It’s no surprise that making cheesecakes can be an intimidating task. Learn how to make it easier.
The fear of seeing your cake dent in the middle, have cracks, or having a leaky pan can make you feel like not making a cheesecake ever again, but we’re here to tell you that you don’t have to feel that way anymore!
Once you’ve mastered the art of making homemade cheesecakes, you’ll find out that it was no big deal at all, maybe just a little time-consuming. We’re providing 10 easy tips and tricks to help make your cheesecake come out perfect every time you make it.
The key is to have patience and be comfortable enough to bake. That being said, let’s jump right into the nifty tips and tricks, shall we?
1. Use Room Temperature Cream Cheese
This nifty tip of making sure that your cream cheese is at room temperature will help your cheesecake come out nice and perfect.
If you’ve been facing problems like a lumpy cake or having trouble mixing the ingredients, that’s because your cream cheese was too firm.
When you’re short for time you can take the cheese out of the foil wrapping and cut it into smaller pieces. Heat them for about 10-15 seconds at a time until you’re good to go.
When you’re buying cream cheese, it’s best to go for the ones with full fat. The more fat it contains, the creamier your cheesecake will turn out to be, and it will also help to give your cheesecake the right texture too.
Here are a few healthy substitutes for cream cheese you can use as well!
2. A Little Cornstarch or Flour Goes a Long Way!
A little flour or cornstarch can make a significant difference when you’re making a cheesecake. The starch will help to prevent the proteins in the eggs from over-solidifying. Thus, you’ll get a creamier texture and also prevent any sort of cracks from appearing on your cheesecake.
Similarly, if you’re looking for a gluten-free alternative, cornstarch will come to the rescue! Just remember to use half the quantity of flour, and you’re good to go.
Once you’ve tried this tip, you’ll never go back to making a cheesecake without it. This small addition can make a difference, and who doesn’t want their cheesecake to be creamy and crack-free?
3. For Taste, Add Some Sour Cream
This doesn’t necessarily ensure your cheesecakes will turn out perfect, but we believe adding a tangy flavor to the creamy texture of a cheesecake helps the taste to be spectacular.
For those who don’t want to use sour cream, you can always substitute it with Greek yogurt. The only difference will be the flavor and that’s it! If you’re never tried this tip, now is the time to give it a try and see how it tastes.
4. Avoid Over-Mixing and High-Speed Mixing
Using high speed mixing or over-mixing your batter will only add more air to it, which we don’t want when making a cheesecake. Too much air in the batter will cause your cake to form cracks that resemble craters you might have seen on the surface of Mars or the moon.
Why It Doesn’t Work
For instance, big air bubbles will rise to the surface of your cake and create cracks or mini craters. So, since air causes the cake to rise, it’s not a good idea to have a cheesecake that rises too much.
It rises too quickly or too much and then form cracks and falls right before your eyes. So, don’t forget to mix in the ingredients using a low speed when you’re in the process of adding eggs.
This is another reason why your cream cheese should be soft and at room temperature so that it turns out soft and nice. Firm cream cheese will only make you mix more until you’ve got the lumps out, and it is time-consuming!
5. The Inevitable Use of Water Bath
This is something many of us want to avoid with all our might, however, it’s a crucial tip. We urge you to let go of all your fears and get behind the idea of using a water bath when making a cheesecake!
There are many benefits of using a water bath, and you’ll find out why it is helpful once you’ve used it. For starters, the water bath will help to generate steam which will keep your cheesecake from cracking and drying out.
Secondly, it helps to keep the sides of your cheesecake from baking quicker than the middle part. The water bath helps the cheesecakes bake evenly and prevents craters to appear on them.
If you’re thinking about discarding the idea of using a water bath, then be prepared to see a cheesecake that dents in the middle, has browned too much around the edges, and cracked.
6. Making Your Water Bath Leak Proof
It’s not a good feeling to come across a soggy crust cheesecake after you’ve put too much effort into making it. Springform pans are super convenient, but they can be a bit unreliable when it comes to making cheesecakes.
Unfortunately, every springform pan is different and many of them do leak.
How to Make Your Pan Leak Proof
If you’re lucky, your pan won’t leak. To help prevent the leak, here are a few ways to ensure a fail-proof cheesecake making experience every time:
First, make sure you have a tight and good fitting springform pan. Then, double (or go for triple if it satisfies you) wrap your cheesecake pan with some heavy-duty foil. You can choose to wrap more and go higher than 2 inches as well.
If you don’t have foil available, then use a heat-safe slow cooker liner to safeguard against any sort of water leaks. Once your cake is secured inside the liner, twist the extra plastic and knot it tightly under the top rim of your springform pan.
7. Invest In a Reliable Springform Pan
Yes, we realize we chewed our springform pans in the previous tip, but you still need it for making cheesecakes because of the removable sides of the pan. That’s crucial in making your cake look perfect after you’re done baking it.
If you’re a veteran at making cheesecakes then you already know these pans are vital and all you have to do is go through some trial and error until you find one that works perfectly for you.
8. Absolutely NO Peeking!
Absolutely no peeking at all. Once you open the oven to check on the cheesecake, you’ll let all the good steamy air out. The sudden temperature change can cause your cake to bake unevenly or fall in the middle.
Additionally, over baking a cheesecake can cause it to crack in places, just like a custard pie. To identify the signs that your cake has baked to perfection, check to see if the edges and the inner few inches are well set or not. If the insides are a little jiggly, don’t worry about it, that’s a good sign!
9. Let Your Masterpiece Cool Naturally
After you’ve established that your cheesecake is done, it’s time to let the cooling process start.
Everyone has their methods of cooling down cakes, but to make your cheesecake turn out perfect, let the cake sit in the oven with the door closed for roughly about half an hour.
After half an hour, crack the oven door open halfway and let the cake cool down some more. This nifty tip helps to cool the cake slowly, finish baking it to perfection and avoid forming any cracks.
Run a knife around the edges before you set it inside the fridge to avoid sticking to the sides. Or you can just shake the cake a little from side to side to loosen up the edges.
10. Embrace the Cracks, Let Go of the Stress!
Finally, if after all the tips you’ve followed and end up with cracks in your cheesecake, then don’t sweat it! What matters is the taste anyway. So, just cover it up with some wonderfully tasty chocolate ganache, fresh fruits, jams or use the good old fashioned whipped cream.
Similarly, if you’re making cheesecakes for a party, then we suggest baking them beforehand and keep them stored in your fridge. You can do this for up to three days or even longer by placing your cake on a baking sheet.
They’ll freeze until they are firm. Then wrap them up in heavy-duty plastic wraps and let them thaw in the fridge. That’s it! No matter when your party is, your cake will stay fresh and intact. So, don’t stress about it so much, you nailed it already.
In conclusion, we’d like to say that we hope our tips help you not only to make your cheesecake but also have it come out perfect every time too. It may look like it takes a lot of work, but at the end of the day, cheesecakes are delicious and worth the trouble.
We hope you can make the best cheesecakes and wow your friends and family with your skills. Just don’t forget to spread the love with your other baking buddies. Now, go out there and consider using water baths from now on!