If you’ve had the pleasure of visiting Japan, you’ll notice that if there’s one thing that people are willing to line up for, it’s good food. Be it chewy udon noodles, fluffy shokupan, or crispy gyoza, if it’s good there’s going to be a line. We’ve joined many lines in Tokyo and the results were almost always out of this world.

The best Japanese cheesecake

Promised to be one of the greatest cheesecakes in Tokyo is Mr. Cheesecake. Mr. Cheesecake is touted as Tokyo’s most elusive and exclusive cheesecake. Ironically, there are no lines…but only because they don’t have a physical store. The creamy rectangular shaped cheesecakes are sold online for just two days a week and sell out in minutes. Japanese food fanatics have started calling it the phantom cheesecake. Even if you do manage to be one of the lucky ones who get to purchase a cheesecake, you can’t choose the date or time of delivery.

The Best Japanese Cheesecake Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Behind Mr. Cheesecake is chef Koji Tamura. His cheesecakes are made with an indulgent combination of cream cheese, sour cream, heavy cream, yogurt, tonka beans (a super fragrant bean with warming flavors like vanilla, cherry, almond, and cinnamon), white chocolate, vanilla beans, and lemon. The result is an incredibly creamy yet light cheesecake that’s reminiscent of Basque cheesecake, but much more delicate. Tamara recommends having it three ways: frozen, straight from the fridge, and at room temperature. The different temperatures affect the taste and texture.

Unfortunately we never had the chance to order a Mr. Cheesecake while in Tokyo, but luckily chef Tamura released an official recipe online in light of Covid. The recipe, while having several different steps, is really simple to execute. And the result is delicious: super creamy, super luscious, lightly sweetened, tangy cheesecake.

The Best Japanese Cheesecake Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

I made the cheesecake twice, once in a regular loaf pan and once in a mini pan. I didn’t quite get the height that I wanted in the regular size loaf pan or in the mini, so I suspect that they must use a Japanese standard size. Nonetheless, I love this cheesecake. I froze some for the sake of doing three side-by-side taste tests.

What makes this cheesecake so delicious?

The frozen cheesecake from the fridge had a firm frozen custardy texture with the lemon really shining through. From the fridge the cheesecake had that classic melt in your mouth texture with a hint of vanilla and balance of sweetness. Room temp was my favorite with a melty almost creamy middle that was velvety and soft, almost reminiscent of a creme brûlée but cheesecake-y and a bit more firm.

How to make Mr. Cheesecake

  1. Cream. Stir the cream cheese along with the sugar over a double boiler until smooth.
  2. Melt. Heat the cream with the chocolate until the chocolate is melted.
  3. Mix. Combine the cream cheese mix and chocolate cream mix.
  4. Make the batter. In a seperate bowl, mix together the sour cream, yogurt, egg white, and vanilla. Whisk the cornstarch in until smooth.
  5. Combine. Stir everything together.
  6. Bake. Pour the batter into a lined baking tin and bake in a water bath. Let cool completely and enjoy!

Hope you get a chance to try this cheesecake out! It’s the easiest and simplest way to get a taste of Tokyo right now :)

xoxo steph

PS – I excluded the tonka beans because they’re quite difficult to find but if you want to add them in and have them, you need 1/2 a tonka bean, grated. It’s added into the white chocolate mix.

PPS – I thought the lemon was a bit too bright so when I made the second mini cheesecake, I left it out and loved it even more.

