This baked matcha cheesecake is super smooth, creamy, and easy to make without a water bath. A layer of rich, fluffy green tea cheesecake sits on top of a crunchy graham cracker crust. The earthy flavor of matcha compliments the tangy cream cheese perfectly!
Matcha is one of my favorite ingredients to bake with, and a matcha cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts to use it in! Matcha's bright, grassy flavor profile pairs beautifully with the cream cheese and the cinnamon in the graham cracker crust.
The cheesecake is ultra smooth and creamy, made with softened cream cheese and Greek yogurt. It's sweetened with honey for a delicate floral touch. The honey compliments the matcha beautifully. If you love cheesecake, try raspberry brownie cheesecake, cosmic brownie cheesecake, and pumpkin cheesecake!
Just in case you're unfamiliar, matcha is a powder made of green tea leaves. Traditionally, matcha is consumed in East Asia and is drank during tea ceremonies in Japan. To this day, most matcha production still happens in Japan, with the highest quality matcha coming from Uji, Japan.
The history of matcha can be traced back to the Chinese Tang Dynasty in the 7th-10th centuries before it was introduced in Japan between the 10th and 13th centuries.
Matcha is an integral part of East Asian and Japanese culture. I've linked articles about the history (I linked to Wikipedia so you can reference their sources), cultural appropriation, and white-washing of matcha. Here are some of my favorite Asian creators you should support: Veggiekins, The Heirloom Pantry , Bee the Love.
Why This Recipe Works
- Creamy cheesecake- The texture of this cheesecake is super rich and creamy.
- Graham cracker crust- The crust is gluten free and has a buttery texture.
- Green matcha- Because of the matcha powder, this cheesecake is green in color and has an earthy taste.
- No water bath- Cheesecakes are known for being finicky, but this recipe is great because you can make it without a water bath!
Here are some notes about the ingredients used. For quantities and the full instructions, see the recipe card below.
- Graham crackers- If you aren't gluten free, use regular graham crackers.
- Sugar- This adds sweetness to the graham cracker crust and retains moisture. You can use regular white sugar, cane sugar, or coconut sugar like I did for a deeper flavor.
- Coconut oil- This binds the crushed graham crackers and sugar together. Make sure it is melted and at room temperature before incorporating.
- Cream cheese- Use full fat cream cheese for the best creamy texture. Using low fat cream cheese can cause the cheesecake to be watery. Pull this, the eggs, and Greek yogurt out of the refrigerator 2 hours before baking to reach room temperature and blend together seamlessly.
- Matcha powder- Choose an unsweetened, fine, high quality culinary matcha powder. Make sure it has a vibrant, almost neon green color and isn't yellow or brown. I recommend using ceremonial grade matcha instead of culinary grade. While ceremonial is meant only for drinking, it definitely adds the best flavor and color to this cheesecake!
- Greek yogurt- Use full fat Greek yogurt or skyr to add more fat and creaminess to the cheesecake.
- Honey- I prefer clover honey but any light colored honey will work to sweeten our matcha cheesecake. Light honey won't overpower the matcha flavor.
- Vanilla extract- A little vanilla adds a delicious aroma and rounds out the flavor profile.
- Eggs- 4 room temperature large eggs bind all of the ingredients together and help our cheesecake set in the oven.
- Graham crackers: To make this recipe gluten free, use gluten free graham crackers. If you don't have any, you can use a different kind of cookie like vanilla wafers or biscoff cookies.
- Coconut oil: Any neutral oil works, like avocado, canola, or vegetable oil. You can even use melted unsalted butter.
- Greek yogurt: Sour cream can be substituted for the plain Greek yogurt.
- Honey: Use maple syrup instead of honey if you need to and adjust it to your sweetness preference.
Helpful Equipment and Tools
- You' need small, medium, and large mixing bowls for combining the ingredients.
- An electric hand mixer is used to mix the cheesecake batter. You can use a 5-quart stand mixer with the paddle attachment if you don't have a hand mixer.
- Bake the cheesecake in a 9 inch springform pan. These pans have a latch on the side that causes the bottom and sides of the pan to separate. This makes it easier to remove your cake from the pan and helps encourage a tall, straight presentation with defined edges.
