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Overhead view of whole cheesecake and slice with lemons

Japanese Style Lemon Rare Cheesecake (レモンレアチーズケーキ)

  • Author: Yuto Omura
  • Total Time: 3 hours 20 mins
  • Yield: 8 Slices 1x


How to make light and refreshing Japanese Style Lemon Rare Cheesecake made with yogurt and a zesty base flavoured with lemon zest.



For this recipe, you will need:

For the base

  • 100g plain rich tea biscuits/graham crackers
  • 70g Unsalted butter
  • Zest of 1 Lemon

For the Cheesecake

  • 300g Cream cheese
  • 300g Plain no-fat yogurt
  • 90g Granulated sugar
  • 7g (2 and 1/2 tsp) Gelatin powder
  • 60ml Cold water
  • Juice of 1/2 Lemon
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract


Making the Base

  1. Place 70g of cubed butter into a microwavable container and microwave in 20 second intervals (mixing each time) until fully melted.
  2. Grate the zest of one lemon into the butter and mix.Japanese cheesecake zest of lemon
  3. Place 100g of rich tea biscuits (or graham crackers) into a zip lock back and bash them up using a rolling pin until they become fine crumbs.rare cheesecake biscuit
  4. Pour the melted butter into the bag and rub the butter into the crumbs, making sure there are no crumbs left bake cheesecake pouring butter no back cheesecake rubbing butter
  5. Butter an 18cm cake tin around the edge and cut a circular piece of parchment paper. Line the bottom of the tin. (If you don't have a baking tin with a removable base or spring form cake tin, cut two long pieces of parchment paper and put them underneath the circular piece. They should be going across the middle vertically and horizontally, hanging over the edge so that you can use them to pull the cheesecake out later.)rare cheesecake 18cm baking tin
  6. Pour the buttery crumbs into the cake tin and press them down firmly with a flat based glass. Store it in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the cheesecake.rare cheesecake base

Making the Filling

  1. Pour 60ml of cold water into a small glass bowl and add 7g of gelatin powder. Mix and leave for 5-10 minutes to allow the powder to expand.rare cheesecake gelatin
  2. Add 300g of cream cheese to a microwavable bowl and heat in 30 second intervals, mixing each time until softened.rare cheesecake cream cheese
  3. Whisk the cream cheese until it becomes smooth and lump free, then add 90g of sugar. Whisk until smooth.rare cheesecake sugar
  4. Add the 300g of yogurt and continue to whisk.rare cheesecake yogurt
  5. Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon and 1 tsp of vanilla extract, whisking between each ingredient.rare cheesecake lemon juice rare cheesecake vanilla extract
  6. Your gelatin powder should of thickened by now. Fully melt the gelatin by microwaving in 20 second intervals OR melt in a double boiler.
  7. Once your gelatin is lump-free, immediately add into your cheesecake mixture and mix well. rare cheesecake gelatin mix
  8. Take your base from the fridge and pour the cheesecake mixture onto the base. (If you want it to be extra smooth, pour it through a sieve first.)no bake cheesecake mix
  9. Smooth over the top and leave to chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours.smoothe rare cheesecake
  10. Cut, serve and enjoy! This recipe makes one 18cm diameter cheesecake which can be cut into about 8 slices!rare cheesecake cut


If you use gelatin sheets instead of powder, you will need about 6 sheets.

If you use agar agar, you need to following different instructions as it needs boiling time. When I made this recipe with agar agar powder, I used 2 tbsp (20g) and boiled it in a pan with 100ml of water. You can see full instructions on how to make this recipe with agar agar powder in the blog post above.

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Mixing
  • Cuisine: Japanese

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