Use a water-bath when baking a cheesecake to ensure that the cheesecake will bake evenly throughout, stay moist and have less cracking.
The top will stay nice and flat ... perfect every time.
I almost always use a water-bath when I bake a cheesecake and I can not recommend them enough. Believe me, I bake A LOT of cheesecake!
Just check out the cheesecake section of my recipe index! We've got a variety of different flavors to choose from.
What is a water bath?
A water bath is simply a large pan of hot water placed in your oven. It is used to provide moist, even heat for baked goods such as cheesecakes, custards and puddings.
Why use a water bath?
A water-bath is kind of like a sauna for your cheesecake. It keeps the hot air in the oven moist which ensures your cheesecake stays moist as well.
The warm water surrounding the pan keeps the temperature more even, so that the edges of the cheesecake don't over bake and the inside doesn't under bake.
You'll get less cracking and a smoother, more even texture when you use a water bath to bake your cheesecake.
It's very simple to do!
Step by step instructions
Once your cheesecake is ready to put into the oven, place a large roasting pan in the oven.
Now it's time to put the cheesecake into the roasting pan with hot water, but you need something to keep the water from seeping into the bottom of the spring-form pan while it's baking.
Some people wrap the bottom of the spring-form pan with layers of foil, but that technique has NEVER worked for me. The water always finds it's way into the crust of my cheesecake.
So, what's my #1 tip to create the perfect LEAK PROOF water-bath for cheesecakes??
Use a cake pan that is at least 1 inch larger in diameter than your spring-form pan. Set the spring-form pan into the cake pan before you put it in the water-bath. Leak proof!
This cake pan will prevent any water from getting into your spring-form pan while it's in the water-bath!
My spring-form pan is 9" in diameter and my cake pan is 10" in diameter. Perfect!
Now it's time to fill the roasting pan with hot water. I fill a pitcher with the hottest water from my tap and carefully fill the roasting pan making sure not to splash any water into the cake pan or spring-form pan.
The water level should be about half way up the side of the cake pan. Close the oven and set your timer!
Trust me, if you've ever gone through the trouble of making a cheesecake in a water-bath only to have a soggy, gross crust that just falls apart, you will be thanking me!
Remember that the roasting pan needs to be wider than your cake pan.
If you'd like more tips and tricks for the perfect cheesecake, check out my recipe for Simple Cheesecake. I've got tips listed through out the post!
How to Create a Leak Proof Water Bath
- Large roasting pan
- 9" spring-form pan
- 10" cake pan
- Place a large roasting pan into the preheated oven.
- Once you've filled the 9" spring-form pan with the cheesecake filling, insert it into the 10" cake pan.
- Place the cake pan into the roasting pan and fill the roasting pan with very hot water until the water level is half way up the side of the cake pan. (Make sure not to splash water into the cake pan.)
- Bake the cheesecake according to the recipe directions.