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Japanese Cheesecake

Japanese cheesecake – cotton soft, light, pillowy, the BEST cheesecake recipe EVER. Tried and tested, a MUST-BAKE for cheesecake lover!! |

Japanese Cheesecake

Japanese cheesecake – cotton soft, light, pillowy, the BEST cheesecake recipe EVER. Tried and tested, a MUST-BAKE for cheesecake lover!! |

Prep time:

Cook time:

Total Time:


140g/5 oz. fine granulated sugar
6 egg whites
6 egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
50g/2 oz. unsalted butter
250g/9 oz. cream cheese
100 ml/3 fluid oz. fresh milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
60g/2 oz. cake flour /superfine flour
20g/1 oz. cornflour (cornstarch)
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Melt cream cheese, butter and milk over a double boiler. Cool the mixture. Fold in the flour, the cornflour, salt, egg yolks, lemon juice and mix well.

2. Make the meringue by whisking egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy. You can beat with a stand mixer or handheld mixer. Add in the sugar and whisk until soft peaks form. (Click on the link to see image of how the meringue should look.)

3. Take 1/3 meringue and fold into the cheese mixture, then fold in another 1/3 of meringue. After incorporated, pour the batter back to the remaining 1/3 meringue and fold. FOLD GENTLY. Pour the mixture into a 8-inch round cake pan (lightly grease and line the bottom and sides of the pan with grease-proof baking paper or parchment paper).

4. Bake cheesecake in a water bath for 1 hours 10 minutes or until set and golden brown at 160 degrees C (325 degrees F).

Japanese cheesecake – cotton soft, light, pillowy, the BEST cheesecake recipe EVER. Tried and tested, a MUST-BAKE for cheesecake lover!! |

Japanese Cheesecake

Japanese cheesecake – cotton soft, light, pillowy, the BEST cheesecake recipe EVER. Tried and tested, a MUST-BAKE for cheesecake lover!!

Japanese cheesecake – cotton soft, light, pillowy, the BEST cheesecake recipe EVER. Tried and tested, a MUST-BAKE for cheesecake lover!! |

When I was home in Penang a couple of months ago, my friend and contributor CP Choong baked these cotton soft Japanese cheesecake and gave me some to try. Oh my, they were so good and exactly like the title of this post, cotton soft…and cheesecake. Japanese cheesecake is very different from the rich “western-style” cheesecake; Japanese cheesecake is soft, light, cottony, and absolutely to die for.

After I tasted the Japanese cheesecake, I told CP Choong that I wanted her to contribute the recipe on Rasa Malaysia and share with the readers. She promised me to do that. A few days ago, I was just so happy that her email and gorgeous pictures popped up in my email inbox. Not only she made the Japanese cheesecake again, she did something extra…she decorated the top of the cake with beautiful patterns, as you can see from the photos here.

Japanese cheesecake – cotton soft, light, pillowy, the BEST cheesecake recipe EVER. Tried and tested, a MUST-BAKE for cheesecake lover!! |

This Japanese cheesecake recipe is adapted from two recipes online. I am just so happy that we have this baking recipe now, and I can also bake this for my son. I can get Japanese cheesecake at Asian bakery here but they are just so expensive.

For those who is curious about Japanese cheesecake, I strongly urge you to try the recipe. I will say that after you taste it, you might not want to go back to regular cheesecake again. Happy baking!

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122 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. I had no idea that Japanese cheesecake even existed but if this cake tastes half as good as it looks……I’m a happy woman!

    The top is just beautiful and maybe I won’t ever go back to regular cheesecake again.

