Japanese Cotton Cheesecake

By: takestwoeggsPosted: 07/05/2022 Updated: 30/11/2023
Prep 20 minutes
Cook 1 hour 15 minutes
Fluffy and jiggly Japanese cotton cheesecake makes a perfect show-stopping cake that is so incredibly good. This Japanese souffle cheesecake will instantly melt in your mouth and keep you coming back for more.
Japanese Cotton Cheesecake

Fluffy and jiggly Japanese cotton cheesecake makes a perfect show-stopping cake that is so incredibly good. This Japanese souffle cheesecake will instantly melt in your mouth and keep you coming back for more.

A Japanese cotton cheesecake on a serving platter dusted with powdered sugar.

Japanese cotton cheesecake has everything that makes tastebuds happy—a delicious rich cheesecake flavor and a bouncy, jiggly cotton soft cake-like texture. Ever since I drove for over an hour and waited in a long line to have a slice of the famous Uncle Tetsu souffle cheesecake, my life was never fully the same.

Japanese cheesecake is so freaking good. It has a lightly sweet, tangy, vanilla flavor, a fun bouncy texture, and is so soft that it melts instantly in your mouth. This very popular Japanese jiggly cheesecake may be very tricky to master, but the final product is 1000% worth the effort.

Japanese desserts really just light up my soul. They always have the perfect amount of light sweetness, a light and airy delicious texture with a bright positive vibe. If you love Japanese desserts, check out my fruit sandwich, Japanese strawberry shortcake, matcha basque cheesecake, Japanese cake roll, and matcha nama chocolate recipes.

Someone slicing a piece of Japanese cotton cheesecake.
A slice of Japanese cotton cheesecake with a fork sized bite taken out.

What is Japanese Cheesecake?

Japanese cheesecake also referred to as Japanese cotton cheesecake, Japanese souffle cheesecake, or Japanese baked cheesecake is a crustless cheesecake that uses whipped egg whites and cake flour for a bouncy and cotton soft melt in your mouth texture. Japanese cheesecake has a sweet, vanilla, and subtly tangy flavor like a classic cheesecake.

A Japanese cotton cheesecake on a marble serving platter.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • You’ll have a light and airy, aesthetically pleasing, richly flavored Japanese jiggly cheesecake.
  • You will have all the tips and tricks on how to make the most perfect Japanese cheesecake that will wow all your friends.
  • This Japanese cotton cheesecake has the right amount of sweetness and the best melt-in-your-mouth texture.
A piece of Japanese cotton cheese on a plate topped with a halved strawberry.

Kitchen Equipment

  • Kitchen Scale: for every baking recipe, you will notice that the ingredients are listed by measurement and by grams. Trust me, you will want to follow the grams for the most exact foolproof recipe. I love my cute pink little kitchen scale which is incredibly accurate!
  • Mixing Bowls: you will need a variety of mixing bowls to measure the ingredients and mix them with. I love using my Duralex nesting glass mixing bowls for baking because they come in 10 different sizes, are heat-proof, and are dishwasher safe.
  • Fine Mesh Sieve: you will use a fine-mesh sieve to sift the batter to make sure there are no large clumps.
  • Parchment paper: you will use parchment paper to line the bottom and edges of the cake pan.
  • 6-inch round baking pan: this recipe will yield enough batter to create a 6-inch x 3-inch tall Japanese souffle cheesecake. If you want to use an 8 or 9-inch pan I recommend doubling the recipe to fill the pan.
  • 8 or 9-inch baking tray: you will need a large baking tray or baking pan that can fit the cake mold to create a water bath.
  • Electric hand mixer: you will need an electric hand mixer to beat the egg whites to medium or soft peaks. I do not recommend trying to do this by hand.

Ingredients

The ingredients for this Japanese jiggly cheesecake recipe use pantry staples that you can find at your local grocery market. No hard-to-find ingredients are necessary!

