How Do I Get My Cheesecake To Look Like The Picture???

Decorating By Angelgirl Updated 31 Oct 2008 , 9:02am by Mike1394

Angelgirl Posted 29 Oct 2008 , 11:08am
post #1 of 15

I have posted a couple questions here the last few days about cheesecake, which I have not made often, but am baking for my wedding in 2 days. I am making several simple recipes from Philadelphia Cream Cheese's website. However, not one of my cheesecakes has turned out anything like the pictures! Maybe it's because I don't have much experience in this area...

I've learned from here to put a water bath in the bottom of the oven- or even put the cheesecake right in it. I've never done that before so I'll give it a try to keep it from cracking.

My big question is- why do the cheesecakes in the picture look so white and my get so browned? I bake them until the center is jiggly (although I read on here that it should be just the size of a silver dollar and mine is always an area bigger than that, but if I keep baking it, then it gets too brown!) Will a water bath help keep it looking more like a white cheesecake? Also, my centers always sink way more than the edges. How do I get a nice, even top? The ones I have made are just your simple New York Style.

Thanks for any help you can give me. I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off already and don't want the cheesecakes to ruin things for me!


14 replies
drgaddy Posted 29 Oct 2008 , 11:56am
post #2 of 15

Here is the recipe I make...they always turn out great. I do bake them directly in the water bath - wrap the pan in the alu foil (from the bottom up), put it in the bigger pan and pour boiling water into the bigger pan.

The other important thing - make sure all your ingredients are room temperature.

2 x cream cheese (8 oz pack)
1 pint sour cream
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
graham crust (I make mine with 2 cups crumbs, 1/4 - 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 tsp cinnamon - melt butter and pour over crumbs and cinnamon. Push into the pan bottom and sides (about 1"). Leave in the fridge for about 5 min while making the filling).

Mix cream cheese until smooth, add eggs, one at the time until incorporated (do not overmix) add sugar little by little and then sour cream just until incorporated.

Bake at 325 for 45 minutes. It will look undone, but it will set as it stands. Leave it in the bigger pan (in the water) for 30 min after taking out of the oven, and then straight into the fridge.

If you want to add some fruit jelly, just warm it up and pour in the filling, or you can just put it in the piping bag, warm it up and pipe it on the already baked cheesecake. The first cheesecake on the picture was done with piping on baked cheesecake (which was too runny...), and in the second one, the jelly was poured into the filling prior to baking.

I never had problems with cracking, brown cheesecake or any other problem, for that matter. I tried many recipes before this one, and I did not like them, either tastewise or otherwise. I hope this helps you.


imakecakes Posted 29 Oct 2008 , 11:57am
post #3 of 15

Hi! A lot depends on having a tried and true recipe. Here is a link to one I have made dozens of times with several variations. It's never failed me once! I've made it without chips, adding peanut butter cups and peanut butter to the batter, adding raspberry jam swirls. It always comes out great.

The trick I like is leaving it in the oven for an hour or 2 with the oven turned off. I think that's key. I also do the pan of water on the bottom rack. If you do the cheesecake directly in the water be sure to use at least a couple layers of heavy duty foil around the pan. Soggy crust is yucky!

For the cheesecakes you've made already....can you put a topping on them to cover any imperfections? Chocolate ganache is always great for this! Or any pie filling will work too. Good luck!!

drgaddy Posted 29 Oct 2008 , 12:05pm
post #4 of 15

Oh, forgot to mention - I entered those cheesecakes into a fair baking competition. They placed 1st and 2nd. The strawberry one won. It really tastes divine, sooo creamy (and now I am craving it... icon_cry.gif ).

JawdroppingCakes Posted 29 Oct 2008 , 12:12pm
post #5 of 15

Sorry to hijack the thread but these recipes and tips are great!

tbittner Posted 29 Oct 2008 , 12:15pm
post #6 of 15

This is the recipe I always use, it is the best!
I put it through my food processor to make it perfectly smooth and bake as the directions say. It sounds to me tlike your cheesecake may be too close to the top of your oven/cooking at too high a temp. or overcooked if it is browning so much.
Like mentioned before a topping will cover any cracks if you already have them!
Congrats on the wedding and good luck!