    • A. Leviton

      Here is another recipe for this:
      3 Ingredients Soufflé Japanese Cheesecake


      125g cream cheese, cut into cubes, soften at room temperature
      120g white chocolate, break into pieces (I used Ghirardelli white chocolate chips)
      3 extra large eggs, cold, separated (I used 4 eggs with 60g yolks, 140g whites)

      1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

      Line the base of a 7″ round cake pan(fixed base) with parchment paper and grease the sides with butter, set aside.
      Separate the eggs and leave egg whites to chill in the fridge until ready to use, this helps ensure a more stable meringue.
      Fill a saucepan with water to about half full. Bring the water to a full boil. Turn off the heat. Place white chocolate chips in a large mixing bowl and set it over the saucepan (make sure the bowl is bigger than the sauce pan). Stir chocolate till smooth.
      Add cream cheese and mix till smooth.
      Remove mixing bowl from the saucepan. Add the egg yolks, with a balloon whisk, whisk to combine. Add vanilla extract (if using), whisk to combine, set aside.
      In a clean, dry mixing bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer until the egg whites reaches the stiff peak stage. (Take care not to over beat the egg whites. Since there is no sugar added, it takes a very short time to reach the stiff peak stage.)
      Add the beaten egg whites into the cream cheese mixture in 3 separate additions, each time fold with a spatula (I used a balloon whisk) until just blended.
      Pour batter into the prepared pan. Tap the pan lightly on a table top to get rid of any trapped air bubbles in the batter.
      Place cake pan in a baking tray. Fill the baking tray with some hot water.
      Place on lower rack of the oven and bake at 170 degC for 15mins. Lower the temperature to 160 degC and bake for another 15 minutes. Turn off the oven temperature and leave the cake inside the oven for another 15 minutes.
      Remove cake pan from oven and leave the cake to cool before unmolding. Refrigerate for about 2 to 3 hours. Dust with icing sugar if desired.
      Recipe source: from Anncoo Journal and this video by ochikeron.

  2. BusyMom

    Thanks for a deliciously looking recipe. May I ask when you leave the cake to cool in the oven for 1 hour, do you first remove the cake tin from the water bath i.e. just the cake in the tin? Secondly, since the cream cheese usually comes in 8oz bar, is it detrimental just to use 8oz and not 9oz per recipe? Thanks!

    • Here is the response from CP Choong, the contributor of this recipe: you may leave the cake in tin to cool in water or without water. If you don’t feel too dangerous or too clumsy to remove the hot water pan from oven and quickly pop back the cake (with tin) back to oven. I got burnt once with the hot water splashing when moving out the hot water.

      Also depends on how what size of your water bath pan, some people use the shallow pan (black color that comes with the oven) that is too dangerous to remove. BUT I use a 12″ round baking tin as the water bath pan.

      • Jasmin

        Hi Rasa,
        I made the cheesecake twice and my daughters loved it! Can’t believe they ate the whole thing. I do have one question. The cake on your picture looks for pretty and high, mine’s after it cools off, it shrinks a bit and the top is a bit wrinkly even though I kept the finished cake inside the oven with doors slightly open. Do you know what could cause this?

        Thank you so much for sharing :)

  3. lizyeng

    Lovely, I can wait to try this recipe it looks super yummy. Just wondering in step 3 we should whisk it by hand or using the blender. Ty

    • Mixing soft peak meringue to cheese mixture :-
      Always FOLD IN the beaten egg white by hand gently, do not stir, no blender whatsoever. This is the prevent deflation of air. Unless you want a short and dense cake

  4. Eulyn

    Very nice cake and thanks for sharing.Would appreciate your advice on what knife or best way to cut the cake to ensure a perfect slice like yours. Any technique to make sure the cake doesn’t stick to the knife. Thank you.

    • Response from CP Choong, the contributor of this recipe: I use normal knife but I warm it with hot water before cutting. But the cake will definitely stick to knife because the texture is more or less like pudding. The best is wipe the knife clean after each cutting. Also, cut it straight out from the fridge.

  5. I remember eating the Japanese Cheese Cake from Lavender before. The texture is really tender, soft, cottony and light as you mention up there. I’m hungry just by looking at the picture. By the way, thanks for sharing this recipe. Can’t wait to try this. My son will definitely love it.

