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Perfect Cheesecakes

Learn a few simple techniques to avoid lumps, cracks, and sunken middles.

Baking in a Water Bath

Cheesecake is a custard at heart. It's delicate, so you want to bake it slowly and evenly without browning the top.

The most effective way to do this is to bake it in a water bath. Since water evaporates at the boiling point, the water bath will never get hotter than 212 degrees F (100 degrees C), no matter what the oven temperature. This means that the outer edge of your cheesecake won't bake faster than the center, which can cause it to soufflé, sink, and crack.

See top-rated cheesecake recipe videos >>

Baking Cheesecake

It's common to overbake cheesecakes because, while they might look underdone, they are actually done when the center is still wobbly. At this stage, residual heat will "carry over" and the center will continue to cook.

Remove cheesecake from the oven to cool on a rack, or simply leave the door of the oven closed, turn off the heat and let the cheesecake cool for at least an hour. This helps prevent the cheesecake from sinking in the center. 

After chilling, the once-wiggly center should firm up just fine.

Mixing Matters

  • The cream cheese should be at room temperature before you begin mixing, or you'll end up with lumps in your cheesecake.
  • Using cold cream cheese also leads to overbeating--whipping too much air into the batter--which forms unattractive air bubbles on the surface of the cake.
  • Unless the recipe instructions specifically note otherwise, you should beat the cream cheese by itself until it's smooth and light, before adding any other ingredients.
  • If you end up with lumps in your batter, run the mixture through a sieve or give it a quick spin in the food processor and you'll have silky smooth results.

    Putting the Cheese in Cheesecake

    Whether you're making an Italian-style cheesecake with ricotta cheese or a classic New York cheesecake with cream cheese, don't skimp on the fat content. Reduced fat and nonfat cream cheeses contain fillers that might prevent the cheesecake from setting properly. Never substitute whipped cream cheese for the solid block.

      All About Texture

      Eating cheesecake is a very sensual experience: texture is everything. Some recipes contain a small amount of starch, such as flour or cornstarch. These cheesecakes have a more cake-like texture. Cheesecake recipes that do not contain flour are intended to be luxuriously smooth and dense.

