How To Bake A Perfect Cheesecake

star pooley Recipe

By star pooley starryrose


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

pinch tips: How to Clean Your Oven Without Chemicals


cheesecake ingredients

Directions Step-By-Step

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.

To prevent water from seeping into the removable bottom of the springform pan, wrap aluminum foil completely around the bottom and halfway up the sides of the pan. Place the cheesecake into a jellyroll pan (or any baking pan with sides) and place the pans into the oven. Use a teakettle to fill the outer pan with hot water.
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.

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Cakes

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Kim Biegacki pistachyoo
Sep 1, 2011
I tried this recipe and say it's Family Tested & Approved!
Kim Biegacki pistachyoo
Sep 1, 2011
I so agree with you! Once I started using the water bath for my cheesecake I can't make them any other way! They look beautiful! Great post Star!
Stephanie Dodd skeen
Sep 2, 2011
for the water bath, you just put the cheesecake in a pan of water? how much water? I have never baked a cheesecake this way. I would like to try it.
star pooley starryrose
Sep 2, 2011
Hi, I have added how to do this under the waterbath section. Sorry I did not include this earlier. Happy baking!
Stephanie Dodd skeen
Sep 2, 2011
ooops; I just read that; sorry about that and thanks!
Patrice Manning ladybug77
Sep 24, 2011
Thanks for the tips Star!

I have made cheesecakes for years and recently tried using Splenda for the sugar.... don't, it makes it taste a bit off and less creamy.
Dee Gustafson freakydee
Jan 12, 2013
Thank you for the tips! I've wondered why my cheesecakes came out "dry" I will post again when my next creation is done and tested!
Dee Gustafson freakydee
Jan 14, 2013
My cheesecake came out perfect! The crust was tender crisp and the filling was absolutely beautiful - even, no bubbles, and not over done on the edge! Thank you again for sharing your expertise!
Jan 4, 2014 - Bea L. shared this recipe with discussion groups: CHATTERBOX JUST CAKES