How to Tell When a Cheesecake is Done?

You can tell when your cheesecake is done by checking for a jiggle in the cake’s center, touching to make sure batter doesn’t stick to your finger, making sure it has reached 150°F, tapping it, or by looking for a brown edge around your cake with a dry surface. 

My name is Angie, I am a cake fanatic and a self-taught baker with over 10 years of experience baking cheesecakes. I know all about baking and cake decorating and I enjoy simplifying this process, making it more accessible to all! 

In this article, I will show you five simple ways to tell when a cheesecake is done and answer any further questions you may have on the topic. 

Let’s get baking!

First Things First: Define “Done”

When we bakers say something is “done”, it means that it is fully baked and safe for consumption. 

Similar to doneness in cooking, our evaluations of the degree of doneness can vary depending on what you are baking as well as the texture that you are trying to achieve. 

For classic cheesecakes, we generally look for a firm and velvety overall texture with a creamy, almost custardy center. What we don’t want is a lumpy or cracked cheesecake.

5 Ways to Tell When a Cheesecake is Done

Here are five simple methods I’ve tested to help you figure out when a cheesecake is done.

#1: The Shaky Shake (More Like a Jiggle)

With your oven mitts on and your cake still in the oven, reach for your cake pan and give your cheesecake a very gentle jiggle. 

What you’re looking for is a small area in the center of your cake, about the size of a babybel cheese, moving to your jiggle. 

At this point, you should remove your cheesecake from the oven. No need to worry about the center being too soft, just let the residual heat from the pan take it from here.

If the “jiggling area” of your cheesecake is a lot bigger, it means that your cheesecake is still undercooked and raw in the middle. It’s also very likely that it’ll break when you try to remove it from the pan. So leave it in the oven for 5ish minutes and check again.

#2: A Gentle Touch

I know you can’t resist this one! Make sure that your hands are sanitized before doing this. 

Take a finger or two and give the center of your cheesecake a little tap on the surface. Your cake should not cling to your fingers and should feel slightly firm to the touch. 

If your cake is not done, you will find your fingertip coated in wet batter. Again, simply bake it for a few more minutes and check once more. 

#3: Take Its Temperature

Probably the most foolproof method of all, check the internal temperature of your cake using a thermometer

Keep in mind that you should be checking the cake’s temperature right in the center as that is the part that takes the longest to cook. 

In order to get the most accurate temperature, you want to stick your pointy metal stem halfway into the cake. You’ll know it’s done when the temperature is between 150 to 155°F. 

I know what you’re thinking, “Wouldn’t I end up with a hole on my cake?” The answer is: Yes, you very much would. So just pick one of the other four methods if you are precious about your cake top looking flawless. 

#4: Hit it

Very similar to the shake except making even less effort. Instead of reaching into the oven with your hands, you can also give your cheesecake a little tap with a wooden spatula or really any long oven-safe instrument. 

Look for the same babybel sized jiggle in the center and there you have it, a fully baked cheesecake. 

#5: The Look

Look at your cheesecake deep in its soul, it should let you know how much longer to cook it. 

A joke of course 😉 

Look, for a golden brown edge that puffs up just a little bit. Note that inside of this brown ring your cake should still be a pale ivory color, otherwise the cake might end up overcooked.

You also want to look for a matte surface, the outer layer of your cake should not be sticky when it’s done. 

FAQs

Here are a few other questions you might have on the topic. I’ll answer them briefly below.

How to tell if my cheesecake is undercooked?

You’ll know your cheesecake is undercooked if it is still wet and there’s no browning on the edges at all. 

Is cheesecake still jiggly when done?

Only the very center of the cheesecake should be jiggly when it is done.

Can you overcook a cheesecake?

You can overcook a cheesecake. An overcooked cheesecake would be cracked and the texture is gritty and dry rather than soft and velvety. 

Should a cheesecake be brown on top?

Not brown per se, but more of a golden brown edge is what you should be looking for. 

Wrapping It Up

Cheesecakes can be tricky and a bit of a commitment. The cost for ingredients is generally quite high and they can take a while to bake in the oven. Nothing sucks more than seeing all that time you spent and all the yummy goodness goes to waste. 

I have had guaranteed success with these methods and I highly recommend you performing not one but preferably all of these tests to make sure you get the perfect cheesecake every time! 

Let me know what works for you in the comment section below!

About Angie
I am a self-taught baker. I’ve been baking for over 10 years and started my own home baking business as a side hustle. I was born in Hong Kong and spent a pretty big chunk of my life in Canada. If you’re ever looking for me, I am probably there whisking vigorously away in the kitchen.

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  • Pastor Paul

    I followed your recipe exactly, along with all your comments and it produced a perfect cheesecake. Thanks

    Reply
    • Michelle

      Hi Pastor Paul,
      So happy to hear that! I hope you enjoyed it.
      Happy baking,
      Michelle

      Reply