  6. Agnes Ma

    I went to to see if there are more tips. I then found out there was no lemon juice mentioned in the ingredient list. May I ask if this lemon juice is added on after original post? Thank a million if you could ask CP Choong. The picture looks so awesome,I must try this weekend. Tks for sharing this recipe.

  7. Jessica Kwan

    I have tried this recipe, but my doesn’t turn out as your picture shown. It doesn’t come out as soft as you have mentioned. What did I do wrong?

  8. wendy lim

    Thanks for your reply. So the water in the water bath should be hot water right?
    The double boiler is NOT to be heated on a stove am i right??

  9. Lizyeng

    This cheesecake was so light and super delicious the only thing is that mine cheesecake shrunk like an inch from the top and a little from the sides. Did I do anything wrong? Other than a delicious recipe.
    Thanks for sharing.

  10. Elaine C

    The cake is super soft and yummy. However, mine shrunk quite a bit too. I always have this problem with cakes with meringue. Anyway, thanks for the recipe.

  11. Susan Goh

    Hi, I made this cheesecake today and followed exactly all the ingredients and method. Baked at 160 deg.C for one hour in a water bath as required.
    The cake cracked and the sides were wrinkly…I must admit, I forgot to grease after I lined the base and sides. No where near the image which you posted but it was light and delicious!
    Q: What did I do wrong?

  12. Azizah

    Hi there, tried this today but my cake shriveled like dried prune n looks so ugly. One thing that happened was I missed out d sugar. What other possibility made my product shriveled? Also the top cracked so I turned down the temp to 140 deg instead will try it again but appreciate if you could give me pointers for correcting my mistakes.

    • hi Azizah, here is the response from CP Choong, the contributor of the recipe: The ugly looking cake, cracked top are mostly caused by the meringue and the heat. (Remember I also failed so many times). Getting the right stage of meringue is important. Soft peak form and the texture should be silky smooth and bubble-less. This is how it should look:
      The cracked top problem means you over beaten meringue which is drier compared to soft peak form meringue, this would cause cracks. Also, sugar is crucial for meringue making. Without the SUGAR, bubbles volume (in meringue) will deflate faster. Your problems were caused by sugarless meringue.

  13. Yan

    Tried this recipe today and it came out perfect! Thank you so much for sharing.
    It is very important to read the notes and follow them!

  14. This cake is so delish. My favourite. Not easy to make but knowing the right techniques is crucial. I failed first 5 times, my 6th attempt made it right to get the correct texture and not sinking too much when it is done.

    However I still couldn’t get the side and top part of the cake smooth looking. The side is slightly wavy and top of the cake is not really smooth. It have fine little bubbling holes.

    By the way, what causes this. How to make it right? Please advise. Thank you.

  15. holly

    i tried this today and the cake look so pretty, but when i cut into it, the bottom 2/3 has the texture of cheese, too dense…what did i do wrong? I notice that i couldn’t get the meringue to be thick enough, a little on the runny side…could this be why the cake has the texture of ‘cheese’?

  16. Munchie

    Hi I’ve tried this recipe twice in one day and failed both times. They turned out shriveled. The meringue was good,looked like yours in the llink. Could it be the folding? Do you have photos to show how to fold?

  17. soonam

    Hi….the cake looks wonderful…i just have a doubt…do you have any alternatives for eggs as we are vegetarians. If yes, what could be the best alternative and what quantity?

  18. Alysa

    this is actually pretty cool because I was just telling my father in law that I wanted to try making a cheesecake by making meringue first and see how it would work out. I didn’t realize it was an actual recipe. So, I’m super excited to try this!

  19. Sean

    Hello, just wanted to let everyone know that I made this last night and it came out just as described. It deflated about 1/2″, which is normal, but I did do one thing differently. I substituted regular cream cheese for Mascarpone. Oh boy, the cake tastes amazing.

