The Myth of the Japanese Cheesecake

Not actually mine. Mine was less fancy. This one belongs to the people at, and that’s their photo.

Today, I baked a cheesecake. It wasn’t any ordinary cheesecake, however; it was a Japanese Cheesecake.

Now, I’ll be entirely honest here, I’m not really sure what being Japanese has to do with its quality as a cheesecake. I’m not sure why the online food community’s raving about it. And I’m really not sure what Japan thinks cheesecake is, because this really… isn’t.

It’s a sponge cake.

And that’s almost disappointing, in a way. It’s a two-hour recipe with four hours cooling time. There’s a stabilized meringue in there somewhere. It requires a double boiler and a sifter. It has to be baked in a water bath. All that work, and the result is a dry, fluffy sponge cake that I could have made in half the time.

Now, I’ll say this: It wasn’t bad. As far as cakes go, I’d say it gets four churros out of five in the arbitrary churro rating system. But it lacked most if not all of the qualities of actual cheesecake, outside of being round and somewhat pale. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn’t really what I got.

All that said, if you’re interested, here’s the recipe. Just don’t be deceived by the people calling it cheesecake.


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