No-bake cheesecake, or rare cheesecake, is a popular Japanese dessert menu. Adding silken tofu makes it healthier, and a hint of zesty yuzu syrup would make this dessert a total game changer!

Contributed by Naoko’s Kitchen

This no-bake cheesecake is extremely easy to make using several unique Japanese ingredients. Not only that, this recipe mixes cream cheese with silken tofu, making the end product fewer calories than traditional cheesecake, which is a bonus! Make it as a centerpiece or in individual cups, and you’re sure to wow your family and friends with this recipe.

What is No-Bake Cheesecake?

As the name suggests, no-bake cheesecake is a cheesecake that doesn’t require to be baked in the oven. In Japan, we call this kind of cheesecake a “rare cheesecake.” It is a quite popular dessert there as many households don’t own an oven in their kitchen like in the West. One of the key differences between Japanese no-bake cheesecake and the Western one is that the Japanese one uses yogurt and gelatin instead of cream, making it a lighter and healthier dessert. Our recipe goes one step further and uses tofu as a base, so it is extra unique and special!

What is Silken Tofu?

Silken tofu refers to the softest and smoothest kind of tofu. It melts in your mouth and tastes great when simply enjoyed with good soy sauce. You can usually find three types of tofu at grocery stores: extra firm, firm, and silken/soft. Silken, or soft, tofu has the highest water content and the extra firm the lowest. 

Firm tofu is the one that’s easiest to use for cooking. It’s especially perfect for marinating as it absorbs liquid well. However, that means you’ll need to drain water from the firm tofu before cooking. You can easily do this by cover the tofu with a paper towel and microwave it for about a minute and a half. Cutting it into cubes and boiling them in water also make tofu remain in its shape when cooked. Extra-firm one is good for stir-frying.

Usually, you can substitute different kinds of tofu for different types of recipes. However, you’d want to use silken tofu to make no-bake cheesecake; otherwise, the texture would be rough.

Yuzu Syrup

A Japanese food connoisseur may already know, yuzu is a tart yet aromatic citrus fruit prevalent in Japan. Yuzu is packed with Vitamin C and enhances any dishes without overpowering the flavor. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find fresh yuzu fruits in the United States. But fear not! You can easily add a zesty taste of yuzu to your food by using yuzu syrup products. Mix it with olive oil to make a quick marinade, pour it on top of ice cream as a decadent topping, or stir it in your favorite beverage to make a cocktail or mocktail. With your creativity, possibilities are endless!

Cooking Tips

  • Never skip steps to dehydrate tofu. Otherwise, your no-bake cheesecake would be watery.
  • You can either make this in a big container for everyone to enjoy or make it in single-serve containers like stemless wine glasses and serve it individually.

Meet Naoko’s Kitchen

Naokos kitchen logoNaoko’s Kitchen is brought to you by Japanese cook and Culinary Artist Naoko Kashiwagi, who is currently living in Singapore. Before moving to Singapore at the end of 2019, Naoko shared her authentic taste, knowledge, and skills of Japanese food by hosting pop-ups and cooking classes in Cornwall, UK, for seven years. More than a thousand foodies from all over the world have participated in her informative and hands-on classes. They all enjoyed the entertainment of her exquisite dishes!

Her mission is simple. To entertain the customers with authentic Japanese flavors by adding subtle twists to create innovative dishes. With Naoko’s imagination and creativity, she creates new recipes using the freshest local seafood and seasonal ingredients. Her recipe mixes Japanese authenticity with innovation for your taste buds and eyes.

Yuzu Tofu No-bake Cheesecake

Course Dessert


  • ½ pack Silken Tofu (5 oz)
  • ½ pack Cream Cheese (4 oz)
  • 2 Tbsp Yuzu Syrup
  • 3 Tbsp Condensed Milk
  • ½ cup Cookie Crumb Crusts
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 tsp Gelatin Powder
  • ½ cup Water
  • Matcha Green Tea Powder for decoration
  • Fruits for decoration


Dehydrate tofu

  1. Remove the tofu from the package and wrap it with paper towel on a tray.
  2. Rest it in the refrigerator for one hour, exchanging the paper towel several times to remove excess water.
  3. Remove the paper towel and place the tofu on a microwaveable plate and heat for about two minutes without any cover. Drain water and set it aside.

Make the crunchy base

  1. Place the cookie crumbs in a bowl.
  2. Melt the butter in a microwave and pour over the crumbs. Mix and coat the crumbs with butter.
  3. Place the crumbs in small dessert glasses and press down with your fingers. Allow them to set in the fridge.

Make the cheesecake mixture

  1. Add the cream cheese, Yuzu syrup, and condensed milk in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Add tofu to the mixture and mash it using a hand mixer or food processor until the mixture is smooth and silky.
  3. Boil water in a small pot and dissolve the gelatin powder. Pour it over the mixture and mix well.

Set the mixture

  1. Pour the mixture into the dessert glasses and keep them in the fridge for at least two hours until the mixture is set.
  2. Dust the green tea powder over and put on decorate with some fruits, enjoy!