  20. Dana

    Hi, I really enjoy your posts! I tried making this cheesecake twice today and both times the tops were level with my 9″ cake pan after cooling, not dome shape like yours. The top didn’t crack but became wrinkly. How can I get the top to look smooth and domed? I baked for actually 55 minutes because I could tell the top was going to crack if I baked it longer. Thanks!

  21. Shiao

    Hi Rasa,

    Is there any substitute for the CREAM OF TARTAR? please help, I love this cake and cant find this ingredient here. thank you

    • Melissa

      The standard substitute for cream of tartar is either lemon juice or vinegar (your choice of which, depending upon what you plan to make). For this, I chose lemon juice. 1/4 tsp of lemon juice for the 6 whites was perfect.

  22. Lina

    Hi there

    Just want to ask about how long should I bake this cake if I’m using a fan forced oven? And at what degree.

    Thank you

  23. Mimi

    Hi, I have two questions.
    1) How important is to weigh the ingredients instead of measuring? I don’t own a scale due to lack of space.
    2) Fresh milk? Can regular whole milk (UHT) from the store work?

  24. Lili

    Just made one! Thanks for the recipe.
    I always buy this cake at the Japanese store – now I can make my own.
    It was all perfect and browned beautifully until it kind of wrinkled in the end. I don’t think it has to do with the meringue since I was very careful to get a soft peak and only folding it not over mixing it.
    I suspect it has something to do with temperature change. But I also followed the tip and left it to cool in the oven.
    What else could be the cause?
    Someone asked about baking in convection oven. I used mine and just converted to convection temperature which is 25 F lower.
    Oh well… It still tastes great. Didn’t wait to get cold, had a piece warm and it was delish.
    Wrinkled but still great. Like so many of us! ;-)

    • Hi Lili, that’s great that you have success. Yeah this Japanese cheesecake is very temperamental and likes to wrinkle a lot hahaha. Good luck, and one of these days it will not be wrinkle I am sure. :)

  25. Mimi

    Sorry, if this is a bit off-topic, but I decided to look at the two recipes this recipe is based on. I couldn’t access Little Teochew and was directed to a Google Blogger sign-in page. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do in order to access Little Teochew. I tried using my gmail sign-in info and nothing. From what I read online a number of ppl reference Little Teochew which makes me even more interested to read Little Teochew’s post. For those who were able to access Little Teochew, can you please let me know what I need to do? I submitted what I thought was a request to Little Teochew for access, but I haven’t heard a thing. Fyi, I’m not a blogger (and have no interest in blogging) so maybe that’s the issue. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

      • Mimi

        Darn… I guess it’s good to know that it wasn’t me and there is something up with the Little Teochew website. I wasn’t sure since I had never been on the Little Teochew website before my attempt to view the Japanese cheesecake post.

        Hopefully, Little Teochew will be restored. If anyone is somehow able to access Little Teochew, can you please reply to this? I would appreciate it. Thanks. I would very much like to read Little Teochew’s notes on this.

  26. Jc

    Hi…thanks for the lovely recipe..cant wait to try it out! but just out of curiosity, is it possible to reduce the grams of cream cheese from the recipe ? many thanks!

  27. Dana

    Hi Rasa, happy new year! I was wondering do you use a 9″ x 3″ pan or 9″ x 2″ pan?

    Also, please advise on the easiest way to remove the cheesecake from a regular cake pan. Yours looks so beautiful and amazing!

    Thanks! Dana

  28. Au

    The top part of my cake seems to be burned already at 40th minute. I put it at the lowest rack and set the temp at 160. What could possibly be the reason?
    In your instructions you mentioned “or until golden brown”, if mine turned golden brown at around 30 mins, should I have turnd it off already at that time?

  29. Crystal

    Hello, may I know how you decorate the top part of the cake please? Would gladly appreciate it! I just made the cake and so far it looks good, haven’t tasted it yet but i hope it’s amazing! =D

  30. leedon


    Thanks for the recipe! BTW I have a small convection oven and I don’t think making a water bath would be possible is it okay if the cake pan is not submerged in the water, instead it will be on top like a steaming?

