Matcha-Black Sesame Cheesecake

March 16, 2015

Food52 Review: WHO: Oh Sweet Day! quit her bank job to start her food blog and hasn't looked back since.
WHAT: A cheesecake that takes a trip to the Far East.
HOW: Make a cheesecake filling, then add matcha to half and black sesame seeds to the other half. Pour it into a sweet hazelnut-shortbread crust and bake.
WHY WE LOVE IT: If we've learned one thing at Food52, it's that people either love matcha and sesame seeds, or they (really, really) don't—which is why we knew we'd landed on something special when the entire office united over this cheesecake. (Though it's hard to say if the truce resulted from the crumbly, cookie-like crust or the subtly earthy blend nested in it.)
The Editors

Makes: one 8-inch cake


For the hazelnut-shortbread crust:

  • 2/3 cup roughly chopped hazelnuts
  • 6 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the filling:

  • 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons matcha powder, divided
  • 1/3 cup black sesame powder
In This Recipe


  1. Place the oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat it to 350° F. Grease and line an 8-inch springform pan with parchment paper, then set aside.
  2. To make the crust, place all of the crust ingredients into a food processor. Pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake crust for 15 to 18 minutes, or until slightly browned. Set aside to cool. Turn down oven temperature to 300° F.
  3. In the bowl of a standing mixer with a paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, and vanilla extract until combined.
  4. Add each egg, one at a time. Blend for another 2 minutes until well combined.
  5. In two medium bowls, divide the batter into two equal portions. Add 2 tablespoons of the matcha powder to one, and the black sesame powder to another. Mix each until well combined.
  6. Pour the black sesame filling into the prepared pan. Using a large spoon, dollop the matcha filling on top.
  7. Place the cheesecake in the oven. Place a shallow pan full of water on the lower rack or bottom of the oven.
  8. Bake for 1 hour, or until the edge of the cheesecake is puffed but the center is still wobbly and wet-looking.
  9. Turn off the oven and open the door slightly. Let the cheesecake sit in the oven to cool completely, for at least 1 hour.
  10. Remove from the oven and place in the refrigerator to chill overnight.
  11. Before serving, sprinkle the remaining matcha on top of the cake.

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