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An Undercooked Cheesecake – How To Know and Fix It

Norah Clark
Peanut butter jam cheesecake.

The best way to check for an undercooked cheesecake is to place an electronic thermometer in the middle of the cheesecake once it’s baked. If it's at 150 degrees Fahrenheit, that means it’s cooked. If it doesn’t, place it back into the oven to bake further.

Who doesn’t love cheesecake? If it’s the traditional New York-style cheesecake or the delicious strawberry-filled one, there are not many who would say no to this tasty dessert.

Making your own cheesecake at home can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience but it can be complicated, especially when trying to figure out when the cheesecake is cooked.

A cheesecake that is not cooked properly is too liquid, will sink and will simply not maintain its shape.

To achieve the soft, smooth, and melting-in-your-mouth taste that cheesecakes are renowned for, it's necessary to learn a few techniques and discover what's the best cheese for your cheesecake.

The best part is that aside from easily testing the cake’s cooking time there are simple methods to correct it when it’s undercooked.

Learn information about the best methods to detect whether your cheesecake is cooked properly and easy fixes to make it firmer.

How To Know If Its An Undercooked Cheesecake

As with any baked dessert, cheesecakes need to be cooked perfectly. This is a matter of the correct ingredients, the right measurements, and baking time, all of which are vital for the best final product.

A cheesecake that has been cooked poorly is hard to serve, spongey as well as visually unappetizing, and, frankly, unpleasant to take a bite of.

Additionally, there is a very fine line between undercooking or overcooking the cheesecake and you must be able to distinguish between both.

Sometimes when you are using an alternative to cream cheese it can be harder to gauge.

Here’s how to determine if your cheesecake has been undercooked:

1. Use A Thermometer

The temperature of the cheesecake with the instant thermometer is one of the simplest and most foolproof methods of knowing the temperature of your cheesecake and whether it's cooked properly.

This article will give you step-by-step instructions on how you can use a thermometer to verify whether the cheesecake is cooked perfectly or not!

(Note: It’s helpful to obtain an instant-read thermometer for cooking to accomplish the task so that you don’t have to wait.

This won’t just help you save time, but it will also stop the cheesecake from burning while over-baking.)

  • Clean the thermometer thoroughly then calibrate the thermometer by measuring the temperatures of boiling water. The thermometer must be able to read 212 degrees F.
  • Then, stick the thermometer about halfway into the middle of the cheesecake,not the edge
  • Look for a temperature in the range of 150 degrees F in the center of the dessert. When it is at the temperature you want, remove the cheesecake from the oven and allow it to cool completely on an air-cooling rack.
  • If it’s not cooked then put the cake back into the oven for a few minutes, and repeat the procedure until you’ve got the proper reading.
  • The placement of a thermometer between the layers of cake can cause it to break up, therefore, put your thermometer into the exact place you inserted it previously. 

2. Jiggle, Jiggle, Jiggle!

If it is bouncing too much, it’s not ready. A perfectly cooked cheesecake has to have just the right amount of jiggle; here’s how to test it:

  • Put on oven mitts, put your hands on the opposite sides of the baking dish, then gently give the cheesecake a gentle shake. Be careful not to be too rough or your cheesecake could split if not cooked adequately. 
  • After that, take a look to see how much the middle of the cake moves. If a tiny area about 2 inches across the middle jiggles slightly, then the cheesecake is cooked. Remove the oven from the oven and let the cake sit for a few hours.
  • If the jiggly surface is greater than 2 inches or the cooked batter breaks through the surface or spills out to the edge of the baking dish, it is undercooked and you must place it back into the oven for additional time.
  • If the cheesecake is solid and doesn’t move even a bitit’s probably overcooked. Remove it from the oven before it begins to crack.

3. Toothpick Test

A toothpick is an easy method to test the level of doneness of the cake, but it’s not the most precise.

This is why it is often regarded as an emergency solution for those who don’t have a thermometer handy. But, seriously jump onto Amazon and buy one for a couple of bucks!

Like the thermometer put the toothpick in the middle of the cheesecake. The difference is that instead of having to rely on a specific read, you have to be relying on your observation and assessment abilities.

Here are step-by-step directions on how to use a toothpick to verify if your cheesecake is undercooked:

  • Put a clean toothpick into the center of the cheesecake. In the event that your toothpick happens to be a tiny one, you can put on the top of the cake. If it’s long, you should poke it about halfway. 
  • Examine the toothpick to check whether there is any remaining cake batter. If there is, it’s an indication that the cake is being undercooked.
  • When the toothpick appears dry and is clear then the cheesecake has is done.
  • When the cheesecake appears to be undercooked, then bake it for about a few more minutes and then give it another go. To prevent the cheesecake from getting damaged be sure to pop it in the same hole you used before.

