Trader Joe's Soufflé Cheesecake Is An Airy Version Of The New York-Style Dessert With An Incredible Value

Dessert fans, take note: Trader Joe's released its new Japanese soufflé cheesecake. This variation might interest cheesecake lovers, as the Japanese-style cheesecake is fluffy and less dense than the American alternative. 

I'm a huge cheesecake fan. I craved it all during my recent pregnancy and requested it for my birthday. I even bought one for my husband's birthday, but ultimately ended up freezing most of it ... before slowly but surely eating it myself. I am particularly a fan of the graham cracker crust, which provides a nice texture juxtaposition to the creaminess of the cheesecake. While the soufflé version and the classic New York cheesecake both use cream cheese as the base, they are pretty different. 

I've not had the opportunity to try Japanese soufflé cheesecake before this taste test — but you better believe that I want to try a freshly made version as soon as I can find one. I've already yearned for this treat after seeing videos of the fluffy cakes jiggling, which really piqued my interest with this uniquely captivating texture. I've been shopping regularly at Trader Joe's for over 10 years, and being the cheesecake adorer that I am, as soon as I heard about the store's new Japanese soufflé cheesecakes, I hopped over to a nearby location with my infant in tow to give this intriguing confection a go. 

What is Trader Joe's Japanese soufflé cheesecake?

This Japanese type of cheesecake is lighter than what you'll usually find at bakeries across the United States. Trader Joe's Japanese soufflé cheesecakes are produced in Japan with sweetened condensed milk and cream cheese, and they also contain eggs, milk, and wheat. The cakes are less sweet and have a more neutral cheesiness than most American cheesecake recipes

Each bright pinkish-red plastic package has two small cheesecakes inside. These can be eaten after a few hours of thawing in the refrigerator, according to the package directions. On its website, Trader Joe's recommends trying the cheesecakes with its ube ice cream, sliced strawberries, or mandarin oranges in syrup.  

The website also notes that this is a limited-time item, which could mean that it'll be a seasonal treat that could potentially be brought back, or it might later be discontinued. There's no way to know for now, since its continued availability likely depends on popularity, supply-chain issues, and other factors. For items like this, information varies even when you ask your local store employees. Keep this in mind, because if you like this cheesecake, you should stock up. 

Where to find the new Trader Joe's Japanese soufflé cheesecake

These cheesecakes have officially rolled out to Trader Joe's locations by early May 2024, so you will likely find them at your local store. Many believe that the ideal time to shop at Trader Joe's to catch fresh restocks is in the morning. But when in doubt, you can always call your store and inquire if they have an item in stock. I've done this many times, and team members are always super friendly when letting me know they didn't have a product at that particular time, which saved me a trip. If they don't have an item yet, staff can usually give an approximate shipment date. 

Before visiting a Trader Joe's in the San Diego area, I called ahead, and the team member confirmed that they had a good amount of Japanese soufflé cheesecake in stock. Of course, if you're simply heading to Trader Joe's for standard grocery shopping, you can check if the cheesecake is there while collecting other items on your list. 

As far as where the cheesecake is located within the store, I found mine in the frozen desserts section between the Portuguese custard tarts and New York cheesecake. If you don't see it in the freezer case, ask any team member about its location, and they should be able to locate it or at least tell you when to expect the next delivery. 

How much do Trader Joe's Japanese soufflé cheesecakes cost?

At my Trader Joe's in the San Diego region, one package containing two Japanese soufflé cheesecakes cost $3.29, which is certainly a great deal for this dessert, and for ordinary cheesecake slices as well. One original plain slice at The Cheesecake Factory can cost over $10 in San Diego. You can purchase three packages of the Trader Joe's version for that price. The two single-serve cheesecakes in each Trader Joe's package are presented on a thin cardboard tray. Each cake has a paper wrapper, much like muffin baking cups. Every package weighs 4.22 ounces, so each cheesecake weighs just over 2 ounces.

