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Cheesecake issues

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I have been working on a pumpkin cheesecake for a couple weeks now. Flavor wise it is awesome but it cracks like a Phoenix street about 3/4 of the way through the cooking process. I am going to make one more attempt this evening and change a few things. Here is the recipe for it. 


24oz cream cheese

1 15 ounce can of pumpkin

3 eggs plus 1 yolk

1/4 cup sour cream(I now use heavy cream)

1.5 C sugar

1/2tsp cinnamon

1/4 nutmeg

1/4 cloves

1/4 ginger

2tbsp flour( I even tried corn starch at tbsp)

1 tsp vanilla 


It says to bake at 350 for a hour until the center is just setting but the entire cheesecake is cracked by this time. It usually takes a extra ten minutes for the center to get to 165 at 350. I have had issues with it not cooking in the center and having to dispose of the entire cake but now I am cooking it to 165 in the center. I think for this attempt I am going to take out a couple tablespoons of the pumpkin, add a couple yolks and drop the temp to 300 for the preheat and then let it drop to 250 and cook until it is at 165 in the center and see what that does. I can live with the cracks but it annoys me being the perfectionist that I am. I am going to put a pan of water on the same shelf to add some humidity this time and go solely by temp. Does sound like a sound baking plan? Is the pumpkin causing it to not set? I would really like to have it perfect by tomorrow as I am baking 5 of them for thanksgiving at a friends house.  


I have even tried baking it with a pan of water boiling under it but that was the one that was only half way cooked in the center and

I always bake it with the spring form on a steel pan. This is a typical result but it tastes great



This is the closest I got to perfection and I can live with this BUT the center was absolutely still liquid the next morning after chilling overnight, this was with a pan of water boiling under it. 




post #2 of 12
Thread Starter 

Cracked again, think this recipe is doomed. At least it tastes good and I can hide it with whipped cream. At least my next thing tamales wont crack on me. 

post #3 of 12

Once you start adding the eggs, how much are you working it? Could be that you are over working the eggs which can cause cracking.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

So this evening I did this, I put the cream cheese and the cream in at the same time and worked it until smooth. Then the pumpkin and then the dry. I added the eggs last, 3 eggs plus 3 yolks. I only mixed for a minute at this point then removed it from the mixer and hand mixed for a couple minutes until the eggs were incorporated. I worked this one the least of any of the cheesecakes I have made and it still cracked.Started at 350 and then reduced to 300, cooked for a hour at this point the outer edge was at 160 degrees but the center was only at 120. It took another 30 minutes to get the center to 160 and by this time the outside was at 180. I have also been running a knife around the outside when the outside setsBottom line it still tastes good and the outside is not over cooked or dry. I cooked one the other day to 150 in the center  and it was still liquid in the center but the top was done, I tossed it. Only thing I haven't tried is a water bath. I cook it on a steel baking sheet as the butter seems to come out the bottom of the pan and drip to the bottom of the oven. I am half tempted on the next one to either stir it about 20 minutes into cooking it or put it in a pan on the stove top and heat it up before putting it in the pan as the center takes for ever to get to temp and if I don't get it to at least 160 it is uncooked in the center. At least I can make some whipped cream and just cover it. Just for the hell of it I baked a second cheesecake this evening that is just a cheesecake and no pumpkin and no cracks at all cooking the same way, maybe it is just the recipe that is the issue.





post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

Maybe the problem is that I need to move this one to a larger pan that will spread it out a little so it is not as thick as in the 9" pan.

post #6 of 12

If I may????

You  have mentioned more than once that you use a pan of boiling water under the cheesecake in the oven.

Have you ever considered placing the cheesecake pan in a larger pan filled 2/3 with hot water and cooking the cheesecake in that water bath?

Cooking it that way will ensure a constant temperature.

Also the cracking you are experiencing is because you are cooking it at too high a heat and for too long.

Consider turing the oven down to 300 or 325 and baking it for an hour until almost set, then turn off the oven and allow the cheesecake to cool down in the oven.

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

I preheated last night to 350 and then as soon as it went in it was reduced to 300. After a hour it was turned off and it was at just over 200 when it came out. Will try water bath today and 300 until it is at 160 in the center and then pull it out. SUBMIT

post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 

I have another one in the oven. I creamed the cheese for about two minutes on low and added the cream for another two minutes. Added the pumpkin and mixed on the lowest speed for about 3 minutes stopping 4 times to scrape the sides. Added the dry ingredients and mixed for two minutes scraping the sides twice. Added the eggs and ran on low speed for a minute and then finished mixing by hand. Put the pan inside two sheets of foil and aded about a half gallon of almost boiling water to a large roasting pan with the spring form inside. Hope this helps. I did notice there was less volume in the pan this time but not by much. Hope this works and that I get to post a photo of a perfect one in about a hour and a half. Going to do one more this evening.

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

Just pulled it from the oven, cooked for a hour at 325, oven turned off for 20 minutes and temp was at 160, I let it sit for another 10 with the door partially open and then removed it. Ran a knife around the edge when I pulled it from the oven. Thanks for the help, think the water bath and lower temp fixed it



post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

Mixed results this evening. FIrst one is perfect. Did the second one, cooked the same way and after it cooled and I took it out of the pan it ran all over the place, I even let this one sit for an extra half hour in the oven while I was finishing cutting some meat. Oh well tomorrow is another day and I will do it all over again. Come to think of it I don't think I put the flour in the second one, bet that is what happened as it was at 165 when I took it out. 

post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 

So how big of a deal is it if the flour was left out? I think that is what caused the failure of the second one last night. Made one this morning and it turned out good and the last two are in the oven.

post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

So for the last two I cooked them in a water bath at 350 for a hour and 20 minutes, checked temp and it was at 165. Removed from water bath and sat in oven for another 30 minutes with oven off. It was perfect. Water was at 190 for most of the cooking and it was put into the pan boiling. Think I got the problems solved. 

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