Fluffy and Light Japanese Cheesecake

I have been thinking to write up something about this Fluffy and Light Japanese Cheesecake for a long time after trying maybe ten times on this. I started to explore new cheesecake recipes because most recipes I made before are too dry and meaty. I would like something very light and fluffy like a sponge cake but still tastes cheese in it. I saw a short video posted by Buzzfeed on how jiggly and fluffy cotton cheesecake is and it is immediately caught my eye and interest! That just looks so delicious and I want to make it!!
By looking at the recipe, I wouldn’t say it is a hard cake to make however, it is easy to fail at the first a few tries. It only needs a few common baking ingredients like, egg, cream cheese, cornstarch, but I feel like I cannot get the expected results when I first tested out this recipe. I have also tested a few versions, with whipped cream or without, add more cheese or not, and finally came to the one tastes the best.
Let’s look the breakdown of the recipe and I have also summarized a few tips based on my failures and hopefully, it will be helpful for you to make this delicious cake.

#1 – Cheese Mix

  • It only uses around 100gram cheese, see how light it will be. Better to sit cream cheese at room temperature

#2 – Cornstarch Mix

  • Add milk in the bowl first, sieve in cornstarch gradually and gently mix with a whisk.
  • Once it is combined, stop mixing. Do not overmix

#3 – Separate egg yolk and egg white cleanly

  • Better to use an egg separator to get the pure egg white and egg yolk separated.
  • Egg white that includes some egg yolk it will impact the beat later

#4 – Add egg yolk to the cornstarch mix

  • Add one egg each time
  • Use a whisk to combine the mix like a “Z” shape. Do not circle to combine, the batter will easily get thick
  • Do not over mix, once combined, stop mixing

#5 – Combine cheese mix and cornstarch mix

  • Use a sieve to filter three times to get the smoothest batter and remove all big lumps

#6 – Beat the egg white

  • First, the bowl with egg white must be very clean and no oil
  • Use an egg separator to get the purest egg white
  • Add sugar separately in three times to get the best result.
  • Add 1 teaspoon lemon will help to stabilize egg white
  • First turn on low speed to beat the egg white until big bubbles come up. Add 1/3 sugar
  • Keep beating on medium speed until egg white forming together but still watery. Add 1/3 sugar
  • Turn on high speed to beat until egg white is turning white and forming slightly firm. Add 1/3 sugar
  • Soft peak – beat egg white to a soft peak that is when the whisk is turned upside down, the peaks are just starting to hold.

#7 – Fold egg white and batter

  • Add 1/3 egg white to batter first
  • Use a spatula to slice straight down through the middle of the whites to hit the bottom. Scrape the spatula along the curve, gently scooping up the batter and egg whites. Fold them over on top of the remaining egg whites.
  • Do not circle to fold that will destroy the bubble created

#8 – Bath bake method

  • Add cold water to a baking sheet and put in the lower rack of the preheated oven


#1 – Nonstick Removeable bottom cake pan or regular nonstick cake pan?

I would highly recommend using a regular cake pan that the bottom is nonremovable. I have used a removable bottom pan to bake this cake. Even though I have wrapped 3 layers of alumina foil and a rubber band around. I feel it still gets some water leaking in and the bottom of the cake is a little wet.
The cake is very easy to remove, and the edge will be apart from the baking pan once it is cooled down. So, it won’t give you a hard time to remove the cake from the pan. If you only have a removable bottom cake pan, just not sit the cake pan directly in the water. Put the baking sheet filled with water on a separate rack.   

#2 – The cake is not puffed to the height I want

This might be caused by different reasons.
  • I have noticed that how height the batter is before baking, the cake should be back to roughly that height after cooling down. If you are using regular size eggs, the batter will be less than large size eggs. If egg white is not beaten to soft peak, the cake won’t puff high while baking
  • If egg white is beaten too firm and stiff, the cake will puff very high quickly during baking then shrink down after cooling

#3 – Why are there layers of the cake?

If the cake gets layers, like a pudding, it means egg white and batter is not well combined. Or if you are using a removable bottom baking pan, water might be leaking in.

#4 – How do I know if a cake is cooked?

The typical tooth stick method is not using in this recipe. The top of the tooth stick may still come slightly wet when the cake is baked. When time is up, use the hand the gently press the top of the cake, if it gives you a firm feeling and when pressing the top it is soft but feels no fluid running underneath, the cake is cooked
If cut the cake and the center is still runny, the cake is not done. And you might want to bake longer time next time.

#5 – Temperature in the oven

The temperature of the oven is varied by brands. The temperature given in this recipe is oven temperature showed in the oven but not inside actual temperature.
First, water bath method will impact the inside temperature. For my big oven, it will bring down 20-30F as shown on the oven. For my toaster oven, it actually brings down 50F as shown.
Secondly, actual inside temperature is impacting the baking but it varies by oven brands. I use a thermometer to track and adjust the temperature. It is fine your actual inside temperature is lower but if the cake is not baked as the time is up, just need to bake longer 10 to 20 minutes.

#6 – Why is the cake shrank after cooling down?

This might be a few reasons. Leave the oven ajar for 30 minutes and let it cool down gradually in the oven.
  • This might be from the folding process that air bubble was destroyed.
  • Egg white is not beaten to soft peak
  • Open the oven too many times during baking.

#7 – Why does it crack on the top?

I am still working on this. It cracks on the top and I think it is related to the temperature and egg white status.
  • Egg white is beaten to firm peak so it gets too dry when baking and crack
  • Also, the cake might be too close to the top fuse in the oven and get too much heat too quickly. Move the cake to the middle rack
  • Inside temperature is too high for the first 30 minutes. Adjust down a few degrees for the first 30 minutes.
It looks like a lot of work to bake a perfect Fluffy and Light Cheesecake, but it is so worth it because it tastes so soft, moist and delicious! And this will become your go-to cake for parties!
Fluffy and Light Japanese Cheesecake
6 inch cake
cheese mix
cornstarch mix
  1. Add cold water in a baking pan. Put in the lower rack of the oven. Preheat the oven to 150C/300F.
  2. Combine cream cheese, butter, milk, whipping cream in a bowl. In a saucepan, bring about an inch of water to a simmer.
  3. Turn on low heat; set the cheese mix bowl in the mouth of the pot, making sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl. Stir the cheese mix until melted. Whisk the cheese mix to smooth. Set aside and chill.
  4. In another bowl, combine cornstarch and milk. Add one egg yolk each time, use a whisk to smooth. (Do not circle, combine in a "Z" shape. Do not over stir)
  5. Combine cheese mix and egg yolk mix together. Use a sieve to filter three times to get the smoothest batter
  6. Beat egg white on low speed untill big bubbles, add in 1/3 of sugar. Keep beating on medium speed untill slightly coming together, add in 1/3 sugar. Turn on high speed untill smooth, add in 1/3 sugar.
  7. Beat the egg white to soft peak. When the whisk or beaters are pulled out of the whites, a peak forms where the tool was.
  8. Mix in 1/3 egg white to the batter; use a spatula to slice straight down through the middle of the whites to hit the bottom. Scrape the spatula along the curve, gently scooping up the batter and egg whites.
  9. Add back the batter to the egg white; Fold over on top of the remaining egg whites. (Do not over stir. Do not stir in a circle to destroy any air bubble created.)
  10. Pour the batter to a baking pan. Bake 150C/300F 40 min, then adjust to 120C/250F, 30 min
  11. Leave the oven ajar for 30 minutes after the cake is done. Take out the cake and save in the fridge overnight before serving.
more recipes @ www.simplebutyum.com

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