The Best Japanese Cheesecake Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

The Best Japanese Cheesecake Recipe

A creamy Japanese cheesecake recipe that is so popular it sells out in minutes!
Serves 8
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins

Ingredients

  • 200 grams cream cheese room temp, about 3/4 cups
  • 100 grams sugar about 1/2 cup
  • 100 grams cream about 6 tbsp
  • 50 grams white chocolate about 1/3 cup
  • 180 grams sour cream about 3/4 cup
  • 50 grams greek yogurt about 1/4 cup
  • 2 egg yolks room temp
  • 9 grams lemon juice about 2 tsp
  • 1/4 vanilla bean optional
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 20 grams cornstarch about 2.5 tbsp

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 365°F. In a bowl over a double boiler, mix together the cream cheese and sugar, stirring until the sugar is dissolved and the cream cheese is smooth. Remove and set aside to cool slightly.
    The Best Japanese Cheesecake Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • In a small saucepan, heat the cream just until the edges start to bubble. Take it off the heat and add the chocolate and stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
    The Best Japanese Cheesecake Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Pour the cream and chocolate mixture into the cream cheese mixture and combine until smooth. Stir in the vanilla bean, if using.
    The Best Japanese Cheesecake Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • In another bowl, mix the sour cream and yogurt together. Mix in the egg yolk, lemon juice (if using), and vanilla extract. Whisk in the cornstarch.
    The Best Japanese Cheesecake Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Stir the yogurt mix into the cream cheese mix, whisking until smooth. Strain through a sieve to remove any lumps (and the vanilla bean). Transfer the batter to a standard size loaf pan lined with baking paper.
    The Best Japanese Cheesecake Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Place in a large baking dish and pour hot water into the dish to create a water bath. Bake for 25 minutes at 365°F then rotate and reduce the temp down to 300°F and bake for another 15-20 minutes. Broil slightly for a charred golden top, if desired.
    The Best Japanese Cheesecake Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Remove the pan from the water bath and cool on a rack for 30 minutes before removing the cheesecake from the pan and chilling in the fridge to cool completely.
    The Best Japanese Cheesecake Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Enjoy either from the fridge, frozen, or at room temp. From the fridge the cheesecake will have that classic melt in your mouth texture with a hint of vanilla and balance of sweetness. Frozen tastes a little bit like frozen custard with lemon and room temp tastes velvety and soft.
    The Best Japanese Cheesecake Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Notes

I’ve included cups and tablespoon measures here for convenience, but I strongly recommend using the weight measures as cream cheese, yogurt, and sour cream don’t lend themselves well to being measured with dry measures.

Estimated Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
The Best Japanese Cheesecake Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 278 Calories from Fat 176
% Daily Value*
Fat 19.5g30%
Saturated Fat 11.9g74%
Cholesterol 101mg34%
Sodium 112mg5%
Potassium 114mg3%
Carbohydrates 22.2g7%
Sugar 17.6g20%
Protein 4.7g9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

10 Comments

  1. Sabrina says:

    so much creative cuisine in Japan, had never seen this version, tonka beans, have never worked with them before, thank you for introducing these

  2. Katrina says:

    hi, what kind of cream did you use here? is it ok to use nestle all-purpose cream? thanks in advance!

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi,
      it’s just regular heavy whipping cream that has a milk fat percentage of 35%. i’m not sure what the all purpose cream percent is but if it’s around there it should work :)

  3. Koji Tamura says:

    5 stars
    hi,I’m koji tamura !
    Thank you for made a Mr. CHEESECAKE!
    I’m so so so happy!!!
    cream fresh is 42%

    1. Stephanie says:

      hello tamura-san! thank you for dropping by!! :D
      and thank you for letting me know that the cream fresh is 42%!!

    2. Pauline says:

      This happiness is infectious! I’m looking forward to making my own Mr Cheesecake this weekend. Hopefully I can make it to Tokyo one day and try it first hand.

  4. Kim says:

    How can I convert this into cups and tbs?

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi kim,
      i’ve done the conversion, but cups and tbsp are no where nearly as accurate as weight measurements! your cheesecake will probably end up looking slightly different, it’s really difficult to measure out cream cheese, sour cream, and yogurt accurately in cups :)

  5. Billa says:

    Hi Step, I’m planning to make it this weekend, for the cream can I use double cream option that has 45% fat milk content?
    Cause the standard cream only has 35% fat.

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi billa,
      you can use double cream too!

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Thanks for reading as always!
-Steph & Mike