Why, Why Why Does Every Cheesecake That I Bake Crack?

Decorating By adonisthegreek1 Updated 4 Mar 2009 , 9:42pm by JodieF

adonisthegreek1 Posted 10 Feb 2009 , 3:45am
post #1 of 32

I am completely stumped. Whether I use a 9" or 10" springform pan, they crack. I have tried using the water bath. I have tried putting a pan of water on the bottom rack of my oven. I have let the cheese cake cool for an hour in the oven before removing it to cool completely at room temp before refrigeration. I have taken the cheesecake out of the oven immediately to cool at room temperature. Nothing seems to make a difference. I am at a total loss. It seems like I have tried everything. Here's the recipe that I use, except I don't let the cheesecake cool in the oven for 5 or 6 hours. It cracks within the first hour anyway. Help! icon_cry.gif


31 replies
niccicola Posted 10 Feb 2009 , 3:49am
post #2 of 32

what temperature are you cooking it at? I'd try putting it into a 500 degree oven then immediately turn it down to 300 for an hour or so.

i had a cheesecake wedding consultation this weekend so i got my fill of cheesecake! some of the sides of the cheesecake cracked, but as it cooled, it kinda shrank back into itself and the cracks almost disappeared.

Teekakes Posted 10 Feb 2009 , 3:59am
post #3 of 32

I didn't go look at the recipe you linked to but............anytime I have ever had a cheesecake crack was when I baked it to long. Try backing off the length of time you are baking it. A done cheesecake should actually be a bit giggly in the middle.

Idreamofcakes Posted 10 Feb 2009 , 4:02am
post #4 of 32

Exactly what Teekakes said. The middle about the size of a silver dollar, should still be jiggly when you take it out of the oven, then it will set.

If you have cracks, that just gives you a good reason to put some kind of yummy topping on it thumbs_up.gif

mbpbrighteyes Posted 10 Feb 2009 , 4:04am
post #5 of 32

My guess would be it landed up over baked, which is super easy to do with cheesecake since really you're turning the oven off before it "seems" done! Allrecipes.com has a ton of info on making cheesecakes and a trouble shooting video! Hope that helps!


PinkZiab Posted 10 Feb 2009 , 4:05am
post #6 of 32

Sounds like you're overbaking it... the baking time in a recipe is just a guide and every oven is different. Start checking earlier, and just as mentioned above the cheesecake should not be completely set until after it's chilled.

mezzyc Posted 10 Feb 2009 , 4:07am
post #7 of 32

I use that same recipe and love it. I do find that it helps to turn off the oven a bit earlier (10 min). I always leave my cake in the oven at least 3 hrs though and have never had a crack. My only problem has been over cooking. Over cooking can cause cracking. If your cheese cakes have very much brown on top then they are over done. A few small brown spots are okay.
Hope your luck changes.

TracyLH Posted 10 Feb 2009 , 4:08am
post #8 of 32

Although I have not tried it, I heard that a way to combat this is to put foil around the bottom and up the sides (one big piece) and bake it in a hot water bath, much like creme brulee. Again, I have never tried it.

My solution when one cracked was to cover the top with chocolate ganache. Worked quite well!

thin4life Posted 10 Feb 2009 , 4:16am
post #9 of 32

I always bake mine in a water bath and take it out of the oven when it is still a little jiggly in the middle and it never cracks, so maybe try that.

mjnj Posted 10 Feb 2009 , 4:23am
post #10 of 32

How are you mixing the custard? If you have tried changing all of the baking variables and you are still getting cracks, you could be overmixing it.

Make sure your cream cheese is room temp and don't turn your mixer up too high or you will be incorporating air--which you DON"T want to do. Just keep scraping and scraping and mix it nice and slow. I think the water bath is definitely the way to go as far as baking.

You may also want to try a different recipe all together. I make the Cordon Rose Cheesecake from the Cake Bible and have never had a crack. Good luck!

SweetStuff30 Posted 10 Feb 2009 , 3:51pm
post #11 of 32

i turn my oven off, open the oven door a crack and stick a wooden spoon between the door and over to prop open the over the door a bit and let it cool completly that way and it dosnt crack. I learnt that in culinary school.

Eisskween Posted 10 Feb 2009 , 4:22pm
post #12 of 32

Also, over-beating can cause a cheesecake to crack because there is too much air beat into it. Just mix the ingredients until they are incorporated.

Also, cooling too quickly causes them to crack. As a previous poster suggested, crack the oven with a wooden spoon after baking and let it cool gradually.

ddaigle Posted 10 Feb 2009 , 4:28pm
post #13 of 32

Idreamofcakes...thanks for the silver dollar trick! Mine always crack and I do everything as I should....giggley cakes just seem unnatural to take out of the oven! LOL....that's why cheesecakes freak me out....I wanna use my toothpick method! Deb

JodieF Posted 10 Feb 2009 , 5:11pm
post #14 of 32

You have to be careful not to overbeat. A cheesecake is a custard. You need to beat the cream cheese and sugar until it's very smooth, and then, once you add the eggs, you beat until just combined. I also use an instant read thermometer and the temp in the center of the cheesecake shouldn't be above 160 when it's done. If it is, it'll crack, guaranteed. I take mine out at 150.

