Basque-style Japanese Cheesecake

Recipe Date: November 17, 2023
Difficulty: Medium
Measurements: Imperial (US)

Basque or Japanese-style? This cheesecake recipe combines the best of both. Light like Japanese versions but with a set center and deeply toasted top of Basque ones; it is a cheesecake with the perfect amount of weight and density that’s simple to make. The hardest part is lining the pan with parchment paper. Serves 10  (9” cake)


  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour or 2 tablespoons tapioca starch
  • 24 ounces (3 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, left at room temperature until very soft
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Meyer lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • Green walnut or maple syrup to drizzle, optional


1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place an oven rack in the middle of the oven.

2. Butter a 9-inch spring form pan. Line with a piece of parchment paper that comes up to the top of the sides. Lay a second piece of parchment paper across the first to form a cross. Press, pleat and crease the paper so it is tucked securely into the bottom of the pan and flattened against the sides. Lightly butter the parchment. This will prevent the cheesecake batter from leaking out the bottom of the pan. Reserve.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cream and yogurt until smooth.

4. Sprinkle the flour or starch over and whisk until smooth. Reserve at room temperature.

5. Place the softened cream cheese in a large bowl with the salt and sugar. Cream until very smooth with a rubber spatula.

6. Break the eggs into a small bowl. Add the lemon juice and vanilla then whisk until smooth.

7. Using the spatula, beat the eggs into the cream cheese mixture one-third at a time. Beating after each addition until mixture is smooth and eggs are fully incorporated.

8. Switch to a whisk and slowly pour the cream mixture into the cream cheese mixture while whisking constantly. Whisk gently until smooth. You don’t want to incorporate too much air or the cake will soufflé.

9. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes. Rotate pan halfway and continue to bake for 15 minutes. Rotate again and bake for 8-10 minutes more until the top is darkened and cake is set.

10. Remove from oven and cool at room temperature for 30 minutes. Place in refrigerator and chill for one hour before serving. Cut with a wet knife to keep the cake from sticking to the knife. Drizzle with syrup if desired.

Note: If you make the cake a day in advance and refrigerate overnight, take it out of the refrigerator an hour in advance of serving and leave at room temperature to take the chill off.

To make the cake gluten free, use tapioca starch. Tapioca starch makes the cake a touch smoother than flour.