This Japanese Matcha Cotton Cheesecake yields a delicious cheesecake that is light and fluffy. It's not too rich, and is similar to Uncle Tetsu's version.
This post first appeared on Sift & Simmer in May 2017. Updated June 2021.
With Mother's Day around the corner, and my mother-in-law visiting us, I wanted to treat her (early) to a matcha version of my light and delicious cotton cheesecake.
It's based on the same recipe as the original Japanese Cotton Cheesecake.
However, I've tweaked the amount of matcha and sugar for this variation.
I was so happy when I took the cheesecake out and it didn't have any hairline cracks.
In fact, even after it cooled it still didn't crack -- a perfect cheesecake!
Why you'll love this recipe
This Japanese-style Cotton Cheesecake is flavoured with matcha green tea.
The texture of the cake is light, souffle-like, and fluffy, with an earthy green tea flavour that balances the richness of the cream cheese.
The technique to making the cake is similar to chiffon/Swiss Roll Cake, whereby eggs are separated.
It's also vastly different than Burnt Basque Cheesecake, which has minimal flour, and a much more creamier texture.
The cheesecake is made in a 6" round cake pan, which is a good size -- not too large and not too small.
Ingredients you'll need
It's important to keep the ingredients at room temperature before starting to make this cheesecake.
That way, everything is emulsified smoothly together.
- cream cheese: use a full-fat cream cheese for a rich flavour
- butter: unsalted
- whole milk
- granulated sugar
- eggs: separated; yolks in one bowl, and whites in another
- cake flour: sifted; helps keep the cheesecake nice and light
- cornstarch: sifted; also helps to keep the cake light
- matcha: sifted; use a high quality matcha for the best flavour
- cream of tartar: or lemon juice; helps to stabilize the beaten egg whites
How to make it
Prepare the pan:
Prepare the 6" round cake pan by lining it with aluminum and parchment paper.
Sift the dry ingredients (cornstarch, cake flour, matcha) in a bowl. Set aside.
Heat the cream cheese mixture:
In a small saucepan, add the room temperature cream cheese, and butter. Heat over medium-low heat until the butter and cream cheese dissolve.
Add in the milk and 20g granulated sugar and continue to stir until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
Remove from heat and whisk in the egg yolks, one at a time.
With a spatula, fold the cake flour mixture into the cream cheese mixture until incorporated. Set aside.
Prepare the egg whites:
Add the egg whites to a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.
Whip on low speed until the egg whites become foamy.
Add in the cream of tartar, and gradually increase the speed.
Add in the granulated sugar gradually, and continue to whip until soft peaks form.
Transfer the whipped egg whites into the cream cheese batter and gently fold with a spatula until incorporated.
Pour the mixture into the prepared 6" round cake pan. Gently tap to release any trapped air bubbles.
Bake the cheesecake:
Create a water bath by placing the 6” round pan into another roasting tray and fill the roasting tray with about 1” high of boiling hot water.
Bake the cheesecake at 350°F/177°C for 15 minutes, and then lower oven temperature to 250°F/121°C and continue baking for another 40 minutes.
Turn off oven and keep the oven door ajar for about 10 minutes before fully removing it from oven. (This will help ensure that the cake does not collapse too much when it is taken out).
Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before removing the cheesecake to cool on a wire rack.
How to store
Store the cheesecake at room temperature for up to 1 day.
Transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
How to serve
Serve the Matcha Cotton Cheesecake at room temperature, or chilled.
When served at room temperature, the cheesecake will be more fluffy, compared to served chilled.
Other recipes you may like
Be sure to check out these recipes:
This Japanese Matcha Cotton Cheesecake is a simple and elegant dessert. Impress your mother, mother-in-law, or that special someone and make it for Mother's Day, or anytime!
If you make this recipe, I'd love to see -- tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave me a comment/rating below.
Matcha Cotton Cheesecake
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- 10 g cornstarch
- 25 g cake flour
- 5 g matcha + additional for dusting
- 100 g cream cheese room temp
- 20 g unsalted butter room temp
- 85 ml whole milk
- 60 g granulated sugar, divided
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 egg whites
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar or lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350°F/177°C.
- Prepare a 6″ round pan by lining the bottom with aluminum foil – be sure to leave a little extra foil hanging over the sides. Lightly grease the bottom and sides.
- Next, place parchment paper on the bottom and along the circumference of the pan. This will ensure that the cake will be lifted out with ease. Set aside.
- In a bowl, sift together the cornstarch, cake flour and matcha. Set aside.
- Place room temperature cream cheese and butter into a small saucepan and whisk over medium-low heat until softened.
- Add milk and 20g granulated sugar to the cream cheese mixture and whisk over low heat until sugar has dissolved and mixture is smooth.
- Remove from heat and whisk in the egg yolks one at a time.
- Next, fold in the cornstarch, cake flour and matcha mixture until incorporated. Set aside.
- Place egg whites into a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whip on low speed until foamy bubbles appear.
- Add in the cream of tartar, and continue to whip. Slowly increase the speed and gradually add in 40g granulated sugar. Whisk until soft peaks form. (Be careful not to overwhip).
- Gently fold in the whipped egg whites into the cream cheese and cake flour mixture. Take care not to deflate the egg whites too much.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared 6” round pan. Gently tap to release any trapped air bubbles.
- Create a water bath by placing the 6” round pan into another roasting tray and fill the roasting tray with about 1” high of boiling hot water.
- Bake the cheesecake at 350°F/177°C for 15 minutes, and then lower oven temperature to 250°F/121°C and continue baking for another 40 minutes.
- Turn off oven and keep the oven door ajar for about 10 minutes before fully removing it from oven. (This will help ensure that the cake does not collapse too much when it is taken out).
- Let cool for about 5 minutes before removing cheesecake from the pan to cool on a wire rack.
- To serve, sprinkle the top with additional sifted matcha powder and garnish with berries.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.