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How to Bake a Cheesecake

There are few things more impressive and delightful than a perfectly made cheesecake. And yet, how to bake a cheesecake is easy when you keep a few key things in mind. We’ve got a quick but informative cheesecake basics video, as well as cheesecake recipe videos that show the process start to finish. For more cheesecake recipes, go to the Cheesecake Center—yes, there is such a wondrous place! Since cheesecake translates into “party” in so many languages, you'll want to check out our cheesecake for all seasons on a regular basis. Take advantage of June’s bounty with strawberry cheesecake recipes, keep cool in the summer with no-bake cheesecakes, and celebrate Thanksgiving with spiced pumpkin cheesecakes. And of course, there are also chocolate cheesecakes, which please both chocolate lovers and cheesecake fans simultaneously, and all agree these are perfect any time of the year.

Tips for how to bake a cheesecake

  • A cheesecake is actually a custard baked in a crust. Because of the delicate balance of eggs and cream cheese in baked cheesecake recipes, it’s very important to follow the recipe precisely to avoid mishaps.
  • Before preparing a cheesecake recipe, be sure to bring all the ingredients to room temperature. This ensures that the prepared batter will be smooth and help prevent the baked cheesecake from cracking.
  • Traditional cheesecakes are usually baked in a 9- or 10-inch springform pan, but many of our recipes can be made in 13x9-inch baking pans if you don’t have a springform pan. This technique creates delicious cheesecake bars that are both easy to cut and serve.
  • Always add eggs 1 at a time to the cream cheese batter and beat about 15 seconds or just until blended. Overmixing the batter will incorporate too much air into the batter and result in less-than-desirable results.
  • Flour is often included in the cheesecake batter recipe to add stability to the baked cheesecake and help prevent the baked cheesecake from cracking.
  • Don’t be tempted to open the oven while baking the cheesecake as this quick temperature change is one cause of cracking. Instead use the oven light to check the progress, and refrain from opening the oven door until the low end of the recommended bake time.

How to know when a cheesecake is done

  • Is it done yet? Knowing when to remove your cheesecake from the oven is key to a finished dessert that’s rich and creamy on the inside, and fully cooked on the inside. The edge of the baked cheesecake should be slightly puffed and the center should be nearly set but be slightly jiggly. If the center doesn’t move when gently shaken, it may already be overcooked.
  • You can’t test a cheesecake for doneness by using a toothpick or knife stuck in the center as either one of these two methods could cause the cheesecake to crack.
  • After the cheesecake comes out of the oven, the cooking continues! Proper cooling is crucial to create a custard-like texture and avoid cracks. Always cool cheesecakes completely on a wire rack on the counter before refrigerating for at least 4 hours before serving. (Note that a shorter cooling time is required for cheesecakes baked in non-springform pans.)
 

How to freeze a cheesecake

  • Most baked cheesecakes freeze quite well for up to 2 months. Prepare the cheesecake as directed, omitting any toppings or garnishes. Cool the cheesecake completely, then wrap securely in plastic wrap and foil before freezing. Thaw the wrapped cheesecake in refrigerator overnight before topping as directed and serving the next day.
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How to Bake a Cheesecake
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