Help With Cheesecake

Baking By cakemeech201 Updated 26 Jan 2011 , 4:21am by scp1127

cakemeech201 Posted 23 Jan 2011 , 7:32am
post #1 of 20

I have been having the worst luck with my cheesecakes lately, they always crack terribly on topicon_sad.gif idk what the heck is going on because I used to make fabulously pretty non cracking cheesecake and then BAM ugliness... someone please help!!!!!! icon_cry.gif

19 replies
madgeowens Posted 23 Jan 2011 , 7:50am
post #2 of 20

You need to use a watewr bath, and then it wont crack....put aluminum foil around the pan so it does not leak, and put cake pan on a pan with a lip, like sheet cake pan, and then put an inch or so of water in the sheet pan surrounding the cake pan.......thats the secret!

Frecklysmom Posted 23 Jan 2011 , 7:53am
post #3 of 20

All I can suggest is to check that oven is baking at the temp you set it at and make sure all your ingredients are at room temp before you start. My recipe says to leave them in the oven until they cool. Are you using a water bath when you bake them?

KSMill Posted 23 Jan 2011 , 8:09am
post #4 of 20

I've also read that beating the batter too hard or too long can cause the cheesecake to crack. I've had it happen when my oven was actually hotter than the temperature setting too. Good luck!

scp1127 Posted 23 Jan 2011 , 8:42am
post #5 of 20

I use a water bath two thirds up the sides. But if you used to make them perfectly, it has got to be your oven or maybe a new mixer with more watts? Also, a draft while cooling for the first two hours can crack them. Convection baking is not recommended for cheesecakes. Something has changed. You just need to figure out what is different. I have made yeast breads since I was a teenager. When I moved to my new house four years ago, I have had problems with rising about one in ten times, once on Christmas day. It is discouraging because I cannot figure it out, and I am a food science nut. So I know how you feel.

cakemeech201 Posted 23 Jan 2011 , 2:54pm
post #6 of 20

i do use a water bath but even then sometimes they crack. i think i may have an issue with my oven, but i also started using a KA mixer i got for christmas. before that i only ever really used hand mixers so maybe i am beating it too much. they're so finicky!!!! the past 2 times i've made them they've cracked, but it wasn't an issue because i had fruit sauces to put on top. thank god this one's for a very understanding co-worker who will probably not care about the huge crack down the middle!!! (i hope) what would any of you consider the perfect temp to bake cheesecake?? i used to do 350 but they would get kinda dark, i dropped it to 325. think that could be a problem too?? thanks for all your advice guys!!! <3

adonisthegreek1 Posted 23 Jan 2011 , 3:29pm
post #7 of 20

I use to have problems with mine cracking. Now they never crack. I bake at 250-275, and I also put a pan of boiling wonder on the rack below the cheesecake rack (not a water bath). Also don't over mix or over bake. Your cheesecake should be slightly jiggly in the middle, but the sides will be slightly raised.

cakemeech201 Posted 23 Jan 2011 , 3:38pm
post #8 of 20

i'll definitely try that adonisthegreek1!! how long do you bake it for at that temp??

scp1127 Posted 23 Jan 2011 , 7:02pm
post #9 of 20

Cheesecake times depend on how much cream cheese is in the recipe. My recipes are 2 and 3 inches high and all have different times. Your mixer is probably your problem. If you are a serious cheesecake baker, I recommend the book by Alan Rosen, owner of Junior's Cheesecakes.

ValMommytoDanny Posted 23 Jan 2011 , 10:36pm
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by adonisthegreek1

I use to have problems with mine cracking. Now they never crack. I bake at 250-275, and I also put a pan of boiling wonder on the rack below the cheesecake rack (not a water bath). Also don't over mix or over bake. Your cheesecake should be slightly jiggly in the middle, but the sides will be slightly raised.




I don't water bathe mine either. Just a pan of water in the oven. I put it in before I even start mixing and have the oven hotter (375 or so) and then turn it down when I put the cake in. Bake until it is set and then turn off the oven. If I have to do more I take it out and put it in a container to cool.

Hope this helps,

adonisthegreek1 Posted 24 Jan 2011 , 3:32am
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakemeech201

i'll definitely try that adonisthegreek1!! how long do you bake it for at that temp??




I don't really know how long I bake it. Maybe an hour and 15 minutes. I don't actually time it. I just cook it until the sides are set and slightly pull away, but a silver dollar size is still jiggly in the center. If you bake until the whole cheesecake is completely set, then you have over baked it.

