Corner Café

February 21, 2009

Soufflé Cheesecake Cups

Filed under: Cheesecakes — SeaDragon @ 2:50 pm
Tags: , , ,


Recently there was a discussion about the steamed cheesecake from Sun Moulin Bakery in Singapore at Kitchen Capers forum. I was very intrigued since I have never heard of cheesecake being steamed before. After some investigation, I found out that the cheesecake is supposed to be very soft and soufflé-like in texture.
However there was some doubt as to whether the cheesecake is purely steamed! As the top of the cheesecake is brown, I suspect that it is actually steam-bake in the oven to produce the brown top. I decided to adjust my Japanese Soufflé Cheesecake recipe to produce an even softer textured cheesecake, but still retaining its cream cheese taste. I steam-baked them in the oven by placing a tray of hot water below the cheesecakes to create the steaming effect.
I am very happy with the result even though they were blindly created based on just description – they are very light, tenderly soft and have a soufflé texture.


Makes approx. 15 cupcakes

125g cream cheese
60ml milk
40ml canola oil
3 egg yolks
40g caster sugar
20ml lemon juice
30g cornflour, sifted
3 egg whites
70g caster sugar
1. Preheat oven to 150°C. Line 15 muffin holes with paper cups (use a 12-hole muffin tray plus 3 more in a 6-hole tray, or fill the remaining batter in a remekin). Place a large tray of hot water inside the oven just below the shelf where the cheesecakes are to be baked.
2. Soften cream cheese with milk and oil in a bowl placed over simmering water, or in a double-boiler. Whisk until smooth, remove from heat and let cool until lukewarm.
3. Beat egg yolks with 40g sugar until combined, beat in lemon juice. Gradually whisk in cheese mixture to combine. Lightly whisk in sifted cornflour, mix well.
4. Beat egg whites until foamy. Then gradually beat in 70g sugar, spoonful by spoonful, until firm but just under stiff peaks stage.
5. Fold 1/3 of the egg white mixture into the cheese mixture until thoroughly mixed in. Repeat two more times with the remaining egg white mixture.
6. Spoon batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each cup nearly to the rim.


7. Place the muffin tray on the shelf just above the tray of hot water.
8. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the tops of the cheesecakes are lightly browned.


Taste: Tenderly soft soufflé-like cheesecakes
Consume: Best within 2-3 days
Storage: Store in airtight container in the refrigerator
Recipe References:


  1. Wow .. this looks amazing! Thanks for sharing your findings. You must indeed be really good in baking to just create it from just what others described! For me, I might need someone to hold my hand and go through it with me .. hahaha. I am new to baking. Love to learn more. Waiting for my new home to be ready so that I can bake every other day!

    Comment by FamilyFirst — February 23, 2009 @ 12:56 pm | Reply

    • Haha, I think I just like to experiment on recipes. Sometimes successful, but sometimes also total disaster…

      Comment by SeaDragon — February 23, 2009 @ 10:32 pm | Reply

  2. You are just amazing! I’ve learn a lots from your posting. Thanks for sharing! ../cv

    Comment by Candi — February 24, 2009 @ 11:24 am | Reply

  3. Hi Seadragon, so nice to see you back again :-))

    Thks for sharing this recipe. The cakes look good!

    Comment by artchoo6 — February 24, 2009 @ 1:01 pm | Reply

  4. Hi Sea Dragon

    I recently chanced upon your blog and i’m terribly impressed by it! Love the notes that always accompany your creation, and your generosity too!

    Comment by mj — February 25, 2009 @ 5:40 pm | Reply

  5. Candi,
    Thanks and hope you enjoy the recipes.

    It’s great to be back, hope you like the recipe.

    Thanks for the kind words.

    Comment by SeaDragon — February 26, 2009 @ 9:03 pm | Reply

  6. Hi SD, I tried this last weekend and it is wonderfully light. Like souffles . THanks for sharing.

    Comment by Edith — March 2, 2009 @ 2:58 pm | Reply

  7. Hi Seadragon

    this looks delicious. i would like to try it but my oven can only accommodate 12 cupcakes at one time. for the remaining batter, is it okay to keep it at room temp for the 45 mins while waiting for the first batch to be baked?