Step by Step Instructions
Here's how to make this green tea cheesecake! Before you start, preheat your oven to 325°F/162°C. Melt your coconut oil in a small microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds and let it come to room temperature.
STEP 1: First, make the graham cracker crust. Add the graham crackers to a food processor and pulse to a fine crumb. If you don't have a food processor, you can put the graham crackers in a plastic bag and smash with a rolling pin.
STEP 2: Mix the graham cracker crumbs, melted coconut oil, and sugar together until well combined.
STEP 3: Next, pour the graham cracker mixture into a 9 inch springform pan and compact the crust, making sure it goes up the sides of the pan a little. I like doing this with a measuring cup as pictured. You don't need to pre-bake the crust.
STEP 4: Add the softened cream cheese to a large mixing bowl. With your hand mixer on medium high speed, beat the cream cheese for about 3 minutes until it's smooth and creamy.
STEP 5: Add the matcha powder to the bowl and beat until well combined with no clumps. Then beat in the Greek yogurt, honey, and vanilla extract.
STEP 6: In a separate bowl, crack 4 eggs and lightly scramble them with a fork. After that, mix the eggs into the cheesecake mixture gently on low to prevent air bubbles from forming.
STEP 7: Pour the cheesecake batter on top of your graham cracker crust in the springform pan. Bang the pan against the counter a few times to top the air bubbles and pop the remaining ones with a toothpick. Air bubbles in the batter can cause the cheesecake to crack!
STEP 8: Bake the cheesecake for 50-60 minutes at 325°F. When it is done, the edges will be lightly browned and slightly puffy; they'll spring back when lightly touched. The center will be jiggly like Jell-O, but not soupy. The center will set while it cools.
STEP 9: Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it cool for 1-2 hours on top of the oven until it has reached room temperature. Setting the cheesecake on top of the warm oven keeps the temperature from changing too drastically- which can cause cracks. After 30 minutes of cooling, run a butter knife around the edges of the cheesecake to release it from the pan. Then, let it chill in its pan in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 6 hours.
Expert Baking Tips
- Make sure all of the ingredients are room temperature before baking. This specifically applies to the cream cheese, Greek yogurt, and eggs.
- Don't overmix the batter. We want the filling to be smooth without any lumps or bumps, but we don't want it to be mixed too much. Overmixing can lead to the formation of air bubbles that rise to the surface and cause cracking.
- If your springform cake pan isn't leak proof, cover the bottom with aluminum foil. This helps catch any leaks and, since we're skipping the water bath, won't make your crust soggy.
- Don't open the oven door. Doing this can reduce the heat and cause the cheesecake to bake unevenly. Keep an eye on the cheesecake, though, since a lot can happen quickly near the end of baking.
How to Prevent Cracks
- Mixing the ingredients- The cream cheese, Greek yogurt, honey, vanilla, and matcha have to be thoroughly beaten before adding the eggs. The mixture should be smooth with no lumps. Using room temperature ingredients and scraping the sides of the bowl encourages the filling to be smooth.
- Slowly add the eggs- Before adding the eggs to the batter, scramble them a bit in a bowl with a fork. Then, add each egg slowly while mixing the batter on low. If there is too much air whipped into the eggs, air bubbles could form and the cheesecake will expand and quickly sink while baking. Both of these things cause cracks.
- Pop air bubbles- This is super important since we're making this cheesecake without a water bath! After you make the filling, firmly tap the bowl on the counter a few times to pop any air bubbles. Then, pour the filling slowly and steadily into the springform pan from high above to remove any additional air bubbles. Air bubbles that rise to the surface and pop in the oven can cause cracks. You can also pop the ones on the surface with a toothpick.
- Bake at a low heat- Baking at a low temperatures prevents the cheesecake from rising too quickly. A rapid rise is a common reason for cheesecake cracks. Baking low and slow is key.
- Cool gradually- When your cheesecake is done baking, let it cool for 10 minutes on top of the oven (make sure to turn the oven off). This is the warmest spot, allowing the cheesecake to cool gradually instead of having a drastic temperature change. Blasting the cheesecake with cold air causes cracks.
