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Why does my cheesecake get cracks in the top? 

Photo: John Kernick; Styling: Kim Ficaro

There are a couple of things you can do to prevent cheesecake cracking:

  • Make sure you mix the ingredients only as much as it takes to make the batter smooth. Over-mixing incorporates too much air, which makes the cheesecake rise during baking (the way a souffle does), then collapse as it cools.
  • As soon as you take the cheesecake out of the oven, run a knife along the edge to prevent it from sticking to the sides of the pan. As cheesecake cools, it contracts, and if the edges remain stuck to the pan, cracks form.
  • Don't overbake the cheesecake: take it out of the oven when still a little jiggly the center. Cracks form when the cheesecake gets too dry. But let's say you do get a couple of cracks in your cheesecake‚ it's really not a big deal. Unless it is very overbaked, your cheesecake will taste just as good. And no one need see those cracks: top your cheesecake with berries, chocolate shavings or whipped cream. It will look beautiful and taste just as delicious.

Watch Ask The Expert cheesecake video.

For some delicious cheesecake recipes, see Craving Cheesecake.

Recipe: New York Cheesecake