How To avoid Cheesecake Surface Cracking. A great guide with tips and tricks to help you bake a perfect cheesecake. Includes how to use a water bath or bain marie
How to avoid cheesecake surface cracking is a great guide full of tips and advice to help you bake the perfect cheesecake without any cracks. In this guide you will find some handy hints and learn why cheesecakes can crack around the sides or the surface, so when you come to bake your cheesecake you will be able to avoid the surface from cracking and end up with a nice smooth even cheesecake.
Have you ever baked a cheesecake and at the end of it all, felt disappointed when you see cracks appearing on the surface, as it is baking or cooling? I know I have! Of course, you can cover up the cracks with a topping or decoration, but for you as the baker, you know there are cracks, and perhaps you are a perfectionist, or you have a sense of not wanting to be defeated by those pesky cracks!
Surface cracks do not, in any way, affect the taste of your cheesecake, but it does affect the appearance, and also, you can get a 'sinking' effect on the top of the cake. For me, it also affects my 'pride'! So cheesecake cracks are not 'bad', the taste is not affected. It is just the appearance which may not be as attractive. So don't worry, we can help you fix a cracked cheesecake so it doesn't happen again.
So what I decided to do was write up a few notes to help you understand and see how you can avoid any cheesecake surface cracks in your future bakes. Follow the tips and I am sure you will also be able to bake a crack free cheesecake.
Notes about surface cracking.
This is a common complaint that cheesecakes will have surface cracks during or after baking so here's how to avoid cheesecake surface cracking.
There are several reasons this can happen, and there are some steps you can take to limit or prevent the cracks from developing. However, should you end up with cracks, don't be too upset about it! It happens to us all, and the easiest way to disguise any cracks is to add a dusting of sugar or fruits on the top of your cheesecake and no one will ever know. The flavor and texture are not compromised, just the appearance.
So here are some tips to help you avoid those pesky cracks from developing:
1. Bake the cheesecake in a water bath. This will help with an even, gentle temperature. and keep the air in the oven moist and keep the oven temperature low. Remember, Low and slow will give you a nice looking cake!
What is a water bath you may ask? It's a method used, sometimes called a bain marie which is hot water in a container, placed in the oven. The reason it is used is to allow for a more even and gentle cooking temperature, and for cheesecakes, this is important to avoid cracking or the cheesecake turning rubbery. The steam evaporates and allows the moisture to circulate in the oven. The important thing to remember when using the water bath method is to make sure your baking pan has not got any gaps where the water from the water bath might be able to seep into your cake mixture. So you must make sure you double wrap the outer baking pan with parchment and then foil as in the photo below.
We've found a great leak proof springform pan which will suit your baking needs below
2. Make sure you grease the sides of your baking pan well. During cooking, the cheesecake will shrink and pull away from the sides. If it isn't greased well, the cake will stick and pull, causing tension and cracking / splitting open in the middle and around the edges.
3. Don't bake the cheesecake for longer than stated. When the time is up, you should have a wobble in the middle of the cake. This will firm as it cools.
4. Make sure you combine the ingredients well, and add the eggs right at the end. The trick is to mix the ingredients well so there are no lumps, and then once smooth, add the eggs gently beating. The eggs have a tendency to hold air, so mix the eggs in well, but slowly, to avoid getting any air bubbles in to the batter. (During baking, air bubbles will expand and pop, leaving holes are areas of weakness which can contribute to the cracking).
5. When you have put the mixture in to the pan, you can also run a round bladed knife around to get rid of any air bubbles you see. This is not too important if you have followed point 4 above and reduced the risk of incorporating too much air into the mixture when beating.
6. If you have a recipe which does not call for cornflour / cornstarch, I would add a couple of tablespoons anyway, in to the batter. This will reduce the chances of cracking as the starch will cling on to the eggs and stop them from over coagulating, and thereby causing the cracking.
7. Finally, be patient and once the cook time is up, leave the cheesecake in the switched off oven and allow it to cool down inside the oven with the door closed. If you remove it too soon and try and cool it too quickly, it will crack!
If you have a good recipe, and follow it well, you should not experience severe cracking. So always look out for the tips above in the instructions and then you will know straight away if it is going to be a good recipe!
We'd love to hear from you and what you thought of our guide on How To Avoid Cheesecake Surface Cracking. Did you make any changes or add some other goodies? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading and happy cooking!
Here are a few of our lovely baked cheesecakes for you to enjoy!