Saturday, September 22, 2007

Japanese Cheesecake

22 September 2007

This has been in my recipes-to-try list for very long and I finally have the chance to make it. I have to admit that I'm quite fearful that I will not succeed. There are quite a few steps in the procedure which involves double-boiling, whipping the egg whites, folding them back into the cream cheese mixture and baking in a water bath. All seem to be complicated and time-consuming. And the fear that the cheesecake will sink after baking, the problem that is common for cheesecakes.

I took nearly 3 hours to complete (starting from weighing the ingredients to the end of baking), checking every steps to make sure that everything is right. The final product is so much better than what I expect. The colour is nice and it is moist, cotton-soft and fluffy. I really like this cheesecake very much. It is the best cake that I have made so far, despite some mistakes I made. Can't wait to try it again!

Problems that I have met during preparing:
1. Heating the cream cheese and milk. Took quite some time to dissolve the cream cheese. Some tiny lumps of cream cheese still remained but I just went on.
2. Whipping the egg whites. I overbeat the egg whites until stiff. I was too careless and forgot to stop and check. Resulted in difficulty in folding the egg whites into the cream cheese mixture, and end mixture was not smooth enough.

Shall keep these in mind when I bake it the next time.

Recipe from Leisure Cat

Ingredients (8 inch round) (refer to website for 3 and 2 eggs quantity)
200g cream cheese
128g milk
43g unsalted butter
26g cake flour
14g cornflour
4 egg yolks
1/4 tsp lemon juice
4 egg whites
86g sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

1. Cut cream cheese into small cubes and soak in milk for 30 minutes. Melt the unsalted butter over hot water.
2. Place the bowl of cream cheese and milk mixture over double-boiler (do not heat directly). Keep stirring until the mixture is thick and no lumps are left. Add the melted butter and mix well. Remove from heat to cool.
3. Sift in the cake flour and cornflour, mix well. Add the egg yolks and mix well. Add in the lemon juice and mix well (if needed). Make sure the mixture is smooth. If there are still tiny lumps, pass the mixture through a sieve.
4. Beat the egg whites until foamy. Mix in the cream of tartar. Add the sugar gradually in 3 portions while whipping until soft peaks form (when the mixer is lifted, it should form a sharp point with a slight curve downwards at the end).
5. Add the egg white mixture into the cheese mixture in 3 separate additions, fold in gently until just blended.
6. Pour the batter into a greased and lined tin. Drop the tin onto the table a few times to knock off the air bubbles. Bake in a water bath at 170C for 15-20 minutes until the cake surface shows a slight colour change. Reduce the temperature to 150C and bake for another 40 minutes. Over the last 10-15 minutes, take note of the colour of the surface. Cover with aluminium foil if the surface brown too fast. (I bake for 30 minutes only at 150C for a 6 inch cake.)
7. Remove cake from the oven. Remove cake from the mould and leave on the rack to cool.


  1. looks very soft, light & fluffy. great job!

  2. Thanks Evan! It's really nice and fluffy. Can't wait to try it again. :)

  3. Looks good, but I think you can try taking pix without the flash, can see the texture clearer..

  4. Hi Ningxutan, thanks for dropping by. Hm... I'm not good at photography. I will give it a try with and without flash next time and see the difference. Just worried that the pics will be very dark.

    Hey, I visited your blog. You are really good at baking. Don't mind I added a link to your blog. :)

  5. Hi! The cake looks very good for a first-timer!

  6. Thanks Elyn! I'm so happy that it turns out well too. :)

  7. Hi Lousy Baker
    Your Japanese cheesecake looks very delicious. I want to try doing it myself.
    Do you have the recipe in English? 'Cos I really can't understand the LEISURE KAT recipe in Chinese.

  8. Hi Emily, thanks! I don't have the recipe in English. But I can try to do a translation. Maybe over the weekend ok? :)

  9. Sure, thank you so much :)

  10. Hi Emily, the recipe of the cheesecake is posted. Hope to see your cheesecake soon!

  11. Hi, like all others said, the cheesecake is very good attempt since it is the first time . Wow 3 hrs, i think i dun hv the time for it, since i usually bake when the kids are taking nap.