    Comment by octopusmum — March 20, 2009 @ 11:27 am | Reply

    • octopusmum,
      You can reduce the amount to 2/3 to make 10 cupcakes using 2 eggs. I think 45 minutes is too long to keep the remaining batter, but hey, it never hurt to see if it works since the remaining batter is not that much, and maybe can give us a feedback on it 🙂

      Comment by SeaDragon — March 20, 2009 @ 7:35 pm | Reply

      • HI Seadragon

        thks for the advice. i would usually put the cup cake case in the muffin pan before putting the whole pan into the oven. Last night, i decided to try putting the cases on a tray instead. I can actually put 14 cases on the tray so i guess i will go ahead to use the orginal recipe. btw, can i check with you , what is the difference bet this recipe and those japanese cheesecake recipe where the cheesecake is baked using water bath method?
        one more question, may i know what is the size of the egg used in this recipe?

        Comment by octopusmum — March 24, 2009 @ 11:54 am | Reply

        • Hi octopusmum,
          Actually there’s not much difference. The reason was I cannot find a large enough tray to hold the water and sit the 12-cup muffin tray on it. Also since these are baked in a shorter period of time, the water can be placed below the tray just to produce the steam.

          I used 60g-eggs (weight include shell), please refer to ‘About the Recipes’ page on the side bar.

          Comment by SeaDragon — March 24, 2009 @ 7:58 pm | Reply

          • thks for the explanation, seadragon! and thks for directing me to the page.

            Comment by octopusmum — March 25, 2009 @ 11:06 am | Reply

  8. I just tried your recipe. And it worked beautifully. I wanted to use up all the cream cheese so I tripled the quantity of ingredients. The final batch did not rise as much but they turned out good too. It took me 2½ hours to complete.

    I have eaten this type of cake bought from bakery, love the texture but never knew that it is made this way til now. Thanks for sharing.

    Comment by Blossom — March 30, 2009 @ 8:49 pm | Reply

  9. Hi SD,
    I just baked these cakes. Er, is the taste supposed to be slighty sour? My family loves it though. I’m just wondering where have I gone wrong. I have used cream cheese in my other bakes and there is no sourish taste.

    Comment by fatwitch — April 2, 2009 @ 8:53 pm | Reply

    • Yes, it is from the lemon juice. Omit the lemon juice if you don’t like that taste.

      Comment by SeaDragon — April 2, 2009 @ 9:33 pm | Reply

  10. Hej SD

    Thanks for the recipe. I tried it out today but it did not turn out well. Firstly, the clumsy me splashed about 1/4 of the beaten egg white.

    I spent about 20 mins beating the egg white mixture, waiting eagerly for it to turn firm but it did not happen. Tiring of holding the hand mixer, I made a switch and it slipped off my hand. I continued with the baking using the remainder mixture but the end result was not good. The crust was crisp, the bottom was a little moist and the cake did not rise. Taste wise, it was okay.

    I supposed it was all because of the egg white mixture. Question is, how long does it take for the egg white mixture to turn firm ? I wanna to give it another try.

    Thanks again SD for all the wonderful recipes.

    Comment by CClarice — April 5, 2009 @ 4:19 am | Reply

    • Sorry to hear about your experience. It should only takes 3-5 minutes using electric hand beaters.

      Here are some important points to watch out for when beating egg whites: When beating egg whites, make sure any utensils you use are free from oil or grease. Do not use plastic bowl to beat egg whites as plastic is notorious for hiding oil and grease even after you clean it. When separating egg yolks from the egg whites, make sure non of the yolks broke and mixed into the whites, this will make it very hard to beat the whites. Hope these points help with your next attempt.

      Comment by SeaDragon — April 5, 2009 @ 11:59 am | Reply

  11. I am so glad you put your measurements in ML and not grams. It is so confusing trying to concert grams to ML or cups.

    Comment by Cece — April 5, 2009 @ 10:29 am | Reply

  12. Thanks Sifu for the good tips.

    Ahhh ha …. now I know the culprit. I did use plastic bowl and there was some egg yolk transferred to the egg white.

    Now, I am more prepared and confident for the next attempt. Will let you know the result…. pretty soon.

    Thanks again.

    Comment by CClarice — April 6, 2009 @ 1:48 am | Reply

  13. Hej SD

    Thanks for the valuable tip, my 2nd attempt was very much better. No problem with the egg white nor spillage. The cheesecake tasted very nice and really soft. The only issue was the cake sunk after cooling.

    Thanks again.

    Comment by CClarice — April 21, 2009 @ 8:05 am | Reply

  14. Hi SeaDragon,

    If I ommit the lemon juice, should I reduce the amount of sugar. I find the cake very sweet even when lemon juice is added. By the way, I use white caster sugar.


    Comment by Blossom — April 24, 2009 @ 1:48 pm | Reply

    • Yes, you can try reducing sugar if you find it too sweet. But don’t reduce too much as sugar has its function in producing a moist and soft cake.

