One of the first cheesecakes I fell in love with looked more like pudding stuffed into a Keebler crumb crust. I still have fond memories of it. Unfortunately, no one in my family liked it but me.
While I felt like making my Keebler cheesecake was a personal tradition I had to continue (that is until I had to eat the entire thing myself year after year), I realize most people would appreciate a Japanese Cheesecake much more.
Japanese Cheesecake is something I grew up with, so it’s great to hear about its rising popularity in other parts of the world (like Canada). It is a light, fluffy, not-too-sweet cheesecake. A few of our friends who aren’t big fans of cheesecake actually enjoyed it. It’s not overly rich or dense.
I never attempted to make a Japanese cheesecake myself until I started having major cravings for it after moving to a small town in California.
On my first attempt at making it, my husband had to save me from destroying the meringue. I also had no clue what a water bath was until this recipe. The cheesecake turned out incredible though and we devoured half of it before it even set properly.
I used a recipe from Just One Cookbook. It was the easiest to understand. Here is the link to the original recipe: Japanese Soufflé Cheesecake I would recommend you check out the recipe in the link because it really is that good and has step by step instructions.
I’ve made this cheesecake over and over again except with a few changes (mostly out of laziness). For example, I didn’t add lemon juice, rum, or a fancy glaze on top. I also use cake flour and do not sift.
Please don’t feel intimidated to make this cheesecake. It’s a lot easier than it seems. The first time can be scary with the meringue, but it’s not as hard as it may seem!
For my adapted (lazy) version, see below.
- 1 (8 oz) block full-fat cream cheese + 1 to 2 Tbsp extra (room temperature) (*see note)
- 200ml heavy whipping cream (room temperature)
- 6 large egg yolks (room temperature)
- 1/4 C butter (room temperature)
- 1/2 C cake flour
- 1/3 C granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp powdered sugar (optional)
- 6 egg whites, refrigerated
- 1/2 C granulated sugar
- Take out all items requiring room temperature and let sit
- Divide eggs between yolks and egg whites. Put egg whites in the refrigerator. Beat the egg yolks and set aside.
- Line a 9-inch spring-form pan with parchment paper inside (the bottom and sides should be lined)
- On the outside of the pan, cover bottom and sides with foil (as this will prevent water from seeping inside when using the water bath).
- Mix cream cheese with granulated sugar. Then, mix in the butter, heavy whipping cream, the 6 beaten egg yolks, and cake flour. (Remember, these should be at room temperature!)
- Pre-heat oven to 320 degrees
- Boil water for the water bath
- In another bowl with a clean mixer (must be free from any oil, water, or residue), create a meringue with cold egg whites and 1/2 C sugar.
- First, beat the cold egg whites on low until it becomes foamy.
- Then, add some of the sugar and continue to beat. Continue this process until all sugar has been incorporated. Beat on high until meringue becomes more white, thick, and stiff peaks form. Just don't over do it or your product will be ruined (no pressure!). For this reason, continue to check for "stiff peaks" as you go.
- Fold the meringue into your batter. Then, pour the mixture into your spring-form pan.
- Put the spring-form pan in a roasting pan. Pour 1/2"-1" boiling water into the roasting pan for your water bath.
- Bake for an hour at 320F (middle rack).
- After an hour reduce oven temperature to 300F for 30 minutes (or when inserted tooth pick comes out clean).
- When finished, let your cheesecake hang out in the oven with the door cracked, so that it can cool slightly first.
- When removed from oven, dust with some powdered sugar if you like for some extra sweetness.
- Place cheesecake into fridge to set (may take 3 or more hours to set).
If you want more of a sponge cake consistency, try 1 block of cream cheese. Add 1 to 2 Tbsp extra for the best consistency though. However, if you wanted something creamier, you could get away with using 2 blocks. It might not be as fluffy though.
Also, if you are new to meringue, you may want to learn more before you attempt it. Once it becomes more white, thick, and stiff, test the peaks, but don't over do it.
If you want a glaze top, mix a little bit of water with some light colored jam (i.e. apricot, orange marmalade, etc.) and brush on top after cheesecake has been colored.
Some people also add a bit of lemon juice to the batter, but I've omitted this.