  12. Thanks Sherlyn! I think 2 hours is enough. But since it was my first attempt, I tried to do it more carefully. That's why I took so long. :)

  13. Hello Small Small baker,

    It's look yummy just by looking it. Congrat at your success for a first attempt! I like do know, if I put more cream cheese in this recipe, will the result be different? I'm asking you this because I don't have any idea how to take 200g off of a 250g block of cream cheese.It is the format sell in north America.


  14. Hi Stephie, thanks for visiting my blog and giving me nice encouragement.

    The cream cheese sold in Singapore is also in a 250g block. What I do is I will soften it at room temperature and then cut it out to the amount required. If you find it troublesome, maybe you can try using the whole block. But I suggest you increase the amount of other ingredients too, so that the taste will not be affected. Then you will have a taller cake and a bigger portion to eat!

    Do try and let me know! :)

  15. hey! i tried your cheesecake recipe yesterday and my family absolutely loved it! the cake started to crack and brown in the first 10 minutes(maybe the temperature too high..) so i didnt end up with a smooth top cake like yours. but i served it upside down, chilled! was just as good =) thankyou!

  16. Hi Jess, I'm so glad to hear that you and your family like the cheesecake. Have to thank the original author who posted the recipe. :)

    Maybe the temperature is too high. You can try to lower the temperature next time you try it. If it start to brown too fast, you can cover the top of the cake pan with almuninuim foil.

    Hope it helps. I haven't baked a cheesecake for quite sometime. You make me crave for it again. :)

  17. Hi,

    Recipe looks so yummy!!!!

    Planning to make this, but I have a question, is the corn flour you are referring to in this recipe same as cornstarch? Or corn flour as in masa harina, which they use to make tortillas?

    I hope you can clarify. Can't wait to make this!

  18. Hi Miasam, I'm using corn flour which is the same as cornstarch. This recipe is really good. Do try it! :)

  19. hi!
    just came across this recipe and it looks so nice!would like to try it out too...
    just wish to clarify one point.what do you mean by bake in water bath?

  20. Hi charmaine,

    Bake in water bath means: place your baking tin (with batter) in another larger baking tin filled with hot water. Hot water will prevent cheesecakes from cracking. Hope this helps. Have fun baking! :)

  21. Hi, I've baking it, and it taste great :) Thanks for the recipe. I got a few little question.
    1) When is baked and chilled. My cheesecake is heavier at the bottom and lighter on top. How come?
    2) When I cut the cheesecake, it will stick to the knife and bits and pieces (crumbs) will fall off. What happened?

  22. Hi Fuzzy, so glad that you like it. But I'm not an expert in making cheesecakes yet, so I'll just try my best to answer your questions ok.

    1) I'm not very sure what had happened. My guesses are maybe:

    * Overwhisking the egg white? Resulting in difficulty in folding, so the batter is not well mixed and some parts sink down?
    * Insufficient whisking? Batter becomes too watery and some parts sink down?
    * Did't fold in properly? Try to fold in gently and add in egg whites 1/3 portion at a time. Do not overmix.

    2) I search the internet for tips on cutting cheesecakes. To cut the cheesecake cleanly, dip your knife into hot water, wipe it dry, and slice. Repeat for every slice.

    Hope it helps!

  23. HI small small baker

    i intend to try this out tonight. may i know is it difficult to take the cake out of the pan for cooling on the rack? i intend to use my normal cake pan cause my spring form is too big...

  24. Hi octopusmum, it's not difficult, you can just use a normal cake pan. Hope you like this cheesecake! :)

  25. HI small small baker,

    one more thing, i don't think need to overturn the cake for cooling, right? it looks too delicate to be overturned...keeping my fingers crossed that everything will be okay as this is my first time doing water bath, will report back the results.


  26. Hi octopusmum, actually I did overturn the cake for cooling. That's why you can see the markings of the cooling rack on top of the cake in my photo.