      Comment by SeaDragon — April 25, 2009 @ 11:08 am | Reply

      • How much would you recommend to reduce?

        Comment by Blossom — May 4, 2009 @ 1:49 pm | Reply

        • It’s hard to say, but I wouldn’t reduce more than 20g.

          Comment by SeaDragon — May 10, 2009 @ 6:42 pm | Reply

  15. can I use this recipe to make a cake instead? I’m thinking of using a loaf pan. will there be any problems?

    Comment by Jess — May 15, 2009 @ 3:12 pm | Reply

    • Hi Jess,
      I haven’t try that myself, so not too sure if it works since I made adjustment to it by making it softer and sweeter from my original recipe of ‘Souffle Cheesecake’ recipe in my old blog, Cafe of the East. Use that original recipe if you want to use a loaf pan.

      Comment by SeaDragon — May 16, 2009 @ 11:53 am | Reply

  16. Hi there,

    I am intested to try out your recipe but I am not sure of some steps, especially I am not sure when I have to use electric mixer and when I can just mix by hand. Could you kindly advice?

    Thank you.

    Comment by New to Baking — August 3, 2009 @ 6:29 pm | Reply

    • You can use the electric mixer to beat egg whites. Just use a balloon whisk to beat egg yolks, but you can also use electric mixer if you want, just make sure you clean the beater thoroughly before using it to beat egg whites. Use a metal spoon or spatula to fold in. HTH.

      Comment by SeaDragon — August 3, 2009 @ 6:42 pm | Reply

  17. Hey, I love your cheesecake recipe!!! It looks so light and fluffy – exactly what I’m looking for – but I’m not sure what the measurements and cooking time would be like if I wanted to make these in a 9-inch spring-form pan. Help please!!

    Comment by Annabelle — August 20, 2009 @ 4:21 am | Reply

    • Hmm, I would not recommend using this recipe for making into a 9-inch cake, as it is too soft for a big cake, would shrink too much. Please use this recipe if you want to make a cake rather than a cupcake.

      Comment by SeaDragon — August 20, 2009 @ 6:48 am | Reply

      • Thanks for the advice, I’ll be sure to try it!! =)

        Comment by Annabelle — August 27, 2009 @ 11:37 am | Reply

  18. This is indeed soft and fluffy!(: My parents loved it. Thanks a lot! Is there a way to keep the cakes from sinking/ shrinking after?

    Comment by Eva — June 20, 2010 @ 12:38 pm | Reply

    • No, they are the way they are because of the small amount of cornflour used to produce the extremely soft texture.

      Comment by SeaDragon — July 3, 2010 @ 3:39 pm | Reply

  19. Hello there,

    I have just taken these beauties out of the oven and i wanted to leave u a note to say thanks! They smell WONDERFUL! I had a little pinch just then,taste wise it is simply divine! I can’t wait until after dinner to have this later!

    Looking forward to when you further experiment with this recipe again to prevent it sinking of course!

    Thank you once again =)

    Comment by Kelly (Life with a Mini) — July 6, 2010 @ 7:10 pm | Reply

  20. Hi!

    I tried making the cupcakes today but only managed to make 7 1/2 cupcakes. I’m not sure what went wrong 😦

    Comment by Emma — July 10, 2010 @ 5:16 pm | Reply

    • Hmm, that’s strange. You didn’t make bigger cupcakes?

      Comment by SeaDragon — July 13, 2010 @ 6:00 pm | Reply

    • Hi, the same thing happened to me too. It might be because I didn’t beat the egg white for long enough. It was sticky enough for it to form a soft peak but it definitely wasn’t firm, but I spent ages beating the egg white and it didn’t seem to be getting any firmer.

      Comment by Phoebe — September 13, 2012 @ 3:39 pm | Reply

      • It should not take that long to beat egg whites. It sounds to me like the bowl or whisk you used were not spotlessly clean (never use plastic bowl to beat egg whites!), or you’ve left little bits of egg yolks in the egg whites and preventing the egg whites from being beaten properly.

        Comment by SeaDragon — September 14, 2012 @ 7:07 pm | Reply

  21. Hi, I just tried the recipe last night and it is very very nice and soft. Thanks for the recipe.

    Comment by Jane — July 12, 2010 @ 2:35 pm | Reply

  22. […] from a recipe at Corner Cafe  Link to this page  Link to this page Copy the code below to your web site. […]

    Pingback by Japanese Souffle Cheesecake Recipe | Easy strawberry, Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe and more — August 9, 2010 @ 5:06 pm | Reply

  23. hey other than canola oil, is there anything which we can use to replace it?

