Green Tea Cheesecake


Apologies for not getting this post up by the end of last week, but I have two exciting updates on what's been going on in my life. The first is that I am moving to a brand-new place just outside of the city, so it's going to be a tornado of sorting and packing in my apartment for the next couple of weeks. The most oft-repeated piece of advice I've received from friends is to throw away everything I don't need; advice I've been trying to take to heart but is very difficult to follow when the kitchen is concerned. So perhaps I've gotten carried away over the years with collecting dishes and pans and plates and gadgets. I find myself going through the drawers and deciding that yes, every one of those items is absolutely indispensable and I must take it with me. Good thing the new place has about double the number of kitchen cabinets. For those of you who remember Jen from use real butter's tour of my kitchen, you don't know how excited I am to have a big shiny new kitchen to use very soon! I may have to throw a virtual housewarming on this blog to break it in!!

The second, very thrilling piece of news is that I just received the advance copy of my second book from my publisher, Quirk Books. It feels just as surreal and humbling as the first time I held a copy of Field Guide to Cookies in my hands.

My upcoming book is Field Guide to Candy: How To Identify and Make Virtually Every Candy Imaginable (A Field Guide) , and you can see the cover to the right side of this page. It's available for pre-order already through Amazon, and it's due to come out at the beginning of September – very soon! You can be sure there will be many candy-related posts coming up on this site in time for the holidays! I'm also very pleased with the photography; I worked with Tucker + Hossler, a local team with a beautiful eye for food photography. I also got much more free rein over the food styling this time, so the photos are more cookbook-like than simple field guide shots. It was definitely a very fun and educational experience working on this book, and I'm very excited to be sharing it with all of you soon!


So while I'm knee-deep in the packing process, I'm trying to use up what's left in the refrigerator, and I find some cream cheese in the back. It reminds me that I haven't made cheesecake in a while, which leads to this week's creation: Green Tea and Chocolate Cheesecake.

Traditional American/New York baked cheesecake has inspired many books and articles on mastering the techniques behind perfect cheesecake. This time around, I felt like trying out an unbaked version. Made with cream cheese and gelatin, and lightened with whipped cream these unbaked cheesecakes are made very similar to the traditional mousse cakes from France. This style of cheesecake is popular in Hong Kong and Japan, likely because it has a lighter, fluffier texture that is preferred over there. Another advantage to these unbaked cheesecakes is since they don't required baking, there aren't the same concerns over baking for exactly the right time and with cracking tops. It's almost ridiculously simple to put together.

I also found some matcha powder that I needed to use up, so I decided to make this a green tea cheesecake. The trick with matcha is not to use too much, or else the flavor will become very bitter. I might have erred on the heavy-handed side, so in the recipe I've decreased the amount of matcha and increased the sugar. To also balance out the grassy notes of the matcha, I made the crust out of crushed chocolate wafers to give a dose of rich sweetness.

This cheesecake sets up fast and has a soft, pleasingly creamy mouthfeel – I might even pair it with some fruit for a light dessert – when's the last time you heard of cheesecake being light?

Look for another update later this week!


Green Tea and Chocolate Cheesecake

makes (2) 5" round cheesecakes

1/2 cup chocolate wafer crumbs

2 teaspoons sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

5 ounces whipping cream

6 ounces cream cheese

1/3 cup sugar

3 1/2 ounces milk

3/4 teaspoon matcha powder

1 teaspoon powdered gelatin

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter the bottom of two 5" round springform pans. You could also use an 7" round springform pan.

Combine chocolate wafer crumbs, sugar, and melted butter in a medium bowl until well combined and crumbly. Press firmly into the bottom of the pans with your fingers.

Bake in oven for about 10 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack while you make the filling.

Whip the cream in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment until soft peaks form. Set cream aside.

In a clean mixer bowl, beat cream cheese until soft and creamy (do not overbeat and liquefy it). Add the sugar and beat to combine.

Heat the milk in a heatproof cup until almost hot (not boiling). Add in the matcha powder and whisk until combined and there are no lumps.

Bloom gelatin in about 2 tablespoons of water.

Add in the milk to the cream cheese and mix until combined.

Fold in the whipped cream gently with a rubber spatula until combined.

If the gelatin is solid, heat in microwave for 10 seconds at a time until liquid. Make sure it is liquid or it will not blend smoothly with the cheesecake.

Add the gelatin to the cheesecake mixture and fold until combined.

