Making Cotton Cheesecake also known as Japanese Cheesecake (baked)

This is my ‘baby’ brother’s favourite (though he is not really a baby anymore –at 30 years of age this year!). I remember the first time he gave me a piece of cotton cheese cake (Japanese Cheesecake)  from the night market in Malaysia saying that it’s the best cake ever. I must admit, I did fall in love with it even with the conscious thought that it contains loads of cheese i.e. calories! This cheesecake is slightly different than your ‘usual’, it is slightly salty and lemony and not too sweet. It has a smooth, soft and has a velvety texture. I am a sucker for cake and bread that has a soft cotton texture and this cake taste just that, soft like cotton and melts in your mouth…Mmmmmm…..craving for a piece now!

I have made this cake a many times and must admit that it didn’t really turn out right ALL the time. I am rubbish at beating egg whites (its hard work) to make it into a meringue consistency, and this is important. Recently I bought a stand mixer (my new toy) and used that to make this cheesecake…it was a success.



There are 3 problems that I have encountered:

1)      Top half of the cake is lovely and fluffy whereas  the bottom of the cake is dense and heavy

Possible reason: I didn’t mix the batter evenly and the heavy batter sinks to the bottom during baking

Solution: Mix the batter evenly with a mixer with 1/3 of the egg whites prior to folding the remaining 2/3 egg whites…taking care not to over mixing

 2)    Cake sinks during cooling

Possible reason: Cake cooled too fast

Solution: Leave cake to cool in oven for 1 hour with the oven door opened

 3)     Top of cake cracks during baking

Possible reason: oven heat too hot

Solution: Reduce heat


(adapted from Diana’s Desserts)

  • 250 g cream cheese
  • 50 g butter
  • 100 ml fresh milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • ¼ tsp lemon essence
  •  60 g self raising flour
  • 20 g corn flour (corn starch)
  • 140 g caster sugar
  • 6 egg whites
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar

Note: I omitted lemon juice and salt from the original recipe and still find the cake slightly salty


1)    In a large bowl, combine and melt cream cheese, butter and milk over a double boiler (place the bowl over simmering water without letting the bowl touch the water).

2)    Leave the cheese mixture to cool and beat the egg yolk and lemon essence.

3)    Carefully sift and fold in the self raising flour and corn flour into the cheese mixture and set a side.

4)    Beat egg whites in a large clean (oil and water free) metal bowl until frothy and add the cream of tartar into the egg whites. Continue beating and add the sugar in three portions beating in between each addition.

5)    Fold in the egg whites using a spatula into the cream cheese. Add the first 1/3 beaten egg white more rigorously than the 2/3 beaten egg.

6)    Pour the cheese batter into lined baking tray(s) / tin(s).

7)    Place the baking tray(s) / tin(s) into a container filled with water (water submerging half of the tray(s) / tin(s) and bake for 2 hours in a preheated 150 degrees C oven.

You may need to adjust the temperature and time depending on your oven; you know your oven best.

8)    When cooked, turn off the oven and leave the oven door ajar. Leave the cake to cool in the oven for 1 hour.

9)    Store in the refrigerator and ENJOY.

My cotton cheesecake tends to be gone before we need to store it in the fridge!