How To Cool Cheesecake? Tips to Bake a Perfect Cheesecake

Cooling a cheesecake gradually helps prevent cracks from forming, allowing the cake to contract slowly without causing structural damage. Also, the cooling process allows the flavors to meld and the texture to set properly, resulting in a richer, smoother cheesecake.


How to Cool a Cheesecake?

Initial Cooling in the Oven

Once the cheesecake is done baking, turn off the oven and let it cool inside for about an hour. This helps prevent sudden temperature changes, which can cause the cake to contract rapidly and crack.

Room-Temperature Cooling

After the hour in the oven, remove the cheesecake and let it cool further on a wire rack at room temperature. This should take another 1-2 hours until the cheesecake is no longer warm to the touch.


Once the cheesecake has reached room temperature, it’s time to refrigerate it. Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap to prevent it from absorbing other flavors from the refrigerator. Ideally, the cheesecake should chill for at least 4 hours but overnight is best.

Pre-Serving Preparations

Before serving, run a warm knife around the edge of the springform pan to release the cheesecake. Remove the sides of the pan, slice the cheesecake with a warmed knife (warming the knife helps make clean cuts), and serve chilled.

How to Cool a Cheesecake

Cooling a Cheesecake – Quick Methods

Wire Rack

Cooling a cheesecake on a wire rack improves air circulation around the entire cheesecake, thus cooling it faster than if it were left in the pan on a solid surface. It also helps in releasing the heat from the bottom of the cake.

Small Fan

Placing a small fan near the cheesecake can speed up the cooling process by increasing the air flow around it. Make sure the fan isn’t too close or on a high setting, as that can cause the cheesecake to cool too rapidly, potentially leading to cracks.

Wet Rag Around the Pan

Wrapping a wet rag around the outside of the cheesecake pan can help it cool faster. The evaporation of water from the rag absorbs heat, reducing the pan’s temperature. However, care must be taken not to let water seep into the cheesecake.

Freeze instead of Refrigerating

While it’s not the usual method, you could put the cheesecake in the freezer for a short while to expedite the cooling process. However, you must be careful not to leave it there too long to avoid freezing it. After a brief period, move the cheesecake to the refrigerator to continue cooling.

Make No-Bake Cheesecake

No-bake cheesecakes require no oven time, thus eliminating the need for cooling after baking. Once Cheesecake is assembled, they are simply refrigerated until set. This type of cheesecake, however, has a different texture and taste compared to baked cheesecakes.

Cooling a Cheesecake – Quick Methods

How to tell if a Cheesecake is done?

Jiggle Test

Gently shake the oven rack that the cheesecake is baking on. The outer ring of the cheesecake should be slightly puffed and set, but the inner circle (about 2 inches in diameter) should still jiggle a bit like gelatin. This is a good indicator that it is done.

Touch Test

Lightly tap the center of the cheesecake with your finger. If the cheesecake is done, it should spring back slightly under your touch, and your finger should not leave an indentation.

Temperature Check

Using an instant-read thermometer, check the internal temperature at the center of the cheesecake. When done, it should register around 150°F (65°C). Avoid overcooking, as the residual heat will continue to cook the cheesecake after it’s removed from the oven.

How to tell if a Cheesecake is done

Tips to Bake a Perfect Cheesecake

Choose Quality Ingredients: Choose high-quality, full-fat cream cheese and fresh eggs for the best flavor. Low-fat alternatives can alter the texture and taste of your cheesecake.

Room Temperature Ingredients: Ensure all your ingredients are at room temperature before starting. This ensures they blend smoothly and reduces the chance of lumps in your cheesecake.

Don’t Overmix: While it’s essential to fully incorporate your ingredients, overmixing can incorporate too much air into the batter, leading to cracks. Mix just until smooth and combined.

Use a Water Bath: Baking your cheesecake in a water bath, or bain-marie, provides a more consistent, gentle heat and a humid environment, which helps prevent cracks and results in a creamier texture.

Bake Slowly and Cool Gradually: Bake your cheesecake at a low temperature to prevent overcooking, and allow it to cool gradually in the oven before moving it to room temperature and then to the fridge. Rapid temperature changes can cause cracking.

Don’t Rush It: Cheesecake benefits from patience. Allow sufficient chilling time (preferably overnight) before serving. This waiting period will enhance the cheesecake’s texture and flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should cheesecake cool before going in the fridge?

A cheesecake should be allowed to cool at room temperature for approximately 1-2 hours before being placed in the refrigerator.

Why is it important to let the cheesecake sit at room temperature before putting it in the fridge?

Allowing the cheesecake to sit at room temperature before refrigerating prevents a rapid temperature change that could lead to the cake contracting quickly, causing cracks. Gradual cooling also allows the texture to be set properly.

Can I put a warm cheesecake in the freezer or fridge?

While you can technically put a warm cheesecake in the freezer or fridge to speed up cooling, it’s generally not recommended because the sudden temperature change can cause the cheesecake to crack.

How to prevent cracks in cheesecake?

Avoiding cracks in cheesecake involves several steps: don’t overmix the batter, don’t overbake the cake, let it cool gradually in the oven and at room temperature before refrigerating, and consider using a water bath during baking to ensure even heat distribution.

What is a cheesecake water bath?

A cheesecake water bath, or bain-marie, is where the pan is placed inside a larger pan filled with hot water during baking. The water bath provides gentle, even heat and a moist environment, reducing the risk of cracks and creating a creamier texture.

How long should I put the cheesecake in the freezer?

If you’re trying to cool a cheesecake quickly, it can be placed in the freezer for about an hour. However, don’t leave it there too long to avoid freezing it completely. The cheesecake should then be transferred to the fridge to continue cooling.

Can I leave the cheesecake on the counter overnight?

Leaving a cheesecake on the counter overnight is unsafe, as it contains perishable ingredients like cream cheese and eggs. After cooling, it should be refrigerated to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.


I live in Los Angeles with my better half, Dave, and our child, Corey. Each second with them is the acknowledgment of my fantasies working out as expected — and for that? I am so extremely thankful. Hi! I am Diana Rodriguez, the founder, author, and photographer of ATD.

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