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- 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 spring form pan, but many of our recipes can be made in a 13x9-inch baking pan.
- Always add eggs one at a time to the cream cheese batter and beat about 15 seconds or just until blended. Over mixing 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. This quick temperature change is a common 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.
- Is it done yet? Knowing when to remove your cheesecake from the oven is key to a finished dessert that’s rich, creamy and fully cooked on the inside. The edge of the baked cheesecake should be slightly puffed and the center should 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. Then refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. (Note that a shorter cooling time is required for cheesecakes baked in non-spring form pans.)
- Most baked cheesecake freeze quite well for up to 2 months. Prepare the cheesecake as directed, omitting any toppings or garnishes. Cool the cheesecake completely, and 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.