        Gail A Henard 
        Jun. 23, 2009 6:34 am
        These tips were very helpful. Thank you!
        Jun. 28, 2009 10:42 am
        Thank you! This will help me be more confident in the future!!!
        Jun. 28, 2009 2:04 pm
        I'm baking a white chocolate raspberry cheesecake as I type this, and I made sure to follow every single tip here! They are awesome and definately gave me the confidence to try a cheesecake! :)
        roxanne w. 
        Jun. 28, 2009 2:40 pm
        I recently made my first cheesecake,it tasted ok but it cracked terribly. I wish I had read these tips first! I'm sure my next cake will be beautiful. Thanks!
        Jul. 5, 2009 3:46 am
        I have baked cheese cakes several times but it always cracks except for 1 time. There was once I noticed it cracked even before I had finish baking it, any tips on how to prevent that? And, when i soak my springfoam pan in the water bath, the crust of the cheesecake tends to end up soggy even after i wrap the base with aluminium foil. I some how feel rather clueless as how to get a perfect cheesecake. Please help.
        Peggy Faulk Ellender 
        Jul. 6, 2009 12:04 pm
        I love to bake cheesecakes. I bake them and give them to "cheesecake lovers" for their birthday (or other special occasions). My cheesecakes never or crack. I bake them as such: I preheat over to 350 degrees, put my cake in the over, and immediately turn the heat to 250 degrees. Bake 1 and 1/2 hour -- turn oven off and leave in oven for at least three hours without opening the door. Remove from oven and continue to cool. When completely cooled, refrigerate or freeze. I prefer to freeze for a few hours to aid in the slicing. I carry cheesecake to all "bring a dish" food affairs -- and they are a hit! My grandaughter-in-law always says, "MeeMaw don't buy me a birthday present, just make me a cheesecake". It is rewarding to be appreciated.
        Peggy Faulk Ellender 
        Jul. 6, 2009 12:07 pm
        correction: "never fail or crack. preheat oven (instead of over). Sorry.
        Peggy Faulk Ellender 
        Jul. 6, 2009 12:19 pm
        Also, I made up my own crust recipe. I use eight graham crackers, about two handsful of vanilla wafers, and a handful of club crackers. I grind them and one or to packages of macadamia nuts. Melt two sticks of butter and toss it into the crumbs. Butter bottom and sides of springform pan and spread the crumbs up the side and just lay them rather loosely on the bottom, covering bottom well. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool crust before adding the cheesecake batter. Everyone comments about how great the crust is. Actually this is enough crust for two crusts -- one nine inch and one eight inch pan -- because that is what my recipe will fill.
        Jul. 14, 2009 4:46 pm
        I kind of likes the cracks on the tops of the cheesecakes, it gives it character.
        Jul. 22, 2009 2:36 pm
        Water bath tip-Try using a Turkey size clear plastic baking bag insted of lining the spring form pan with foil. Chedk for leaks first, but should prevent any soggy crusts. Mine came out perfect-no cracks!
        Linda in Tucson 
        Jul. 24, 2009 8:40 am
        After making loads of cheesecakes over the past 30 years, this recipe and the tips incredibly changed me forever. I am throwing my old recipe out! I never knew of these tips and they make all the difference in creating a great cheeseake, especially the water-bath and room temp ingredients! I did think it was a bit too creamy, and will try less milk and flour the next time though.
        Aug. 25, 2009 10:04 pm
        does anyone have a cheesecake recipe without flour?
        Aug. 25, 2009 10:05 pm
        how exactly does a water bath work, is it just the cheescake sitting in a pan of water?
        Aug. 26, 2009 6:05 pm
        To do a water bath, you need to wrap the cake pan in 2 or more layers of aluminum foil so that the water will not penetrate the contents of the pan. After you've water sealed the cake pan, put it in a baking pan with sides that are 2" or so. Fill the baking pan, around the cake pan, with hot water. Bake the cheesecake as instructed.
        Aug. 26, 2009 6:06 pm
        I should have also mentioned that the water only needs to come up to half or so of the cake pan.
        Aug. 31, 2009 3:52 pm
        My cheesecakes always get soggy from the water but yet I used 3 layers of aluminum foil just to try to prevent this...does the water boil in the over therefore possibly overflowing into the foil? How can I make sure that I have a water tight seal?
        Sep. 3, 2009 9:14 am
        Just wondering if the foil goes inside the cheesecake pan or just around the outside.
        Sep. 3, 2009 9:38 am
        outside deb....I did inside once...not good. I LOVE the idea of the turkey bag though...I'm going to try that this time!
        carlton blake 
        Sep. 7, 2009 9:11 pm
        thanks for the tips im going to make one tommorrow and see how it goes! cant waite to see what happens.
        Sep. 17, 2009 12:29 pm
        Instead of a traditional water bath put a pan of water on the rack below the rack that has your cheesecake. Works just as well (creates steam in the oven) and no risk of soggy crust.
        Sep. 18, 2009 11:55 am
        I fill the cups in a muffin pan about half full of water and place my springform pan on top of it. Crust can't soak up the water!
        Sep. 20, 2009 11:34 am
        I love the tip about leaving the cheesecake in the oven with the door closed for a few hours to cool. I'm definitely going to try that today when I bake my Snickers cheesecake.
        Sep. 21, 2009 8:26 pm
        Ive never put my springform IN a water bath. I put it NEXT TO a pan filled with water. This works!!!
        Sep. 25, 2009 9:39 am
        Well I have never baked a cheescake but with all tese tips, I hope I have perfection. I have always bought the box. Thank you
        Sep. 28, 2009 1:13 pm
        I bake cheesecake all the time! My only problem is the center never completley firms up. Any suggestions, please? ?
        Janene C. 
        Oct. 3, 2009 4:55 pm
        I took a couple of readers' suggestions and combined hints, and my chocolate cheesecake looks great...except my cheesecake filling did pull away from the crust a bit. I haven't taken it out of the pan yet, and haven't tasted it yet (other than the pulling looks smells and looks delicious...) What did I do to cause the pulling away?
        Janene C. 
        Oct. 3, 2009 4:59 pm
        I might add...I did bake it in a water bath, with the cheesecake in a turkey cooking bag (great idea!) and I did turn off the oven and let it continue to cook and cool in the oven. (At this point it was jiggly in the center, but from what I read, this was normal...) There are no cracks or bubbles; beautiful smooth top...just this pulling away from the graham cracker crust. It the crust going to crumble when I take the form pan off?
        Oct. 8, 2009 8:41 am
        all these tips has inspired me to make a cheesecake this weekend.
        Oct. 9, 2009 7:15 pm
        ok I wll try and hope my cheesecake comes as good as you guys have made them!
        Oct. 18, 2009 8:53 am
        Some other hints: Make sure your oven temp is "true". Buy an oven thermometer and adjust the dial accordingly. I separate the springform parts and place a piece of foil over the top of the base. Then, place the ring on/over the base pulling the edges of the foil up around the outside of the ring. This keeps your oven clean as the butter in the crust will otherwise melt and leak out. It also helps with popping off the base when you are ready to place the cheesecake on the serving dish. Make sure the cheesecake is well chilled. I like the previous comment about placing it in the freezer for a couple of hours. 2 main sources of cracking - over beating and cooling too quickly. I only use the water bath when the recipe specifically calls for it. Enjoy!
        Oct. 19, 2009 12:53 am
        I am so looking forward to making a cheesecake now that I have all of these useful and handy tips! I will let you know how it goes! Wish me luck!
        Oct. 25, 2009 9:10 am
        Instead of baking it in a water bath I baked the cake in my steam oven at 140°C with 80% humidity. I let it cool out in the oven. It turned out perfect with no cracks at all.
        Oct. 27, 2009 1:40 pm
        Oh yay! I'm so glad I read these tips! I looove to bake cheesecake as well as eat it so this will make my experience so much better. I was nodding my head as I read others about the butter leaking out of the pan and the soggy crusts.. I'm so glad it just wasn't my cheesecakes. I thought I was doing something so wrong. Now with these hints I will be so successful. Thanks everyone for your input and I am going to try the turkey roaster bag this weekend. Cheesecake for all!
        Nov. 1, 2009 1:38 pm
        finaly i can make a cheesecake that won't fall apart
        Nov. 4, 2009 5:08 am
        Help! I love cheesecake but I live in Greece and sour cream is not available here. Can anyone tell me if I can use full-fat strained yogurt as a substitute for sour cream? All feedback is greatly appreciated!
        Nov. 8, 2009 4:20 am
        hmm, you can try it out! ive never done it before though!
        Nov. 11, 2009 6:26 am
        Thanks for all the hints, Will try some of them this holiday.
        Nov. 11, 2009 6:47 am
        Thanks for all the hints. I have used the same cheesecake recipe for years and it is always delicious - but it also always cracks in the middle. I am going to make a pumpkin cheesecake for Thanksgiving and I will try leaving it in the oven to cool. I may also try putting a pan of water on the rack below. Hope it works!
        Nov. 16, 2009 5:56 am
        Im in desparate need of advice and how to stop a cheesecake from cracking once it starts. it is usually under cooked. any advice on what to do?
        Nov. 18, 2009 5:55 am
        i just recently moved to greece and there is no sour cream here. anything else i can use instead? thanx
        Nov. 18, 2009 2:39 pm
        efi i think we might get lucky with the sour cream. thanopoulos supermarket in kiffisia has a huge section of american products. i will check there.
        Nov. 19, 2009 11:30 am
        I'm baking a Sweet Potato Cheesecake this Thanksgiving. It calls for a water bath, and frankly I'm concerned because I've never made a cheesecake and I don't have time to make one before to "perfect" it. When using the turkey bag, do you have to poke a hole in the top, or leave it open in any way? I'm thinking of doing this and want to make sure I get it right. Thanx!
        Bowlin' granny 
        Nov. 21, 2009 8:49 pm
        I'm soooo glad I read your instructions on how to make a cheesecake filling. I had always beaten it way too much! I'm going to attempt a pumpkin cheesecake for Thanksgiving. My problem has always been an inability to set up the cheesecake. I'm guessing that it was because I always overbeat it! I refuse to let a cheesecake get the best of- - - wish me (good ) luck!
        Nov. 24, 2009 4:41 pm
        This is my first time making "Pumpkin cheesecake" and the first trial was good tasting but cracked. I tried it again and it came out perfect! The only question i have is when do you remove the form from around the cheesecake? PLEASE can someone tell me when???
