Cheesecake is a near-universally loved desert. It can be sweet and unctuous and surprisingly filling as well. Breaking out some cheesecake makes for a great after-dinner treat whether you are hosting or enjoying a quiet night in.
What happens when you have a little too much cheesecake to consume all at once? Store-bought cheesecake should last for anywhere between 5 and 7 days in the fridge. Keep in mind that the packaging may say something less, so check that first.
Table of Contents
- How Long Does Cheesecake Last?
- How to Store Cheesecake in the Fridge
- Freezing is the Best Long-Term Storage Option
- Food Safety Concerns
- Proper Preparation and Storage
- Can Cheesecake Sit Out Overnight?
- How Do You Tell if Cheesecake Has Gone Bad?
- Cheesecake Baking Tips
How Long Does Cheesecake Last?
Cheesecakes are made from dairy products, cream cheese in particular. In most traditional recipes, eggs are more commonly included. Dairy products tend to be delicate in nature which means that they won’t keep for all that long in the refrigerator.
Store-bought cheesecake will generally last for 5 to 7 days unless the packaging indicates a shorter time period. Homemade cheesecake, meanwhile, should not be kept in the fridge for longer than 5 days. You will likely want to keep it in there for less than that if you use highly perishable ingredients or if the recipe that you are following indicates otherwise.
How to Store Cheesecake in the Fridge
Storing cheesecake in the fridge is a pretty simple process. Keep in mind that the main ingredient is cream cheese, so keeping it refrigerated is pretty much mandatory if you want it to keep for more than a day or so.
- Keep it covered. The first thing that you should do is get your cheesecake covered. The point of covering is to ensure that the cheesecake won’t dry out and that it won’t absorb any of the other odors within the fridge. Try using a cake carrier or, if you don’t have one, put it into a container that is airtight. You can also wrap it up in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
- Keep toppings separate. Some cheesecakes come with toppings that don’t do particularly well in the fridge. It is a good idea to separate these toppings, putting the cheesecake into the fridge without them. Add the toppings back on sometime just before serving time.
- Don’t let it sit out. When you’re getting ready to serve, it is important that you leave as little time as possible between removing it from the fridge and serving. This will help to retain the moisture within and prevent the air from changing the texture of the cheesecake.
Freezing is the Best Long-Term Storage Option
Should you be looking for a long-term storage option, a couple of months at least, freezing is always the best way to go. Cheesecake in particular will only keep in the fridge for a few days at a time. If you don’t think that you’re going to get to it in that time frame, freeze it instead.
Freezing depends on the ingredients involved. As is the case with refrigeration, sensitive toppings probably won’t freeze all that well. The denser the cheesecake, the better it should freeze for the long-term.
Simply wrap the cheesecake in something that is both airtight and freezer safe. You can go with a freezer bag, airtight container, or even a double layer of foil to be safe. Just be careful: you don’t want to squash the cheesecake when you’re wrapping it.
Food Safety Concerns
Eating a cheesecake that is past its due date is not only gross, but it can also have potential safety concerns as well. Some softer cheeses, cream cheese, in particular, are susceptible to a certain type of bacteria known as listeria.
Listeria. Listeria monocytogenes in particular are quite harmful and can lead to very serious foodborne illnesses, especially in those that have weaker immune systems. Symptoms can be flu-like in nature and can even potentially lead to miscarriages in pregnant women.
Salmonella. If listeria weren’t concerning enough, there is also a fairly recent outbreak of salmonella attached to a certain type of chain store cheesecake.
Following proper preparation and storage guidelines is the safest route to go. It’s never fun to simply toss out cheesecake but being safe is much better than being sorry.
Proper Preparation and Storage
When trying to achieve the best possible results, use ingredients that are room temperature. That being said, it is imperative that you do not leave perishable foods like sour cream and cream cheese out at room temperature for extended periods of time.
When you leave those highly perishable foods out for long periods, the chance for foodborne bacteria to multiply only goes up. Cream cheese in particular should not be left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours at a time. Anything longer and it should be kept in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.
Can Cheesecake Sit Out Overnight?
It cannot be emphasized enough that cheesecake should go into the refrigerator when not in use. Still, you can leave it out for some time. It all depends on what ingredients went into the preparation of the cheesecake as well as the temperature in your kitchen.
Should you keep the kitchen on the cooler side, say 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit, then you can leave your cheesecake out overnight. Anything warmer than that and you’re much better off putting it into the fridge.
Moreover, putting cheesecake into the fridge gives you more of an option as to when you can eat it.
How Do You Tell if Cheesecake Has Gone Bad?
Not only can cheesecake go bad, but it can be quite difficult to tell when that is the case. Still, there are four general rules to follow when determining the quality of leftover cheesecake.
- Visual indicators. There are a couple of visual indications that can make you aware of bad cheesecake. Should you notice that the cheesecake is discolored in any way, it is probably bad. Should you notice any mold growth at all, toss the cheesecake immediately.
- Smell it. When a cheesecake is slightly bad, smell may not be the best indicator. Still, there’s a chance that it could give off an odor that doesn’t smell right, letting you know that the cheesecake has indeed gone bad.
- Taste it. If you’ve left cheesecake in the fridge for several weeks, you can probably skip this step. But if the cheesecake has been stored well within the guidelines above, tasting it can give you the indication that you need. When cheesecake starts to go bad, that sweet and creamy main layer will start to taste a bit sour. When that is the case, toss it.
- General timetable. The best way to ensure that your cheesecake is good is to simply use it within the designated 5-10-day period. The length of quality can depend on whether it is store-bought or homemade and any additives or preservatives that may be within.
Cheesecake Baking Tips
Ingredient Tips for the Best Cheesecake
The best cheesecake is all in the ingredients. The freshest ingredients tend to lead to the best cheesecake, but there are some things to be aware of.
Cream. For the most part, your cheesecake recipe will call for some kind of cream, be it half and half, sour cream, or heavy whipping. The cream is meant to break up the heaviness that cream cheese can have; that’s where the smooth texture of cheesecake comes from. Make sure to use regular creams, not the reduced-fat or fat-free kinds.
Cheese. The main ingredient for any type of cheesecake is the cheese. You will generally find cottage, farmer, cream, mascarpone, or ricotta cheeses in use here. Much like the cream, any of those will work so long as they are not the fat-free or reduced-fat kinds.
Eggs. The eggs in your cheesecake act as the binding agent, providing structure to the entire dish. When properly mixed, eggs also provide that creamy, smooth texture that we all love.
Sweeteners. If you are making a dessert cheesecake, in particular, you’ll need a sweetener. The most commons sweeteners are brown sugar, granulated sugar, confectioners’ sugar, and even honey in some instances.
Additional Flavorings. Most cheesecakes will begin with the aforementioned ingredients. You can get even fancier, though, adding in things like nuts, fruit, spices, and even chocolate to make the most unique cheesecake that you want.
When Adding a Filling to Your Cheesecake
There are a few simple rules to follow when it comes to the filling of your cheesecake:
- The first is that the cheese should be softened at room temperature to prevent lumps. Letting it sit for 20-30 minutes should be enough to give it the proper softness but check it before you start making your cheesecake.
- Make sure that you blend the sugar in with the cheese before you add in any other ingredients. This is the best way to create a smooth texture in the cheese and remove any remaining lumps. Ensure that the batter is totally smooth before you add in the eggs.
- Mix at low speed, adding in any liquids and creams next before finally adding in the flavorings. Things like fruits and nuts should go in last, being gently folded into your filling to avoid overmixing of the filling.