When I first started making cheesecakes, I messed up many times – from exploding cheesecake (we won't talk about that) to having the top of the cheesecake cracked. After multiple attempts, I finally understood how to minimize the mistakes that most rookie bakers make. Here are some tips that you should keep in mind when making cheesecake! 

1. Softening the Ingredients

milk, dairy product, dairy, cheese, butter
Caroline Ingalls

When the recipe says "softened cream cheese", they really mean a softened cream cheese – not room temperature cream cheese. If your cream cheese isn't softened enough, microwave it for 10 seconds. The consistency you are looking for is when a knife can go through the cream cheese smoothly with little residue left on it. This allows you to mix the cream cheese and sugar more easily. As a result, the ingredients become well incorporated, and the mixture has no clumps.

2. Overmixing the Mixture

batter, dairy product, milk, omelet, yolk, flour, egg yolk, egg
Hailey Almsted

When you overmix the batter, more air is incorporated into the cheesecake batter. This causes the cheesecake to rise and fall, leaving cracks on the surface of it. This can be prevented by having all your ingredients at room temperature so you can mix less to get the ingredients incorporated.

3. Scraping Down the Bowl

dough, flour, sweet, ice, milk, dairy product, cream
Annie Slabotsky

As tedious as this step sound, it is very important to scrape down your bowl after each step. This helps incorporate all the mixed ingredients to ensure that there are no clumps of raw ingredients in the mixture. It also makes the mixture more homogenous.

4. Temperature Control

Joelle Cheung

One of the most common mistakes when making cheesecake is not getting the right temperature. When it's time to bake the cheesecake, use a water bath to help the cheesecake cook evenly without overcooking. The most important tip is: once the cheesecake is in the oven, don't open it! It's very sensitive to temperature changes while it's baking, so by opening the oven door, heat escapes and lowers the temperature for a while. When your cheesecake is done baking, you have to open the oven door very slowly, little by little, to ensure that the temperature change isn't too drastic.

5. Patience 

Joelle Cheung

With baking, you really can't rush or skip any steps. Unlike cooking, baking is less forgiving when you mess up since you can't just "cut off a piece" of the batter. Patience is key when you want to make the "perfect" cheesecake – it takes time to mix the batter, it takes time for the cheesecake to bake, and it takes time for the cheesecake to cool down.

The best way to perfect making a cheesecake is to practice (more practice also equals more cheesecake). Once you improve you can try experimenting with flavours and will be able to get the correct baking time and temperature of the oven every time.