Pour the cheesecake mixture into prepared pans.

Refrigerate for at least an hour until set.

If you like, you can coat the sides in more chocolate crumbs after you unmold the cheesecakes.


  1. 2

    Cecilia says

    WOW! I always wondered how your “studio” and kitchen looked…Anita you are AMAZING on how you use your space and create such beautiful edible treats!! Definitely mise en place and clean as you go. I will stop whining now about lack of kitchen space.

  2. 6

    Verena says

    Hee hee, I had a cheesecake last night as well. The local Starbucks has a two-layer green tea and tofu cheesecake which is light and mousse-like, with actual tofu chunks in it. Your version looks really yummy too … I’ve gotta try it some time.

    And good luck with your move and hope you’ll like the new place. :)

  3. 8


    congratulations anita!!! so excited for you and to get this book :) the green tea cheesecake looks fantastic mmmmm

  4. 9


    Yay!! Cannot wait to see pics of your new place! Congratulations on both the house and the new book coming out – you are a machine :) Must get my hot little hands on the candy book too (I’m a sucker for cookbooks and field guides, so I am powerless to resist). Love this cheesecake recipe – anything matcha! Hoping I’ll get to see you in SF in Sept (Blogher Food 09, will you be there?) xxoo

  5. 11


    Congrats on all your good news! Cheesecake is a wonderful way to celebrate.

    I’m on the fence about green tea desserts. Sometimes they hit me as fantastic and others, not so much. I think it has to do with the level of sweetness. If they are too sweet, the tea can be cloying. Do you know what I mean?

  6. 12


    Good luck with your move, and congratulations on your new book! I have your Field Guide to Cookies and I find it so helpful!

    Cheesecake is one of my favourite desserts! This one looks particularly creamy, and I love the colour!

  7. 13


    Anita, good luck with the move! I can’t wait to see your new book, it sounds fantastic.

    I love macha, I should use it more often.

  8. 14


    Another “must make”. This looks absolutely gorgeous…I love the color too. So earthy and modern. Thank you!

  9. 15

    Meaghan says

    This looks delicious!
    I just bought a shiny new tin of matcha, and have been waiting to try a new green tea dessert. I like the idea of a lighter cheesecake, especially in summer. Thanks for sharing! ^^

  10. 16


    recipe looks wonderful. I look forward to trying it. good luck on the move and the book. My 18 yr old loves to make candy, so he just might be getting it as a present!

  11. 18


    Lucky you ! I’d love to have a big and brand new kitchen… even if I would have the same problem : I can’t throw anything away for my kitchen ! PS : Nice cheesecake, matcha cream must taste really exceptional !

  12. 19


    Congratulations on the move! We moved into our new place 10 days ago – we are STILL trying to sort out the kitchen! This is the only time when having so many tools & utensils is a negative!

    Beautiful cheesecake :)

  13. 20


    I’ve never thought about green tea cheesecake–this looks awesome with a nice color contrast.

  14. 23


    wow these looks good! I normally don’t like no baked cheesecake, had a bad experience eating one, but with this gorgeous picture, I might just even try this.

    Congrats! on the new book coming out. I don’t even have the first one yet! hopefully they will be available here soon 😀

  15. 24


    Um. Isn’t there a THIRD bit of “exciting news”? 😛 This looks delicious! Can’t wait to chat all about the new book tomorrow night!!!

  16. 25


    Hello !

    This is most mouth watering and unique recipe of chocolate cheesecake i have come across. Considering that chocolate is my favorite I just love it. Perfect. But, I do need some help. mactcha powder is not somethg that is so easily available in India. Can I some how make it at home or is there a close substitute that I could use ?

  17. 28


    This looks absolutely amazing! I recently made a cheesecake. As a religious drinker of green tea and consummate lover of desserts, I’ll be trying this one very soon! :)

  18. 29


    Green tea cheese cake? Awesome!!!
    I’ve been wanting to bake with green tea and my friend you loves it wanted something different. This will be my choice!
    Thanks for sharing!!

  19. 30


    Thanks all for the comments!

    Rituparna, if you don’t have matcha where you are, you can leave it out, and it will just be a regular cheesecake. I might add some vanilla to it for flavoring. You could also drop some fruit in before chilling it. Since you mentioned you liked chocolate, you could also mix in some melted chocolate, like an ounce or two, to the cream cheese to make a chocolate cheesecake.

