cheesecake 101

Cooking 101 - Cheesecake

As Kraft Kitchens Experts, we've tested thousands of cheesecake recipes and countless techniques, and we've discovered that making a great cheesecake is easier than you might think. The secret to success lies in the seven critical factors listed below. Just follow these simple techniques for cheesecake success!

  1. Use Philly

    Using quality ingredients, such as Philadelphia Cream Cheese, is the first factor to making a flavourful cheesecake with a perfect creamy texture.

    • Cut cream cheese into cubes for faster softening and easier mixing.
    • To soften cream cheese before mixing, place 1 unwrapped package (250 g) Philadelphia Cream Cheese in microwaveable bowl. Microwave on HIGH 15 seconds. Add 15 seconds for each additional package of cream cheese.
  2. Set out ingredients

    This allows ingredients to come to the same temperature before baking.

    • Set out ingredients on counter about 10 minutes before starting.
    • Be sure eggs & cream cheese are at room temperature - the eggs can then be beaten to a larger volume & the cream cheese will blend easily with the other ingredients.
  3. Use a springform pan

    A springform pan with a removable outer rim allows for easy release of cheesecake while leaving crust intact.

    • Use a heavy-gauge pan and the size called for in recipe for even baking.
    • Spray sides of pan lightly with cooking spray before filling to help prevent cheesecake from sticking and cracking.
  4. Preheat oven

    While preparing filling, heat oven to recommended temperature to ensure proper heat level when ready to bake.

    • Bake cheesecakes on middle rack of oven unless recipe indicates otherwise.
    • Help prevent cheesecake from cracking, by baking it in a moist oven. Place a 13 x 9-inch baking pan half-filled with hot tap water on bottom rack of oven while cheesecake bakes on middle rack.
  5. Do not over-beat

    Over-stirring can add too much air into batter, which can cause cheesecake to crack.

    • Beat in eggs, one at time, on low speed until just blended. You can also stir eggs in by hand with a spatula.
    • Gently stir in flavouring ingredients, such as chocolate, fruit or nuts, at the end of mixing process or as directed in recipe.
  6. No peeking

    Opening the oven door while cheesecake is baking causes drafts that may lead to cracking.

    • Cheesecake is done if the top is slightly puffy and set except for a small area in the centre that should still appear soft and jiggly (about the size of a loonie). This will set upon cooling.
    • Do not insert a knife to check for doneness as this will cause cracking upon cooling.
    • When done, remove cheesecake from oven and place on wire rack.
  7. Loosen immediately

    To prevent cracking, immediately run a knife or thin metal spatula around edge of cheesecake to loosen from sides of pan. Do not unlock fastener or remove from pan right away.

    • Cool cheesecake, away from drafts, for about an hour before refrigerating.
    • To remove from pan, unlatch fastener and lift straight up, away from cheesecake.
    • Refrigerate cheesecake for time indicated in recipe or overnight to allow flavours to blend.