How To Bake Perfect Cheesecakes

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Baking Cheesecakes Ahead Of Time
Cracks in Cheesecake
Cutting Cheesecake
Traveling with Cheesecakes
Springform Pans

Check Linda’s delicious and easy-to-make Cheesecake Recipes.

 


How To Bake Perfect Cheesecakes:

Chocolate Fudge CheesecakeI usually bake my cheesecakes 1 1/4 hours or until edges are light brown and center is almost set.  I then turn the oven off and let cheesecake stand in oven, with door ajar, 30 minutes or until center is completely set.  Then remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.


Ingredients:
  It is important to use room temperature ingredients, such as the cream cheese and eggs.  To bring cream cheese to room temperature, quickly, place completely unwrapped package(s) in a microwaveable bowl.  Microwave on HIGH for 30 to 45 seconds or until slightly softened.  NOTE: Do nor let the cream cheese melt or get warm.  Refrigerate if it does.

 

Eggs:  When mixing the ingredients (especially the eggs) together, beat at medium speed just until smooth.  Add the eggs, one at a time only, on the slowest speed possible and scrape both beater and bowl.  You want to avoid beating air into the mixture.  Too much air will make the cheesecake fall.  Over beating can also cause cracks to form in the cheesecake as it bakes.

Cheesecakes are egg based, and they need low heat.  Position baking rack in center of oven and place cheesecake in center of middle oven rack.  Place a shallow pan full of water on the lower rack in the oven.  The water will also help minimize cracking in the top of the cheesecake.

 

Springform Pan:
  Lightly grease (butter) the inside of the entire springform pan. This is to help prevent the batter from creeping up the side and then falling. You can even cut a piece of parchment paper (the same size as the bottom of your springform pan) and place on the bottom of the pan.

Springform PanDefinition: The springform pan is a two-piece pan that not only has sides that can be removed but the bottom comes out too. There is a round base and an interlocking band, usually 2 to 3 inches high, that forms the sides, opening and closing with the flick of a latch. The pan pieces are assembled for baking, and then, once the contents have cooked and cooled, the band is opened and removed.  Because the cake remains on the pan’s base, the springform is perfect for cheesecakes.


Baking Cheesecake:
  Do NOT open the oven door during the first 30 minutes of baking.  Drafts can cause a cheesecake to fall or crack. Do not jar the cheesecake while it is baking or cooling.


How to prevent cracks in your cheesecake:
  When the internal temperature of a cheesecake rises beyond 160 degrees F. while baking, it will always crack.  To prevent this from happening, use an instant-read cooking thermometer to test its doneness.

When the cheesecake is done cooking, reaches 150 degrees F., turn the oven off.  Let cake stand in oven, with door ajar, approximately 30 minutes or until center is completely set.  Remove from oven and let cool cheesecake completely on a wire rack before refrigerating.

Thermapen ThermometerThis is the type of cooking and meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking.  I get many readers asking what cooking/meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking and baking.  I, personally, use the Thermapen Thermometer shown in the photo on the right.  To learn more about this excellent thermometer and to also purchase one (if you desire), just click on the underlined: Thermapen Thermometer.


How to tell when cheesecake is done cooking:
  The cheesecake is done when center is almost set, but jiggles slightly when gently shaken.  For a perfect cheesecake, use a cooking thermometer and take it out of the oven when the cheesecake reaches 150 degrees F. at the center to avoid over baking.  Expect a slight shrinkage as it cools.  If there is great shrinkage, you have baked it at too high a heat.


Resting Period:
  Let the cheesecake rest after baking.  Unless other directions are specified in the recipe, when the cheesecake is done, turn off the oven and open the door.


Cooling Cheesecake:
  Cool cheesecake slowly and completely before refrigerating.  Chilling a warm cheesecake will trap condensation in the cake and make it soggy.  Cheesecakes always need to be well chilled before serving, preferably 12 to 24 hours before cutting (the cheesecake will solidify to a perfect consistency during this time).


Removing from Springform Pan:
  Slide a small knife around edges of cake to loosen it and remove sides of the springform pan; transfer onto a cake plate.

 


Question from Reader:

Baking Small Cheesecakes:  I purchased four 4-inch springform pans in order to make individual cheese cakes, but the recipe I have is for an 8-inch cheese cake.  How much time, if any, do I adjust for these 4-inch springform pans?  Thanks for your help. – Josee (12/09/05)

 

Answer:

Obviously it will take less time to bake, but I can not tell you the exact baking time.  I think you are going to just have to watch the cakes as they bake.  Use the same technique for baking your smaller cheesecakes as you would for large ones:

Place cheesecakes in center of middle oven rack.  Position a baking pan filled halfway with hot water on lower rack.  Bake 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 300 degrees.

Bake until edges are light brown and center is almost set.  Take the cheesecakes out of the oven when the cheesecakes, using your cooking thermometer, reaches 150 degrees F. at the center to avoid over baking.  Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.

 

Comments and Reviews

11 Responses to “How To Bake Perfect Cheesecakes”

  1. Kim Mann

    I’m slightly confused on when to remove the cheesecake from the oven.
    You said: Take it out of the oven when the cheesecake reaches 150 degrees F. at the center to avoid over baking.

