This jiggly cake recipe is also known as a Japanese style cheesecake or a soufflé cheesecake. It is lightened with beaten egg whites, resulting in a light and airy texture.
A Short History of the Jiggly Cake Recipe and Japanese Style Cheesecakes
We are fascinated by the way recipes pass from one culture into the next, adapting to local palates as they move. This jiggly cake recipe is a good example of this. Culinary historians tell us that a Japanese chef named Tomotaro Kozonu tasted the German version of a regular cheesecake (known as Kasekuchen) during a trip to Berlin in the 1960s. On his return home, he experimented with the classic cheesecake recipe. He kept its tangy flavor, but reduced the sugar and lightened it. The texture of the cake is billowy, like a soufflé. It reminds some people of cotton balls. The cake first became popular in the 1990s but it took Tiktok’s 1 minute videos of adorably jiggly Japanese cheesecake slices to bring the idea to the masses.
A Word About Hot Water Baths
We hate a hot water bath (see our feelings on this topic in our New York style cheesecake recipe), but for the best result, you’ll need to button up your chef’s whites and face up to your fears. Can’t get over your fear of burnt flesh but still craving some cheese cake-y deliciousness? That’s ok, we’ve got you covered with our no-bake honey mascarpone whipped cheese cake recipe. Craving something a little more solid, but equally mild, check out our New York style cheesecake without sour cream.
Jiggly Cake Recipe
- 8 inch springform pan
For the jiggly cake
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 7 tbsp milk
- 6 eggs separated, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice or 1 tsp lemon zest
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 3/4 cup cake flour
- 2 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup fresh berries
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease an 8-inch springform pan with unsalted butter and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Wrap the pan tightly with tinfoil. Select a larger pan (a roasting pan or large baking pan) that is big enough to fit the 8-inch round cake pan inside it and line it with a kitchen cloth.
- Melt the cream cheese, butter, and milk in a medium-sized pot on the stove over low heat. Remove the cream cheese mixture from the stove and let cool.
- Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Whisk the egg yolks, lemon juice or zest (if using), vanilla extract, and half the sugar into the cream cheese. Sift the cake flour, cornstarch and salt into the cream cheese mixture, then whisk together until there are no more lumps.
- Whip the egg whites in a stand mixer with the whip attachment or in a large bowl using a hand mixer on medium speed. Once bubbles form, add the cream of tartar and continue whipping on high speed. Once soft peaks form, slowly add the remaining sugar. Whip until the meringue turns glossy and stiff peaks form.
- Take a third of the meringue and stir it into the cream cheese batter to loosen it, using a rubber spatula. Fold in the next third of the meringue very carefully, moving your spatula from the outside of the bowl to the center and turning the bowl as you go, in order to keep as much air as possible. Fold in the remaining meringue. The batter should now be light and airy.
- Pour batter into the cake tin. Tap the pan gently on the countertop to remove any large air bubbles. Place the cake pan in the larger baking dish and place both in the oven. Pour hot water into the larger baking pan until about halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Don't splash water in your cake batter! Bake on the bottom rack of the oven for 18 minutes at 400 F, then lower the oven temperature to 320F and bake an additional 12 minutes.
- Turn off the oven and open the oven door slightly, allowing the cake to cool gently for 30 minutes.
- Remove the cake from the oven and cool it slightly, before turning it out onto a cake plate or stand. Sprinkle with icing sugar and top with fresh berries.