    Don't worry too much and wish you good luck! :)

  27. HI small small baker
    i was too busy on friday and didn't check your reply. boy, what a mistake! what happened was, i thought i shouldn't overturn it for cooling. so trying to be smart, i actually place it top down on a plate first, then transfer it to the rack with the top facing upwards. Huge mistake, almost half of the top was stuck to the plate. The crust was very nicely baked actually, no crack at all so my heart almost broke when the top was ruined. i have forgotten to mention that when i removed the cake from the pan, parts of it was stuck in the pan so it was like a double blow to me:( but i must say that the cake was indeed very soft and tasty, almost like store bought ones. had another problem, the bottom of the cake was hard and tasted awful. my guess was, it was uncooked. so next time, i would bake it longer and make sure it is cooked.
    rgds, octopusmum

  28. Hi octopusmum, I'm glad that you like this cake despite some hiccups.

    I think generally cakes are very delicate when they are hot, so it is always advisable to slice them when they are fully cooled. Maybe next time you just overturn them and leave them on the cooling rack as it is.

    If you have problem removing the cake from the pan, you can line the base and the sides of the pan with baking paper. It will be easier to remove. Just be careful when you peel the paper off after it is out of the oven.

    As for the bottom of the cake was hard, was it because it was overcooked or undercooked? I usually place cakes on the 2nd lower shelf in my oven. If the bottom was undercooked maybe you can lower the rack a bit.

    Thanks for the feedback. Don't worry, it was a good attempt. I failed many many times before too! ;)

  29. Hi ssb
    everything went well during the baking process, it rose quite high in the oven but it did sink after it was out and overturned. i was consoled by the fact that the taste and texture were really v good but still couldn't stop scolding myself for the stupid mistake. not sure if i have the guts to try it again...but if i do try it out again will make sure i won't repeat those silly mistakes! thks for your encouragement.

  30. Hi octopusmum, I like the texture of this cake too. Very soft and cottony and less sinful. Haha. Do try it again and don't be discouraged. Btw, I forget to mention, remember to grease the baking paper lightly to prevent sticking. :)

  31. Follow closely and while baking, the cake rises nicely to the rim but once I off the oven, it sinks to about half the tin, even though baking time is up and top brown.
    The cake has not even left the oven.
    The cake became very dense.
    What do you think is the most important thing to observe to prevent such sinking?

  32. Hi, I'm sorry to hear that. I have read that if cheesecake sinks, it's because too much air is whipped into the eggs and cause the cheesecake to puff in the oven and then fall when removed like souffles.

    When adding the egg yolks, just mix it with a hand whisk will do, no need to use electric mixer. Make sure that egg whites are beaten to the right stage - the peak should curve slightly downwards. (most important!)

    If you still face the problem, maybe you can leave the cake in the oven for a while before opening the door. because a rush of cold air in may cause it to sink rapidly. But leaving it in the oven for too long may cause the cake to overbake. Do take note of that.

    Hope it helps and good luck!

  33. Hi!
    i happen to came across your blog and i found great and not too challenging recipes for myself! im a begginer myself so i need your help:) would like to ask you, if i follow the recipe and use 4 egg ehite and yolk, will the cake be too hard as cakes that i bake usually turn out hard. hee hee. and how do you bak with water bath? can i just bake it normally?


  34. Hi! Thanks for visiting!

    This cheesecake is extremely soft. Make sure you measure the ingredients accurately and bake according to the temperatures given, it will not turn out hard. Just be careful about beating the egg whites.

    To bake in water bath means you put the pan filled with cake batter into a larger pan filled with hot water. The level of hot water should be around the height of the level of the batter. This will help the cheesecake remain soft and moist.

    Hope I have help you. Try it and I hope you will like it!

  35. Sorry! But could u help me? each time I use a spring-round pan, i tuck aluminum around it but it still leaks! Do tell me how to wrap it properly! Thank You


  36. Hi, it's not necessary to use a springform pan for this cheesecake. If u use a normal pan, just line the base with baking paper so that the cake can be removed easily later. If u really need to use a springform or loose-bottom pan, u can line with 2 layers of aluminium foil to prevent leaking. Hope it helps!

  37. hihi,

    what type of cream cream can I use ? Any brand?

