There is something undeniably decadent about cheesecake. Its rich flavor packed with a hint of tang make the cheesecake, unlike any other dessert. Moreover, its velvety smooth and creamy texture makes every bite a real pleasure.
As any culinary expert will tell you, cheesecake is more of a custard than a cake. However, instead of milk and cream, you have cream cheese, ricotta, and other types of cheese to bring it all together.
As with anything dairy-based, you’ll want to know the best ways to store it. After all, dairy is always one to watch when it comes to expiration, spoilage, and food safety.
Can you leave cheesecake out overnight? No, you should not leave cheesecake out overnight, because it will most likely spoil. Cheesecake should not be left out for more than six hours at the most, and should be stored in the refrigerator.
We’ll go into more detail about why cheesecake cannot be left out and how to store your cheesecake properly and safely. So read on to keep your cheesecakes safe and delicious!
Cheesecake – Overview
If you are like us, then you probably love dessert. And there is nothing more satisfying than a bite of cheesecake to finish off a good meal.
This particular dessert comes in a wide array of varieties. From the specific cheeses used or the type of crust the cake has or the choice of any toppings, there’s a lot of room for delicious variety.
However, for the sake of simplicity, we can state here that there are two main types of cheesecake. Namely, you have the New York cheesecake and the Italian cheesecake.
New York cheesecake typically uses cream cheese to give you that rich and creamy texture. Meanwhile, Italian cheesecakes are lighter because of the ricotta or cottage cheese that’s used instead.
Needless to say, the ingredients that go into making your cheesecake will have a profound impact not only in the way it tastes but also in terms of how well it keeps.
But whichever cheesecake you prefer, the last thing you want is for your delicious and decadent dessert to go to waste. That is why you need to ensure that you store your cheesecakes properly to ensure that they don’t spoil.
Does Baked Cheesecake Need to be Refrigerated?
This is one of the most commonly asked questions that come up when it comes to cheesecakes.
The answer to that is a resounding yes. Refrigerating your baked cheesecake is necessary for two reasons.
For one thing, refrigeration helps a cheesecake cool and ‘mature’ after baking. Secondly, the fridge is the most effective means of ensuring that your baked cheesecake stays fresh and does not spoil.
Should You Refrigerate Cheesecake After Baking?
One of the most important aspects of baking desserts is letting your goods cool after taking it out from the oven. The same can be said for cheesecakes.
This is because the refrigeration process will allow your cake to mature. In more concrete terms, it helps all the different flavors blend and get to know each other.
In addition to this, refrigeration also helps your cake have a better texture and consistency.
Similar to refrigerating custards, the low temperatures of the fridge effectively chills your freshly baked cheesecake which effectively helps it become firmer and denser the longer you leave it there.
Of course, this doesn’t mean sticking your baked cheesecake in the fridge immediately after baking.
There are specific steps you need to follow to ensure that it doesn’t get ruined in the process of cooling. After baking, you can follow these steps to care for your fresh cheesecake:
- Once you take your cheesecake out of the oven, you will need to loosen it by running a thin knife around the edge of the pan. This helps your cake to contract and helps prevent any cracks from appearing on its surface.
- Before placing your cheesecake in the refrigerator, make sure that you place your baking pan on a wire cooling rack. You will want to ensure that your cake is completely cooled to room temperature. This may take as long as an hour.
- Once completely cooled, cover your cheesecake with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours.
You can never be impatient when it comes to baking. Needless to say, the same rule also applies to cheesecakes.
Remember, if you neglect to follow the second step and place a warm cheesecake in the fridge, then you will notice some drastic contractions and cracks.
So, as a general rule, you will probably want to manage your time efficiently. We highly recommend that you make your cheesecake a day in advance.
Why Refrigerate Leftover Cheesecake?
Another reason why you need to refrigerate baked cheesecake is for the simple reason that you will want to ensure that it doesn’t go to waste.