  • Cake Flour: cake flour will yield a very soft, light, and airy crumb texture. If you don’t have cake flour you can substitute it with 30 g of all-purpose flour and 10 g of corn starch.
  • Corn Starch: makes the jiggly cheesecake even lighter and fluffier to create that melt-in-your-mouth texture.
  • Granulated Sugar: the sugar is crucial in the meringue. Adding sugar to egg whites creates a thick and glossy foam that brings in all the air in the Japanese souffle cheesecake.
  • Cream Cheese: make sure you use room temperature, full-fat brick cream cheese for the best flavor and texture.
  • Milk: use whole milk since it has enough fat to keep the cheesecake moist and not dry out.
  • Butter: butter adds fat, flavor, and moistness to the cotton cheesecake.
  • Large Eggs: the egg yolks and the egg whites will be divided and mixed into 2 separate parts. Make sure you bring your eggs to room temperature.
  • Lemon Juice: the touch of lemon juice adds a little acidity to the Japanese cheesecake and aids in the rise of meringue. You can also substitute the lemon juice for 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar.
All the ingredients to make Japanese cotton cheesecake.

How to Make Japanese Cotton Cheesecake

This Japanese cotton cheesecake may be a little tricky to master, but the final product is simply irresistible.

  1. Preheat and prepare the pan. Preheat your oven to 300°F and line the bottom and sides of your 6-inch round baking pan with parchment paper.
  1. Melt the butter and cream cheese over a double boiler. Fill a small saucepan with water halfway and then bring it to a boil. In a mixing bowl that fits on top of the saucepan, add the cream cheese, butter, and milk. Whisk until the butter and cream cheese are melted and fully combined and reach about 130°F (55°C)
Melting butter and cream cheese using the double boiler method.
  1. Add egg yolk and vanilla. Remove the cream cheese bowl from the heat and whisk in the egg yolks and vanilla until combined.
Melted butter, cream cheese, egg yolks, and vanilla blended together in a bowl.
  1. Sift in the cake flour. Using a fine-mesh sieve, sift in the cake flour and cornstarch. Whisk until smooth. Then pour the batter through the fine-mesh sieve.
  1. Make the meringue. In a large mixing bowl, add the egg whites and lemon juice. Using an electric hand mixer, beat the egg whites on high until white and frothy. Then working in 3 batches, slowly pour in 1/3 of the sugar while the mixer is running. Keep mixing with the remaining thirds of sugar until the meringue reaches medium-soft peaks. Once it reaches soft peaks, turn the mixer on low and mix the eggs for an additional 30 seconds to beat out any large bubbles.
Meringue whipped inside a glass bowl.
  1. Mix 1/3 of the meringue into the egg batter. Add 1/3 of the meringue into the egg batter and fold until it is completely combined and smooth.
  1. Mix the egg batter into the meringue. Then take the egg batter and gently pour it into the meringue and carefully fold the batter with a rubber spatula until just combined. Make sure to not over-mix.

Bake the Cheesecake

  1. Prepare the pan. Pour the batter into the lined baking pan at about 5 inches from the pan to pop the remaining large air bubbles. Place the cheesecake round pan into a larger deep baking tray and fill it up with about 1-2 cm of hot boiling water.
  1. Bake. Bake in the oven at 300°F (150°C) for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, lower the temperature to 230°F (110°C) and bake for another 30 minutes. Then increase the temperature to 275°F (135°C) for 13-15 minutes. The cake is done when the top is golden and if you place a toothpick in the center and it comes out mostly clean.
  1. Sit. Once the cake is done cooking, turn off the oven and leave the cake in the oven for about 15 minutes with the oven door cracked. Then remove the water bath and let the cake sit in the oven for another 15 minutes. Remove the cake from the tin and place the cake on the rack to cool completely. Sift some powdered sugar on top and enjoy!
A Japanese cotton cheesecake on a marble serving platter.

Tips for the Best Japanese Cotton Cheesecake

  • Whip the egg whites until medium-soft peaks. Make sure to whip the egg whites with your electric mixer until the meringue is soft, glossy, and has medium-soft peaks. This means that when you lift your mixer from the egg whites the pointed tip will slowly curve over and not stick straight up.
  • Bake the cheesecake in a hot water bath. Baking the Japanese souffle cheesecake in a hot water bath regulates the heat in the oven and provides moisture to the cake which prevents the cheesecake from cracking.
  • If you have a springform baking pan, place a slightly larger round baking pan in between the 6-inch baking pan and the larger deep baking pan to prevent any water from seeping into the cake. Alternatively, you can wrap the bottom of the springform pan with aluminum foil.
  • Bake the cheesecake low and slow. You will need to bake the cheesecake at two different temperatures. Make sure to keep an eye out for the cheesecake. If it begins to crack slightly open the oven to release some of the heat.
  • Turn off the oven and keep the cheesecake in the oven when it is done baking. When the cheesecake is done baking, turn off the oven, remove the cheesecake from the water bath and let the cheesecake stay in the oven with the oven door cracked open for about 20 minutes. This will reduce the shock in temperature which will shrink the Japanese cotton cheesecake.