        Nov. 25, 2009 5:13 am
        They say to avoid cracks, you need to bake the cheesecake in a water bath. I have done this many times, but I still get cracks as the cake cools......any suggestions please???
        Nov. 25, 2009 7:37 am
        When adding the eggs, only mix enough to blend them. My son was helping me and my normally fairly dense cheesecake was a more cakey fluffy creation. Not nearly as smooth as usual.
        Nov. 25, 2009 7:39 pm
        just made a cheesecake and i didnt think i over beat it and well huge cracks and a sinking center...with thanksgiving tomorrow im starting another one...I like the filling of the muffin tins for a bath, and im weary about the foil around the inside of the pan....I hope this one works!!
        Nov. 25, 2009 11:09 pm
        I just made the brownie caramel cheesecake and it did crack, but I'm just going to fill all those cracks up with drizzled caramel and chocolate! :)
        Nov. 26, 2009 6:06 am
        Thanks! These would have been good to have last night before I botched my choc cheesecake! Now I know for next time!
        Dec. 3, 2009 5:37 am
        I am making cheese cakes for gifts and need to move them from the sprinform base to a plate. How can I facilitate this without damaging the cheese cake? I was wondering if it was possible to buy those corrigated forms and cover them with foil and place them in the bottom of the springform pan. Does that sound reasonable? Any suggestions.
        Dec. 3, 2009 3:47 pm
        Thank you all for your suggestions. I used a little of this and a little of that!!! I lined the bottom of the springform with parchment paper, cut to fit. I also sprayed the bottom and sides of the pan with cooking spray(then layed the parchment paper in the bottom). I put hot water in a 13x9 pan and baked the cake on the shelf above it. Left the cheesecake in the oven for about 2 hours,after it was done baking, then on the counter for another 2. Some 4 hours later, I used hot water and a butter knife around the form slowly, and re-dipped the knife every 3"-4". Then released the form. I cut a piece of parchment paper and placed it on a plate, placed the plate with paper ontop of cake and flipped it. To my surprise, the parchment paper was still on the form base, not on the cake! Got a platter and flipped the cake on the party platter, and pulled off the paper, cake intact. Just placed it in the fridge.
        Dec. 14, 2009 3:11 pm
        Great suggestion re putting hot water in muffin tins underneath the cheesecake to prevent cracking. I make a very heavy cheesecake with a topping (combined about 3 cheesecake recipes) and it always cracked. In the past, I just filled in the cracks with the topping, but this will work even better (more overall topping!). If there's any interest in a heavy cheesecake, I can post the recipe.
        Dec. 19, 2009 12:12 pm
        Can I freeze the cheesecakes with the fruit topping on or wait and add just before serving ?
        Dec. 23, 2009 1:57 pm
        These tips helped me finally make a good-looking cheesecake. Thank you so much!
        Dec. 28, 2009 2:44 pm
        I would love a good cheesecake receipe that tastes like cheesecake factory :) the one I have made is from the philly cream cheese wrapper and the taste just isnt right... anyone help?
        Jan. 6, 2010 9:52 am
        Good ideas from everyone. Some I have used - water bath though I just put a pan with water on lower rack & it's helped. But one thing I read & do all the time now is when cheesecake is baked, I immediately take a knife & go around the outer edge to loosen it from the sides. This prevents cracking since it frees the cake from sort of having a "tug of war" & it doesn't split as it cools. Has worked for me on many a cheesecake.
        Jan. 14, 2010 10:39 am
        i'm looking for a cheesecake cutting guide that you lay on top and press down to form cutting lines. where can i buy such an item?
        Jan. 14, 2010 1:53 pm
        these tips were very helpful... a lot of commons sense really, thanks for posting this.
        Jan. 31, 2010 5:24 pm
        I have a recipe so close to the Cheesecake Factory Cheesecake you would never know the difference except it's homemade and not make in CA and shipped frozen to it's next destination.
        Feb. 1, 2010 1:47 am
        In reading through the various cheesecake entries, I believe the intent of the water bath may have been misunderstood: The intend of the bath is to keep the edges of the cake at a temperature of 212, or 100 F which might be the reason folks who have the water separately may still experience cracking and sticking to some extent. No doubt, some cracking may be reduced or eliminated by virtue of a humid environment. Would not a very heavy aluminum foil carefully rapped around the spring form ensure against leakage?
        Feb. 1, 2010 10:55 pm
        For those of us who live in other countries where sour cream is not available, here's a very good substitute. Place 1/4 cup unflavored yogurt in a clean jar. Slowly and thoroughly mix in 3/4 cup whipping cream. Close jar tightly and leave in warm place for 3 hours. (We live in the tropics, so I just leave the jar out on the counter in the kitchen.) Store in refrigerator overnight, and in the morning it you will have thick, rich sour cream!
        Feb. 2, 2010 7:53 pm
        MARlENE ref: CHEESE CAKE,Dec, 14, 09 Would love to have your heavy cheese cake recipe. What do you bake it in?
        Feb. 2, 2010 10:10 pm
        CheesecakeLady, I would like to have a copy of your recipe. Would you share please!
        Feb. 3, 2010 2:12 am
        Hey! I'm only 13 and i have made a cheesecake before and it never cracked or anything but it was a bit cheesy... but since learning these tips i think i can improve. I'm getting A's 90% and above and above fore food and nutrition at my school (mercedes college) and i will add these tips to my food book. Thanks!!!!!!! :):):)
        Feb. 3, 2010 2:13 am
        Oh by the way...a tip: When you take it out of the oven let it set!!!
        Feb. 3, 2010 2:16 am
        I am also looking for a good cheescake recipe that is easy and has no chocolate or nuts in it in it. ( i am allergic) Please help me out!! Thanks!! :):):)
        Feb. 3, 2010 2:16 am
        comments are great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        Feb. 3, 2010 6:41 am
        Thank you for the hints. They are so helpful.
        Feb. 3, 2010 12:59 pm
        Read all the hints, and will use alot of them. My boss want's me to make cheesecake for desert for 60 people, and since I haven't made it before, it's quite a challenge! Just not sure what kind to make. Any suggestions?
        Feb. 5, 2010 3:47 pm
        I also want to know how to get the cheesecake off the bottom of the springform pan so I can give as gifts. I'm afraid to try flipping the cake as Cher suggested, any other suggestions? Thanks
        Feb. 9, 2010 6:53 pm
        I have a family recipe I love, heavy with 4 blocks cream cheese and 2 lbs sour cream. Put it in a 10" springform. The sides are always high, so I once tried a water bath and cooked it forever and ever and it didn't get cooked. Lately I tried reducing the heat 25 degree and it stayed flat, but still very brown on the top and still not quite cooked in the center. Any suggestions?
        Feb. 12, 2010 8:27 am
        Thank you soo much! This helps out a lot, I am the one who thinks that since the middle is still wobbly, it needs to cook more and it ends up cracked in the middle. Very frustrated I was until reading this. Thanks again. RJ
        Feb. 12, 2010 2:50 pm
        Hi! all the cheesecakes i've had from delis never have the grahm cracker crust and im I'm wondering- is it possible to make the cheesecake without any crust at home? If so, can someone PLEASE tell me how to do it. Thanks :)
        Feb. 21, 2010 5:04 pm
        I have never made a cheesecake so I've been trying to learn all I can about the process before diving in. Well,tomorrow is the big day!It's Cheesecake Monday!
        Feb. 27, 2010 7:10 am
        I use graham cracker crumbs and brown sugar with 2 stick og butter for my crust. in the bottom of a springform pan, press down and up the sides, bake for 10 min on 350 and cool completely. Then i line the outer rim with parchment paper, fill with cream cheese filing and bake slowly on 250 for about 11/2 hrs cool completely in oven. when releasing the sping form pan, the parchment paper peels right off and my sides are beautiful
        Feb. 27, 2010 7:15 am
        I should check my spelling I apologize, please make sure your oven cooks at the temp you set it at. Mine I always forget cooks hotter and I just burnt my crust!! I hate when that happens..
        Feb. 28, 2010 3:06 pm
        If you want to skip the step of making a graham cracker crust, buy a pan with a pre-made crust, then cut the recipe in half. That way you do not have to worry about a soggy crust because the pan is water-proof. Also, if you are like me and love cheesecake, but do not have a lot of people to eat it, you will not make as much... and your love handles will not grow as much!
        Mar. 9, 2010 7:33 am
        These tips will help me make sucess.
        Apr. 3, 2010 7:03 pm
        These are helpful tips for creating a perfect cheese cake. This dessert freezes well too.
        Apr. 9, 2010 12:29 am
        My own fav ccake recipie uses chocolate graham cracker crust,Philly ccheese with 5 personal serving size cups of Snack Pack chocolate pudding in place of ccheese(same consistency)Bake 45m @350,cool,chill overnight,top with Comstock cherry pie filling then grate a dark chocolate candy bar over the cherries.It has a very seductive look to it!I call it My Bloody Valentine cake!No one has refused it yet,enjoy!
        Apr. 10, 2010 9:47 pm
        I make cheesecakes for a pizza shop and use a 9" spring pan from Wal Mart.The print is so small on it I can't read the maker but it is stamped made in Germany on the silver release tab. It has a smooth surface and they are a cream color on the inside and come in red or apple green in color on the outside. They are the best pans. I take a long edge meat slicing knife and run it under the crust and it slides right off onto a plate with no damage to the cake or pan. I love the pan so much I went and purchased a 2nd one in case they stop stocking them. They have them in stock all of the time and they are not expensive. I also place my cheesecake on a air bake cookie sheet while baking on the middle rack in my oven when it is done I run a sharp knife around the edge 10 minutes after it comes out of the oven. I also place mine in the microwave without turning it on of course just to cool for a few hours.
        May 2, 2010 3:31 pm
        I have experienced my cheesecake leaking in the oven as Debbie describes in her 10-18-09 comment, so I will try her "foil over the base suggestion". But I have also had a sticky liquid (but not greasy/buttery) settle to the bottom of the cake plate while it's in the refrigerator between meals. What is the likely cause, and how can I avoid having this liquid form?
        May 3, 2010 10:58 am
        I am making a New York Style Cheesecake right now, and it called for 1 cup of sour cream but I added 2 by accident (I had been looking at a different recipe the other day that called for 2 cups, 1 cup in the cheesecake and 1 cup as a topping). Will my cheesecake be ruined by me adding 2 cups of sour cream into the cheesecake instead of just one? Please help! Thank you!
