Matcha cheesecake is a creamy, velvety dessert packed with an earthy sweetness. It is lighter and fluffier than a traditional cheesecake. It is also packed with antioxidants. With just the right amount of green tea powder and cream cheese, this Japanese green tea dessert is smooth, delicious and screams luxury.
So if you are searching for a creamy, indulgent dessert to get you through any time of the day, go no further than this matcha cheesecake.
Looking for the perfect Japanese matcha cheesecake recipe? This is the one. We experimented with different ingredients and spent weeks perfecting this recipe so we can guarantee that this will be the yummiest, creamiest green tea cake you have ever had. We also asked our pickiest foodie friends to taste it. So you can trust us and try this recipe that tastes better than any store-bought version.
Better yet, with just a few ingredients, it is surprisingly easy to make, and you can explore and alter it to suit your preference. Of course, once you try our recipe, you will crave more.
What does matcha cheesecake taste Like?
Japanese green tea cakes, like green tea itself, have a very mellow umami flavour that is also sweet and earthy. It has a sweet green tea latte-like flavour when combined with zesty cream cheese. This Japanese matcha cheesecake recipe makes one of the silkiest and light-textured green tea cakes.
Matcha Cheesecake Ingredients
To make Japanese green tea cakes, you will need:
- Graham crackers
- Matcha powder
- Cream cheese
- Sour cream
- Heavy cream
- Lemon juice
- Unsalted butter
- Vanilla extract
You can use Digestives to make the crust if you do not have graham crackers. You can also use crumbled biscuits, wafer cookies, ice cream cones, or cornflakes as a base for the matcha cheesecake. For a gluten-free option, you can use any gluten-free biscuits. Feel free to try out different crusts.
We used culinary-grade green tea powder in this recipe. It is typically less expensive and intended for lattes, smoothies, baked goods, and other recipes. Culinary-grade green tea powder has a more robust, less subtle flavour meant to stand up to other ingredients. We recommend using high-quality culinary-grade matcha powder for a vibrant green colour and best-tasting results.
Although cream cheese is the main ingredient for this matcha cheesecake recipe, you can still try out different alternatives. For example, if you want a lower-calorie option, you can substitute cream cheese with cottage cheese, ricotta, Greek yoghurt, and Mascarpone cheese.
Lemon juice is used in this matcha cheesecake recipe to give it an extra zesty flavour. Moreover, a small amount of lemon juice increases the acidity, which helps cut through the cream cheese's flavour and bring out the green tea powder's flavour.
No bake vs baked matcha cheesecake
The main difference between no-bake and baked matcha cheesecake is its texture. The baked green tea cake is often silkier and has a firmer texture. On the other hand, no-bake matcha cheesecake has a lighter, softer, almost fluffy mousse-like texture. Another noticeable difference is the preparation method. No-bake green tea cake is refrigerated and left to chill while the baked cake is baked in the oven. Keep reading for a delicious baked matcha cheesecake recipe.
How To Make Matcha Cheesecake
Prepare the base
Now let's look at how to make the cake. First, before preparing the base, you must preheat the oven to about 170°C (338°F).
For the base, you need to pulverise the graham crackers into crumbs by processing them in a food processor. Or, you can put the graham crackers in a sizable ziplock bag and crush it with a rolling pin as an alternative.
Then, microwave the butter for around 15-30 seconds to melt it. Add the butter to the graham cracker crumbs and mix until well blended.
Transfer the batter to an 8-inch buttered cake pan. Firmly press the crumbs into a flat, even layer. Use a smooth-bottomed tool like flat glass or measuring cup to create an even flatter layer. This ensures that the matcha cheesecake's base is tight and bumps-free.
Prepare the cheese batter
Now it is time to prepare the matcha cheesecake batter. First, cream the cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.
Then, reduce the mixer speed to low. While the mixer is on, add the sugar in three portions until mixed. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to ensure that all the ingredients are evenly blended. Combine the sour cream, heavy cream, cornstarch vanilla extract, lemon juice, and salt when the mixer is on low speed.
