Cotton Cheesecake / Japanese Cheesecake

Cotton Cheesecake / Japanese Cheesecake 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 love about this scrumptious cake is it’s not overly sweet as some cakes can be. The combination of fluffy cake with slightly tart cream cheese is absolutely heavenly. I hope you enjoy this Cotton Cheesecake / Japanese Cheesecake recipe as much as I do. Please note this recipe can be a bit tricky. Watch the video and follow the steps exactly. Happy Baking!

Watch the video for instructions. 

Jump to Recipe Card

Notes on the Cotton Cheesecake 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 the 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. Separate the eggs while they are cold and then let them come to room temperature as you prep the remaining ingredients for the recipe.

Use an 8 inch by 3 inch round springform pan. 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 5 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 bake at a consist temperature. These factors are important for achieving the fluffy and moist texture for the cake.

Cotton Cheesecake / Japanese Cheesecake - Light and fluffy yet creamy and decadent. This is the perfect combination of sponge cake and cheesecake! | recipe from runawayric.ecom

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 (by 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.

The Cotton Cheesecake will shrink (about 1/2 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 Cotton Cheesecake for at least 4 hours before eating. The cold air sets the cream cheese and greatly improves the flavor and texture.

Store any remaining cake in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. To freeze, wrap the cake securely with plastic wrap and then a layer of foil. Freeze for up to 3 months.

If you enjoy this Cotton Cheesecake / Japanese Cheesecake recipe, you may also like:

Chocolate Cotton Cheesecake / Japanese Cheesecake - Scrumptious Sponge Cake/Cheesecake Hyrid | recipe from runawayrice.com

Chocolate Cotton Cheesecake / Japanese Cheesecake

Sponge Cake (Banh Bong Lan) - No-Fail Recipe | recipe from runawayrice.com

Sponge Cake (Banh Bong Lan)

Orange Chiffon Cake with Edible Flower Petals - delicate and deliciously moist cake | recipe from runawayrice.com

Orange Chiffon Cake with Edible Flowers

 

Cotton Cheesecake / Japanese Cheesecake

Cotton Cheesecake / Japanese Cheesecake - Unique cake is a cross between a sponge cake and cheesecake and absolutely heavenly! | recipe from runawayrice.com

Ingredients

5 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar, divided
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp corn starch

8 inch round springform pan

Directions

Line the bottom and side 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 F (157 C).

Separate the eggs and place the egg whites into a mixing bowl and the yolks into a measuring cup.

Beat the 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 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, remaining 1/4 cup sugar and lemon juice and beat for 1 minute. Add the flour and corn starch 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 side 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 the top.

Turn off the oven, open the oven door slightly (about 2-3 inches) and let the Cotton Cheesecake cool in the oven for 1 hour.

Remove the Cotton Cheesecake from the pan. Place on a plate and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Serve with fresh fruit, fruit puree, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, etc.

Cover and refrigerate any remaining portions. Enjoy the Cotton Cheesecake within the week.

Yields: 8 servings

Cotton Cheesecake / Japanese Cheesecake - velvety sponge cake, must-try recipe! | recipe from runwayrice.com

Tools I Love and Use in My Kitchen

    

 
Cotton Cheesecake / Japanese Cheesecake - Unique cake is a cross between a sponge cake and cheesecake and absolutely heavenly! | recipe from runawayrice.com
Print

Cotton Cheesecake / Japanese Cheesecake

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Asian, Japanese
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 265 kcal
Author: Trang

Cotton Cheesecake / Japanese Cheesecake 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 love about this scrumptious cake is it's not overly sweet as some cakes can be. The combination of fluffy cake with slightly tart cream cheese is absolutely heavenly. I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as I do. Please note this recipe can be a bit tricky. Watch the video and follow the steps exactly. Happy Baking!

Ingredients

  • 5 large eggs , at room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup sugar , divided
  • 8 oz cream cheese , at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup low-fat milk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter , at room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp corn starch

Bakeware

Instructions

  1. Line the bottom and side of the springform pan with parchment paper. Wrap the springform pan with several sheets of foil, sealing it completely.

  2. Fill a large baking pan halfway with water. Place it in the oven on the lowest rack. Preheat the oven to 315 F (157 C).

  3. Separate the eggs and place the egg whites into a mixing bowl and the yolks into a measuring cup.
  4. Beat the 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 sugar gradually. Continue beating until the egg whites reach the soft peaks stage (approximately 3 minutes using a stand mixer).

  5. 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, remaining 1/4 cup sugar and lemon juice and beat for 1 minute. Add the flour and corn starch and mix for another minute. Finally add the egg yolks and mix for 1 more minute. Strain the batter using a sieve.

  6. 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.
  7. 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 side of the pan, gently lift and drop the pan on the counter about 6 times to remove any big air bubbles.

  8. 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 the top.

  9. Turn off the oven and open the oven door slightly (about 2-3 inches) and let the Cotton Cheesecake cool in the oven for 1 hour.

