Making a cheesecake at home can be more challenging to bake than other desserts because it is often very delicate. So, you might be wondering how to properly freeze your cheesecake so that all of your hard work isn't ruined. Thawing the cheesecake correctly is important for easy serving and maintaining consistency, too. We have carefully researched how to freeze and thaw your cheesecake.
There are three simple steps to follow when freezing your cheesecake and then thawing it out to serve. Some cheesecake recipes may freeze differently based on their preparation and unique ingredients.
But these steps will generally ensure that your traditional cheesecakes do not crack or lose their texture:
- Cool after baking
- Cover and chill
- Thaw with fridge and countertop
While cheesecake is a signature dessert, it is also notoriously difficult to bake well. It's important to learn how to store your hard work and thaw it out in fine condition. Keep reading to learn how long each step takes, if you can freeze a thawed cheesecake again, and the best way to serve a frozen cheesecake.
Does freezing cheesecake ruin it?
Although freezing your cheese won't ruin the cheesecake, it won't last forever. It's important to consider that most cheesecakes will only last somewhere between one to two months in the freezer. After this grace period, the cheesecake will likely begin to go bad and may even welcome mold.
Also, the crust will likely end up slightly soggy after spending an extended time in the freezer. This is usually a small but noticeable difference. And after defrosting, you may need to remove any liquid that accumulates on top of the cheesecake.
Over time, freezing a cheesecake can sometimes lower its taste and change the texture. But as long as you thaw out the cheesecake after about one month, there should be few changes, if any.
Cool after Baking
Before wrapping and storing your cheesecake, it's important to allow the dessert to cool completely to room temperature. This may require a cool-down period in the warm oven, as well as the counter. Then, the cheesecake needs to be chilled in the refrigerator before it can be frozen.
Usually, the cheesecake will need to sit on a cooling rack for about an hour to achieve room temperature. Bear in mind that the US Department of Agriculture advises you to discard a cheesecake that has been sitting out for over two hours at forty degrees Fahrenheit.
Some recipes may ask you to turn off the oven and let the cheesecake sit inside to prevent cracking. Cheesecakes will traditionally shrink when they cool, which is caused when the air in your batter deflates.
Unfortunately, that process also results in unstable cracks as the cheesecake pulls away from the pan. This is why recipes usually instruct you to grease the sides of the pan, but the cracks can't always be avoided this way. Cooling the cheesecake in an oven, in addition to the counter, may increase the total cool-down time to three hours.
It's important to consider that you're going to wrap the cheesecake next. If you place a warm cheesecake in the fridge, the wrapping will trap condensation and may ruin your dessert's texture. Worse, the warm temperature of the cheesecake can disrupt all of the surrounding food.
Cover and Chill
First, you will need to wrap your cheesecake in plastic wrap tightly. If you are using some kind of pan, then it should be included inside the wrapping. You can read the post "Is A Springform Pan Necessary For Cheesecake?" for tips on the typical cheesecake pan.
The same goes for any individual pieces, which are typical for leftovers. Next, you will need to repeat this step with aluminum foil.
Like traditional butter cakes, you'll need to cover your cheesecake to preserve its moisture. Otherwise, the whole thing will certainly dry out in either the fridge or the freezer. As such, you won't be able to seal your toppings with cheesecake.
However, you should avoid freezing your toppings anyway. Fruit and sour cream are the two most popular toppings for cheesecake, and neither of them freezes or thaw exceptionally well.
Once the cheesecake is sealed in plastic and foil, you will need to chill the cheesecake in your refrigerator. This will usually take about twelve hours, but some recipes may demand an entire day. After the cheesecake is chilled, you will finally be able to store it in the freezer safely.
How long does cheesecake take to thaw from frozen?
The total time for a frozen cheesecake to thaw should include both the time in the refrigerator and the duration spent on the counter afterward.
You should leave the cheesecake in the fridge overnight, around eight to twelve hours. You can sometimes loosen the wrapping to help the process. Afterward, the cheesecake should sit on the counter for two to four hours. So, the total will range between ten and sixteen hours.
If the cheesecake was baked for a special occasion, it is best to prepare the dessert a day in advance. But if you had to make the cheesecake in a hurry, it may be necessary to skip the refrigeration.
If you only defrost the cheesecake on the counter, it probably won't be done in two hours. Instead, it can take around four to five hours to be ready.
However, you should take note that some recipes with delicate ingredients like heavy cream may spoil before they can thaw out on the counter. Be sure that the recipe allows you to skip thawing the cheesecake in the fridge.
How do you serve a frozen cheesecake?
The cheesecake must always be thawed before serving, using either the fridge, the counter, or the microwave. If you use the microwave, you must divide the cheesecake into slices. A whole cheesecake will not thaw appropriately in a microwave. This can be time-consuming because each slice typically requires thirty seconds apiece.
Sometimes, the texture of a recently frozen cheesecake is desired. If you choose to thaw the cheesecake less, you have to use a warm knife to slice the dessert successfully.
Run the blade under hot water until ready. Then, quickly wipe off the water so that you are free to cut into the cheesecake. This way, the cold dessert won't crack when you serve it up.
Can frozen cheesecake be thawed and refrozen?
Cheesecake is unusually flexible, so it can be thawed and refrozen again without changing too much. But each time the cheesecake is refrozen, you may find that the taste and consistency have changed a little more. Refreezing after you thaw it out will create a more noticeable change.
Also, you should consider your first thawing process. If you only thawed out the cheesecake on the counter, then its qualities will be altered a lot more. Whenever you thaw out the cheesecake in the fridge, its moisture levels are more balanced. It will not be affected as severely if you refreeze it.
Can I freeze no-bake cheesecake to make it set faster?
No-bake cheesecakes are not very different from the traditional cheesecake recipe. Mainly, the ingredients are altered to avoid eggs. This way, there is no need to bake the eggs to create a proper structure. You can read the post "At What Temperature Should You Bake Cheesecake?" for tips on traditional cheesecake.
No-bake cheesecakes must be chilled in the fridge. As a result, no-bake cheesecakes are easier to prepare since they aren't subjected to the oven, and baking eggs is a delicate process. Also, the texture of no-bake cheesecakes is airier, and the flavor is lighter.
Freezing this type of recipe should be treated just like a baked cheesecake. However, it won't require time to set in an oven beforehand.
Cheesecakes take a long time to bake and set, but they can last a long time in the freezer. Storing them in the freezer makes it easy to prepare your cheesecake in advance of any special occasion.
Fortunately, cheesecakes freeze and thaw out very well, losing very little of their original texture. Now that you know how to freeze your cheesecake properly, you can have it ready to go for months.