  20. 33


    congrats on the move! everytime i move (and it’s been a lot!) i am amazed how much stuff i have and how hard it is to throw away stuff i forgot i even had. sigh!

  21. 34

    Rosemary says

    Your blog and this cheesecake look incredible! May I please ask you which chocolate wafers you use and where you get your matcha green tea powder? I’m hosting an afternoon tea baby shower, and this is PERFECT! Aside from the gelatin for some of the vegetarians, though. =(

  22. 35


    Hi Rosemary,

    The chocolate wafers I get at the supermarket, I think they are Nabisco brand and come in a thin rectangular yellow box. If you can’t find them any crisp chocolate wafers (think Oreo texture) would work.

    As for the matcha, I got it at a Japanese supermarket, but some Asian markets or tea shops may carry it as well. Good luck!

  23. 36

    Katherine says

    I found this recipe through a google search and it looked fabulous, so I had to try it. I only had an 8″ springform pan however, so I adjusted the quantities, I think pretty much proportionally. The result is not nearly as pretty as yours though. It has set but is very wobbly, so much that I can’t see any way to remove it from the pan base… may just have to serve it from that. The mixture tasted great though, although I think I would have liked it even more matcha-ey.

  24. 37

    Rosemary says

    Thank you, Anita! Sorry it took me so long to thank you for your reply–it was hidden for some reason. Those cookies are Nabisco Famous Wafers, aren’t they? They are nowhere to be found here in New York, but I can order them (along with the matcha) on Amazon. Love your blog!

  25. 38


    a egg-free cheesecake ? and matcha ? oh my i’m bookmarking this one and will certainly try it soon !!! thank you !

  26. 39


    Just finished making the recipe and the cheesecake is chilling in the fridge right now for a New Year’s Eve party tomorrow. I’m praying that it will set! By the way how did you scatter the green tea powder on top for decoration? Would love to imitate! Thanks for the recipe, and happy new year!

  27. 40


    Hi Mae,

    I think I simply sifted the green tea powder over, making sure to keep it to one side. Hope the cheesecake turned out well!

  28. 41

    Yan says

    I fell in love at this cake the moment i set my eye on the picture! Its beautiful! May I know why do you only sift the macha powder to one side? And also..can you elaborate a bit on how to coat the crumbs by the side of the cake? Will it stick after its chilled?

    • 42

      Yan says

      Oops..i mean why do you only sift it to only the side? Can we shift it on the whole cake?

  29. 43

    Jennifer says

    Found this through google search and I gotta say, this is pretty good! Made this for a friend’s birthday and everyone liked it. Although, the consistency seemed a little runny. Perhaps I’ll add more gelatin next time. Thanks for the recipe!

  30. 44

    May says

    hey i just have a quick question to ask, do i have to bake this after everything is done? because it says “prepare pans” so im not sure if i have to bake it again or not. and for the bottom do i just have bake that then afterward i can just leave it on the rack? or i have to put it back into the pan? because on the picture they’re on the bottom of the cake…..sorry im not familiar with cakes :(

  31. 45

    Julia says

    Your cake looks really good. I can’t wait to give your recipe a try. Problem is, I only have a 9″ springform pan. I was just wondering how much do I need to add up?

    • 46

      Anita says

      Hi Julia,

      If you can find an 8″ springform pan, it might be a closer equivalent to two 5″ round pans. I don’t know how high your pan is, so if you use a 9″ pan it could work, it’d just be a shallower cheesecake. You could try making 1 1/2 times the recipe, although there’d probably be some leftover batter – don’t overfill the pan!


  32. 47

    Winnie says

    Would it be possible to replace gelatin with something else? I am planning to try to make this cheesecake vegan style.

    • 48


      Hi Winnie,

      I have read that agar agar can be used as a gelatin substitute, but as a warning I have not tried it with this recipe so I am not sure how it would turn out. Good luck!

  33. 49

    Aaron says

    Hi Anita,

    I have tried to make this matcha cheesecake but unfortunately I turned out very bad. The texture is very soft and I would say liquidy. Would you be able to help me?

    • 50


      Hi Aaron,

      I’m sorry it didn’t turn out for you. You can e-mail me directly and perhaps we can figure out what went wrong. Thanks!


  1. Pastry girl !

    Totally by chance, I found this. A lot of nice pictures of nice pastries. They look just great and tasty, and I want to eat all of them. Though it’s hard to find the paradise for pastries in Mosocow, somehow,…

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