Storage Instructions

This Japanese cheesecake is best served immediately. However, you can store this Japanese souffle cheesecake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Frequently Asked Q’s & A’s

What do Japanese cotton cheesecakes taste like?

Japanese souffle cheesecakes have a similar taste as regular American cheesecakes however the texture is drastically different. American cheesecakes are dense, and velvety smooth whereas Japanese jiggly cheesecakes have a very soft, airy cake-like texture that melts in your mouth.

Why did my Japanese jiggly cheesecake crack?


A crack in your cheesecake mainly comes down to the temperature of your oven. If the oven is too hot, the cheesecake will bake too quickly creating a crack down the middle. A low and slow baking temperature allows the cheesecake to rise without baking. If you notice any small cracks beginning to form, slightly open your oven door to release some steam.

Also, remember to use a hot water bath for the cake. The hot water stabilizes the temperature of the oven and prevents the top of the cake from drying out—cracking.

Why did my is my cheesecake not fluffy?

There may be a couple of reasons that your Japanese jiggly cheesecake is not fluffy:

1. You may have under whipped your egg whites. Make sure the egg whites are whipped until they reach medium-soft peaks. This means when you lift your whisk out of the egg whites they slowly fold over the tip. The meringue should look glossy and shiny.

2. Your egg whites are under folded in the batter. You may have under-mixed the egg whites into the batter leaving a denser bottom and an airy top.

3. Your egg whites are over-mixed in the batter. You may have over-mixed your egg whites deflating all the air in the egg whites which creates a flat and dense cake.

Why did my Japanese cheesecake shrink?


The Japanese cheesecake will most likely shrink because of the structure of the cake. To prevent any shrinkage, make sure the cheesecake is baked through and leave the cheesecake in the oven, with a cracked door for about 15 minutes. Then remove the water bath and keep the cheesecake in the oven with a cracked door for another 15 minutes. This will temper the Japanese souffle cheesecake from any shock in temperature that will shrink the cheesecake.

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Recipe

Someone slicing a piece of Japanese cotton cheesecake.

Japanese Cotton Cheesecake

4.91 from 10 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Cool Time 30 minutes
Fluffy and jiggly Japanese cotton cheesecake makes a perfect show-stopping cake that is so incredibly good. This Japanese souffle cheesecake will instantly melt in your mouth and keep you coming back for more.
Servings: 5 servings
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup (30 g) cake flour
  • 2 tablespoon (20 g) cornstarch
  • ¾ cup (180 g) cream cheese full fat brick
  • 2 tablespoon (30 g) unsalted butter room temperature
  • 3 ½ tablespoon (50 g) milk full fat
  • 3 large egg yolks room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon (2 g) vanilla extract
  • 3 large egg whites room temperature
  • cup (70 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon (2 g) lemon juice
  • powdered sugar garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat and prepare pan. Preheat your oven to 300°F and line the bottom and sides of your 6 inch round baking pan with parchment paper.
  • Melt the butter and cream cheese over a double boiler. Fill a small saucepan with water halfway and then bring it to a boil. In a mixing bowl that fits on top of the sauce pan, add the cream cheese, butter and milk. Whisk until the butter and cream cheese are melted and fully combined and reach about 130°F (55°C)
  • Add egg yolk and vanilla. Remove the cream cheese bowl from the heat and whisk in the egg yolks and vanilla until combined.
  • Sift in the cake flour. Using a fine mesh sieve, sift in the cake flour and cornstarch. Whisk until smooth. Then pour the batter through the fine mesh sieve to make sure batter does not have any remaining lumps.
  • Make the meringue. In a large mixing bowl, add the egg whites and lemon juice. Using an electric hand mixer, beat the egg whites on high until white and frothy. Then working in 3 batches, slowly pour in 1/3 of the sugar while the mixer is running. Keep mixing with the remaining thirds of sugar until the meringue reaches medium soft peaks or when you lift the mixer the peaks will slowly fold over like soft serve ice cream. Once it reaches soft peaks, turn the mixer on low and mix the eggs for an additional 30 seconds to beat out any large bubbles.
  • Mix 1/3 of the meringue into the egg batter. Mix 1/3 of the meringue into the egg batter and fold until it is completely combined and smooth.
  • Mix the egg batter into the meringue. Then take the egg batter and gently pour it into the meringue and carefully fold the batter with a rubber spatula until just combined. Make sure to not over-mix and deflate all the air in the batter.
  • Prepare the pan. Pour the batter into the lined baking pan at about 5 inches from the pan to pop the remaining large air bubbles. Place the cheesecake round pan into a larger deep baking tray and fill it up with about 1-2 cm of hot boiling water.
  • Bake. Bake in the oven at 300°F (150°C) for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, lower the temperature to 230°F (110°C) and bake for another 30 minutes. Then increase the temperature to 275°F (135°C) for 13-15 minutes. Keep a close eye to prevent it from cracking, if the cake begins to crack that means your oven is too hot so slightly crack the oven to remove the steam for about 5 seconds. The cake is done when the top is golden and if you place a toothpick in the center and it comes out mostly clean.
  • Cool. Once the cake is done cooking, turn off the oven and leave the cake in the oven for about 15 minutes with the oven door cracked. Then remove the water bath and let the cake sit in the oven for another 15 minutes. This will prevent any shock in temperature and having the cake shrink dramatically. Remove the cake from the tin and place the cake on the rack to cool completely. Sift some powdered sugar on top and enjoy!

