Baking – How to keep a cheesecake from cracking


I've been making cheesecakes for a while and they always end up cracking on the top. I was told to try putting a pan of water in the oven with it to keep the humidity up, which might help a little, but then it tends to crack when it's cooling. Am I overcooking? Or baking at the wrong temperature? Whipped cream can only cover up so much.

Best Answer

To make a good baked cheesecake, I was taught the following, and it has ALWAYS worked:

  • Start with room temperature ingredients.
  • DO NOT over-mix. This is a significant cause of cracking, as the incorporated air tends to souffle.
  • When baking, always bake in a bain-marie (put your cake into a water bath for insulation).
  • Bake half an hour at 300° F / 150° C. Then, turn off the oven, open the oven door, and rest for 30 minutes. Then, close the oven and bake 30 to 40 minutes more at 300° F / 150° C.

My first pastry chef taught me this, and it always works.

Also, over-baking will definitely lead to cracking (due to the loss of moisture), and, as stated, over-mixing will as well.