    Comment by J — August 10, 2010 @ 10:13 pm | Reply

    • Any other vegetable oils that do not overpower should be fine, but I would stay away from extra virgin olive oil.

      Comment by SeaDragon — August 13, 2010 @ 6:33 pm | Reply

  24. Hi seadragon,
    I made these today and I don’t know what I did wrong, maybe it was because I took them out after 35 mins but they were quite moist in the middle. Also, they cracked. Do you know why?
    Thanks for the help!

    Comment by luca — September 22, 2010 @ 3:54 pm | Reply

    • I suspect your oven temperature is not accurate and is too high, please check with an oven thermometer.

      Comment by SeaDragon — October 8, 2010 @ 8:45 pm | Reply

  25. thx 4 the sharing..can’t wait to try this…:)

    Comment by garden — December 2, 2010 @ 2:07 pm | Reply

  26. hi, can i substitute same quantity of chedder cheese with cream cheese by melting it with milk? tks.

    Comment by at — May 1, 2011 @ 11:44 am | Reply

    • I wouldn’t recommend it but of course you can try it, it might work but also prepare for failure. That’s how I learnt what work and what doesn’t work, by experimenting…

      Comment by SeaDragon — May 7, 2011 @ 9:29 am | Reply

  27. Please notify me of new posts!

    Comment by Mary Burton — July 16, 2011 @ 2:44 pm | Reply

  28. […] recipe from cornercafe. Modified and tips in italics by to suit palette of family, oven and […]

    Pingback by Cheese Souffle Cupcakes :) « Dancing macarons — September 24, 2011 @ 1:59 pm | Reply

  29. Hi sea dragon
    i bake this cupcake for a very looooong time I almost left it to sleep, fortunately my husband wake me up and ask me if I’m baking something…
    The upper part of the cupcake turns very nice, with golden brown color, no crack and fluffy but the half part on the bottom of the cake is still moist as though as it hasn’t done yet.
    What went wrong? I bake it almost 2 hours and I gave up as I was sleepy
    FYI I use the conventional oven on the gas stove, not the electric one. I also use low heat and bake it in waterbath.
    The taste is great, nevertheless, I’m glad to find ur blog 🙂

    Comment by Fira — November 17, 2011 @ 3:07 am | Reply

    • Hmm, that’s strange. Are you sure you measured all the ingredients correctly?

      Also you said you baked it in waterbath? It should only be steam-baked, that is the muffin tin should be placed one shelf above the water, NOT sitting in the water. Maybe that’s why they were not cooked underneath.

      Comment by SeaDragon — November 17, 2011 @ 9:05 pm | Reply

  30. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Can I use brown sugar instead of castor sugar? Why don’t you recommend using extra virgin olive oil?

    Comment by nangrace — November 29, 2011 @ 6:15 pm | Reply

    • You can try using brown sugar if you so desired, but I haven’t tried it myself. As for evoo, it will be too overpowering in flavour, for Japanese-inspired sweets it is best to use non-flavour oil as most Japanese sweets are very subtle in flavour. I’m sure you will not use peanut oil for Italian pasta, as the flavour will be all wrong.

      Comment by SeaDragon — November 30, 2011 @ 7:20 pm | Reply

  31. Looks so delicious! I am torn between baking this or the Cotton soft Japanese cheesecake recipe. What is the main difference in taste between the 2?

    Comment by Rena — April 7, 2012 @ 11:44 am | Reply

    • Hmm, which cotton soft cheesecake are you refering to? If you are refering to my other souffle cheesecake, then the taste is quite similar since this one is based on the other recipe. The other one is just slightly more flavourful as I have reduced the cream cheese slightly here to make it even softer.

      Comment by SeaDragon — April 7, 2012 @ 9:19 pm | Reply

  32. Thanks for sharing the recipe. i just baked it – taste and texture is good, but it is ugly. haha, the top cracked and when finished baking, it shrinks and it covered up the crack. but somehow it looks like a “deform” cake, is it because i didn’t take it out immediately from the oven? after baking, i leave the oven door opened and the cakes are still inside the oven. i took it out after 20 mins later.

    Comment by joyce — May 6, 2012 @ 9:33 pm | Reply

    • Haha, they are indeed ugly but tasted so light and fluffy. You don’t need to leave them in the oven as they are baked in paper cups and will shrink anyway.

      Comment by SeaDragon — May 12, 2012 @ 9:29 am | Reply

  33. Hi, I’m curious.. Why is it that recipe does not require plain flour/cake flour? and If I add a little more cheese what should I do to adjust?