One other trick is, once it's done, let it sit for about 15 minutes and then carefully open the side of the springform pan, releasing the sides of the cheesecake from the pan. Once the sides are released, close the pan back up and cool. Cheesecakes shrink as they cool. If the sides are stuck as the cheesecake shrinks the middle will crack.

Waterbaths will completely change the texture of a cheesecake. If you want a dense NY cheesecake, don't use a waterbath.



ddaigle Posted 10 Feb 2009 , 5:18pm
post #15 of 32

Jodie.......Great info! Thanks.

FromScratch Posted 10 Feb 2009 , 5:25pm
post #16 of 32

Jodie is 100% right. Use an instant read thermometer and take it out at 150 degrees in the center. Water bath or no water bath, cooking it past this point will get you cracks. Always bake it a couple days before you need it so it has a chance to really set up too. Like Jodi, I never use a water bath for my cheesecakes.

JodieF Posted 10 Feb 2009 , 10:15pm
post #17 of 32

Woo hoo Jeanne! I LOVE being 100% right every once in awhile!

adonisthegreek1 Posted 10 Feb 2009 , 10:31pm
post #18 of 32

Thank you all so much for the help. Comparing everything that I read here with what I have or haven't done, I may be over mixing. I will also try taking it out of the oven at least 10 minutes earlier. It doesn't seem like I'm overbaking, because the cheese cake is not brown and when I cut it the next day it has the most creamy, perfect texture. I have been baking it at 350 for 1 hour.

We made one in school in a convection oven with a pan of water at the bottom of the oven. It did not crack, but it was a completely different texture. I though it was because we didn't use sour cream. It was not as creamy and it just looked different. It is not a recipe that I'd use again.

Thanks again everyone. I'll try another one in a couple of weeks.

__Jamie__ Posted 10 Feb 2009 , 10:50pm
post #19 of 32

icon_rolleyes.gif Call me crazy but....I like it when my cheesecake cracks. icon_biggrin.gif

If I were sell them though, i guess I would not want the crackies.

FromScratch Posted 11 Feb 2009 , 1:04am
post #20 of 32
Originally Posted by JodieF

Woo hoo Jeanne! I LOVE being 100% right every once in awhile!

icon_lol.gif Don't we all?

I love cheesecake and nothing makes you feel better than baking a perfectly smooth un-craked cheesecake. Now I'll eat it cracks and all, but it does look oh so nice when it doesn't crack. If it does... just toss a bunch of berries on the top and no one will know. icon_wink.gif

JodieF Posted 11 Feb 2009 , 1:50pm
post #21 of 32

Jeanne..... icon_lol.gif I find that when someone wants a cheesecake topped, mine come out perfectly smooth! They only crack when someone specifically REQUESTS a plain one!


FromScratch Posted 11 Feb 2009 , 2:10pm
post #22 of 32

Ain't that the truth?!! Murphy's law right there. Maybe someone needs to bake Murphy a cheesecake... then he'll leave us alone. icon_wink.gif

Marianna46 Posted 11 Feb 2009 , 2:35pm
post #23 of 32

Gee, y'all. Making cheesecake was definitely not on my agenda this week, but between the challenge of getting it to come out without cracks (doable, I'm sure, thanks to all your advice) and the fact that all this talk about cheesecake has made me hanker for some, I'm just going to have to find someone who needs a cheesecake for Valentine's Day - preferably someone who will invite me to have some after I give it to them! icon_lol.gificon_eek.gificon_biggrin.gif

JodieF Posted 12 Feb 2009 , 5:32pm
post #24 of 32

Okay...had to laugh. I had to make a cheesecake this week, after I'd given all my wisdom on preventing cheesecakes from cracking. So, I took a couple of pictures for you! Guess it shows you that some just crack no matter what....but they can be fixed!


ddaigle Posted 12 Feb 2009 , 5:40pm
post #25 of 32

Jodie....that is GORGEOUS!!!!

JodieF Posted 12 Feb 2009 , 5:54pm
post #26 of 32

Awwww...thanks Debbie! I've been making them for a long, long time!



devorie Posted 12 Feb 2009 , 5:57pm
post #27 of 32

I'm not quite the maven on cheesecakes (I only bake about 15-20 per year), but, when my cheesecakes crack I just drizzle on melted chocolate and/or caramel sauce and sprinkle with chopped nuts.

Jodi - Wow! That is one fine looking cheesecake!

JodieF Posted 12 Feb 2009 , 9:20pm
post #28 of 32

Thanks for the compliments....but that topping is really easy! It's just chocolate ganache poured on and then set. Then I whipped some cool ganache with powered sugar and piped the swirls. I used a chocolate transfer sheets to do the chocolate hearts. Very simple, but it looks nice. icon_biggrin.gif


adonisthegreek1 Posted 28 Feb 2009 , 12:01am
post #29 of 32

I am happy to say that after mixing and matching everyone's advice, I finally baked my first crack free cheesecake. The only problem is that everyone devoured it before I could take a picture. icon_biggrin.gif

JodieF, your cheesecake looks delicious!

JodieF Posted 28 Feb 2009 , 7:44pm
post #30 of 32

icon_biggrin.gif well, if it was devoured, then yippee!!! Let's face it....tasting great is way more important than looking perfect. But, it is fun when they come out pretty too!

I'm glad the tips helped!


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