- Release the crust- After 10 minutes on the counter, run a knife around the inside of the springform pan to loosen the crust. The cheesecake will shrink while it cools, and doing this will help release tension.
Additions and Variations
While this cheesecake is delicious as is, here are some ingredients and toppings you can add to make it even more special.
- Matcha Ganache: Create a smooth and creamy matcha ganache by mixing matcha powder with white chocolate and heavy cream. Pour it over the chilled cheesecake for an extra layer of matcha goodness.
- Fresh Berries: Garnish the cheesecake with fresh strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries. They add a burst of color and freshness, balancing the richness of the cheesecake.
- Toasted Coconut Flakes: Sprinkle some lightly toasted coconut flakes on top of the cheesecake for added texture and a tropical twist. The nuttiness of coconut complements matcha nicely.
- Whipped Cream: Serve with a dollop of freshly whipped cream. The light and airy cream will balance the dense and creamy texture of the cheesecake.
- Edible Flowers: Decorate the cheesecake with edible flowers like pansies, violets, or rose petals. They add an elegant touch!
- Fruit Topping: Spoon blueberry compote, strawberry jam, or raspberry preserves on top.
Storage and Freezing
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can store the whole thing in a cake container or slices in smaller containers.
First, let the matcha cheesecake set in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight. Then, slice it or leave it whole and store in an airtight container and wrapped in plastic. Freeze the cheesecake for up to 2 months. Transfer the cheesecake to the refrigerator to thaw for a few hours before eating (or you can eat it frozen).
Frequently Asked Questions
To get a clean slice, heat up a very sharp knife by running it under hot water. Then, slice the cheesecake into triangles. Make sure to wipe off the knife after each cut with a paper towel.
Your crust is crumbly because there wasn't enough moisture to hold it together. Add more coconut oil the next time.
No worries! It happens to the best of us. You can cover the crack with fruit or another topping. You could also try running a spoon under hot water and then pressing it gently against the crack to warm the cheesecake up. Then you can press the crack back together.
I don't recommend it unfortunately!
More Cakes & Pies to Try
Baked Matcha Cheesecake
Graham Cracker Crust
- 2 ¼ cup graham cracker crumbs 17 full graham cracker sheets
- ¼ cup sugar
- ⅝ cup coconut oil melted and cooled
- Preheat the oven to 325°F/162°C. If needed, crush your graham crackers in a food processor or in a plastic bag with a rolling pin.
Graham Cracker Crust
- Prepare the graham cracker crust by mixing the crumbs, coconut sugar, and coconut oil together in a large bowl.2 ¼ cup graham cracker crumbs, ¼ cup sugar, ⅝ cup coconut oil
- Pour the crust into a 9 inch springform pan and press firmly into the bottom and sides of the pan. Set aside.
- In a large bowl with an electric hand mixer, beat the cream cheese on high until smooth and creamy. Scrape the sides of the bowl and beat in the matcha.24 oz full fat cream cheese, 2 tablespoon matcha powder
- Add Greek yogurt, honey, and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined, pausing to scrape the sides of the bowl if needed.1 cup plain Greek yogurt, ⅔ cup honey, 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Crack the eggs into a seperate small bowl and whisk them until lightly scrambled. With the electric mixer on low, gradually add the eggs to the cheesecake batter until just combined.4 eggs
- Use rubber spatula to fold the ingredients in a figure 8 motion, removing air bubbles. Firmly tap the bowl on the counter a couple times to pop air bubbles. Pour the filling on top of the crust. Wrap the bottom of the pan with aluminum foil to protect against leaks. Pop any remaining air bubbles on top with a toothpick.
- Bake at 325°F for about 1 hour. Don't open the oven while the cheesecake bakes. The cheesecake is done when the edges are slightly puffed and golden brown. The center will be jiggly like Jell-O.
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven and place on top of it. Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake cool on top of it for 15 minutes. Then, gently run a knife around the inside of the pan to release the crust.
- Let the cheesecake cool on top of the oven for 1-2 hours or until it reaches room temperature. Then, cover the top with plastic wrap and let it cool in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 6 hours.
- When you're ready to serve, release the springform pan and transfer the cheesecake to a cake stand. Pipe with buttercream and any other decorations. Slice and enjoy!