    Comment by Cindy — July 25, 2012 @ 10:43 pm | Reply

    • This type of cheesecake does not really need plain/cake flour. If you want more cheese, you can just use my Japanese Soufflé Cheesecake recipe (link already given above).

      Comment by SeaDragon — July 26, 2012 @ 7:01 pm | Reply

  34. Hi. Saw a link from little Teochew which led me here. Just tried the recipe. Extremely light!
    Hope my kids like it. Thanks!!

    Comment by zhuzhu — December 20, 2012 @ 2:12 am | Reply

  35. Is it better to use whipped cream cheese or the cream cheese found in blocks? ^^

    Comment by Hime — May 31, 2013 @ 12:42 am | Reply

    • This recipe was created using the cream cheese in blocks, so I would not try it with whipped cream cheese.

      Comment by SeaDragon — June 4, 2013 @ 8:54 pm | Reply

      • Ah okay. >< And is there a substitute I could use for corn flour? I can't seem to find it anywhere in the supermarket. I saw corn meal, but that's probably different?

        Comment by Hime — June 6, 2013 @ 9:25 pm | Reply

        • Corn meal is a different thing to starch. Any cooking starch can be used here, like tapioca starch, wheat starch, corn starch, potato starch… you should be able to find one of those in the supermarket. If not, you can use cake flour in this recipe.

          Comment by SeaDragon — June 7, 2013 @ 11:18 am | Reply

          • Okay definitely have one of those, thank you SeaDragon! ^-^

            Comment by Hime — June 7, 2013 @ 2:36 pm | Reply

  36. Hi, I tried ample times… The top crack and it shrink terribly despite all these it is VERY DELICIOUS!
    How do I prevent crack and shrink? It rises very high and when it shrink you can see the side being folded in layers…please help..

    Comment by Elysia Oh — August 3, 2013 @ 11:16 pm | Reply

    • There is no way to prevent shrinkage, I’m afraid. Since the whole point of this recipe is to make a very soft cake, very little cornflour is used which means there is not enough flour to hold the cake up. In terms of cracking, it may be that you might have beaten the egg whites to too stiff peaks, which resulted in them rising high and crack. Try not to beat the egg whites too stiff next time, better if they are only soft peaks.

      Comment by SeaDragon — August 4, 2013 @ 1:00 pm | Reply

      • Thank you for your reply. I will bake again and let you know the result.

        Comment by Elysia Oh — August 5, 2013 @ 7:23 am | Reply

  37. Hi! I was wondering of I dont need cream of tartar for the egg whites? Is not necessary? Thanks for your recipe 😘

    Comment by Ariana — April 6, 2014 @ 4:53 pm | Reply

    • No, no need. Usually you add cream of tartar when beating egg whites without adding sugar, but here the sugar helps in stabilizing the beaten egg whites already. Then again if you want to, you can add a little cream of tartar for extra guarantee.

      Comment by SeaDragon — April 6, 2014 @ 7:40 pm | Reply

  38. HI
    If I omit the 20ml lemon juice, should I add 20ml milk to compensate?

    Comment by New baker — May 18, 2014 @ 1:22 am | Reply

    • Yes, you can do the substitution but you may also just omit it.

      Comment by SeaDragon — May 18, 2014 @ 6:34 pm | Reply

  39. Hi, Thanks. Your recipe is just what I am looking for!. I have been surfing for good cheesecake and now I got it. It’s simply nice. Must give it a try.

    Comment by Rosalie — September 28, 2014 @ 11:15 pm | Reply

  40. Hi SD, thx a million for sharing this recipe.i just made it this morning, the cake is soft like snow. I’m totally luv with this recipe, will definitely bake it again and again!!

    Comment by Maryam liyana — November 9, 2015 @ 5:02 pm | Reply

  41. Hi, thank you for sharing the recipe but do you mean cornstarch or cornflour?

    Comment by Layal Nehme — June 12, 2018 @ 7:59 pm | Reply

    • You can use either real cornstarch or cornflour which is actually wheat starch.

      Comment by SeaDragon — June 12, 2018 @ 8:12 pm | Reply

  42. Hi

    Can My oven is small and I don’t think I have space to place the water when baking . Any advise ?

    Comment by DP — May 23, 2022 @ 5:23 pm | Reply

    • Well, you can try baking it without the steam. However I have not try it myself so I can’t say how they will turn out.

      Comment by SeaDragon — May 23, 2022 @ 5:56 pm | Reply

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