4. Pressure Test

This is a straightforward test that does not require any tools and can be done with your fingertips. Although it’s a very easy test, this test demands caution, as you may end up damaging or breaking the cheesecake’s surface.

These are step-by-step directions for performing a pressure test on cheesecakes:

  • Since the test requires ungloved fingers, make sure they are clean
  • Then, use one or two fingers to gently indent the cheesecake’s middle to test the degree of doneness. Don’t press too hard.
  • If the middle of the cheesecake seems solid with a bit of flex, it is cooked perfectly.
  • If your finger sinks further towards the bottom of the cake and emerges with a little bit of cake over it, your cake is probably not cooked enough.
  • Put it back in the oven to bake for an additional five minutes before checking it again with the same method.

5. Browned Edges

This is the last method you can use to tell if the cheesecake is cooked to perfection or not just by taking a look. Here’s how:

  • The edges get cooked prior to the middle of the cake. When a 1/2-inch circle around the edges starts to turn golden-brown and puffy, be assured that your cheesecake is baked to perfection and ready to cool and serve.
  • In contrast, the center must remain light and slightly bouncy. If it’s hard and begins to show a bit of hue, that means it has been cooked too long.
  • If the edges appear to be pale while the center is liquid, it is undercooked and requires a longer baking time.

Another method to tell whether the cheesecake is cooked is to check the shine of the surface. The cheesecake that is undercooked is likely to have an glossy surface, while the one that is cooked to perfection is not as shiny.

How To Fix An Undercooked Cheesecake

Baking the perfect cheesecake can be difficult and could take a few attempts. The good thing is that even if is not cooked properly, it is possible to remedy it:

1. Let It Rest

Sometimes, all that is needed is time for it to rest. Contrary to most baked desserts that can be ready for serving within a few minutes of taking them from the oven, cheesecakes take some time to set and need an extended cooling time.

The most effective way to cool down a cheesecake is to put it in the fridge for a few hours, but overnight is preferable. 

As it cools it gets firmer at the center, naturally. Sometimes, this is all it takes to repair a sloppy cheesecake.

2. Water Bath

The water bath is a typical method of baking used to ensure the cake is cooked evenly and that no cracks develop on the baking surface.

If you’re looking for the perfect cheesecake, with the right texture, we suggest you make use of an immersion bath. The first step is to cover your baking pan with aluminum foil and then place it inside a larger pan filled with warm water.

Make sure you don’t overfill it; typically, an inch of hot water will be enough.

in some instances, however, it is not advisable to bake the cheesecake over again since the odds of it being damaged are extremely high.

If, after putting it in the refrigerator overnight, you discover that it’s not set, remove it and let it cool to room temperature. Make your water bath and place the cake into it.

The oven should be turned on and adjusted to a low to moderate temperature, as you don’t want to overcook the cake and cause cracked edges.

3. The Slow Cooker

If you don’t want put it in a water bath, then turn on the oven to a lower temperature and let the cheesecake slowly cook until it reaches the correct temp (150 degrees F).

The process shouldn’t take more than 15-20 minutes however, to be extra vigilant be sure to examine it every five minutes.

4. Frozen Dessert

Sometimes, to avoid wasting a cheesecake that has been overcooked, find alternative ways to use your dessert. For example, transform the cheesecake into an ice-cream dessert by placing your cheesecake in the freezer and in a few hours you’ll be able to enjoy yummy frozen dessert.

Allow your imagination to run wild.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s The Difference Between a Baked and a Non-Baked Cheesecake?

The primary distinction one is baked in the oven, while the other is left to set in the refrigerator. We have written a longer guide on the difference.

In addition, a baked cheesecake contains eggs as ingredients in the cake batter as well as baking in the oven prior to being transferred into the refrigerator to set.

A no-bake cheesecake, however, contains gelatin to create a shape and is stored in the fridge for cooling and setting.

There’s a distinct difference in texture between the two and the baked version has a smoother and creamier texture, which is hard to achieve using the no-bake method.

How Long Will Cheesecake Last In The Refrigerator?

It is possible to store your cheesecake in the refrigerator for up to five days. It should be stored in an airtight container or wrapped tightly inside the plastic wrap.

To ensure the best outcome and best results, thaw a frozen cheesecake in the cold section of the refrigerator the night before you want to serve it. Your cheesecake will have a perfect taste and texture.

How Long Will Cheesecake Last Out Of The Refrigerator?

The maximum amount of time cheesecakes can last without refrigerating is two hours.

The components in cheesecakes including milk and eggs contain high levels of water and protein content. These can be left in a room at room temperature, creating ideal conditions for bacteria to grow.


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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