        May 13, 2010 11:37 am
        Try your springform pan on top of a pizza stone, keeps it cooking evenly and I have no cracks.
        May 15, 2010 3:14 pm
        All of these tips seem very helpful and now I will take the "plunge" and try making my first cheesecake! I have been reluctant in the past. Will post a comment later and let everyone know how it went!
        May 20, 2010 12:43 pm
        I'm searching desperately for the recipe of the "Cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory". I've tried so many recipes with Philly cream cheese, New York styles.. for years but the texture is still not the one :( Can anyone please help me? For me the look is not the matter, just the taste :D.
        Mama KK 
        Jun. 15, 2010 8:39 pm
        I am MOST DEFINITELY interested in the heavy cheesecake recipe from Marlene 12/14/09 as well as the Cheesecake Factory recipe from The CheesecakeLady 1/31/10! Thank you thank you!
        Hira Mohsin 
        Jun. 24, 2010 12:18 pm
        I followed the recipe as it is taking all the precautions except i baked it in a oven safe glass dish. It didnt crack but it browned. My oven temp. was 350 and i baked it for 50 mins. Any suggestions?
        Jul. 31, 2010 10:43 am
        Part of the issue of cracking is because as it cools, it shrinks slightly. As it sticks to the outside of the pan, the stress is relieved in the center. My fix is to extend the crust up the sides to completely contain the filling. The crust "gives" to the shrinkage, and cracks are much less likely in the center.
        Aug. 4, 2010 11:41 am
        I make savory cheesecakes to sell in my catering business. I'm having trouble with the cakes forming a skin on the top. Any suggestions on how to prevent this? It seems like it happens mostly on my gorgonzola cheesecake, and less on my roasted tomato one.
        Sep. 2, 2010 1:09 am
        Get creative with your "cracks" - don't let them spoil your day! Cover'em up! Stick small berries or sliced strawberries down those cracks - theiy're perfect for keeping all that nice, fresh, unadorned fruit from rolling off that scrumptious cheese cake. Now your guests will be able to enjoy the beautiful color-contrats of those bright berries against creamy lushness like never before. nd the cracks wit make the berries paint a modern masterpiece of art across your creation. Or if you refew something more quieter, mix 2 tablespoons of extra fine white sugar into 8 ox of good sour cream. When well mixed, carefully and gently pour this mix down into the now cooled-off fissures that have resulted from the crackes. Fill to just below the level of the top of the cake. Let sit for a bit to be sure the "patch "holds". Is so, pop back into a 350 over for 2-3 minutes, keeping a close eye on the cake. We;re just gong for a "setting", not a baking. Remove from oven and let cool down, examine pat
        Sep. 4, 2010 11:31 am
        My husband is famous for making his New York style cheesecake, but it always cracks a little bit and he gets upset; next time we are going to try the water method and see if that helps - really good tips; and you are right, it is so hard to tell when it is done, always have to fight the urge to overcook it.
        Sep. 14, 2010 4:13 pm
        These tips were very helpful, especially when my cheesecakes always crack on top. I'll leave in oven to cool..Thanks Sandy Stahler
        Herby Bug 
        Sep. 15, 2010 9:58 am
        Actually, I want my cheesecake to sink in the middle. I thought cooling it in the oven made it happen, I guess not. It makes a nice well for the ooey gooey toppings I like to use, and a denser custard, which texture I like the best.
        Oct. 9, 2010 7:15 pm
        If I'm making a cheesecake to give away, I always cut a piece of parchment paper to place on the bottom of the pan. I also turn the bottom of the pan over so I have the raised side up. Between the smooth side of the pan and the parchment paper it slides off nicely onto a cake board perfect for giving. I always use a water bath and I never have cracks. Be careful not to overbeat your batter, and add room temp eggs one at a time mixing only to combine. Plus, I shut off the oven leave it in with the door ajar so it cools slowly because quick cooling also causes cracks.
        Oct. 20, 2010 3:23 pm
        Great website & comments! I make a triple chocolate cheesecake with a chocolate crust. To slide the bottom of the cake pan off easy I first cover the bottom with aluminum foil and leave abut 2" overhang and replace the sides. Then I put a round piece of parchment over the foil, butter it and put the crust. When I have to remove the sides, I lift the cake holding the overhang, slip off the parchment and slip the cake over a cake board on to a pretty plate with a stand. And my only problem is even if the cake is very cold, cutting into portions with a damp knife dipped in water & wiped clean, still gets messy. But the cake is to die for!!
        Oct. 31, 2010 8:56 pm
        Use the BIG foil, and you won't have water seepage. I don't know what it's called, but it's like, twice the width of the regular stuff and you can buy it at any grocery store. I've never had any issues with it :)
        Nov. 3, 2010 1:49 pm
        I have been unable to find a cheesecake pan that doesn't leak. Any suggestions?
        Nov. 4, 2010 1:43 pm
        I have read all these great tips....been making cheesecakes for a looong when I decided to go into business to sell them.....the first customer I made for, the crust was soggy...this order was 4 cheesecakes !!! ALL of them were soggy...I made two 6", an 8" and a 9"...and cooked them all at once !! I was concerned about cooking them all at once....but they came out fantastic... I NEVER had a soggy crust issue...(I have never even had one crack...ever !! I guess I have been lucky !!) so it really knocked me down a peg or two !! I make all organic and they are very easy..and oh-so-yummy....I then went out and bought the large (18") roll of foil,AND I didn't let the water boil....some website I read said add icecubes to the water if it does start to I was shocked when THAT crust was my ego is really shaken and fragile ...tee-hee..I am at a standstill...YEARS I have been setting them IN a bath....I am now going to try what I came on this site to find out....
        Nov. 4, 2010 2:51 pm
        Thank you for these tips...if i hadn't gotten them, i would have ended up making a bad mistake...thanx again...:)
        Nov. 4, 2010 11:16 pm
        I am definately going to make a cheesecake this week, for the holidays as well, i'm using Chantal's New York Cheesecake recipe it sounds great with many 5 star reviews, i had always made my own and came out okay, but hopefully this one with all these tips along with it will come out great, thanks! We LOVE cheesecake!!!
        Nov. 5, 2010 2:33 pm
        I make a awsome cheesecake and that is because these tips is what i have been doing. Now i can tell everyone that likes my cheesecakes were to go for tips so they can make their own cheesecakes. Thank you
        good stuff 
        Nov. 8, 2010 2:55 pm
        Great notes and comments. I do leave the oven open to coll down and help set the cake. However, I would like to cut slices and seperate with strips of parchment. Will I be able to do this by a short freeze first ? Thank you. Bill
        Dv G 
        Nov. 12, 2010 2:29 pm
        hey Fellow cheesecakiers.. Ive been combining and combining all these comments and so I cant make my cheesecake without saying thanks to everyone and their two cents that Im sure will inspire all of us to make an ULTIMATE CHEESECAKE.. Take care everyone and 1.can anyone tell me a great NON GRAHAM CRACKER crust recipe .... 2.I wanna make a topping with gellatin as well as cherry filling ..any ideahs??
        Nov. 14, 2010 1:37 pm
        Glad that I was able to read about this, I prefer my cheesecake to be more dense and not cake like, so this tip was all I needed, Thanks!
        Nov. 16, 2010 8:57 pm
        These tips are great, and I have used them myself. Since I've been doing this for 30 years and had my own business out of my home, I must tell you my secrets. Do not use a springform pan...use a 10" cake pan with 3" high sides (or and 8" cake pan). This defeats all leaks! First cook your crust in this prepped pan: grease/spray inside the pan; cut a round of parchment paper and place on the bottom; cut 5" lengths of parchment paper and line the sides. You'll need the height when you make them like I do (mine start at no less than 5 lbs each). You will need to spray a little on overlapping paper so it will stick and stay up. Now spray the inside of the parchment lined pan. In a very large rectangular shaped baking dish with at least 2" sides, place on middle rack of preheated oven and fill with 1" of BOILING water (you want the water hot from the beginning). As previously pointed out, the waterbath is to keep constant temperature. Pour the batter into the crust. Place your filled cake pa
        Nov. 17, 2010 3:52 am
        I forgot the obvious...after inverting onto the cookie sheet, remove the parchment paper from the bottom and sides of the cheesecake. After getting the cake turned over onto the cookie sheet, you will have to smack the bottom of the pan several times to get it out of the pan onto the plastic wrap.
        Nov. 17, 2010 5:46 am
        Thank You soo much! I feel alot more confedent in making the cheesecakes for Thanksgiving!!! Thanks for the easy tips!
        Nov. 18, 2010 10:48 am
        To Dv G: I make great g. crackers...most call for too much sugar, I feel...and I never cook with butter...I use coconut oil.......#1: 2 c.ground shredded coconut; 1/2 cup toasted, ground cashews,1/8t. salt,1/4 c. agave. do not cook....freeze i5 min. #2:for pumpkin pies...I use 2 c. ground,roasted pecans, 1t. ginger, 3T. sugar, 1/8t. salt..even though the pecans are oily,it doesn't bind well at this point, I still add a little coconut oil to bind...I don't measure...I don't believe it is even more than a teasp.... Don't cook this either...freeze for 15 min. I get rave reviews from these 2 crusts. I do use all organic ingredients, though.
        Nov. 18, 2010 10:56 am
        typo !! on #1..I freeze for 15 min. And to let all you know...I do not put the pan IN the water bath anymore...I put a roasting pan with hot water on the bottom soggy crusts now !! And you can put two 5" and two 6" pans on the upper shelf with no harm to filling cooking uneven. You can also put two 9" on one shelf...stagger...1 in front on the left...and one more in back on the right side of that top shelf....turn pans around and move front one to back and vice versa after 35 min.I haven't had a problem yet...knock on wood...
        Nov. 19, 2010 8:33 pm
        BURNT QUESTION! 1st off, i love this site! i'm just starting my cheesecake journey so this is such a great help... my 1st CC was 1 i just tweeked a bit- pretty simple...ny style filling with a pumpkin spice graham crust (graham, cinn sugar and pumpkin pie spice) i dont like pumpkin pie but this crust gives the cheesecake that spice flavor...mmm!....anyway, im making 6 inch ones now as well for holiday gifts... but the one i made tonight had an oreo crust... i have to say it tastes a little burnt... the cake itself looked ok...but the crust has a funny taste... is this normal with chocolate crusts? also, is there an easy chocolate glaze i can make for the top? i want to use dark or milk chocolate and then add white chocolate curls on top... thanks guys! :)
