This Japanese cheesecake recipe, also known as Japanese cotton cheesecake is one recipe that I had to try a couple of times before I could perfect the cake. Unlike other baked cheesecakes, this fluffy jiggly cheesecake is very light and spongy, somewhat a combination of a cheesecake and a sponge cake. The texture is very soft and spongy and hence the other name for this cake, i.e. cotton cheesecake. Some even call this cake a fluffy jiggly cheesecake, which is very befitting for this cake!
Having baked this jiggly cheesecake a good number of times now, I have come to learn that, while mixing the batter is not much of an issue, the oven setting (temperature and rack position) and the way in which this Japanese cheesecake is cooled play a crucial role in how it turns out.
How to Make a Fluffy and Jiggly Japanese Cotton Cheesecake
Japanese cheesecake ingredients
These are the ingredients that go into this fluffy cheesecake:
- Cream cheese at room temperature
- Egg yolks
- Lemon juice
- Plain flour
- Corn flour
- Egg whites
- Castor sugar
- Cream of tartar
Though the list looks pretty long, the ingredients are pretty common ones, nevertheless.
How to mix the fluffy cheesecake batter
- The fluffy and jiggly texture of this Japanese cheesecake is contributed by the way the batter is mixed in 2 parts. The first part is melting the cheese and butter with milk and then adding egg yolks and lemon juice to it to form a smooth and creamy mixture.
- The second part is whipping the egg whites, cream of tartar and sugar until stiff.
- These 2 parts are then combined to produce the light cake batter.
- The batter is poured into a well-lined cake tin and baked in a water bath.
- With a spring-bottom cake pan, placing it directly in a pan filled with water will result in water seeping into the batter from the bottom. To avoid that, most people would wrap their cake tins with foil before placing them into the water-filled pan.
- I chose not to wrap my cake tin with foil. Instead, I placed my cake tin in a slightly large cake tin and placed both into the water bath. This way, water will never seep into my cake. And I save the hassle of wrapping foil around my cake tin.
- Once the cake is baked and completed cooled down, it is ready to be served. Simple dredging of icing sugar on the cake gives this deliciously light and fluffy cheesecake all the deco it needs before serving.
How to decorate a Japanese cheesecake
This is a super simple decorating idea for a this cotton cheesecake.
- Start by placing the baked cheesecake onto a serving plate and place a doily on the cake.
- Use a sieve to sift a layer of icing sugar on the doily. Make sure to cover the entire cake top.
- Once done, remove the doily off the cake top very carefully. Make sure none of the sugar on the doily drops on the cake. And you will get a lovely icing sugar lace pattern on your Japanese cheesecake. This is how mine turned out:
- You can add some fruits or even fruit filings on the cake if you wish, otherwise, serving it plain with a simple sugar dredge is perfect for this lovely, fluffy jiggly Japanese cheesecake.
Tips for Baking the Best Japanese Cotton Cheesecake
Baking this soft and fluffy cheesecake can be a little daunting for some people. The most common issues are cracked tops or cakes that rise so well in the oven but totally collapse once they are out of the oven.
I have had my fair share of failures for this cake, and after many rounds of trials, I have come to learn that the following factors play an important role in how a Japanese cheesecake turns out.
- This cake requires the oven temperature to be adjusted halfway through baking, just like some fruit cakes.
- You start with a slightly lower than normal baking temperature at about 140 degrees Celsius (284 F) for 15 minutes and then lower the temperature to 125 degrees Celsius (260 F) for another 55 minutes.
- The baking time is also generally longer compared to normal cakes but you will notice that the temperature is much lower than for other cakes.
Oven rack position
- The rack position for this cake should be the lowest in your oven. This is to avoid the top of the cake from browning too much.
Moisture during baking
- Similar to baked cheesecakes, the Japanese cotton cheesecake must be baked in a water bath. This is to help retain moisture in the oven so that the cake remains moist after baking.
Gradual cooling off period
- Once the cake is baked, turn off the oven, but leave the cake in the oven for a good 10 minutes. After that, open the oven door slightly and continue to let the cake cool in the warm oven for another 10 to 15 minutes.
- Only after that should the cake be removed and cooled at room temperature. This gradual cooling off is to avoid the cake top from wrinkles due to sudden changes in temperature.
In a nutshell, since too much heat will cause the cake top to crack, the baking temperature is lowered. And because of the lower temperature, the cake generally takes a longer time to bake. To counter the effect of the cake drying out due to longer baking time, a water bath is required for the cake.
Japanese Cheesecake Recipe
Here is the full, printable version of my soft and fluffy Japanese cheesecake recipe:
Japanese Cheesecake Recipe (Japanese Cotton Cheesecake)
- 80 g cream cheese at room temperature
- 20 g butter
- 30 ml milk
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 15 g plain flour
- 15 g corn flour
- 2 egg whites
- 50 g castor sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp cream of tartar
- Preheat oven to 140 degrees Celsius. Line the sides and bottom of a 6 inches round cake tin with parchment paper. Prepare water bath by filling a larger than 6 inches round cake tin or tray with hot water until the water reaches a height of about 4 to 5 cm. Place the tray in the oven to keep the water hot.
- In a double boiler, melt the cream cheese, butter and milk and stir until the ingredients are well combined and smooth. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks and lemon juice to break the yolks and add it to the cream cheese – butter mixture. Whisk until smooth.
- Sift in the plain flour and corn flour and fold until the flours are all well incorporated.
- In a clean, grease free bowl, whisk the egg whites and cream of tar tar until frothy. Add the sugar in two halves and continue to whisk the egg whites until it reaches soft peak stage.
- Drop a spoonful of the whisked egg whites into the cheese-egg yolks mixture and fold it in until well incorporated. Carefully pour the remaining egg whites and continue to fold until all the egg whites have been fully incorporated and the there are no more traces egg whites visible.
- Pour the batter into the prepared tin, level the top and tap the tin on the counter top a couple of times to remove any air bubbles.
- Place the cake tin in the water bath and bake at 140 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes. Lower the temperature to 125 degrees Celsius and continue baking for another 55 minutes. Once the cake is done, turn off the oven but leave the cake in the oven for 10 minutes. Continue to leave the cake to cool in the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes with the oven door ajar before removing the cake out of the oven. Turn the cake out of the cake tin and let it cool to room temperature.
- The cake can be served plain or with a light dust of icing sugar. Keep leftovers refrigerated.
And that’s my fluffy Japanese cheesecake recipe for you.
Happy baking 🙂 🙂
Here are my other cheesecake recipes:
- Easy Cheesecake
- Classic New York Cheesecake
- Baked Oreo Strawberry Cheesecake
- Baked Lemon Cheesecake with Lemon Curd
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