  31. Roxy

    the fine granulated sugar in the recipe is that the same as confectioners/powdered sugar or is it regular granulated sugar?

  32. jina

    For the meringue, do I pour all the sugar in at once then start beating or do I pour in sugar slowly while beating? How long does it take to get to soft peak stage. Thanks

  33. Hi Bee,
    Great recipe.
    Can you put me on your mailing list please.
    I was based in Penang for a few years to 1980 & enjoyed all the fantastic foods.

    Cheers Ed

  34. Laksmi

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. I have tried it once and all my family loves it…the taste is perfect not too sweet not too plain…all perfect.

  35. Umi

    Can another fine flour, such as rice flour, be used in place of the cake flour? I would like to try making this for my wife, but she has celiac disease and cannot consume any type of wheat flour.

  36. Alex G

    Alright, just made one. Was my first ever attempt at whipping egg whites, I heard it can be tricky. The end result is nowhere near as pretty as yours, but it still tastes delicious. It ended up being a bit heavier on the bottom and lighter on top – I’m assuming I didn’t whip the souffle enough. Also I couldn’t make a proper water bath (no baking tray large enough), so the cake pan wasn’t sitting in water, but suspended right above it.

    It was still a great first try, thanks for the recipe!

  37. Jas

    Have tried baking this cake 5 times already and it still comes out with a denser bottom. I’ve looked up many techniques on folding and I think I have that part done properly. Could it be the oven? Mine is fan-forced and I put it on the bottom most rack.

  38. Rem

    Im planning to make this tonight, but i dont have cake flour at the moment. What difference will it make if i use all purpose flour?

  39. Annie

    My dad loves cheesecake and I want to make this for his birthday. But we have a small family and I wanted to make it in a 6″ round cake pan that has 3″ sides. How should I go about this (as in amount of ingredients or how high I should fill the pan and for how long?)

    Thank you!

  40. I bake cheesecake daily (working in a bakery) and did not realize that mine is very similar to the Japanese cheesecake.

    I read some comment here with recipes so I guess it is OK to share my recipe too:)

    There is a detailed explanation about the technique I use in my blog too.

    My Cheesecake Recipe

    Cream cheese 440g
    Superfine sugar 50g
    Butter 70 g
    Egg yolks from 3 medium-sized eggs
    Egg white from 1 and a half medium-sized eggs
    Cornflour 22g
    Heavy cream 215g
    Freshly squeezed lemon juice 24g
    Egg white from 1 and a half eggs
    Superfine sugar 50g
    Digestive biscuit 180g
    Butter 60g

    My method to make the cheesecake:
    1. Mix (A) with an electric mixer until it becomes fluffy and homogeneous.
    2. Beat (B) with an electric mixer until the cornflour is well mixed with the egg. Combine (B) and (A) and mix well.
    3. Beat (C) until it reaches a density that is able to form stiff peaks when the mixer blade is lifted up. Add to the mixture of (A) and (B).
    4. Beat the egg whites with the superfine sugar over a hot water bath until soft peaks are formed. Fold the egg whites into the batter in (3).
    5. Crush the biscuit and mix with the melted butter (as in E), Place the biscuit / butter in a round baking pan. Press firmly to form a solid base.
    6. Pour the cheesecake batter to the biscuit base.
    7. Place the unbaked cheesecake in a larger pan and add enough boiling-hot water to reach halfway up the side of the smaller pan. Place it in a preheated oven at 150 degrees Celcius for 100 minutes.
    8. Remove from the oven. Keep in the chiller until it is cool.

  41. Hi
    I have made your cake successfully and let’s say it didn’t last more than 24 hrs . I would like a little more lemon taste so could I increase the lemon juice or would that change the whole mixture?
    I also thought of fine grated lemon rind?

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