Karen421 Posted 24 Jan 2011 , 3:56am
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by adonisthegreek1

I use to have problems with mine cracking. Now they never crack. I bake at 250-275, and I also put a pan of boiling wonder on the rack below the cheesecake rack (not a water bath). Also don't over mix or over bake. Your cheesecake should be slightly jiggly in the middle, but the sides will be slightly raised.




I beat mine to death, in fact I use an industrial blender and liquidity for a long time, but when I bake them, I do the same thing, I use my 1/2 sheet cake pan on the rack below filled with water, and no cracking! icon_lol.gif They are perfect - but I don't take them out until all the heat in the oven is gone. icon_smile.gif

cakemeech201 Posted 24 Jan 2011 , 3:48pm
post #13 of 20

i think i'm gonna try lowering the temp and placing a pan of hot/boiling water in the oven along with the cheesecake. i may go back to using my hand mixer for the batter, just to see. thank you all for your tips and advice!!! and btw, this forum is tha bomb!!!!! i love how eager people are to help and the fact that there are so many different ideas/fixes for the same problem, i'm totally addicted!! icon_biggrin.gif

scp1127 Posted 24 Jan 2011 , 4:21pm
post #14 of 20

Let us know how it turns out. Isn't it interesting how different bakers can do the exact opposite and we can all end up with a great product. Good luck!

madgeowens Posted 25 Jan 2011 , 12:14am
post #15 of 20

My recipe says too mix only until well incorporated, not beat a long time....I wrote to food network and asked why it was cracking, and they said to use the water bath.....I also never bake the crust as long as it says or gets a bit hard for me...I dont like that...I recently added my recipe from Emeril that I use.I never liked cheesecake until I made this...I dont use the carmel apple just the rest...uou can use any type topping..I love it...........check it out

artscallion Posted 25 Jan 2011 , 12:50am
post #16 of 20

Cheesecakes crack because of overcooking and/or cooling too quickly. Bake until just set, but still jiggly in the center. If you have an instant read thermometer, use that to check and make sure it has just reached 160°. If you don't overcook it you should be fine.

But, just to be sure, you should not just take it out of the oven, that will cause it to sieze up, shrink and crack.

What I do, once I feel it's ready, is turn off the oven and leave the door ajar for about 5-10 minutes, then open the door all the way for another 5-10 minutes, then pull the rack out and leave that for another 5-10 minutes, then take the cheesecake out and set it on top of the oven, leaving the door open so the heat still escapes up, keeping the area warm for 5-10 minutes, then shut the oven door for 5-10 minutes, then move the cheesecake to a rack on the counter to cool completely.

Sounds complicated, but it's just simply letting it cool slowly, rather than a center cracking shock of temperature change.

JodieF Posted 26 Jan 2011 , 1:14am
post #17 of 20

Yes, they will crack if you beat too much air into them. A cheesecake is like a souffle. Air makes them rise, then they'll fall as they cool.Cracking can also be caused because the sides of the cheesecake stick to the pan. As the cheesecake cools it shrinks. If it's stuck to the sides it will crack because of the pulling. When I take mine out of the oven, I let them cool for 10 minutes or so and then gently open the side of the springform pan to release the sides, then close the pan and cool.
BTW, a water bath will totally change the texture of a cheesecake.
However, sometimes they just crack, no matter what! That's what ganache and other toppings are for!

heyjules Posted 26 Jan 2011 , 1:34am
post #18 of 20

I don't use a water bath either. I agree that overbaking & temp change too quickly are the most common reasons it cracks. I cool mine with the over door cracked open for about 30 min, then set it on the cooling rack for an hour or so, then I run a knife along the edges, so it doesn't stick to the sides, then put it in the frigde.

Stephy42088 Posted 26 Jan 2011 , 1:41am
post #19 of 20

I'm gonna hop in with a cheesecake related question if thats ok icon_smile.gif I'm trying to make a bunch a mini cheesecakes (like the size of a mini cupcake). I did some trial and error and they were good! but I'm not sure on how long I should bake them, or should i just get an instant read thermometer and read when it says 160 degrees? I just don't know how to gauge the doneness when its in such small portions.

scp1127 Posted 26 Jan 2011 , 4:21am
post #20 of 20

Stephy42088, I change sizes of desserts all the time, and I do exactly as you did. Put a few in the mini pan and experiment. Then always remember to write on your recipe which pan you used, the temp, and time. I make mini, 4 inch, and regular. I can't help you because each recipe is different.

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