  38. Hi, you can use any brand you like. I usually prefer to use Philadelphia Cream Cheese.

  39. Hi SSB

    Is this recipe catered for 6inch pan or I need to half the ingredients? Btw, is it ok if i omit the lemon juice? Thanks


  40. Hi Mel, this recipe is for 8 inch round pan. For 6 inch round pan, I half the recipe as follows:

    100g cream cheese
    64g milk
    22g unsalted butter
    13g cake flour
    7g cornflour
    2 egg yolks
    2 egg whites
    43g sugar
    1/8 tsp cream of tartar

    lemon juice can be omitted

    Hope it helps!

  41. Hi Small Small Baker,

    Thanks for your fast reply^^ Yes, this is very helpful. lst timer in baking cheese cake so trying to minimize the wastage. Just in case it didn't turn out well.XD

  42. Hi,

    Help!! I tried baking the cheesecake using your recipe but the cheesecake tastes like kueh, not soft and fluffy at all. Do u knw wht?

  43. Hi SSB,

    I tried your recipe.. It's fantastic!!!

    My cheesecake as per yr recipe:

  44. Hi SSB,

    Your cheese cake look really delicious and well baked. This is my first attempt to bake cheese cake using your recipe but it didn't turn out well. I'm using a microwave convection oven and a 8" bakeing tin. Below are mine cheese cake problems.
    * Top is yellow, only center is slightly brown.
    * Bottom and side is wet
    * It strank when I take it out from my oven.

    Hope to hear from you soon.

    Dean :)

  45. Hi Dean,

    Thanks for trying this recipe! I'm not so sure about microwave convection oven.

    Since the bottom and side is wet, I guess it is underbaked or baking temperature is too low. Maybe can bake a little longer. Best if you can get oven thermometer because our ovens sometimes don't produce the same temp we set.

    If you are using tin with removable base, make sure you wrap the base with aluminium foil to prevent water seeping into the cake.

    Don't open the oven to check when it is baking halfway.

    If it shrinks, check that the egg whites are beaten to soft peak and be careful not to deflate during folding. Can open the oven door slightly after baking and wait a while before taking out to prevent shrinking too much.

    I'm not too experienced too. Hope it helps! Happy baking!

  46. Hi SSB,

    Thanks for the prompt reply. Will check my oven temperature and adjust accordingly.

    The cake tin I'm using is one whole piece without removable base (Wrap with aluminium foil to play safe)

    This time I'll try not to over fold my egg white.

    Will try to bake cheese cake tonight and hope everything turns out fine.

    Once again thanks for the advice.

    Dean :)

  47. Hi SSB,
    Last nite tried baking the cheese cake again (3rd time) and this time round everything turn out fine. I increased my microwave oven temperature from 160 Degree Celsius to 180 Degree Celsius and bake for 30mins than reduce temperature to 160 Degree Celsius to bake for another 30mins. Once top turn golden brown I turn off my oven and let settle in my oven for 30mins than leave the door open for another 30mins. Beside the shrinkage about 1” from the side and a crack on the top. My cake is firmed and tall.

    This morning, I sliced the cake and ate one piece it’s light and spongy. Will try baking cheese cake for my sis birthday this coming Sunday.

    Thanks for the advice and help given.

    Dean :)

  48. Hi Dean,

    Thanks for the feedback. I'm glad that my little tips help! Oven temperature is really important in making cheesecakes and chiffon cakes. I had the same failures too. Learn something new from you. Glad that you like this recipe! :)

  49. Hi, small small baker. I'm keen to try yr cheesecake recipe, it looks delicious. but as I'm new baker, not sure what type of milk to use? Fresh milk or full cream milk?

  50. Hi, thanks for visiting. I use fresh milk for all my bakes. Happy baking! :)

  51. i wish to try this jap cheese cake. but really scare to failed again. i ever try b4 other recepi of this and the result of the cake texture was like kueh. may i know what cause it texture like kueh instead of spongy?
    May ur reply for the tips will help me on my nex baking of your jap cheese cake.
    Rgds. Justina

    1. Hi justina, this recipe I have no problem, so you should be able to do it too.
      I think most important is beating egg whites and correct temperature.

      Egg whites should be soft peak. Do not under or over beat.
      As for temperature, it's good to get an oven thermometer. Temperature too low or too high will cause failure too.

  52. isnt possible for me add some blueberry as a marble effect instead of just in plain colour??
    regards justina

  53. Hihi, I did this cake today... it turn out like damp damp.... is it correct???