        Nov. 20, 2010 7:27 am
        UPDATE: ok soi guess it just needed more time to cool bc the cookie crust is awesome!.... i love how thick and rick these care coming out...who knew?
        Nov. 20, 2010 7:30 am
        TEQUILA CHEESECAKE??? i love tequila - i'm thinking about making a crushed pretzel crust, filling with just a hint of lime, and topping it with a tequila glaze i found (for poundcake) which is tequila and powdered sugur... not sure how it will come out but its work a shot... any other ideas??
        Nov. 20, 2010 8:16 pm
        Great tips, everyone. I've used the "pan of water in the oven" trick many tips - occassionally still have a crack in my cheesecake ... so, those are the cheesecakes that get a finishing glaze! LOL I've never had a complaint - although my Mom used to comment on the glazed slices "cracked again, dear?" Whatever, the glaze was a trick I learned from her! LOL
        Nov. 20, 2010 8:17 pm
        OOPS. Many TIMES. My bad.
        Nov. 25, 2010 1:15 am
        Nov. 29, 2010 6:04 pm
        Several years ago I went to a neighborhood party and someone brought a pumpkin cheesecake. It was delicious but what I want to duplicate is it's texture -- it was very light and very fluffy! I have tried several recipes but haven't even come close. Any suggestions?
        Dec. 3, 2010 2:46 pm
        Oh thanks for the tips!!! I am going to try again!
        Dec. 8, 2010 4:33 am
        The Tips are awesome !! I tried the Boiling Hot water underneath the cheesecake and it worked- No cracks!!! ~ Thank You !! Has anyone tried the recipe of cheesecake factory cheesecake?
        Dec. 9, 2010 11:45 am
        If you put the crust in the oven while it is preheating then take it out to fill it this usually helps with the soggyness factor. It also helps to put a pan the rack under the cheesecake with water in it instead of around it.
        Dec. 17, 2010 9:01 am
        I just used the waterbath for the first time and no cracks. I also let it sit in the oven for 1 1/2 hours with the temp turned off. I then took the cake out of the water bath and tinfoil and put it on a baking sheet and put it back in the oven for 3 more hours. No cracks and middle looks set but I'm giving it a bit more time in a cooler oven. Thanks for the tips!!!
        Dec. 22, 2010 9:13 am
        Do you leave the foil wrapped springform in the water bath while letting it sit in the oven for 1 1/2 hours with temp turned off?
        Dec. 23, 2010 11:32 am
        Dec. 23, 2010 6:21 pm
        I knew to cook them in a water bath - it's a must to do so. it worked perfect for these mini cheesecakes, I did as above and left them in the oven (off) to cool. Purfect thanks
        Cathi S 
        Dec. 24, 2010 7:32 pm
        The only problem I have with my Cheesecakes is how to get it out of the springform pan. When giving them as gifts, my crust always gets stuck to the bottom therefore leaving most of the crust in the bottom. Maybe I am pressing to hard? Any ideas??
        Dec. 28, 2010 9:55 pm
        I NEVER water bath! I make cheesecake all the time and have never had a problem just cooking it in the oven. I think the texture is better without the water bath.
        half baked 
        Dec. 28, 2010 10:20 pm
        Thank You, cheesecake being my next adventure this was extremely useful.
        Dec. 28, 2010 10:50 pm
        I love the custardy texture of a cheesecake that's been cooked in a bain Marie (waterbath). If any of you has made a caramel custard, creme brule, or flan, you will understand what I'm talking about. They're all baked that way. You cannot get that texture without a bain Marie. You can, however, get a NY-style cheesecake without it. For a cheesecake with flour, don't bother. It's never going to have a custardy texture. The turkey bag idea sounds very cool. I've always used the extra-wide foil, but I might try that. For those who don't like graham crackers crusts--neither do I. I detest them. I use either crushed Zweiback (it's only made in Europe and only a few places sell it since the US company discontinued it) or crushed plain biscotti. Use a rolling pin or food processor to crush them. I butter the sides of the pan heavily, put parchment on the bottom, butter the bottom again. Then I just sprinkle the bottom and sides heavily with the crushed crumbs. There's no real crust. I've
        Dec. 29, 2010 12:01 am
        If you want to use bain Marie (waterbath) - Instead of putting foil on the bottom of the pan - put the cake in an alumminum foil pan and then put it in the larger pan that has the water. No problems of water getting into the cake mixture. Also for those who have trouble getting the cake out of the pan - I use Bkers Joy - no stick baking spray - no cake sticks to the pan and the cakes come out beautifully - no after taste from the "spray".
        Dec. 29, 2010 12:04 am
        When useing cream cheese as a filling - you don't have to use a bain Marie - using any other "soft" cheese - I use a bain Marie - it holds the cheese filling better.
        Dec. 29, 2010 12:12 am
        For those of you who want to give your cheese cake or any other cake as a gift - bake it ib a aluminum foil pan and you will not have to worry about getting you baking pan back.
        Dec. 29, 2010 5:17 am
        I have been baking cheese cake for a while now.... tried different types. i baked a black forrest and cut it in half then baked a cheese cake on top of 1 half, put it all back together as if is was a a bforrest when my friend got into it is was a wonderfully pleasant surprise...
        Dec. 29, 2010 5:17 am
        I find it is also very helpful to open up the oven when the cheesecake has finished baking and before cooling and run a sharp knife clear around the edges of the pan to loosen it. That way when it pulls away from the pan, it doesn't meet with any resistance which would cause it to crack. Then I cool it in the oven for about half an hour.
        Dec. 29, 2010 7:20 am
        Did Marlene (12-2009) ever post her "heavy" cheesecake recipe? There are a few who would like to try it!
        Dec. 30, 2010 6:07 am
        I watched a video on Expert Village .They show you how to fix the cracks and step by step on making a cheese cake.
        Dec. 30, 2010 12:41 pm
        Cathi S. asked on Dec 24th for suggestions on getting the crust not to stick to the bottom of the pan so it can be easily removed so as to give her cheesecake as a gift.....may I suggest using a round made from parchment paper in the bottom of the springform (trace a circle onto parchment paper using the bottom of the pan, then cut inside the traced circle)carefully press you crust into place, so as not to displace the paper. I have done this and it works beautifully.......just warn people the is paper at the bottom of the cake :)
        Dec. 30, 2010 12:43 pm
        correction, YOUR not you and THERE not the ....sorry
        Jan. 6, 2011 8:33 am
        This has to be the most awesome collection of Cheesecake tips I have ever read. I particularly like the Zwieback-Biscotti idea because I do not like graham cracker crusts. Thank you everybody who contributed. I read every one of them....I guess it goes without saying, you have to use real creamed cheese.
        Jan. 6, 2011 12:35 pm
        I like to put a sheet of parchment on the bottom of my pan and put the side on right over it and double wrap in foil, then bake in a water bath. i shut the oven off at the end of baking time and leave the cheesecake in there, then after 10 minutes i carefully slide a knife around the edge and put it back in the oven for a couple hours. next i let it cool to room temperature and stick it in the freezer for a couple hours. after it's firm i take the side off, turn it upside down onto a sheet of wax paper and carefully take off the bottom and peel off parchment. then you just invert it onto a serving plate and you have a beautiful cheesecake.
        Jan. 7, 2011 12:34 pm
        I have a question for jullrich or anyone else that can answer....when the cheesecake goes into the freezer temporarily, approximately how long is it kept in for and does it need to be covered (like with plastic wrap)
        Jan. 7, 2011 2:09 pm
        Great tips for the cheesecakes. I will use them. Love good cheesecakes
        Jan. 26, 2011 6:28 am
        OMG, i baked a cheesecake for the first time in my life, and it turned out perfect ! these tips are really helpful. Thanks to Peggy Faulk Ellender, I followed your recipe and instructions for the crust and the baking procedure, i have never been so happy with my cooking !!m loving it :)
        Jan. 26, 2011 6:35 am
        I altered the recipe a bit, and added 3 tbsp of sweet condensed milk in the filling. also i baked the cake in water bath @ 270 degrees for 1 hr and 25 mins. I also let the cake rest in the oven for about an hour, and then cooled it further for 10 mins in a cooling rack. After it was completely cooled down, I wrapped it in plastic wrap, and chilled overnight in the fridge.
        Jan. 29, 2011 10:34 am
        Thanks to all the tips, I made the perfect cheesecake! I've never been able to make a cheesecake without cracks before. I used a water bath, and wrapped heavy duty foil around the spring form pan. The crust didn't turn soggy, like others said their's did. I used a large lipped pan, so the water wasn't very deep. I did have to refill the pan with water one time. Very pleased with the outcome!
        Jan. 30, 2011 9:59 am
        I am trying to make little single serving mini cheesecakes in the silver foil cupcake wraps. Has any one ever tried this? and will they turn out?
        Feb. 5, 2011 5:20 pm
        These are very helpful tips! I have made cheesecakes for years, without a water bath, and they turn out fine. My secret is, don't over beat the room temp. cream cheese, don't over beat room temp. eggs, make the crust more up the sides of the springform pan that has been sprayed with oil, line he springform pan with parchment paper that has been cut to fit so you can slide the cake off as a gift...and invert the bottom part of pan FIRST so it will be flat, and you can slide the cake. Always use a very thin knife and slide around the edges when it comes out of the oven, and let it cool at least 1 hr. before you refrig. I use the sour cream toppings above, and fruit. Always a hit, because it is something different. Judyb.
        Feb. 6, 2011 7:19 am
        I had no idea people felt cheesecakes were so difficult. I've been making it the same way for 20 years, several times a year. Waterbath with a springform - are you serious? You're nuts. Cooking should be fun and sometimes challenging, not roulette. The Red Betty Crocker book has the NY style - 475 for 15 minutes then lower to 200 for an hour. COOL IN OVEN for two hours. Mine very rarely cracks. If you do NOT have an oven thermometer (or a clean oven for that matter) you should not be baking. I'm not allowed to show up at a party without one.
        Feb. 11, 2011 5:40 pm
