How to Cut Cheesecake

Baking a cheesecake is so much fun – and don’t get me started on the flavors (*insert drool here*). But when it comes to cutting the final product, things can get hectic and messy. After all, cheesecake is relatively soft. How can you cut it so that it doesn’t end up a ginormous mess?

Cutting a cheesecake is pretty simple. All you need to do is chill the cheesecake, then use a thin and sharp knife to cut the cheesecake in half, then quarters, etc. Wipe the blade in-between slices to ensure there is less mess. You can also use the quirky dental floss technique!

Hello, hello, hello! I’m Michelle, and baking is my passion. My family and I love to make cheesecakes, whether they’re baked or no-bake. While my family isn’t too picky about presentations, I definitely am. So, I have discovered the best way to slice cheesecake.

Grab your cheesecakes, and let’s get cutting!

How to Cut Cheesecake in Five Easy Steps

Cutting cheesecake is a cinch. Once you know how to do it successfully, you’ll be slicing through cheesecakes like you’re the grandmaster of the ever-popular food-slicing game Fruit Ninja. Here’s how to do it, cheesecake lovers.

Step 1: (Optional) Chill the Cheesecake

The first step is to chill the cheesecake. You’re going to be able to get a much cleaner slice if it’s chilled. Remember: cheesecakes are inherently soft, so they will leave some mess along the way. Fend off sticky aftermath by chilling first.

But don’t think you can put your freshly baked, piping hot cheesecake into the freezer. Sudden temperature changes will wreak havoc on your delicate cake. Instead, let it come to room temperature, then cover it loosely with cling wrap and stick it in the freezer for about an hour.

Now, I totally understand that this might not be possible. For example, you might not have several hours to wait for your cheesecake to come to room temperature, then store it in the freezer, then finally serve it.

The good news is that this step is entirely optional. It’s more of a convenience for you rather than a necessity for slicing. So, chill if you can. If you can’t? Move on to step two.

Step 2: Remove From the Pan

The next step is to remove your cheesecake from the pan. If you have a springform pan, this step is easy-peasy. Just remove the ring, and voila! Your cheesecake is ready to be cut.

If you don’t have a springform pan, don’t panic. You can still remove your cheesecake successfully. You will want to use a spatula (a rubber spatula works best) or a knife to very carefully remove the cheesecake from the pan.

Step 3: Warm the Knife

To cut your cheesecake, you will want a thin and sharp knife. That’s the first step.

Then, you need to warm it up. Yup, that’s right – a hot knife will work oodles better than a room-temperature or chilled one.

I prefer to run my knife under hot water until it’s nice and warm. Other people choose to fill a bowl with warm water. Either way is acceptable.

Step 4: Start Slicing

When your knife is nice and warm, start cutting your cheesecake!

You will want to begin by slicing it in half. Make sure you’re going right down the center. If you’re going to be impressively accurate, you can measure your cheesecake to decide where the actual “middle” should be – but that’s not necessary. Eyeballing will work!

Step 5: Clean the Knife In Between Slices

Before you move on to cutting the cheesecake into quarters, clean the knife off with a clean towel and heat it again. You will need to do this after every cut you make. 

Why? It all comes down to the gooey nature of cheesecake, especially if you did not chill it first. However, even chilled cheesecake will stick somewhat to the knife. Instead of transferring the “leftovers” everywhere, clean and heat the nice between slices.

Once cleaned and heated, cut the cheesecake into quarters. Again, be as precise as possible to ensure you’re getting equal-sized pieces of cheesecake. Keep cutting until you’ve reached your desired number of cheesecake slices. Serve and enjoy!

How to Cut Cheesecake with Dental Floss

Okay, personally, I have never used this method. I used to be a dental assistant, so the thought of sticking dental floss – even perfectly clean, unused dental floss – into my cheesecake did not sound appealing.

However, it’s a definite “buzz” around the baking community. So, I figured I’d mention it in case you wanted to give it a try!

Basically, you’re going to cut clean, unused dental floss so that it is longer than your cheesecake. For example, a 12-inch cheesecake will need at least 18 inches of floss. 

Grip the dental floss tightly on each end and slide it right down the middle of your cheesecake. You might need to use a seesaw motion to grind through the crust. Keep “cutting” with the dental floss until you have your desired number of slices. 

Quirky? Yup. Does it work? Many people have said yes, so give it a try!


Now you can cut your cheesecake like a pro! If you want to learn more, I’ve picked out several frequently asked questions that you might want to check out.

How long to let cheesecake cool before cutting?

Cheesecake should be at least cooled before cutting, if not chilled. It’s recommended to wait no less than one hour before slicing. However, I highly recommend putting it in the freezer for an hour or in the fridge for two hours before cutting it.

How do you cut cheesecake into squares?

Want to make squares instead? You have two options. One, use your thin, sharp, and heated knife to cut a “grid” into your cheesecake. Second, you can also use square cookie cutters. You will have a lot of leftovers with this method, though.

How many slices are in a 9-inch cheesecake?

Typically, a 9-inch cheesecake will produce 12 slices. However, there are no “rules” for how many pieces. If you cut them ultra-thin, you can get 16 slices. If you want thicker slices, you can get 8. It all depends on the size of the cheesecake slices.

Final Words

Cutting cheesecake is easy as long as you have a sharp knife heated up. Make sure you wipe the blade after each slide and reheat as necessary. I recommend chilling in the freezer for an hour before slicing for the best results. 

How do you cut your cheesecake? Do you use the dental floss method? Share below!

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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