This is my new favorite dessert and after you try this recipe it will become your favorite too. It’s the perfect combination of sponge cake and cheesecake in both taste and texture. What I also love about this cake is that it’s not overly sweet as some cakes can be. The combination of fluffy cake with creamy and slightly tart cream cheese is absolutely heavenly and I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as I do. Please note this recipe can be a bit tricky. Please watch the video and follow the steps exactly. Happy Baking!
Notes on the Recipe, Tips and Tricks
As the cream cheese, eggs and butter need to be at room temperature, advanced planning is required. About 2 hours before making the cake, remove the cream cheese and butter from the refrigerator. About 1 hour before take the eggs out of the fridge. The cream cheese and butter should be soft and spreadable for this recipe. If these ingredients are not quite ready, pop them in the microwave on Low power for about 15-20 seconds.
Eggs are easiest to separate when they are cold. Egg whites are best beaten at room temperature to achieve the fluffiest texture. You can separate the eggs while they are cold and then let them come to room temperature as you prep the remaining ingredients for the recipe.
I am using an 8-inch round X 3-inch high springform pan. If using a pan that is less than 3 inches high, line the pan so the parchment paper extends about 2 inches above the pan. The parchment paper wall provides support since the cake rises to about 3 inches tall during baking. Keep the paper to no more than 4 inches tall. Too much paper will prevent the top of the cake from browning nicely.
The water bath is essential for keeping the cake moist. As the cake bakes for longer than the typical cake, the water bath is crucial. Additionally the water bath insulates the cake and allows it to cook at a consist temperature. These factors are important for achieving the fluffy and moist texture for the cake.
Be sure to fold the egg whites into the batter. Do not beat or mix vigorously as this will deflate the egg whites. (If you’re not familiar with the fold technique, check out how I do it in the video.)
As oven temperatures vary, check to see if the cake is done (using a toothpick) after 1 hour of baking. Then bake the cake until the top is golden brown. This is one recipe where over-baking the cake is ok. You won’t ruin the cake! Depending on your oven it may take up to 1 1/2 hours. Again, this is just fine.
If your cake cracks on top, the heat is too high or the cake is too close to the heating element. Make note of this and adjust these things the next time.
This cake will shrink (about 1/2 an inch or so) after cooling so please don’t despair. Leaving the cake in the oven after it’s done baking helps to minimize some of the deflating.
Refrigerate the cake for at least 4 hours before eating. The cold sets the cream cheese and greatly improves the flavor and texture.
8 oz cream cheese (room temperature)
1/2 cup milk
5 large eggs (room temperature)
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 cup sugar + 1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp cornstarch
Line the bottom and sides of the springform pan with parchment paper. Wrap the springform pan with several sheets of foil, sealing it completely.
Fill a large baking pan halfway with water. Place it in the oven on the lowest rack. Preheat the oven to 315 degrees Fahrenheit.
Separate the eggs and place the egg whites into a mixing bowl and the yolks into a measuring cup.
Beat egg whites on Low speed for 30 seconds. Increase the speed to Medium Low and beat for another 30 seconds or until foamy. Add the cream of tartar. Increase the speed to Medium High and beat until the egg whites just start to thicken. Add 1/4 cup of sugar gradually. Continue beating until the egg whites reach the soft peaks stage, approximately 3 minutes using a stand mixer.
In a separate bowl add the cream cheese and milk. Mix on Low speed until creamy and smooth (approximately 2-3 minutes.) Add the butter, sugar and lemon juice and beat for 1 minute. Add the flour and cornstarch and mix for another minute. Finally add the egg yolks and mix for 1 more minute. Strain the batter using a sieve.
Add 1/3 of the egg whites and gently fold into the batter until mostly incorporated. Add another 1/3 and gently fold. Add the remaining 1/3 and gently fold.
Pour the batter into the lined springform pan. Spread the batter evenly into the pan and smooth out the top using a spatula. Holding the sides of the pan, gently lift and drop the pan on the counter about 6 times to remove any big air bubbles.
Place the springform pan into the water bath and bake the cake for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Check the cake for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. It should come out clean. Bake the cake for an additional 10-15 minutes to brown up the top.
Turn off oven, open the oven the door slightly (about 2-3 inches) and let the cake cool in the oven for 1 hour.
Remove cake from the pan. Place on a plate and refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
Serve with fresh fruit, fruit puree, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, etc.
Yields: 8 servings
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