Unfortunately, as with most cakes, it is highly inadvisable to simply leave your leftover cheesecakes out overnight. Doing so is a recipe for disaster. After all, your cheesecake makes use of several dairy products. Cheese is even in the name.
Common sense probably already told you that you should never leave anything containing dairy at room temperature for extended periods as it will likely spoil. This rule certainly applies to your favorite cheesecakes.
Refrigerating Baked Cheesecakes
Cheesecakes require a lot of time and effort to make. Making it from scratch requires precise decision making and attention to detail.
No one wants to let all their efforts go to waste simply because they neglected to follow a couple of rudimentary food safety rules.
That is why we have come up with this handy guide to properly refrigerating your favorite dessert. We’ve tried to be as exhaustive as we can.
Does Cheesecake Go Bad If Not Refrigerated?
This is one of the most commonly asked questions out there. The short answer to this is: yes, cheesecake will definitely go bad if not refrigerated promptly.
Cheese and dairy products have to be refrigerated; it’s as simple as that. Moreover, refrigerating your leftover cheesecake will help it retain the desired level of freshness and moisture that you want with every bite.
How Long Can Cheesecake Go Unrefrigerated?
Generally, your cheesecake can sit at room temperature for a maximum of six hours. Going over six hours can pose several problems for you down the road.
Not only will the quality of your cheesecake start to suffer dramatically, but you also run the risk of food poisoning and digestive problems should you choose to eat cheesecake that’s been sitting outside for several hours.
Should You Cover Cheesecake in the Fridge?
Yes, you should cover your cheesecake if you want your treat to retain its richness and texture. Covering it will keep it from drying out in the dry environment inside your refrigerator.
So you have a couple of options to protect your dessert:
- Pie containers or other sealable containers
- Plastic wrap
Any of these will protect your cheesecake from drying out. However, if you are having difficulty wrapping your cake with foil or plastic, then you should also consider keeping it in its baking pan and covering that securely instead.
How to Properly Refrigerate Baked Cheesecake?
Refrigerating your cheesecake is incredibly simple, you just have to follow these steps:
- If it is fresh out of the oven, make sure to let it cool before proceeding.
- Securely wrap your cheesecake in foil or plastic wrap OR place the cake in a tightly sealed container. If your refrigerator space is limited, you slice the cake into several portions that you can easily store individually. You can also place the slices into a big enough container and seal them in ready-to-serve portions.
- Place your treat in the fridge and be sure to eat within a week or so!
How Long Does Cheesecake Last in the Fridge?
If handled safely and stored properly, your baked cheesecake can remain fresh for at least a week in your fridge.
How Do You Know If Cheesecake is Bad?
Hopefully, you will never need to know what a bad cheesecake looks like because you have followed these directions and have enjoyed your cake quickly (how could you resist?).
However, it is also worth knowing how to spot the signs of spoilage in your favorite dessert. Remember, proper hygiene and food safety will protect you from any foodborne illnesses.
Make full use of your senses. They are some of the most reliable ways to tell if food has gone bad; cheesecakes are no exception.
So, be sure to look out for the following signs of spoilage:
- Changes in Texture: Remember that fresh cheesecake is known for its distinctive texture. It is usually creamy and moist. However, once it starts to turn, you will notice that it will begin to dry out.
- Changes in Color: The cheese content should give your cheesecake a slightly yellow or off-white appearance (unless you’ve added something like strawberry or chocolate to yourse, of course). However, as it begins to spoil, you may notice some browning along its edges. This is a clear sign that you need to throw that cake in the garbage.
- Off Odors: While the cheeses used for this dessert are naturally aromatic, this cake will start to emit some less-than-appetizing odors once it has gone past its shelf life. If it doesn’t smell good, it probably isn’t good.
There you have it.
Thanks to this guide we’re sure you now know the answer to this question well: Can you leave cheesecake out overnight? The answer to that is a definitive no!