I live about 30 miles away from the nearest establishment that sells freshly made Japanese-style cheesecake, an Uncle Tetsu location — but there, it can cost somewhere around $13 for a small-sized cheesecake, not an individual slice. If you live near a bakery offering authentically made Japanese soufflé cheesecake, you should definitely try it. However, considering time constraints and gas money, the Trader Joe's version is a fantastic value. Beyond the novelty of this confection, you'll be hard-pressed to find any decent dessert sold for $3.29 these days, especially two of them in one package.

Taste test: Trader Joe's Japanese soufflé cheesecakes

The packaging says that you can eat these slightly frozen or thawed out. I did a little bit of both. During the drive home, the cheesecake was left out for about 20 minutes. I tried it right away upon returning home, and it was still partially frozen and icy. I tend to like frozen and cold foods — I have eaten frozen cheesecake straight from the freezer before — but I found that the fully thawed Trader Joe's soufflé cheesecake had a better taste and texture. 

The thawed cheesecake is light and airy, with a texture that almost looks (but doesn't taste) like angel food cake. The cream cheese's nuanced flavor was more noticeable at room temperature, almost as though the frozen version muted the flavors. I also tried the second cheesecake completely frozen, and wouldn't recommend it. It's hard to eat and doesn't have a lot of flavor. 

Regardless of the temperature, this is not a sugary cheesecake. If you're expecting sweetness, you might be disappointed with this version. However, like New York cheesecake, it still melts in your mouth. You don't have to do a lot of chewing, and it's all one texture since there's no crust. Overall, the taste is mild. I didn't get any tang from lemon juice, nor any hint of sweetness from the condensed milk or sugar. I could taste the cream cheese, but only when it was at room temperature. There is no jiggle factor, either. 

Trader Joe's Japanese soufflé cheesecake vs. other cheesecakes

While I love American-style cheesecake, I understand that Japanese soufflé cheesecakes are different, having a distinctly varying taste and texture compared to New York cheesecake and other U.S. variations. Each Trader Joe's Japanese soufflé cheesecake has 150 calories, 7 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, and 16 grams of carbs, and 10 grams of sugar, which are pretty moderate amounts when compared with other cheesecakes that are widely available. This factor alone can be an attractive aspect for anyone seeking a lighter cheesecake option. 

One slice of The Cheesecake Factory's Original cheesecake is 830 calories, so even if you add some berries or sprinkle on crushed graham crackers, this Trader Joe's version is a wonderful option if you want a not-too-sweet dessert base. It's lighter than New York cheesecake, so you aren't left feeling overwhelmed or overstuffed. The flavors are hushed because there's not a lot of sugar, and the overall consistency is a uniformly soft, airy texture.

So, if you're not traveling to Japan or you don't have a Japanese bakery near you, the Trader Joe's version is a low-cost way to try this dessert. However, if you are a Japanese soufflé cheesecake connoisseur, you might be more critical of it.

Is Trader Joe's Japanese soufflé cheesecake worth it?

I'd say this cheesecake is worth a shot if you like Japanese soufflé cheesecake and want to try it to see how this store-bought version compares — or if you enjoy light, not super-sweet desserts in general. While these cakes contain sugar and sweetened condensed milk, those flavors don't come through taste-wise. The cake is airy and melts in your mouth, with the cream cheese notes coming in the strongest. 

If you have a sweet tooth, this cheesecake likely won't do the trick unless you add chocolate syrup or some other sweet element. The frozen nature of this dessert could also contribute to the muffled flavors. But, I personally wouldn't stock up on it. The store's price is unbeatable at $3.29 for two small cheesecakes, so it doesn't hurt to at least try one package.

Trader Joe's Japanese soufflé cheesecake is not as fluffy as what I've seen pictured at Japanese bakeries, where the cakes tend to have a rounded top. While I'm not inclined to purchase Trader Joe's soufflé cheesecake again, I am interested in seeking out a local bakery selling fresh options — I'd prefer to go out of my way and pay extra to get my hands on one of those.