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How to Bake a Perfect Cheesecake

Updated July 19, 2017

We get a lot of questions from our readers and viewers asking for tips for baking the best cheesecakes. So, we sat down with the entire Test Kitchen team and got all of their best tricks and tips for making cheesecake! From how to avoid cracks in cheesecake to how to freeze cheesecake (yes, you can!) and more, you'll learn everything you wanted to know in this list of cheesecake baking tips.

 

How to Avoid a Cracked Cheesecake:

  •  A cheesecake is basically a form of custard. And just like a custard, the eggs in a cheesecake are what helps it to set. A cheesecake should cook gently and slowly because of this - otherwise, you could end up with a funky texture or cracks on the surface. You may have seen some cheesecake recipes that call for a cheesecake to be baked in a water bath; that is one method for cooking it gently and slowly.
     
  • At the Mr. Food Test Kitchen, we strive to keep things simple. One of the tricks we like to use to help prevent cracking is to allow the cake to cool in the oven with the door open for 30 minutes. This should be done when the center is still slightly wobbly; it will continue to cook very gently and set in the warm oven as it cools.

 

More Tips for Baking Cheesecakes:

  • Bring ingredients to room temperature before baking. 30 minutes should do the trick! If you don't do this, you could end up with lumps in your cheesecake.
     
  • Don't overmix ingredients; beat until just combined. Using ingredients that are too cold, like cream cheese, can also lead to overmixing.
  • For the very best taste, serve your cheesecake at room temperature. And don't put any toppings on too early - 1 to 2 hours before serving is best.
     
  • Before cutting, place your knife under hot running water and wipe it dry. This will ensure a nice, clean cut.
     
  • Store your well-wrapped cheesecake in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
     
  • You can freeze most cheesecakes for up to one month. Be sure to double-wrap using plastic wrap and aluminum foil, but first freeze for about 30 minutes so that it hardens enough for you to wrap it without damaging it.
     

Hungry for more? Click here for our Top 10 Great Cheesecake Recipes!

Plus, don't miss out on our free eCookbook, The Ultimate Dessert Menu: 35 of Our Best Cheesecake Recipes.

 

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