After you bake a perfect cheesecake, you may have a little left over that you need to store (lucky you!). Or, perhaps you baked a cheesecake in advance and need to keep it for a few days until you are ready to enjoy it.
So what exactly is the best way to store a cheesecake? Let me show you how!
Can You Make Cheesecake in Advance?
Cheesecake is a very soft and tender type of cake. Made primarily with cream cheese, sugar, eggs and flavorings, cheesecake has a very different texture than other cakes. However, despite being a little different than a regular old cake, cheesecake can definitely be made in advance in much the same manner as a flour based cake.
Cheesecakes store very well which means you can easily make a cheesecake ahead of time, preparing for your event or just to have on hand. One thing is for sure, you cannot store a cheesecake at room temperature or on your counter as you may do with other kinds of cakes.
So here are a few tips on how to keep your cheesecake delicious after it bakes!
Let the Cake Cool
No matter what method you choose to store your cheesecake, the first step is to let it cool completely after it has baked. Placing your hot cheesecake directly in the fridge or freezer can change the texture of the cake, taking away that smooth creaminess that you love and instead making a cheesecake that is separated. In addition, the moisture from a hot cheesecake may cause the crust to become soggy as well.
To cool your cheesecake completely, let it sit at room temperature after it bakes for at least one hour. Then, move the cake to the fridge while still in the pan.
Let it cool in the fridge for another hour. Remove the cheesecake from the refrigerator and then also remove the cake from the pan, placing it on a cake board, tray or plate. Now, the cake is ready to wrap and store!
Wrapping a Cheesecake
One of the most important parts about storing a cheesecake is making sure it is properly wrapped. You want the cheesecake to be wrapped as air tightly as possible.
Proper wrapping can prevent the cheesecake from drying out in the fridge or freezer. In addition, it will keep the flavor of the cheesecake in tact, blocking outside odors from being absorbed.
To wrap the cheesecake, you can simply place the cheesecake on a cake board, plate or serving tray and then wrap the cake with plastic wrap. If you are planning on covering the top of the cheesecake in fruit, whipped cream or with other decorations, it doesn’t matter if the plastic wrap touches the cheesecake as any imperfections that may be cause later when you remove the plastic wrap are going to be covered by décor.
If you are planning on leaving the surface of your cheesecake plain, you may be hesitant to place plastic wrap directly on the top of the cake. While most of the time, you will be able to gently remove the plastic wrap before serving the cake with no issue, there is always a chance that some of the cheesecake sticks to the plastic wrap.
To prevent this, place a few toothpicks around the edge of the cheesecake and then wrap the cake. The toothpicks will hold the plastic up and away from the cake surface.
If you remove the plastic wrap from the cheesecake and there are imperfections, use a hot offset spatula to smooth any spots as needed. A hot spatula will gently melt the cheesecake and make it help level it out again.
Another way to wrap a cheesecake is to place it in a cake container with a lid. Choose a plastic option as they will protect the cheesecake best. Cake containers are also very convenient for transporting cakes and can last a lifetime so they make a good investment.
You can also use a simple cake box (typically made of cardboard) but these will only block so much air from getting to the cake and drying it out. If you are using a cardboard cake box, consider also wrapping the box in plastic wrap for extra protection.
Storing Cheesecake in the Fridge
Once your cheesecake is cooled and wrapped, it is ready to go into the fridge. Cheesecake will keep in the refrigerator for about 5 days when wrapped properly.
A store bought cheesecake will stay good in the fridge for up to 7 days. If your cheesecake has fresh fruit on top, this may be the first part to go bad so keep this in mind when you top your cheesecake.
Storing Cheesecake in the Freezer
To store a cheesecake in the freezer, I highly recommend wrapping the cake in plastic wrap. This will give the cake a direct seal, protecting it from the very dry freezer. Wrap the cheesecake directly in plastic wrap and then place it inside a large zippered freezer bag. When sealed this well, the cheesecake will last about 2-3 months in the freezer!
Another amazing trick to storing cheesecake in the freezer is to slice the cheesecake and wrap individual pieces. Wrap each slice in plastic wrap and then place them all in a gallon sized zippered freezer bag. Anytime you would like a slice, you can just pull it out and enjoy! This makes for a perfect, ready to go dessert!
Eating Cheesecake After Storage
While cheesecake cannot be safely stored at room temperature, it does still tastes best when served at room temperature. Take the cake out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you would like to serve it. Letting the cake warm up slightly will bring out the delicious flavors of the cake!
If you are planning to eat a cheesecake that has been frozen, take the cake out of the freezer and place it in the fridge the day before. This will give the cheesecake time to thaw slowly.
When you thaw the cheesecake too fast, excess moisture may get on the cake in the form of condensation, making the crust soggy and the surface wet. It is best to thaw that cake slowly!
If you need to thaw a frozen cheesecake quickly, unwrap the frozen cake and keep it on the counter at room temperature. The cheesecake should thaw in about 2 hours, depending on the size of the cake.
If you are thawing an individual slice, place the cheesecake slice on a plate and microwave for about 30 seconds. The slice will be ready to eat in no time!