Lightly beat the eggs in a measuring cup until just combined. When the mixer is on low speed, gradually add the lightly whisked eggs, ensuring each is thoroughly mixed before adding the next. Keep scraping the bowl's sides to ensure everything is thoroughly combined. The mixture should be smooth and silky. Avoid over-mixing the matcha cheesecake batter. When you overmix the batter, the emulsion can break and separate the ingredients, particularly the fat and liquid ones.
Using a fine mesh strainer, sift the green tea powder into the bowl. Then blend everything until it's smooth. At this point, there should not be any lumps in the batter.
Transfer the matcha cheesecake batter to the cake pan and smooth the top of the batter with a spatula. Please give it a few taps on your countertop to expel any air bubbles.
Bake the cake
Put your cake pan in a large roasting pan or sheet cake pan. Fill the pan with hot water until it reaches about 2 cm on each side of the cake pan, and place the cake on the oven's centre rack. Bake for 1 hour, then turn off the heat and leave the oven for 30 minutes.
When it is done baking, turn the oven off. Then, run a small knife all around the edge of the cake to prevent it from sticking to the sides and cracking when it cools. After that, take the matcha cheesecake out of the pan and place it on a wire rack to cool fully.
Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight, to allow the cheese to set before slicing and serving. And the best matcha cheesecake recipe is done. Enjoy it by itself or with a cup of strawberry matcha latte.
Remember a few tips for baking perfectly smooth matcha cheesecake with no cracks.
Do not overmix your batter
When creating the cake batter, do not overmix. Instead, mix until all of the ingredients are combined. Air bubbles might form in the batter if it is over-mixed. In the oven, air bubbles will rise to the top of the cake, and when they reach the top, they can produce cracks.
If you think you have overmixed the batter, pour the batter into the pan at a steady, relaxed pace from a slightly higher level. This will cause some air bubbles to rise to the top and pop.
Baking time and temperature
Bake the green tea cake at 170°C to avoid a quick rise. If you bake the cake at a higher temperature, it will rise quickly. The rapid rise is frequently the cause of a matcha cheesecake cracking. A longer bake time is required to offset the lower temperature. Remember, you should wait to open the oven door until the green tea cake has been baking for at least 60 minutes. The cake may deflate and shrink if the oven door is opened.
Use room temperature ingredients
Mixing room-temperature cream cheese, sour cream, and eggs results in a smooth and creamy batter with no lumps. It also contributes to an even rise while baking the matcha cheesecake. Also, chilled cream cheese is more prone to clumping, which we found was very visible in a green tea cake.
If your room temperature is below 21°C (70°F), we recommend slicing the cream cheese, laying it flat on a platter, and zapping it in the microwave for 8-10 seconds to soften it so it's smooth and simple to combine. If the batter becomes clumpy, pass it through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the clumps. This will remove any huge lumps and create a crack-free cake.
Do not miss out on the water bath
A water bath offers moisture from steam, which keeps the cake's top from cracking. In addition, the steam helps balance the baking temperature and promotes a smooth, even rise with minimal shrinking. Because this is the ideal atmosphere for a crack-free cheesecake, you will be less prone to overbake it. The result is an extremely creamy matcha cheesecake.
Don't overbeat the eggs
Make sure to softly whisk the eggs before adding them to the batter in portions, and maintain your mixer on low speed. Over-mixing the eggs is the easiest way to damage and crack a baked matcha cheesecake.
Sift the matcha powder
The green tea powder must be sifted! It is critical to sift the powder during mixing so it does not clump up in the cheesecake batter.
No-bake matcha cheesecake (vegan)
One of the best parts about our recipe is that you can swap out some ingredients for vegan choices if you're worried about matcha cheesecake calories. However, the smoothness and mouse-like texture may differ from a non-vegan cake based on your ingredients.
You can use coconut cream instead of heavy cream. However, it will give the cake a coconut flavour. You can replace cream cheese with tofu, but the only downside is that it provides bulk, which tofu lacks but absorbs water effectively. Add extra flour or cornflour to compensate when using tofu instead of cream cheese in this recipe.
You can substitute sour cream with vegan cream cheese, and since this is a no-bake vegan matcha cheesecake, you can completely omit eggs.