-K8memphis Posted 29 Oct 2008 , 1:28pm
post #7 of 15

Please allow your baking to be what it is. You have too much going on to perfect your baking skills to picture perfect standing at this point in time.

An idea for you--but this is another learning curve is to ice your cheesecakes--but you gotta let you be you and let your baking and decortaing skills be yours.

You're not gonna turn around and be a wedding cake level decorator/baker just because you're actually making wedding cake.

Be a happy bride--try to enjoy yourself--it's possible you bit off more than you can chew especially since all this is new-ish to you. NOt to say I'm trying to discourage you--but try to chill.

I also recommend cutting one of them and checking for doneness. Do not freak out if they are not done--come back and talk to some folks here who are experts.

Are you turning the oven temperature down after a while? That will help set it up but cut down on the browning.

Cake is nice, cake is important--but it ain't that important--get you some from Costco--they have those nice cheesecake bites that are delicious--no tedious cutting either.

Just some 'give yourself a break, you're the bride' thoughts for you.

(((big hug)))

CakeChica Posted 30 Oct 2008 , 6:31pm
post #8 of 15

Some, well most of my cheesecakes do crack, the first time I made one it was perfect no cracks I dont know what I did but I havent been able to do it again. So I have found a way to cover the "cracks". I heat a small spatula under hot running water wipe it dry then rub it on the crack and I guess spackle it shut it works all the time I guess the heat makes the cheesecake soft and then you just smooth it over the cracks. I also take that heated spatulas and rub the sides smooth as well, since sometimes once the cake is release from the pan it kinda has a rough edge on it.

JodieF Posted 30 Oct 2008 , 9:41pm
post #9 of 15

Cheesecakes crack for many reasons. Once you add the eggs beat until just combined. You don't want to beat air into a cheesecake. Overbeating will cause cracking. The internal temperature of a cheesecake should be 150 degrees in the center when done. If it's above 160, the cheesecake will crack. When I take my cheesecakes out of the oven, I wait about 15 minutes and then carefully open the side of the springform pan, loosening the cake from the side, then I close the pan again until completely cool. When cheesecakes cool, they shrink. If the sides are stuck to the pan, the cake will crack as the cake cools.
As to waterbaths, just remember that a waterbath will completely change the texture of a cheesecake. It makes them creamy. If you want a dense, New York type cheesecake, don't use a waterbath.


CakeChica Posted 30 Oct 2008 , 10:50pm
post #10 of 15

Thanks for the tips JodieF. Will try this next time I bake a cheesecake icon_biggrin.gif

JodieF Posted 30 Oct 2008 , 11:19pm
post #11 of 15

Sure thing....glad to help! I also meant to say that I start my cakes at 475 degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 275 degrees for the an hour and 20 minutes. Mine never brown on top. Of course, mine are 8 pound New York cheesecakes, so they take awhile to bake!
Next week I have to bake 18 of them for a wedding!


ceshell Posted 31 Oct 2008 , 12:06am
post #12 of 15
Originally Posted by imakecakes

For the cheesecakes you've made already....can you put a topping on them to cover any imperfections? Chocolate ganache is always great for this! Or any pie filling will work too. Good luck!!

I was going to suggest that too. If the new techniques or recipes don't work for you, I highly recommend that as a nice backup plan. A nice stabilized whipped cream would keep your cakes white too. Or else, a white chocolate buttercream...or there is that traditional "sour cream" cheesecake topping...

Mike1394 Posted 31 Oct 2008 , 12:24am
post #13 of 15

Becky I'm only about an hour from you, in Roseville. If you can't get it figured out let me know. My CCs are custard heaven.


-K8memphis Posted 31 Oct 2008 , 3:36am
post #14 of 15

Mike, that's just the sweetest!

I'm thinking that since she said on Wednesday morning she was getting married in two days it all came down to the wire for her. I hope she pulled it out of the fire and is gonna have a wonderful magical wedding day.

Mike1394 Posted 31 Oct 2008 , 9:02am
post #15 of 15
Originally Posted by k8memphis

Mike, that's just the sweetest!

I'm thinking that since she said on Wednesday morning she was getting married in two days it all came down to the wire for her. I hope she pulled it out of the fire and is gonna have a wonderful magical wedding day.

Thanks K8 Ouch, hope it worked out. I missed the timing issue. icon_sad.gif


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