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Cheesecake Left Out Overnight – Is It Safe To Eat?

Norah Clark
Blueberry cheesecake left out on kitchen counter.

Leaving cheesecake out overnight is not recommended, as it can lead to food safety concerns. It should be refrigerated within 2 hours of serving to prevent spoilage and maintain its freshness.

Anyway, my friend inspired me to write this. She Whatsapp’d me the other morning saying, “I ate cheesecake that was left out overnight – will I be sick??” Good job I’m an ex-pastry chef and not a doctor! “It’s best not to eat it; however, you will be okay,” I replied. But, it’s crazy how many people bake a cheesecake and leave it out overnight!

Like any dairy product, you’ll need to know the best methods to store it. Dairy should always on the radar for expiration and spoilage, as well as food safety.

We’ll discuss more on the reasons why cheesecake shouldn’t be left out overnight and the best way to store it properly and securely. 

Do You Need To Refrigerate Baked Cheesecake?

This is among the most frequently asked questions about cheesecakes.

The answer to that question is a firm yes. It is essential for two reasons.

First, refrigeration can help keep a cheesecake cool and “mature” following baking. Additionally, refrigeration is the most efficient method of ensuring that the baked cheesecake stays fresh and doesn’t spoil.

Do You Need To Refrigerate Cheesecakes After Baking?

The most crucial element in baking sweets and desserts is letting them cool off after you take them out of the oven. This is also true for cheesecakes.

This is because the cooling process allows the cake to develop. More specifically, this will help mix the various flavors to bond with one another.

Cooling the cheesecake makes your cake retain its appearance and consistency.

However, there are other reasons to put your freshly baked cheesecake in the refrigerator within a few hours of baking.

There are certain steps to ensure that the cake is not damaged during the cooling process. After baking, adhere to these guidelines:

  1. When you remove your cheesecake from the oven, loosen it from the cake tin by running a knife along the edges and bottom of the cake. This will allow your cake to shrink and prevent cracks from forming on the cake’s surface.
  2. Before placing your cake in the fridge, place the pan or baking dish on a cooling rack. 
  3. Once the cake has completely cooled, wrap the cheesecake in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for a minimum of one hour.

Be aware that if you fail to adhere to the first step and put an uncooled cheesecake in the refrigerator, you’ll see massive cracks and contractions.

Why You Should Refrigerate Leftover Cheesecake


Common sense has probably told you never to let anything that contains dairy at room temperature for a long time as it could be spoiled. 

Does Cheesecake Go Bad If Not Refrigerated?

This is among the most frequently asked questions. The simple answer is: Yes, the cheesecake will certainly spoil if it is not refrigerated within two hours.

Cheese and dairy products need to be refrigerated; it’s as easy as that. Also, refrigerating leftover cheesecake can help it maintain the desired degree of freshness and moisture you desire with each bite. Read our guide on freezing your cheesecake to preserve the cake for longer.

How Long Can Cheesecake Sit Unrefrigerated?

Cheesecake can sit out for up to 4 hours before it needs to be refrigerated. However, if the room temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s best to refrigerate the cheesecake after 2 hours.

Not only will the taste of your cheesecake begin to decline, but, you also run the risk of getting food digestion issues.

Do You Need To Cover Cheesecake In The Fridge?

You should protect your cheesecakes to maintain its flavor and texture. Covering it can prevent moisture from escaping into the humid environment in your refrigerator.

So, you have a couple of choices:

  • Containers for pie or other containers with a sealable lid
  • Plastic wrap
  • Foil

All of them will help protect the cheesecake from becoming dry. However, if you’re having trouble wrapping your cake in plastic or foil, you might consider keeping it in the baking pan and wrapping it tightly instead.

How Do I Properly Store Baked Cheesecake?

It is very easy; you only need to adhere to these guidelines:

  1. If it’s freshly baked, allow it to cool before proceeding.
  2. Cover your cheesecake with plastic wrap or foil, or put your cake inside a sealed container. If space in your refrigerator is limited, cut the cake into multiple pieces that you can save in individual portions. 
  3. Put your cake in the refrigerator and eat it within one week or less!

How Long Can Cheesecake Be Refrigerated?

If handled with care and stored correctly, your baked cheesecake will last for at most an entire week in the fridge, but this depends on which cheese has been used in your cheesecake.

How To Tell If Cheesecake Is Spoiled?

We hope that you don’t need to learn what a bad or an undercooked cheesecake

Use your senses. Also, make certain to be on the lookout for the following indicators of loss:

  • Changes in texture: Remember that freshly baked cheesecakes are renowned for their distinct texture. It’s usually smooth and soft. Once it begins to turn, you’ll see that it is beginning to dry out.
  • Color changes: The cheese’s flavor can make your cheesecake appear slightly off-white or yellowish (unless you’ve added chocolate or strawberry to it naturally). But you might see some browning on the edges when it deteriorates. This is a clear indication that you should be wary 
  • Odors: Although the cheeses used in this dessert naturally have a pleasant aroma, the cake is likely to smell less appealing after it has passed its shelf life. If it smells bad, then it most likely isn’t edible.


How long can cheesecake sit out at room temperature?

At room temperature, cheesecake can sit out for up to 4 hours. This is because the room temperature is usually around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the ideal temperature for cheesecake. However, if the room temperature exceeds 90 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s best to refrigerate the cheesecake after 2 hours.

How long can cheesecake sit out in a car?

Cheesecake should not be left in a car for more than 2 hours. The temperature inside a car can reach dangerous levels, especially during the summer months, and can cause the cheesecake to spoil quickly. If you need to transport cheesecake, it’s best to keep it in a cooler or insulated bag with ice packs.

Can you get food poisoning from cheesecake?

It is possible to get food poisoning from cheesecake if it has been left out for too long or if it’s been stored at the wrong temperature. Bacteria can grow on cheesecake if it’s not stored properly, which can cause food poisoning. To avoid this, refrigerate the cheesecake for 4 hours and keep it below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Profile Image Norah Clark

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, Editor of Boyd Hampers! Norah is a food writer with over a decade of experience in hospitality as a pastry chef, sous chef, and barista; former chef at the Savoy Hotel, Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons and Plaza Hotel.

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1 comment

I received my cheesecake the other day. We had a piece, wrapped it up really good& it’s in fridge.my sister won’t be here until next Saturday. Should I freeze it for now?

Julie Gersuk

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