Michigan Cherry Japanese-Style Cheesecake

Total Time

Prep: 1 hour + cooling Bake: 1 hour 20 min.


12 servings

Updated: Jul. 28, 2022
Michigan is known for its amazing cherries, especially the tart ones, so we have plenty of opportunities to find new ways to try and use them. They became my muse for this recipe—a twist on the traditional American cheesecake recipe. I decided to make use of the extraordinary texture and unique taste found in a Japanese-style cheesecake, which is light and melts in your mouth. —Laura Kurella, Wellston, Michigan
Michigan Cherry Japanese-Style Cheesecake Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 6 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 6 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 12 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen pitted tart cherries
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Confectioners' sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Place a 9-in. springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Wrap foil securely around pan. Line bottom and inside of pan with parchment; set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, cook and stir butter and cream cheese over medium heat until melted. Remove from heat; whisk in cream until smooth. Let cool completely.
  3. Sift flour and cornstarch together twice; place in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks, vanilla, zest and cooled cream cheese mixture until smooth. Add to flour mixture; beat until well blended.
  4. In a large bowl with clean beaters, beat egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high after each addition until sugar is dissolved. Continue beating until soft glossy peaks form. Fold a fourth of the whites into batter, then fold in remaining whites. Gently transfer to prepared pan. Place springform pan in a larger baking pan; add 1 in. hot water to larger pan.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes. Reduce oven setting to 280°. Bake until top is puffed and springs back when lightly touched and the center appears set, 55-65 minutes longer.
  6. Meanwhile, for topping, in a small saucepan, mix sugar, cornstarch and, if desired, cayenne. Whisk in water until smooth. Add cherries; cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in butter. Cool completely.
  7. Remove springform pan from water bath. Loosen rim from pan with a knife; remove foil. Remove rim from pan; remove paper. Serve cheesecake warm with confectioners' sugar and cherry topping. Refrigerate leftovers.

Michigan Cherry Japanese-Style Cheesecake Tips

What can I use instead of fresh or frozen cherries?

Canned tart cherry pie filling may be used in place of fresh or frozen cherries. Simply add butter to the filling, and heat just until the butter melts.

How can I add extra spice to my cherry topping?

Adding cayenne to the cherry topping gives it an extra zing. Or try minced fresh gingerroot instead.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 294 calories, 16g fat (9g saturated fat), 132mg cholesterol, 157mg sodium, 31g carbohydrate (24g sugars, 1g fiber), 7g protein.

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