    My question: Is this after the oven has been turned off and door left open? Or during the cooking process?

    I’ve never made a cheesecake from scratch. I appreciate all of your tips. Very handy.. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Linda Stradley

      When the cheesecake is done cooking, reaches 150 degrees F., turn the oven off. Let cake stand in oven, with door ajar, approximately 30 minutes or until center is completely set. Remove from oven and let cool cheesecake completely on a wire rack before refrigerating.

      Reply
  2. Amy

    i always not sure on how many eggs should i use…

    Reply
  3. Maggie Cooper

    When I’m ready to remove the springtime pan , how do I get my cheesecake onto a plate without messing up the Graham Cracker crust on the bottom in other words how do I get the bottom of the springform pan out from under the cake? Or do I just leave it there? Thanks , Maggie

    Reply
    • Linda Stradley

      Per the recipe:

      Lightly grease (butter) the inside of the entire springform pan. This is to help prevent the batter from creeping up the side and then falling. You can even cut a piece of parchment paper (the same size as the bottom of your springform pan) and place on the bottom of the pan.

      Springform PanDefinition: The springform pan is a two-piece pan that not only has sides that can be removed but the bottom comes out too. There is a round base and an interlocking band, usually 2 to 3 inches high, that forms the sides, opening and closing with the flick of a latch. The pan pieces are assembled for baking, and then, once the contents have cooked and cooled, the band is opened and removed. Because the cake remains on the pan’s base, the springform is perfect for cheesecakes.

      Reply
    • Whats Cooking America

      I usually place the springform pan on a serving dish, then remove the sides of the pan. That way the cheesecake stays attached to the bottom of the pan while serving with less risk of having it break apart.

      Reply
    • Tiffany

      Buy cardboard cake plates that match the size of your pan. Cover the plate with foil, trimming edges to not add bulk to your pan. Place it in the bottom of your spring form and close. spray all sides with non-stick spray, or lightly brush with vegetable oil. After your cake is set you can remove it with the cardboard plate. If you don’t want to use the plate as part of the decor later then cheese cake will easily slide onto your serving plate.

      Cardboard cake plates can be found in party supply stores, or wedding decorating section of crafts at Walmart, and cake decorating section at Michael’s, and online at Amazon. Some plates already come with a foil finish.

      *Its very important to have the correct measurement cake plate. So know your pan size! 8″, 9″, etc. Good Luck 🙂

      Reply
  4. Steph Conrad

    Oh, Ms. Stradley,

    I am forever grateful. I am attempting to make cheesecake tonight for my family’s dinner tomorrow. I have made one or two in the past, but never for a Family Holiday meal. They barely trust me with the dinner rolls, you know? I am guessing you can imagine my concern that this works out all right.

    So, I triple checked my recipe, my ingredients, everything. Got it all to room temperature, perfect. Used my brand new Kitchenmaid mixer, love it. Got it all into the pans and the pans into the water bath. All sitting on the oven shelf and waiting to be pushed carefully in. I poured hot water from the kettle into the outer pan for the water bath, no spills, no splashes…… and then the outer pan ( foil turkey roaster) started to leak. A lot. All over the oven, all over the oven door, and onto the kitchen floor.

    So now I have a hot foil turkey roaster full of hot water and two 6 inch cheese cake pans. I have no way to pick it up because the whole thing is now quite heavy and will collapse. In the process of trying to move it, the oven thermometer pops off of the shelf and into the water bath. Fortunately not into the cheesecake pans. It no longer reads correctly.

    My husband heard my distress . After looking at my pathetic face watching the water drain onto the floor and into the stove, he quickly got a piece of plastic tubing and syphoned off the water bath into a stew pot on the floor. The sweet man never said a word. He just fixed it.

    At which point I could remove the pans from the shelf and find separate baking dishes that will work well enough under the circumstance. I let the oven reheat for an hour, and then stuck the cakes back in resigned to whatever outcome, because I have no idea how hot the oven was. Or was going to get.

    And here you are with the perfect solution. 150 degrees. I would have over cooked them for fear of the eggs making someone sick. I love the internet.

    I have bookmarked your site.
    The oven is cooling. I may get to sleep tonight after all.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Steph C.

    P.S.- I will never use a water bath again. I will put a pan of water on the shelf below the springforms, and thank you very much for that too.

    Reply
  5. Andrew H.

    I have read this article several times, and find very helpful. However, I find the information rather confusing with respect of baking temperature to be incomplete and confusing. The ideal temp of the cake is clearly stated, as well as the water pan for humidity to reduce chance of cracking, also there is an instruction to lower oven temp to 300 after the first 30 minutes of baking, but there is no indication of of the temp for that first 30 minutes of baking from which one is supposed to lower to 300 after that initial half half hour of baking. I am only a novice baker and find incomplete information of this kind to be very inhibiting . I would be most grateful if the author could provide this complete baking temp information.

    Reply
    • Linda Stradley

      This web page is not a recipe, but hints and tips to help you prepare and bake a perfect cheesecake. Please use the initial temperature requested in the individual recipe or recipes that you choose to use.

      Reply

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