  10. Remove the Cotton Cheesecake from the pan. Place on a plate and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

  11. Serve with fresh fruit, fruit puree, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, etc.
  12. Cover and refrigerate any remaining portions. Enjoy the Cotton Cheesecake within the week.

Recipe Video

Notes, Tips & 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. Separate the eggs while they are cold and then let them come to room temperature as you prep the remaining ingredients for the recipe.
  • Use an 8 inch by 3 inch round springform pan. 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 5 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 (by 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 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 air sets the cream cheese and greatly improves the flavor and texture.

    Nutrition Facts
    Cotton Cheesecake / Japanese Cheesecake
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 265 Calories from Fat 162
    % Daily Value*
    Fat 18g28%
    Saturated Fat 10g63%
    Cholesterol 149mg50%
    Sodium 138mg6%
    Potassium 113mg3%
    Carbohydrates 19g6%
    Sugar 14g16%
    Protein 6g12%
    Vitamin A 720IU14%
    Vitamin C 0.7mg1%
    Calcium 63mg6%
    Iron 0.8mg4%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

 

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428 Responses to Cotton Cheesecake / Japanese Cheesecake

  1. Lana August 28, 2019 at 12:00 pm #

    Hi!
    I made this cake several times before and I love it! It always deflated after being out the oven for a bit, but it’s still delicious.
    Today I want to make it again, but I’m out of milk. Can I use almond milk instead?

    • Trang September 9, 2019 at 4:49 pm #

      Hi Lana,
      Any nut milk works well with this recipe. I hope you went ahead and tried it and loved the results. 🙂

  2. Kam August 27, 2019 at 6:45 am #

    Hi . Instead of all purpose flour can I use cake flour ? And if so would it be the same cup as the all purpose flour?

    • Trang September 9, 2019 at 4:42 pm #

      Hi Kam,
      Cake flour works. The difference is minimal so use the same amount. 🙂

  3. Kent Yew July 19, 2019 at 4:11 am #

    I tried making this. Was looking really nice untill i let it cool down. The cake just flatten a fair bit. I am using a bigger pan is that why?. I am using a fan forced oven set at 160 celcius. Do you use fan forced or just bottom heating element only?. Thanks!.

    • Trang July 19, 2019 at 10:15 am #

      Hi Kent,
      The first common problem of a deflating cake is over-beating the egg whites or not beating them enough. It can be a delicate balance to beat the egg whites just right. Aim for soft to medium peaks. Fan forced is just fine as it circulates the heat for even-baking. Was your cake fairly brown after baking? If so, I recommend lowering the heat and baking a bit longer. This will give the cake more time to build structure in the walls (without over-baking the cake) so it doesn’t deflate during cooling. Using a bigger pan is pan is fine too and it will result in a thinner cake. In this original recipe, I use just the bottom heating element. I’ve also baked this cake in fan-forced and in ovens with both top and bottom heating elements. With each different oven I use, I have to tweak the baking time a bit. I hope that helps. Please review your steps, give it another go and let me know how it turns it for you. Good Luck!

      • Kent Yew July 19, 2019 at 9:17 pm #

        Thanks for the tip!. I will try this again today with your tips. My kids and wife love this. Thanks for sharing and taking the time to replying my message.

        To answer your question, yes the cake was fairly brown and there was a few cracks. I think you are right, my main problem is always with beating the egg white. I still haven perfected this yet. I had it really stiff yesterday. Thanks Trang.

        • Trang July 19, 2019 at 10:52 pm #

          Hi Kent,
          I am glad I could help. Keep working on perfecting the beaten egg whites. Good Luck and stop back to share your results! 🙂

  4. Petunia July 13, 2019 at 2:52 am #

    Hi there,
    I’d like to make this cake in a fancy bundt cake pan. What adjustments are needed?

    • Trang July 13, 2019 at 4:41 pm #

      Hi Petunia,
      If using a 7-8″ bundt cake pan, no adjustments are needed as this would be just like the 8″x3″ pan I use in this recipe.

      • Karen July 23, 2019 at 2:22 pm #

        Do you think this recipe would work with gluten free flour?

        • Trang August 1, 2019 at 6:35 am #

          Hi Karen,
          Yes, I’ve tried this recipe with several gluten-free flours: rice flour, almond flour and coconut flour with good results. My favorite is the almond flour. Let me know what you end up using. I’d love to hear the results. Enjoy!

          • Yassmina September 18, 2019 at 5:41 am #

            Hi Trang,

            Can u tell me how many cups in 8 oz of cream cheese?

            Thanks in advance

          • Trang September 30, 2019 at 12:43 pm #

            Hi Yassmina,
            8 oz of cream cheese is about 14 Tbsp so just under 1 US measuring cup. I hope that helps.

    • Macey October 3, 2019 at 10:36 pm #

      Hi Trang,

      I tried your recipe tonight! My cake is so pretty until it cooled down, and transferred it on a plate☹.

