Cheesecake is a popular and versatile dessert. There are many varieties and textures, and it can be topped in an infinite number of ways. You can serve it as a whole cake or in a miniaturized form. It is popular at parties, social functions, and special occasions.
But the question remains, what is the best way to store your leftovers for later? As with any food, fresher is usually indeed better, and cheesecake is no exception. It can be frozen for quite some time and still maintain its trademark quality. This makes it ideal for eating as leftovers, or for making it ahead for a special occasion.
Read on for the definitive guide to keeping your cheesecake frozen and ready for your next craving.
The Ultimate Guide to Freezing Cheesecake
Cheesecake is a dense, rich dessert made primarily from a mixture of soft cheese (like cream cheese or ricotta), eggs, and sugar, among other ingredients. It can be baked or unbaked, and sometimes has a bottom crust layer of cookies, graham crackers, or some other pastry.
There are a number of different kinds of cheesecakes, which are unique depending on their texture, flavor, or ingredient base. There are many flavored cheesecakes that add or enhance tastes and textures, such as chocolates and fruits.
You can also top cheesecake with lots of toppings, including nuts, fruits, sauces, and whipped cream. This versatility makes it a favorite of many.
Where freezing cheesecake is concerned, New York style is a popular version, and it is made with more heavy or sour cream, making it more dense and rich than other versions. The sour cream also keeps the cheesecake from freezing too early, which makes it ideal for frozen products.
Why You Should Freeze Cheesecake
Cheesecake is a very popular dessert in bakeries and restaurants because it can be stored easily and sliced up on demand.
It is also a popular commercial product since many manufacturers can mass produce it easily and prepare it so that it stays fresh even from frozen.
The main benefit of freezing cheesecake is that it can be stored for later.
This can be helpful if you want to save your dessert as leftovers to eat later, keeping a sweet treat for yourself. Or, if you have made it yourself for a large gathering, you can make it ahead of time then bring it out when it’s needed.
But there are additional benefits to refrigerating or freezing cheesecake that make it even better than when it is made fresh.
If you prefer a dense, rich cheesecake, keeping it frozen can make it even denser (like buttermilk pie). The ingredients are also not at risk of separating as with other desserts, making it ideal for freezing and reusing as needed.
The downside is that a lighter, fluffier cheesecake may become too dense when it is frozen. This all depends on the makeup of the cheesecake and what goes into it; if you are making your own cheesecake at home, beware of this when deciding how long to keep it.
You should also try to remove any toppings before freezing since they may not last the freezing process and would not taste right when thawed.
How to Freeze Cheesecake
The best way is to seal your cheesecake in an airtight container or wrap it tightly to prevent any outside air or freezer burn from entering.
One important note: this process applies to cheesecake purchased from a bakery or restaurant, and does not necessarily apply to a store-bought frozen cheesecake.
You should always place that directly into the freezer when you get home and follow the thawing and/or cooking instructions on the packaging for best results.
Another note: some refrigerators have a freezing compartment (mostly in smaller refrigerators), but if you are freezing cheesecake you should always use an actual freezer. Refrigerator compartments do not get cold enough for proper freezing.
Here is the best way to freeze cheesecake to eat later:
- Remove any extra toppings (whipped cream, sauces, fruits, etc.) from the top of the cheesecake.
- Ensure that your cheesecake is properly chilled before freezing. This may seem obvious, but if your cheesecake has been left out for any length of time, this increases the risk of food-borne bacteria or spoiling your cheesecake. Simply place the cheesecake in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours before freezing it.
- You can freeze an entire cheesecake together, or slice it up into individual portions.
- If you are freezing an entire cheesecake, simply wrap it in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then place it in an airtight container (heavy-duty freezer bag or Tupperware).
- If you are freezing individual slices, wrap each piece individually in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then place in an airtight container (heavy-duty freezer bag or Tupperware).
How To Freeze Mini Cheesecakes
Mini cheesecakes are a fun way to treat your guests to a delicious dessert in a perfect single-serve size. This makes it a favorite of catered events since they can be cooked, packaged, and served en masse rather than making guests cut and take their own slices. You can also ensure a uniformly cooked dessert for all guests, or allow them to top it to their liking.
Freezing a mini cheesecake follows the same process as individual slices:
- Remove any extra toppings before freezing, and ensure that it is properly chilled.
- Wrap each piece in plastic wrap then store in a heavy-duty freezer bag or container.
Cheesecake is a delicious, decadent, and versatile dessert than can be enjoyed at any time, prepared in many different ways, and can also be saved for later.
Wrap it tightly in two layers of plastic, then in aluminum foil, then store up to 4 to 6 weeks. This keeps the flavor and moisture locked in. However, the longer it stays in the freezer, the better its chance of going bad or getting freezer burn. Thaw it by putting it back in the refrigerator overnight.
Mini cheesecakes can be stored in the freezer in the same way as individual slices, or you can choose to freeze them similar to how you would freeze whoopie pies.
Properly wrapping your cheesecake may take some extra effort, but it is well worth the wait.
How long is frozen cheesecake good?
Despite what some may claim, frozen foods do not last forever in the freezer; freezer burn and product expiration will make every food go bad eventually. That being said, freezing your cheesecake can keep it edible for a significant amount of time.
As we’ve covered before, some store-bought cheesecakes are meant to be kept frozen. If you purchase one of these, refer to the packaging for the expiration date to know how long it can be kept in the freezer.
Cheesecake may be kept in the freezer for 4 to 6 weeks. Most people who make or buy single-serve cheesecake will likely eat it within a few days, however, so this is usually not a problem.
How do I thaw my cheesecake?
The best and easiest way to thaw your cheesecake is to take it out of the freezer, and place it in the refrigerator overnight. This will allow it to thaw naturally, versus a microwave defrosting that may ruin the consistency of the cheesecake.
It is important, however, to remember to keep your cheesecake in its container or tightly wrapped while it is thawing.
Once it is thawed, you should eat it within 2 days to prevent it from spoiling. You can also add whatever toppings you would like. This will ensure that the toppings stay fresh as well.
If you want more details on how to thaw cheesecake, you might find it helpful to read our article all about thawing and defrosting pie.
What if I don’t want to freeze my cheesecake, can I keep it in the refrigerator only?
There are risks to keeping your food in the freezer. Some of these include freezer burn, not being able to thaw it quickly, or simply forgetting about it in the back of the freezer.
So, another option is to refrigerate your cheesecake. This may be the right choice if you plan on eating it within a few days.
The cheesecake should be kept cold no matter how it is stored. It tastes best, and the ingredients should be kept cold so as not to spoil before eating. So at a bare minimum, cheesecake should be stored in the refrigerator when not being served.
The downfall of refrigerator storage is that it doesn’t last as long as in the freezer. Foods kept in the refrigerator stay good for no more than 4 days, which is a much shorter time frame.
Also, for those who do not want to wrap up their cheesecake, but simply keep it in the to-go container from the restaurant or bakery, this may allow freezer burn to spoil your food.
In order to prevent this, keep it tightly sealed in an airtight container or wrapped up with plastic wrap and aluminum foil. This will help your cheesecake maintain its consistency, flavor, and texture.
Freezing is a much better option for flavor retention, texture, and longevity than refrigeration alone, and it can last longer this way.