the perfect jiggly cotton cheesecake. Everyone will love this cross between a cheesecake and a sponge cake!

Instructions

  1. Gather and measure all your ingredients for cotton cheesecake.
  2. Prepare a water bath for the Japanese cheesecake. Place a large baking pan on the lowest rack of the oven and fill it halfway with water.
  3. Preheat the oven to 315°F
  4. Line the bottom and sides of the springform pan with parchment paper. Seal it with several sheets of foil to prevent leaks.
  5. Separate the yolks from the egg whites.
  6. Beat the egg white on low speed for about 30 seconds, then increase the speed to medium-low and continue beating until foamy.
  7. Add the cream of tartar and beat at medium-high until the egg whites thicken.
  8. Add ¼ cup sugar in increments. Continue beating for about 3 minutes until soft peaks form, then set aside.
  9. In a separate bowl, mix cream cheese and milk on low speed for about 2 minutes or until smooth.
  10. Add the butter, ¼ cup sugar, and lemon juice to the cream cheese mixture. Beat for another minute.
  11. Add the flour and cornstarch to the cream cheese mixture and beat for 1 minute.
  12. Pour the egg yolks into the batter and mix until incorporated. Strain the Japanese cheesecake batter through a sieve.
  13. Divide the beaten egg whites into three, then fold one at a time into the batter until incorporated. Be gentle when folding, and do not beat the mixture.
  14. Pour the batter into the springform pan, then spread it evenly with a spatula. If there are air bubbles, you can pop them off by gently dropping the pan on the counter.
  15. Place the cake pan into the water bath. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, but you can check for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center of the cake after an hour.
  16. Once the toothpick comes out clean, bake for 10 to 15 minutes more or until the top is brown. If the top cracks, the cheesecake might be too close to the heating element, or the heat is too high.
  17. Turn off the oven and open its door slightly. Let the Japanese cheesecake cool inside the oven for 1 hour to minimize deflating.
  18. Remove the cheesecake from the pan and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. You can also enjoy the jiggly Japanese cheesecake warm.
  19. Top with strawberry slices, but feel free to serve your cotton cheesecake with anything you like!

Notes

  • The parchment paper should extend at about 2 inches above the springform pan since the cake will rise during baking. Just make sure that the paper is not taller than 5 inches because it will affect the browning of the cheesecake.
  • Bring the eggs, cream cheese, and butter to room temperature for easier and smoother blending of ingredients. However, you can separate the eggs while they’re still cold.
  • Be gentle when folding the egg whites into the batter. Never beat the egg whites into the batter because it can deflate the egg whites and create a flat and dense cheesecake!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 68Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 12mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 0g

* Please note that all nutrition information are just estimates. Values will vary among brands, so we encourage you to calculate these on your own for the most accurate results.

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Conclusion

The Japanese cheesecake is a cheesecake, sponge cake, and souffle in one.

It features the sweetness and tanginess of cheesecake without tasting overwhelming, and it has the soft and bouncy texture of a souffle and sponge cake. No wonder this fluffy cake became viral compared to other types of cheesecake!

Cotton Cheesecake

You only need to ensure that your egg whites are beaten to the perfect consistency and that everything in the batter is incorporated well without overmixing.

Mastering the meringue and cake batter is totally worth it once your taste buds experience this melt-in-the-mouth Japanese-style cheesecake. ?

If this cheesecake recipe has you craving more sweets, try these other heavenly recipes:

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