      I used a 9″ inch pan, which is probably why it is so thin; I may also have over beat the egg whites (Honestly, my first time beating egg whites, so I don’t know what I’m doing). And lastly, there was water between the pan and the foil. Does this mean I did not seal it correctly, or is it normal? Sounds like a disaster. We’ll see how it tastes tomorrow.

      On the good side, I will try it again! But please can you tell me where did I go wrong? Thanks for the recipe!!!

      • Trang October 9, 2019 at 3:50 pm #

        Hi Macey,
        Deflating is a common problem with this cake and as you guessed it, over whipping the egg whites is a common problem. It takes a few rounds of practice but aim for soft to medium peaks. The water between the pan and foil could be leakage or condensation. Extra moisture also causes the cake to shrink. Next time, try taking the cake out of the water bath and removing the foil and then letting the cake cool gradually in the oven next time. How did it taste? 🙂

  5. Grace July 4, 2019 at 10:32 am #

    My reply disappeared…
    I hope this one won’t….
    What would the amounts be to make this in a 9*13 pan?
    Also, can I use just cornstarch/potato starch and leave out the flour? Will it effect the results?
    I can’t wait to try this!

    • Trang July 13, 2019 at 4:19 pm #

      Hi Grace,
      Your comment didn’t disappear. To avoid spambots, all comments are reviewed before posting to the website. If using a 9″x13″x2″ high pan, you’ll want to double the recipe. You’ll need to adjust the baking time since the cake isn’t as high as with the 8″x3″ pan. You can substitute the all-purpose flour with corn/potato starch. Good Luck. I hope you’ll stop back to share your results. 🙂

  6. Grace July 4, 2019 at 2:27 am #

    Why do you strain the batter before adding the whites? If the batter is perfectly smooth must I strain it?
    I don’t own such a sieve.

    • Trang July 13, 2019 at 3:59 pm #

      Hi Grace,
      If the batter is smooth, you can skip the straining step.

  7. AHY July 3, 2019 at 5:28 am #

    Do you think I can make it without the sugar? Thank you for this recipes, I love it! My toddler also loved it and i want to make mini versions for him with no sugar (rest of the recipe same). Will taking out the sugar mess up the recipe? also, do you think it will work in a cupcake pan if i line the bottoms?

    • Trang July 13, 2019 at 3:49 pm #

      Hi Ahy,
      It may be bland but you can omit the sugar for your little one. No recipe adjustments are needed. Cupcake versions of this cake works and are really cute. Don’t skip the water bath. Good Luck and let me know how it turns out for you!

    • Toby September 1, 2019 at 2:20 pm #

      I had a weird 1/4” firm custard layer form on the bottom. What did i do wrong? Thanks.

      • Trang September 9, 2019 at 4:53 pm #

        Hi Toby,
        It sounds like you didn’t thoroughly mix the whipped egg whites with the batter and so the batter settled during baking creating the custard layer. I hope you’ll give it another try. Good Luck!

  8. Keiko suzuki June 27, 2019 at 7:09 am #

    Hi there! Made this recipe and it was really good. Can it be refrigerated over night? I have a BBQ to go to on the weekend and want to make it the night before so I’m not rushed to make it in the morning.

    • Trang June 30, 2019 at 8:13 pm #

      Hi Keiki,
      You can definitely make the Cotton Cheesecake the day before and refrigerate overnight. I actually prefer it this way as it’s wonderfully chilled. Enjoy your BBQ!

  9. Esther June 5, 2019 at 11:05 am #

    Hi
    Can I use a 9 inch pan?
    Thanks.

    • Trang June 6, 2019 at 10:50 am #

      Hi Esther,
      Yes a 9 inch pan works. Just make sure it’s tall enough for the height of the cake.

      • Sharon Ben drihem June 17, 2019 at 6:48 am #

        Hi why does the cake come out low and not high? I would like it to be high what can be done please. thank you!

    • Bridget June 18, 2019 at 12:28 am #

      My husband loves this recipe so much. I have made it several times and this latest time I have made it for his birthday per his request! He loves all cheesecake and this one is one of his favorites that I make him! 🙂

      • Trang June 20, 2019 at 11:46 am #

        Hi Bridget,
        I am so thrilled to hear you love this recipe and your husband too! Thanks for taking the time to share your results. 🙂

  10. Anise June 1, 2019 at 6:07 am #

    Hi i am using an electric oven and do i bake the cake with the heat only from bottom of oven, or the heat both from top AND bottom of the oven? Which one do you prefer? Thank you in advance.

    • Trang June 6, 2019 at 10:45 am #

      Hi Anise,
      Just the bottom heat is needed. If you prefer a more golden-top then the top heating element can be used but toward the browning step. Depending on the size of your oven, the top heating element may cause the cake crack in the middle or brown too quickly while the center is still raw. Hope that helps! Good Luck!

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