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How to Make a Thicker Cheesecake (When It’s Runny)

How to Make a Thicker Cheesecake (When It’s Runny)

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Available in baked and nonbaked variants, cheesecake offers endless possibilities for customization to suit every palate. It can served with a decadent chocolate ganache, kept simple with a drizzle of fruit jam, or enjoyed as is with a dusting of powdered sugar.

Slice Of Cheesecake

But here’s the thing about cheesecake: making it at home can be challenging, especially as a novice. It needs just the right amount of ingredients and temperature to achieve that Michelin Star-level slice.

One of the most common problems home bakers face when making cheesecake is a runny base. Luckily, there are several techniques you can employ to get the perfectly firm and creamy center that everyone loves. 

In this article, I’ll show you how to make a thicker cheesecake and share some tips on achieving the ideal cheesecake texture. 

What Causes a Runny Cheesecake?

Cheesecake Batter

The first step in fixing any problem is knowing what causes the problem in the first place. There are a few different reasons why your cheesecake may be too runny or not thick enough for your liking, such as: 

Insufficiently Cooled Cheesecake

For many people, runny cheesecake is a result of not following the proper refrigeration time

I get it: waiting is hard, especially when that creamy cheesecake is calling your name. But with a little patience, the reward of a perfectly set cheesecake is well worth the wait!

Refrigerating the cake for at least eight hours is a crucial step in the cheesecake-making process. If you cut into the cheesecake too early, there’s a good chance it’ll be runny due to the filling not having set completely. 

For best results, let the cheesecake refrigerate overnight. You’ll be rewarded with a beautiful slice that holds its shape perfectly, making for a show-stopping dessert.

Incorrect Proportions of Ingredients

The problem can also be in the ingredients, especially if you’re using substitutes

Depending on how you are making your cheesecake, the ingredients simply may not line up to create a firm, thick cheesecake.

If you notice that your cheesecake is still runny, even after appropriate refrigeration time, you’ll need to think about what you should add to the cheesecake based on the type of cake you are making.

A non-baked cheesecake will require some gelatin to keep it firm and thick. Remember not to add too much to it if you don’t want to obscure the classic flavor of cheesecake. 

If you are making a traditionally baked cake, then you may want to think about adding some alcohol or an acid alongside full-fat cream cheese and double cream. The acid can be lemon or orange juice, as these flavors tend to go nicely with cheesecake.

Underbaked Cheesecake

If you’re dealing with a runny baked cheesecake, the culprit might be underbaking. Cheesecake that hasn’t been baked long enough often ends up with a runny consistency.

You’ll know your cheesecake has finished baking when the center is firm but jiggles slightly when gently shaken. If it still appears liquidy, keep it in the oven for a little while longer. 

Worried about overbaking? Here’s a helpful trick: during the last few minutes of baking, turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake inside with the door slightly ajar. This allows the internal temperature to finish setting without overcooking the edges.

How to Fix a Runny Cheesecake

Once you know where the problem lies, you can begin thinking about ways to fix your cheesecake. 

If the culprit is lack of fridge time, simply clear a space in your fridge and let your cheesecake set for at least eight hours, preferably overnight. 

There’s a good reason why cheesecakes are almost exclusively kept in the fridge, and it isn’t just because it has cheese as a main ingredient. For cheesecakes, being refrigerated is a core part of the “baking” process and vital to achieving the cake you want.

If the cheesecake still appears runny even after refrigerating overnight, there may have been issues with the ingredients or the baking time. 

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to save a runny cheesecake once it’s out of the oven and refrigerated. 

You can try some last-ditch efforts like adding thickening agents like gelatin or cornstarch to the filling to help firm it up, but the results may not be ideal. You can’t rebake it either because doing so can lead to overcooked edges and a compromised texture. 

The best course of action is to learn from this experience and adjust the ingredients or baking time for your next attempt. 

In the meantime, don’t dispose of the runny cheesecake! 

You can transform it into a decadent cheesecake dip by blending it with a bit of heavy cream and mixing in sliced fruit. 

You can also freeze it and turn it into cheesecake ice cream, use it as a topping or filling, or serve it as a parfait. 

How to Make a Perfectly Firm Cheesecake: Essential Tips to Follow

Cheesecake Batter

Here are a few tips to keep in mind to create a firmer cheesecake: 

Acids Are Your Best Friends 

For baked cheesecakes, acids such as lemon and orange juice as well as some alcohol are the best way to go about doing things. Not only do they provide a hint of flavor, but they can also keep your cheesecake as firm and thick as you can possibly have it.

Whip Smart, Not Hard

When whipping the cream and cream cheese, pay close attention to the batter’s consistency. Overwhipping can introduce air bubbles that can lead to cracks in your finished bake, while underwhipping may result in a mixture that’s too loose and unable to hold its shape.

You want a smooth and creamy batter, with no visible lumps. Stop mixing once all the ingredients are fully incorporated and the mixture is uniform in texture. 

Unsure of when to stop? Lift the beater and let the mixture drop back down. If it falls in a smooth ribbon and holds its shape slightly, you’ve reached the perfect consistency.

Baked Cheesecakes Are Thicker Than Nonbaked Cheesecakes 

Baked cheesecakes have a thicker consistency than non-baked variants. 

Baking sets the eggs and cream cheese mixture, resulting in a dense, sliceable cheesecake that doesn’t melt even when left outside for long periods. 

Non-baked cheesecakes, on the other hand, have a lighter, smoother, and sometimes looser consistency. They often rely on gelatin and refrigeration to hold their shape. 

Sieve and Drain Your Cream Yogurt 

If your recipe calls for Greek yogurt, but you only have cream yogurt on hand, you can achieve a similar texture by draining the excess liquid from the cream yogurt. 

Pour the yogurt into a fine sieve lined with cheesecloth or a coffee filter, then let it drain for a few hours. 

Greek yogurt goes through the draining process which is why it’s thicker and creamier than regular yogurt.

Though it takes some time, this extra step is well worth the wait because it creates the perfect cheesecake texture and consistency.

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Wednesday 13th of April 2022

My cheescake filling always is runny before baking even I follow recipe. What ever recipe I do. In recipe picture I see, filling is thick. So where is the problem?


Friday 25th of November 2022

@Annie, it's ya eggs use 2(medium)eggs two packages of cream cheese


Thursday 8th of September 2022


I buy philadelphia cream cheese And follow the recipe they have printed on the cream cheese box, always turns out great


Tuesday 28th of September 2021

How much lemon juice would you recommend adding to help thicken a cheesecake?