These are the main causes behind cracked cheesecakes that I have found both from research and personal experience.
  1. Overmixing
  2. Undermixing
  3. Overbaking
  4. Cooling too quickly
  1. Start with room temperature ingredients. You are going to be beating quite a bit of cream cheese and if it cold, it’s going to be very difficult to get it smooth. A lumpy, undermixed cheesecake batter is much more likely to result in cracks on top when baking. The eggs should also be at room temperature so they mix in better.
  2. Don’t overmix the batter once you add the eggs. Definitely beat the cream cheese and sugar as much as needed until the batter is smooth and homogenous, but once you add the eggs, overmixing will add air to the batter, which increases the likelihood of cracks.
  3. Use a springform pan. If you bake your cheesecake in a regular cake pan, it’s going to be next to impossible to get it out to serve without it cracking. Cheesecake is much denser than other types of cake, and a springform pan is perfect for cheesecake because the sides release so that it is easy to remove the cheesecake after it cools completely. I use a 9-inch springform pan for this cheesecake recipe.
  4. Don’t peek while the cheesecake is baking! It’s tempting to open the oven door to check on the cheesecake while it bakes, but this can also lead to cracks in your cheesecake, especially if the temperature in your house is cool, as cheesecakes are sensitive to fluctuations in temperature while baking.
  5. Cool the cheesecake slowly. Once my cheesecake is done, I like to turn off the oven and crack the door for at least 10 minutes and up to 1 hour without removing the cheesecake. This gives time for the just-baked cheesecake to cool slowly and adjust to the temperature of the room rather than shocking it with a dramatic temperature difference.
  6. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the pan before the cheesecake has cooled off. The cheesecake will end up contracting in on itself a bit as it cools and if the sides are stuck to the pan there is a good chance that it could cause a crack to appear. Just grab a paring knife and swipe it around the inside ring of the springform pan to loosen the cheesecake while it is still hot from the oven. This also makes it easier to release the cheesecake from the pan later on.
  7. Once the cheesecake is room temperature, cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 4-6 hours or overnight.