The Japanese jiggly cheesecake is an airy, soft, and fluffy cheesecake that is not your typical New York-style cheesecake you are used to. Made with cheese, meringue and with no crust, is often known as the souffle or cotton cheesecake.Jump to Recipe
A brief history of the Japanese Jiggly Cheesecake
It is believed that was invented by chef Tomotaro Kuzuno who was inspired by the German käsekuchen, made with quark and meringue. As American food ingredients, including cream cheese, became more widespread in the in Japan during the 50s, Kuzuno didn’t mimic the German version it but he created a hybrid cake instead: a cheesecake that sits between the New York style and the German käsekuchen.
The result? The Japanese airy, lighter, fluffier and less sweet cheesecake that became popular in the late 1980s and introduced in many bakeries around the world there after. Uncle Tetsu is one of them, now also located in various cities in the USA.
Why we love 💕this recipe
- For its airy, fluffy, soft, light and cotton texture
- Because it’s less sugary
- For the apricot jam on top!
This recipe does not use special ingredients but requires some specific baking pans. Check the recipe card for specifics.
Make sure that the cream cheese is at room temperature!
🕐How to make this recipe
The recipe has various steps that you will find in the recipe card with details. It requires a water bath, which means that the cake pan is placed in a larger roasting pan filled with hot water. The water will evaporate in the oven into steam, which keeps the cake moist. Here are some critical steps:
- First mix the cream cheese with the milk. Then add the egg yolks, sugar and lemon juice
- Prepare the meringue with egg whites and sugar. Check out our meringue article here
- Then, mix both the meringue and the cheese mixture together
- Bake in a water bath for 20 minutes initially, then repeat for another 30 minutes in a lower temperature.
Is Japanese Cheesecake easy to make?
We believe that the Japanese cheesecake is more challenging and requires more constant attention than the traditional cheesecake. You need to be very careful when you make the meringue and during baking.
Do you want to make another Cheesecakse? Try the Basque Cheesecake recipe here
Can I make the Japanese Jiggly Cheesecake vegan?
Yes, you could. For the vegan version you can replace cream cheese and milk with plant-based cream cheese & milk, 1:1. Eggs could be replaced by egg alternative. However, as egg white is one of the most important ingredients for the meringue, I think that the signature fluffiness cannot be achieved without it. I don’t think that a plant-based egg works the same as the meringue made by real eggs
Make the recipe and tell us what you think. Was it easy to make? Fluffy enough? Share your thoughts!
The Japanese Jiggly Cheesecake
- roasting pan
- parchment paper
- bowls & saucepans
- 6 oz. cream cheese
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1.5 oz. all purpose flour sifted 2 to 3 times
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 3 egg whites freeze for 1.5 hours
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup jam
For greasing parchment sheet
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
Make the cheese mixture
- Preheat oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle.
- In the medium-sized saucepan, heat milk, cream cheese, and granulated sugar over low until shimmering. When you see small bubbles on the edge of the saucepan, remove from heat.
- Mash and melt cream cheese. Make sure not to boil it, otherwise, cream cheese will be coagulated.
- Let the saucepan cooldown for 20 minutes.
- Add egg yolks into the mixture, one at a time while you whisk. You will need to whisk well each time you add the yolks.
- Then, add lemon juice and grated lemon zest; whisk just until combined, for a few seconds, and add the sifted flour. Blend well.
- Transfer the mixture through a fine strainer to a clean bowl. This helps to make a smoother batter.
- Set up a hand mixer.
- Take out the egg white from freezer and put it into a clean glass bowl. Beat the egg white on low speed (speed 2 of 5-speed mixer) just to break a jelly part of the egg whites.
- Then increase the speed to speed 3 and beat until it makes form and becomes cloudy about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Gradually add granulated sugar, ⅓ of sugar at a time, while beating. Beat constantly on speed 3 for about 5 to 7 minutes until the egg white is smooth and silky. The meringue should form firm peaks at this point.
Mix batter & meringue
- Whisk ⅓ of meringue at a time into the bowl of the cheese mixture.
- First ⅓ of meringue should be mixed well into the batter.
- Second ⅓ of meringue will be gently folded into the batter.
- Lastly, pour the batter and meringue mixture into the bowl of remaining meringue.
- Fold gently just until incorporated. The mixture should be silky and shiny.
Pour the batter into the baking pan
- Remove the baking-sheet-lined cake pan from the fridge and pour the batter all at once into the cake pan.
Arrange the cake pan in roasting pan
- Set the baking pan in a roasting pan and pour warm water (160°F to 170°F) to a depth of half inch into the roasting pan.
Bake under low temperature
- Place the cake pan in the roasting pan into the oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 320°F.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. The cake will increase its size by 1 to 1 ½ inches and the top will become light brown at this point.
- Reduce the temperature to 290°F. Bake for 30 more minutes until the top is golden brown.
- Confirm the doneness by inserting a skewer, which should come out clean.
Let cool in oven
- Turn off the oven and leave the oven door open with the water bathing cake pan inside for 20 minutes.
- This prevents the cake from shrink and making wrinkles. Even though you leave the cake pan in the oven, the cake shrinks down to half in height and decrease to ¾ in diameter.
Remove from oven
- Remove the cake from the oven. Lift the cake holding both edges of the strip and transfer to a plate. Remove only the paper around the cake.
Glaze the top
- In a small saucepan, combine marmalade and 2 tablespoons of water. Bring to boil.
- Brush the mixture on the top of the cheesecake.
Let cool in fridge
- Refrigerate until completely chilled, about 4 hours.
- You will need:
1 of 5 x 21 inch for the side,
1 of 1 x 24 inch strip (this will be used to lift the cake from the cake pan), and
1 of 6 inch diameter round for the bottom. Make many small cuts on one of the longer side of the 5 x 21 paper in order to fit nicely to the bottom.
- Grease all the cut-out parchment paper with butter. Grease the cake pan as well. After, sprinkle powdered sugar over the parchment paper. This helps to prevent the batter from sticking to the parchment paper while baking. Line the cake pan with the parchment paper and set aside the baking pan in the fridge.
- Almost all of all-purpose flour is pre-sifted in the United States. But for this recipe, sift the flour again (2 to 3 times) for the airy texture.
- You can make the meringue on high speed. But for this recipe, keep the speed low to medium. Although it takes longer to make firm meringue, use low to medium speed as this helps to create fine bubbles. Ultimately, it helps to raise the cheesecake higher without breaking. The Japanese cheesecake is the best when it is dense but fluffy
- Check the condition of the cake frequently during baking. If the cake rises too fast, cover with aluminum foil. Fast baking could cause deep cracks on the top.
- Always make sure the water level in the roasting pan. Add warm water occasionally. The water helps to retain moisture in the oven and to stabilize oven temperature.
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