        i wish i read this at thanksgiving mine ruined fell apart scared to try another but gonna try one again thanks
        Feb. 12, 2011 11:32 am
        Have been baking cheesecakes for years. Lots of experimenting with the crack factor. I think it has to do with the weather and patience. Have found that not over mixing helps, but also believe the key is the cooling process. I now put a 9x13 pan filled half with water in the lowest rack of the oven and bake on the next rack setting. Bake at 425 for ten minutes and dial down to 300 for 35 minutes. Turn oven off and let set for at least one hour. Don't open oven, just for a peek!
        Feb. 12, 2011 11:36 am
        It's been my experience that cheescakes freeze very well. Slice before you freeze and you can serve out only what you need. Wrap well and they will keep in the freezer for a couple of months.
        Feb. 12, 2011 6:01 pm
        Thank you so much. I can't wait to try these tips and hopefully perfect my cheesecake. Then I may feel confident enough to start elaborating with perhaps a turtle cheesecake!
        Feb. 14, 2011 1:35 pm
        perfect! thank for the instructions on cheese cake 'doneness'
        Feb. 20, 2011 9:58 pm
        This has been a good read! It took over an hour to read these marvelous solutions. My sugestions: RE READ FOR ERRORS. use spell check, and MONOFILAMENT fishing line makes nice, neat cuts. Elivate cake above your working surface(place cake pan on a slightly smaller diameter pan or pot at least 3" high , use a long piece of heavy fishing line that extends beyond the diameter of the cake, tighten both ends in hands or around a rod of some kind, and keeping the fishing line horizontal to the work surface, firmly pull down equally with BOTH hands. When you reach the bottom of the cake, release one end of the MONOFILAMENT FISHING LINE and pull downward and slide out of the cake, along the bottom. YUM YUM TO YOU ALL
        Feb. 20, 2011 11:22 pm
        Greetings one and all. I love cheesecake, both baking AND eating. But I never put chopped nuts in the mix because I have found that the protiens in the nuts ..are excreated during baking and cause a texture problem. Instead I will top the cheesecake with nuts if it is requested. But I also add lemon or orange zest and a small amount of lemon or orange extract. I sometimes peel a navel orange, remove the stem line, slice it into 1/4" slices and gently push them into the surface before chilling. Thanks and keep baking 8-)
        Mar. 5, 2011 7:41 pm
        Those look vary good I want to try it!!!yum
        Mar. 12, 2011 5:49 pm
        I found if you mix your cream cheese at too high of a will get cracks in the cheesecake.....I use a heavy duty stand up mixer and mix at a low speed.......scraping the sides and beaters often
        Mar. 14, 2011 11:22 am
        i have never "baked" a cheese cake before, and find it strange, i have always refrigerated it until set. Makes it very creamy and smooth and light. does not need condensed milk so it tastes more professional.
        Mar. 18, 2011 9:07 am
        My cheesecake always turns brown on top. I use a water bath and usually bake for 70 min. It is always good just not so pretty. any suggestions on not browning top?
        Mar. 29, 2011 1:22 am
        mt cheese cake always seems to crack. Am I baking it too long?
        Mar. 31, 2011 6:27 pm
        I don't bother with spring form pans. I just use cup cake liners and make mini cheesecakes. I never had a problem with cracking or soggy crust. no water baths too much of a hassle
        Apr. 2, 2011 12:14 pm
        I don't have a spring form pan and am making a cheesecake for a friend's bday tomorrow. We are moving and I don't want to go buy a new pan to pack. Can I make a cheesecake without the spring form pan? Are there any extra tips about this? Any help is appreciated!
        Apr. 6, 2011 6:57 pm
        Ok - here goes...first off, you don't need a springform pan and tin foil or turkey bags to bake with a waterbath! Start with an aluminum pan at least 3" high. Butter it well on the bottom and sides, then place a parchment circle in the bottom and butter that well. Make a crumb crust - for a 6" cake, use 3/4 cup of crumbs and 1 1/2 T of melted butter. Mix very well and then press into the bottom of the buttered pan, smoothing and packing the crumbs so they're evenly distributed. Then pop the pan into a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes, then remove and let cool. THEN...make your batter - I won't go into the batter specifics now, although I do have some thoughts. Anyway, when your batter's done, ladle it into the pan gentle and smooth the top. Place the pan into a waterbath - I like to get the water about 3/4 of the way up the side of the pan. Place the waterbath on the center rack and bake at 320 degrees until the sides are set and the top is still jiggling - about 1:20 or so - eyeball it.
        Apr. 6, 2011 6:59 pm
        BTW - use hot water in the waterbath. It can be from the tap, as long as it's hot.
        Apr. 7, 2011 5:26 pm
        I would love a recipe for a French Cheesecake similar to Sara Lee. I love the lighter texture versus the dense New York style cheesecake. HELP
        Apr. 7, 2011 7:36 pm
        One easy way to lighten your cheesecake texture is to separate the yolks from the whites of your eggs. Use the yolks as you would the whole egg in the recipe, but take the whites and beat them until they form medium peaks, then fold them into the cheesecake batter as the final step before spooning the batter into the crust. If you fold them in correctly (thoroughly but gently), the batter will be lighter and will rise higher when you bake the cake.
        Apr. 7, 2011 7:44 pm
        In my post about using a conventional pan, I forgot to mention the technique for removing the cake from the pan. Remember how we said to butter the pan generously? Now, take the pan with the chilled cake and either heat it for 15-20 seconds on the burner of your stove or dip it into hot water for 10 seconds. The idea is to soften the butter on the bottom of the pan. Then run a warm knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the sides of the cake. Now place a cardboard round on top of the pan and invert it, letting it strike the counter with a good jolt. If all goes right, you will be able to lift the pan off the inverted cake. Place a plate on the crust (it's facing you) and re-invert the cake. If this doesn't wotk for you the first time, repeat the steps. Don't worry - the cake will be nice and firm and you won't damage it.
        Apr. 19, 2011 5:26 am
        Hi i want to ask about the cream cheese which we use for the batter. Can anyone tell me what type of cream cheese i can use.or any cheese brand. Do not mess with the chef. :-)
        Apr. 20, 2011 9:45 am
        Philadelphia brand cream cheese has the best texture and flavor, IMO. It's the only cream cheese I use. And make sure to use the original, full-fat stuff! Mike
        Apr. 22, 2011 11:52 am
        i have a question what is the best way to store a cheesecake without getting the nasty water on the top?
        Apr. 22, 2011 6:32 pm
        Thank you so much, I am really trying to make restaurant quality food for my family. Trying to cut costs and stop eating out. I love this website it is full of some great info.
        Apr. 23, 2011 4:01 pm
        So my first time even to think about making a chees cake. Allways a no bake 1 out of a box. I followed instructions to a t. Placed my pan in oven then noticed that my bottom front was leaking my filling. Why is that and how would i fix this in the near future. Im going to bake 1 1/2 hour and then cool 3 hours in oven without opening the door trick to see how it comes out. But really wanting to know why i leaked. thank you to all the suggestions!!!
        Apr. 24, 2011 10:45 am
        Ramona - what is leaking? Your pan? Springform pan?
        Apr. 27, 2011 4:16 pm
        Is it possible to bake a cheesecake in a 9" x 13" cakepan?
        Apr. 28, 2011 8:37 pm
        Why not? Just be sure to butter the pan generously and line the bottom with parchment paper (and butter that, too).
        May 17, 2011 11:49 am
        I would say the person that had the lumps, did not let the cream cheese soften enough. I would think beating it for 7 min. would be WAY TOO LONG. just say here & read all the suggestions, some great ideas. how do I get the recipe for the Cheesecake Factory recipe?
        May 17, 2011 10:42 pm
        I think it's how fast a speed you beat at, not the length of time. You need to use a stand mixer with a paddle, on the slowest (Stir) setting, not the handheld mixer with the rotary beaters, because those rotary beaters will incorporate air into the batter. Done properly, it's fine to beat the cream cheese until fluffy. I agree with the part about pre-oftening the cheese prior to beating. ALL ingredients should be at room temperature!
        May 18, 2011 11:10 am
        How do you prevent a cheesecake from browning? I bake mine at 325 degrees for 1 hour or 1 1/2 hours, depending on the kind. Sometimes the cake will come out without color but most times it gets brown. Thanks for any advice.
        May 18, 2011 8:05 pm
        I have read every single comment, and I must say I SO want a cheesecake right now (doens't help I'm 4.5 months pregnant). However, my hubby is the cheesecake maker, while I'm the pie maker, but his do tend to crack and sometimes taste overcooked, I will be sharin these tips with him..THANKS!!!
        May 22, 2011 4:25 pm
        Connie - obviously, the longer it bakes the browner it will get. The baking time depends on the recipe, but my advice is to find the recipe that gives you the result you like and use it as your basic cheesecake recipe. You can add things to it which flavor it and make it unique without significantly altering the basic recipe. By basic, I mean the amount of cream cheese, sugar, eggs, cream, etc. It may be that your recipe requires baking for so long that browning is inevitable.
        Jun. 3, 2011 6:42 am
        Hi, I use spring form pans and let them chill in the refrigerator over night. After springing the cake I put it on top of a burner on the stove for 10 seconds... use a flat knife and it will slide right off onto a circle or plate... works great with chocolate graham crust!
        Jun. 17, 2011 6:52 pm
        i love making cheese cake and always turns out great. but one time my cheese cake "curdled". i asked all over and only answer was humidity. well, i lived in central calif. humidity there folks! any other answer? just curious. thank you
        Jul. 4, 2011 8:12 pm
        I have been making a sugar free cheesecake for years. I use a regular pie crust instead of grham crackers and splenda instead of sugar. Lately my cheesecakes have been turning a little gritty. I'm wondering just how to fix that problem.
        Aug. 26, 2011 7:59 am
        Canthis recipe be bakedin an individual cheesecake pan. Mine has a lift out bottom and makes 6 cakes.
        Aug. 27, 2011 10:08 am
        because of me taking such care with baking a cheesecake mine is loved by everyone who eats it. also another great tip is not to over mix those eggs that you add at the very end. you don't want to incoperate air into the mixture, you want it to be rich and creamy.
        Aug. 27, 2011 1:29 pm