Instead of baking it in the oven, simply cover the baking pan loosely with plastic wrap and place it in the freezer for 3-4 hours, or until it is firm.
You can make many variations of this matcha cheesecake with a few tweaks and substitutions.
Matcha white chocolate cheesecake
This variation of the green tea dessert is wonderfully creamy and rich, with a delicious, delicate white chocolate flavour that complements the green tea powder in the cheesecake filling perfectly. It has two layers: a white chocolate layer on top and a green tea layer on the bottom.
We love how this brings the typical bitter flavour of green tea and the sweetness of white chocolate, which balances out the flavours rather well.
Matcha oreo cheesecake
One of the most well-known variations, green tea and Oreos, complement each other surprisingly well. All you need to do is follow this Japanese Matcha Cheesecake recipe and use Oreos instead of graham crackers.
Green tea’s bitterness tempers the richness of the Oreos and the cake. Furthermore, the Oreos provide a pleasant crunch to balance the creamy cheesecake filling.
Many recipes out there use Greek yoghurt or ricotta cheese instead of cream cheese. Greek yoghurt has a thicker and smoother texture, but remember to add more sugar because it contains no added sugars. When you use ricotta cheese, the texture of the matcha cheesecake will be lighter and the flavour richer, making it ideal for people looking for something different yet still tasty.
Can I freeze matcha cheesecake?
Yes, you can, freeze matcha cheesecake. Let it sit in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight before freezing it.
Then freeze it whole or in slices for up to a few months. We recommend freezing the entire or sliced matcha cheesecake uncovered for a few hours before covering it tightly in plastic wrap and then foil to keep it smooth and attractive. If the slices are small enough, place them in an airtight container.
When ready to eat it again, let the green tea dessert thaw at room temperature for 2 to 4 hours. It would be best not to thaw it overnight at room temperature as this will make the dessert too soft and runny. Alternatively, you can thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
2 to 3 months is the safest choice for freezing homemade matcha cheesecakes. After three months, the likelihood of freezer burn or a loss in flavour or texture increases. Consuming for 6 to 8 months is still safe, but anything longer would be pushing your luck. As texture and quality begin to decline.
Matcha Cheesecake Recipe
- 140 g Graham crackers
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter (melted)
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
- Pulverise the crackers in a food processor until they are finely ground. Then, add melted butter and mix until well blended.
- Transfer the base to an 8-inch cake pan and firmly press the base to get an even layer.
- In the mixing bowl, cream the cream cheese. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the sugar in three increments. Then, add sour cream, heavy cream, vanilla extract, lemon juice, cornstarch, and salt and mix until well combined.
- Add lightly whisked eggs part by part. Scrape the sides of the bowl so that everything is well combined.
- Sift the matcha powder into the bowl and mix everything until smooth. Transfer the matcha cheesecake batter to the cake pan and smooth the top of the batter with a spatula.
- Place the cake pan in a large roasting pan and fill the pan with hot water. Place the cake in the oven, bake for 1 hour, turn off the heat and leave in the oven for 30 minutes. Once cooled, you have best matcha cheesecake. Refrigerate and allow the cheese to set before slicing and serving.
- If you use Greek yoghurt instead of cream cheese, replace the cream cheese with an equal amount of Greek yoghurt. Add more sugar because Greek yoghurt contains no added sugars. Depending on the recipe, you may need to change the proportions of other ingredients, like sour cream, to your liking.
- If you use ricotta cheese instead of cream cheese, substitute one 8-ounce block of cream cheese with 1 cup of soaked and well-drained ricotta cheese. Since our recipe calls for 17.6 oz of cream cheese, you will need 2 to 3 cups of ricotta cheese.
Calories have been calculated using an online calculator. Nutritional information offered on Honest Food Talks is for general information purposes and are only rough estimations.
With just a few tweaks in the ingredients, you can turn this cake into your evening tea in no time. To make a sweet and delectable matcha cheesecake milk tea, leave off the crackers, butter, eggs, cornflour, and lemon juice. Combine all the other ingredients in a cup and top it with milk tea. Enjoy.