Notes

  • Whip the egg whites until medium-soft peaks. Make sure to whip the egg whites with your electric mixer until the meringue is soft, glossy, and has medium-soft peaks. This means that when you lift your mixer from the egg whites the pointed tip will slowly curve over and not stick straight up.
  • Bake the cheesecake in a hot water bath. Baking the Japanese souffle cheesecake in a hot water bath regulates the heat in the oven and provides moisture to the cake which prevents the cheesecake from cracking.
  • If you have a springform baking pan, place a slightly larger round baking pan in between the 6-inch baking pan and the larger deep baking pan to prevent any water from seeping into the cake. Alternatively, you can wrap the bottom of the springform pan with aluminum foil.
  • Bake the cheesecake low and slow. You will need to bake the cheesecake at two different temperatures. Make sure to keep an eye out for the cheesecake. If it begins to crack slightly open the oven to release some of the heat.
  • Turn off the oven and keep the cheesecake in the oven when it is done baking. When the cheesecake is done baking, turn off the oven, remove the cheesecake from the water bath and let the cheesecake stay in the oven with the oven door cracked open for about 20 minutes. This will reduce the shock in temperature which will shrink the Japanese cotton cheesecake.

Nutrition:

Calories: 224kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 116mg | Sodium: 324mg | Potassium: 191mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 321IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 158mg | Iron: 1mg

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Recipe Rating




    • I haven’t personally tried using ube extract instead of vanilla, but ube extract would be a good substitution for a different flavor profile and flavor!

  1. Hi! My in-oven temperature is quite accurate to what is set, but I’ve noticed that it drops quite a bit once the cake batter with its bain-marie goes inside. Should I adjust my in-oven temperature to match what’s listed in the baking instructions?

    • Hi Angie,

      No that’s normal for the temperature to drop when you add the cake batter inside. No need to adjust the oven temperature to match. The extra heat from adjusting the heat when the cake is already inside may lead to a crack on top of the cake.

    • You should store this cake wrapped in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days! It is best served immediately. The texture will change the longer it is in the refrigerator.

  2. Hi, I had issues with the baking times and temperatures so I’m hoping you can help. Firstly my cake majorly cracked in the first stage (150°c for 30mins) so I opened the oven door slightly but it was too late to save it. Also the toothpick did not come out clean after stage 3 of baking (135°c for 13-15mins), I had to keep it baking for triple the time! I’m really confused why this happened please can you advise what you think the problem was?
    What type of oven was used? Conventional or convection?

    • Hi, I’m sorry you had some baking temperature issues. Oven temperature fluctuation varies by oven model and each individual oven will be different from the next. The temperature range can typically vary by + 30 degrees and – 30 degrees. To combat this, I add an extra oven thermometer inside my oven to measure the oven’s precise heat and adjust the temperature accordingly. For example, my oven says that it is at 150 c but my inside thermometer says that it is at 120 c, so then I would have to crank the heat of my oven to reach that optimal heat. I hope that helps!

  3. 5 stars
    Best recipe ever.amazing flavor and texture! Follow all the steps carefully and you will have an amazing result. I doubled the recipe, and I’m happy I did, because my husband eats it all the time.😅