        I've heard that you can bake a Cheesecake (with a water bath) in a preheated oven at 400F for one hour, then turn the stove off (leave the door shut) and let it cool inside for four hours to make a perfectly set center without cracks. I've not used this technique yet, but plan to tonight when making a New York style Cheesecake. Has anyone else ever heard this?
        Sep. 1, 2011 6:44 am
        Can you still use the water bath method when making mini-cheesecakes in a cupcake pan? Any suggestions on oven temperature? All help appreciated. Thanks
        Sep. 8, 2011 10:24 am
        While reading the comments I notice that some are having trouble with soggy crusts when baking in a water bath. I had the same problem until I noticed that aluminum foil also comes in a wider width. I use the wide foil now and it easily wraps up the sides of even my largest springform pan and no more soggy crusts. I am a firm believer in the water bath method and I hope this helps!
        Rachael Partridge 
        Sep. 9, 2011 10:55 am
        I had a cheesecake in the oven and started to panic because the baking time was up & it was very jiggly in the center. I checked your tips, turned off the oven as you said, and left the cheesecake in the oven for another hour. I know have a beautifully cooked and beautiful looking cheesecake cooling. Thanks for the tips!
        John G. 
        Sep. 12, 2011 5:26 pm
        Great tips: My wife used to make the cheesecakes - now I do. I have had pretty darn good luck and turn out some great cheesecakes - mostly they are Shirley Corriher's BakeWise recipe for Amaretto Cheesecake. I use the springform method with a water bath - found the extra wide aluminum foil which stopped the leaking but will switch to the Turkey roast bag - HOWEVER - my cheescakes, while delicious, all seem to end up with very soggy crusts. They seem to weep as the custard seems to preciptate some of its liquid. I think I can state emphatically that it is not water from the water bath. Shirly call for 3/4 cup heavy cream, 2 pkg cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, 3 lrg eggs, 1/4 cup amaretto liqueru, 2 tsp vanilla, 1/4 tsp salt, 2 cups sour cream. I bake it in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes, and then turn off the oven and leave the cake in the unopened oven for another hour before removing and beginning the cooling. It does not crack, is exceedingly smooth and delicious, there is not wat
        John G. 
        Sep. 12, 2011 5:59 pm
        I forgot a tip I learned. Shirley Corriher (or maybe it was someone else), said to put an old towel in the bottom of the water bath before you put your tin foil (and I suspect your Turkey roasting bag if that is your bag, oops, your thing), into the water. Well, I wondered about that and didn't do it. Didn't make any sense to me. Well, when the water boils or is otherwise agitate, it will quickly wear a hole in the tin foil and water will leak in and spoil your crust. SOOO, put a small piece of toweling in the bottom of the water bath to cushion your tin foil or plastic turkey roast bag.
        Oct. 14, 2011 5:53 am
        Is the purpose of the water bath to keep an even temperature to the springform pan or to add moisture to the oven?
        Oct. 14, 2011 8:42 am
        Re alternative crusts. I have used a shortbread crust for cheesecakes. You have to precook it before adding filling. About 10 minutes or so. I used ot maKE baked chhescakes but always cracked. I now make no bake ones, but am going to try a baked one again. Your tios are awesome.
        miele mela 
        Oct. 14, 2011 9:18 am
        Does anyone have advice on baking a cheesecake in a 'true' convection oven? Would you still use a water bath and should the temperature be lowered?
        Oct. 18, 2011 7:45 am
        I love making cheesecake and every year more and more people ask me to make theirs. I want a recipe that doesn't use flour to get the texture of the cake I want. Redds in Ohio
        Oct. 28, 2011 4:19 pm
        Is New York Cheese Cake made with flour? I never made a cheese cake with sour cream or flour. I use 5 to 6 packs of cream cheese soften. 1/2 cup sugar(or more,depending on your taste. Fresh lemon (wash), 2 teaspoons of grated lemon rind, 2 teaspoons of lemon juice from the lemon. 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. 4 large eggs (separtated). In a large mixing bowl, mix softened cream cheese, sugar, lemon rind, lemon juice and vanilla extract until smooth. Add one egg yolk at a time, set aside. Beat egg white until fluffy and peak (like meringue). Fold in cheesecake batter with a spatula). Pour into crust and bake accordingly. You can use a pre made graham cracker crust or homemade. But I will use the springform pan this time with the suggestion of the water bath (using the pan on the lower rack) Hope this helps.
        Oct. 28, 2011 4:22 pm
        By the way. I use to cook with gas. But I now have an electric stove, which I think makes a big difference. So if anyone has any suggestions with an electric stove, I would greatly appreciate it.
        Nov. 15, 2011 6:03 pm
        I have a springform pan with a glass bottom. I don't know what I'm doing wrong, but 'something' leaked all over the bottom of my oven and caused a major smoke blow out. I'm sure the cheesecake is going to taste like BBQ. I think I have the ring on correctly. Help???
        Nov. 27, 2011 9:46 pm
        I haven't read every single comment so I'm sorry if this has already been said. The owner of a bakery I use to work for had a specialty of cheesecakes. She told me that there were 2 ingredients that make cheesecake the best. Vanilla (especially real not extract) and cream cheese. Make sure to use a little more than the recipe calls for. The water bath was a necessity as well as beating the cream cheese before adding the other ingredients. Also to ensure there aren't any air bubbles in the cake slightly bang it on the counter before baking it. To do this you slightly lift it off the counter than drop it. As you do this the air bubbles come to the surface and pop resulting in an extra smooth cheesecake
        Nov. 29, 2011 11:16 am
        I have never made a cheesecake before and I am going to attempt to make a White Choc-Rasp cheesecake. My problem is I don't have a springform pan and was wondering if it is possible to use a different kind of pan? Please help!!!!
        Dec. 2, 2011 2:32 pm
        My "water bath" always goes wrong, it usually says to wrap the pan in foil then set in a roaster of sorts with some water, everytime I have done this it seeps into my springform pan somehow and makes everything mush, so i generally do without it however then it browns and cracks, still tasts fine but looks horrible, ideas??
        Dec. 2, 2011 6:47 pm
        I was thinking, maybe a good idea to prevent it from cracking ontop is put some cornstarch. Cornstarch has no side effects to me. I bring it to my parents every Sunday and I put cornstarch. That really changes the cracking, but if you want it to stop from sinking you can add some yeast? I never tried, It may sound risky in my choice, but it could work.
        Dec. 4, 2011 5:16 pm
        I have made my share of cheese cakes and this is what I have learned. The less you mix your batter, the denser your cake will be. The more you mix it, the lighter it will be. I like a dense NY cheesecake so I mix as little as possible. Also, use vanilla bean. Makes a big difference. I also put the zest of a half orange and half lemon in my cheesecakes and they are oh soooo..goood! Although I have never had a cheese cake crack on me. I have had soggy crusts. I came up with the idea to use a roaster bag (open bag) also but still had a soggy crust which leaves me to believe that it is the moisture in the oven not seepage that makes the crust soggy. This seems to be ok once the cake is cooled and put in the fridge overnight. I never have to run a knife around the circumference of the pan because my cakes pull away a little bit from the sides of the pan but I do have a bit of a problem getting the cake off the bottom round with the crust in one piece. Most of the time I am putting pieces of
        Dec. 14, 2011 6:28 am
        I have never made a cheesecake and promised to make a pumpkin cheesecake for a grandson. I've read all the tips. Now, where do I get parchment paper? Will any other kind of paper work? Like waxed paper? I'm making this tomorrow and hope to have an answer. Thanks so much for all the wonderful tips.
        Dec. 17, 2011 7:13 am
        Grandmaman Diane, I don't know if you got your parchment paper yet or not, but it is NOT the same as wax paper. Parchment does not have a waxy coating. I usually buy the Wilton brand, usually found in the cake decorating isle of your stores (like WalMart)
        Pink posey 
        Dec. 20, 2011 9:51 pm
        I read all the hints and plan to use some but...I make my regular kraft cheesecake and pour it into two tinfoil tall crinkled pans ( makes two cheesecakes) and when it is cool I use a paintbrush and brush the top with apple jelly that has been melted in the microwave and add fresh fruit like strawberries( sliced or whole) and kiwis and bananas and cherries or blueberries make a design and brush the tops thoroughly with the melted apple jelly and you have two beautiful fresh fruit covered cheese cakes. Oh when they are cool you can put your hand on the top and turn it over and put it on a dish. I also do not use any water..they always come out great. One recipe makes two cheesecakes. They are beautiful and well accepted.
        Dec. 21, 2011 10:12 am
        i need to know what a good heavy cream is and where to get some.. trying to make the best cheesecake ever for my husbands 38th birthday tomorrow. Hopefully i hear from someone soon! thanx all... T
        Lea M. 
        Dec. 25, 2011 10:15 am
        My first cheesecake came out AMAZING!! I had it IN a water bath. The 2nd one I made I decided to try a water bath underneath the cheesecake like I read from some peoples suggestions on this site. This was a BIG NO NO! My poor 2nd cheesecake came out with everything a cheesecake is not suppose to be, souflé, cracked, and sunken. These are great tips! Follow them and you will have a great cheesecake.
        Jan. 30, 2012 9:21 pm
        These tips are great! I wish there was a way to mark the page in my recipe box. I did go ahead and bookmark it though! I've decided to try to become an expert at making cheesecake - though my first two attempts looked like we live on a fault line LOL!
        Feb. 22, 2012 12:56 pm
        I've made my own special cheesecake recipe for years with no problems and received lots of raves about it, but for the first time ever, my cheesecake had a curve rounding on the surface instead of a flat surface. I'm not sure why this happened. Please help! =(
        Feb. 26, 2012 12:05 pm
        my cheesecake came out nice and fluffy thanks to those tips
        Mar. 1, 2012 10:50 am
        I'm totally going to try this recipe!! I am in LOVE with cheesecake so this will be perfect for me!!
        Apr. 23, 2012 7:08 pm
        These tips have saved me from cheesecake disaster many times! They also have made me the GO-TO person for cheesecake baking advice! I feel like a pro because I have all this insight information that works and my beautiful cheesecakes are proof of it!! Thanks!!
        May 2, 2012 2:36 am

