Cheesecake has to be one of the most beloved desserts in the world. You likely look forward to being able to enjoy it due to how tasty and addictive it is.
Making your own can be a lot of fun, and you likely usually get good results. If you’re new to baking cheesecakes, then you might run into a few issues, though.
Many people struggle with having cheesecakes not setting properly at first. Is there a specific reason why this happens, though?
Read on to learn more about what to do when your cheesecake doesn’t set as expected. This should help you to troubleshoot to figure out what’s wrong while also giving you the advice to fix the problem.
What Does it Mean When a Cheesecake Doesn’t Set?
Before going any further, it’s important to be clear about what it means when a cheesecake doesn’t set properly. This is referring to the consistency of the cheesecake and whether it has slightly hardened or not.
Cheesecake is always supposed to be soft and tasty, but it shouldn’t be runny if you did everything right. Sometimes people make mistakes during the process of making the cheesecake and it doesn’t set properly.
If you’ve noticed that your cheesecake appears to be runny, then you’re probably worried that everything is ruined. It’s very possible that you did something wrong, but there might still be some ways to fix it.
Sometimes it’s best to stay calm and try some simple things that can make a difference. If you keep reading, you’ll see several practical ideas that can typically fix the issue.
Refrigerate the Cheesecake for Longer
Does it seem like the cheesecake has set a little bit but not quite enough? This is more common than you might think, and it might be that the cheesecake is just a bit runny.
In this situation, you might wish to try refrigerating it overnight. This could help the cheesecake to finish setting, and it might be in good shape when the morning comes.
Typically, you’re supposed to refrigerate a cheesecake for a few hours before you try to eat it anyway. It’s possible that there isn’t anything wrong with it if you forgot to do that.
In fact, some cheesecakes are going to need to refrigerate for longer periods of time due to how thick they are. If the one you made is quite thick, you should try to let it refrigerate for eight hours or longer to see if it will set properly.
You might just need to be patient for a little while longer. It’s normal to want to dive in and enjoy some tasty cheesecake, but it takes time for it to finish setting.
Ensure That You Follow the Recipe Closely
If your cheesecake isn’t turning out like it’s supposed to, there’s a chance that you’re doing something wrong. Many people who are new to baking cheesecakes will need to follow recipes closely to get good results, and you might have made some mistakes along the way if you weren’t paying attention.
Getting some ingredients wrong could lead to it not setting like it normally should. You might not have measured things properly or you could have accidentally skipped out on adding an important ingredient.
You could try to go back and retrace your steps to determine where you went wrong. It’s possible that you might notice that you never added an ingredient that you intended to.
This happens more often than you might think in the modern era. People are constantly getting texts, emails, and calls that can be quite distracting.
Do your best to stay focused when you’re measuring out ingredients. You want to be sure that you’re using the right amount of ingredients that the recipe says you should use.
Also, you’re going to want to follow the recommendations for mixing and baking to a tee. Add the ingredients in the right order, combine ingredients when you’re supposed to, and be sure to bake the cheesecake at the right temperature.
You Might Have Mixed the Batter Too Much
When making a cheesecake, it’s easy to make little mistakes when you don’t have experience. Mixing the batter is a necessary process for preparing a cheesecake, and you do indeed need to be thorough.
However, it’s possible to go overboard with mixing the batter. If you mix the batter too much, then you can run into issues with not getting it to set as it should.
One of the most common issues that people encounter when they mix a cheesecake too much is that it cracks. Instead of setting and looking pretty as usual, everything might be cracked.
To avoid having this happen, it’s going to be best to consider allowing your cream cheese to sit out and become room temperature. Cream cheese is a lot harder to mix when it’s cold, but it’ll be easier to mix things without mixing too much if it’s is at room temperature.
As long as you’re mindful that you shouldn’t mix the batter more than necessary, it should be easy to avoid making this mistake in the future. Try to always take the cream cheese out and set it on the counter ahead of making a cheesecake so that it will be ready for mixing.
Baking Too Long
Baking a cheesecake too long is another problem that can make it not set the way that it should. You might notice that things will seem kind of off when you bake a cheesecake for a bit longer than you should.
Of course, you should try to follow the recipe and the baking recommendations to avoid situations like this. Did you bake the cheesecake at the right temperature or did you accidentally use a different temperature setting?
Whatever went wrong can be enough to throw it off. When you bake a cheesecake too much, it can cause the egg proteins to be overcooked and it will crack.
Try to set a timer for yourself to ensure that you get the cheesecake out of the oven at the recommended time. Sometimes it’s going to be better to walk around with a timer in your hand so that you don’t miss the right time to take it out of the oven.
You could just set a timer on your phone since you’ll always have that with you. Do whatever is most convenient for you so that you don’t miss taking your cheesecake out of the oven before the egg proteins get overcooked.
Also, be very mindful of using the right baking temperature that has been recommended by the recipe that you’ve chosen to follow. Even being off by a few degrees can completely throw the timing off, and you’re going to get less than stellar results.
The cheesecake should be somewhat soft and jiggly when you take it out of the oven. It’s meant to go in the fridge so that it can set after a period of several hours.
You might notice that your cheesecake appears to be overly sticky. If it didn’t set properly, then it could have wound up becoming sticky because of something that went wrong along the way, but that’s unlikely.
Generally, things being sticky isn’t a big problem, and it’s just an indication that you should allow the cheesecake to set a bit more. Remember that you should allow the cheesecake to cool completely in the refrigerator before attempting to remove it from the cheesecake pan.
It’s also going to be best to spray the pan with some type of non-stick spray ahead of time. This can make it a lot simpler to get the cheesecake out of the pan without having to deal with sticking issues.
Lining the pan with baking paper or parchment paper can be a solid idea as well. If you hate it when baked goods stick to the pan, then having parchment paper around that you can utilize is a great idea.
When your cheesecake gets cold, you could take a knife to the sides of the pan to gently move the edges of the cheesecake away from the pan. Many people find this to be an easy way to help slide it out.
Knowing more about what can go wrong with cheesecake should help you to make good decisions. Most of the mistakes that occur are easily remedied by just focusing and trying to follow the recipe closely.
Sometimes people make mistakes when mixing because they go overboard. People also accidentally cook cheesecakes for too long and cause them to crack and not set like normal.
Hopefully, your cheesecake issue is something minor such as not allowing it to refrigerate for long enough. If that’s the case, then all you’ll have to do is be a bit more patient to get good results.
You should be able to get everything figured out so that you can make delicious cheesecakes that turn out just right. Do your best and you’ll be eating it with your friends and family before you know it.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.