Posts Tagged ‘correct size pan’

Tips for cheesecake baking success

30 May

It is Cheesecake Season!!!  You are all waiting for my secret recipes, no doubt  but the secret is not in the recipes.  Anyone can make an awesome cheesecake by choosing a recipe that ”calls their name” and by using the best and finest ingredients available to you.

Here are a few tips that I’ve learned over the years.  They are sure to give you professional results every time!


  1. Leave the cream cheese at room temperature until it is pliable when you squeeze it.  (Unless the recipe specifically calls for whipped cream cheese, use the cream cheese bars.)
  2. Using a paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese with the sugar and beat well.  Scrape down the bowl and beat until you are certain that there are no lumps.  The sugar melts the cheese, so if it is not smooth at this point, it will be hard to get the lumps out later.
  3. With the mixer on LOW, add the eggs, one at a time and mix just until incorporated.  Do not beat air into the batter at this point as it may result in cracking.
  4. Add vanilla and flavorings according to your recipe.  The addition of sour cream and heavy cream will lighten the cheesecake and make it more creamy.  I use them in some but not all of my recipes.
  5. Butter the pan evenly with a cold stick of butter.  A coating of cooking spray is also acceptable.  Be sure to get every spot, including the rim so the cake rises evenly when baking.  Otherwise, cracks may result.
  6. Bake in a preheated oven in a water bath.  This means that the cake pan sits in a larger pan with an inch or more of water.  Although someone recommended baking it for longer at a lower temperature, the only benefit I can see is that the finished color will be lighter.  Likewise, leaving it in the oven to cool has no affect on the cracking of the cake.  I have never had a cake crack after coming out of the oven.  Due to time constraints, I bake my cakes at 325 or 350 degrees for about 1 hour and 10 minutes.  I remove them immediately to put in the next batch.  It’s totally fine.  Never leave the oven door propped open if you have small children walking around.
  7. Cool the cake completely!!!  Leave it on the counter or in the fridge for 6-8 hours or overnight.  If using a springform pan, release the side and remove it (a one piece cheesecake pan can be immersed in a pan of boiling water for a  few seconds and proceed).  Then, cover the cake with a paper towel,top with a plate or cake board and flip the cake upside down onto the plate/board.  Now your cake is upside down, so cover it with the plate/board you want to serve it on, and flip it back over.
  8. Slice the cheesecake with dental floss (preferably unflavored) for neat slices.

Cheesecake is very versatile and durable.  It can be frozen and defrosted several times without diminishing the flavor or texture.  It will lose some of its’ creaminess the longer it is left in the fridge, but will last safely for up to 2 weeks.

Unlike recipes for cakes and cookies, cheesecake is a baked custard and you can generally create your own flavors.  A basic recipe is 2 lbs. cream cheese, 1 3/4 cups sugar, 4 eggs, and 1 tsp vanilla.  From here you can add melted chocolate to 1/3 of the batter and marble it back in.  Or experiment with different flavors.  Add White chocolate to all of it or do dark chocolate in 1/3, milk chocolate in another 1/3 and white chocolate in another.  The sky’s the limit!