I used this recipe to make a NewYork cheesecake and I have to say,the consistency was just great. There were no cracks as I used a water bath and overall it was a good experience except for one problem.The recipe said to 'mix thoroughly' the cream cheese with the eggs,sugar and flour and then add cream and 'mix only enough to blend' Well,from what I could tell,this meant that I should just mix it with a non electric hand mixer and that's what I did. My question is,did I have to use an electric mixer? Because instead of tasting like a proper cheesecake,it tasted like a CREAM cheese yellow blob. I mean,I could not taste the sugar or anything,only the cream cheese. Since the reviews of this recipe are great,I assume that I did something wrong and I can only think of misinterpreting the mixing part wrong. Please help? Thanks!
        May 2, 2012 2:41 am
        Sorry,this is the link! Ignore the one in my original post.
        Jun. 5, 2012 4:31 pm
        Instead of a water bath place a pan of water on the rack beneath the cheesecake. Works just as well. My cheesecakes don't crack. I always use room temp ingredients but I suspect the reason for a cracked cheesecake is over cooking and then releasing the springform pan before the cake is ready. I also cool my cakes in the oven with the door cracked for the first 45 min to an hour, slip a plastic knife around the edge of the pan and cool for a bit more before releasing the pan. Then I cool the cake in the fridge over night.
        Jun. 29, 2012 8:26 am
        I'd really like to know how to get cheese cakes on to the serving plate without having a disaster, thanks
        Jul. 10, 2012 7:14 am
        How Lovely Looking.
        Jul. 11, 2012 9:57 am
        Awesome tips! I will defintely take note to these useful hints!
        Aug. 3, 2012 2:56 pm
        I knew that you SHOULD do all of these things when baking a cheesecake; now I know WHY!!! Knowing why always helps me to remember what to do. Thanks for publishing these tips!!
        Aug. 7, 2012 7:38 pm
        OK, guys, here's the deal. I have been baking cheesecakes for YEARS and have two "old faithful" recipes. One is for a turtle cheesecake, which always comes out perfect. The other is for my cappuccino cheesecake, which ALWAYS cracks without fail. Water bath, low temperature, gradual cooling, no overbaking...WHY does this one always give me fits? I play by all the rules and this one just has a mind of its own. I've tried modifying the recipe here and there, thinking maybe the mix is too wet (4 eggs, 32 oz cream cheese) but even with alterations the **&^@$#^&! thing still always cracks. I'm listening to any suggestions... Also, to keep water from seeping into my cakes, I put my springform pan into a larger, solid round cakepan. So, for my 9" springform, I put it into a 10" solid round cake pan, then into the bain Maria. Hope that helps. :-)
        Sep. 9, 2012 8:39 pm
        I don't know if anyone has suggested it yet, but a great crust alternative to graham or cookie crumbs is to use cake crumbs; butter, chocolate or spice cakes all work well. As I bake and decorate cakes and pastry for a living, I always have cake tops or trimmings around. Simply pop chunks of the baked and cooled cake into a food processor (or crumble by hand if you don't have one) and pulse until the cake is reduced to fine crumbs. Day old cake works best. I use parchment circles on the bottoms of the pans, butter my springforms very well and press the cake crumbs into the bottoms and at least one inch up the sides. I've both blind-baked and used the crust without baking. No additional sugar or butter is needed to bind the crumbs as they are moist enough on their own.
        Oct. 12, 2012 1:02 pm
        To Peggy Faulk Ellender,Your recipe for cheesecake crust is great. Could you also share your cheesecake filling recipe,please?
        Nov. 11, 2012 1:30 pm
        if you have convection oven or fan assist do u still need the water bath?
        Nov. 21, 2012 9:27 am
        Can anyone tell me if I can bake 2 of the same cheesecakes at the same time?
        Nov. 23, 2012 11:49 am
        I trick I learned for removing the cake from the pan is to run a blunt knife on the outside along the pan. Then take a hair dryer on low and warm up the outside of the pan. This will allow for seam-less exit. :D
        Jan. 23, 2013 8:46 am
        i have learned that the water is necessary to keep the cake from browning and splitting.
        Jan. 28, 2013 1:12 pm
        These tips are great. I'll be sure to use them at my food contest.
        Mar. 17, 2013 3:28 am
        Thank you for all the tips. I am an excellent cheese cake maker and have won several awards for my cheesecakes. My problem is, and I hope someone can help me. When I go to slice the cake, I can never get a smooth cut. Can someone tell me what I am doing wrong. Thank you.
        Jun. 9, 2013 4:18 pm
        I double wrapped my springform pan in foil and added my water to the outside pan, but water still seeped into the foil and under the crust. Any pointers on how to keep water from getting into the foil? I only put water in the outside pan halfway up the springform pan.
        Oct. 28, 2013 3:32 pm
        How do you get a cheesecake from the spring form pan and into the freezer in one piece? Do you freeze it in the pan, then take it off onto another plate? I am stuck. Cake's in the oven, and I need to freeze it for a week.
        Nov. 8, 2013 3:04 pm
        I have made dozens of cheesecakes. If your cream cheese isn't softened you can warm it slightly in the microwave to get it creamy before adding to your recipe. There are some recipes with a little sour cream that never crack. Also if you leave out the couple of Tbs of flour out of the traditional New York cheesecake recipe, it wont crack either. If you gently lift and drop the sides of the pan 1/4" on the counter a few times after it has been filled, you can make all the bubbles raise to the top and let the air escape before you put it in the oven. :)
        Nov. 23, 2014 8:43 am
        I have made cheesecakes for years but am learning a lot from all these great tips! For those who are wondering how to slice a cheesecake without making a mess of the top of it, I finally tried using dental floss last night. I had read this tip in many books but was afraid to try it. It worked beautifully on a pumpkin cheesecake served last nite. I used regular non-waxed dental floss (not mint flavored). It cuts thru the top beautifully. You hold the floss tightly and pull it down to the crust, then pull it out (not back up) horizontally, Then you can run a sharp clean knife in those cuts to cut thru the crust. I wiped off the piece of dental floss with a paper towel and continued cutting slices. So glad I finally tried this!
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