The cheesecake is a delectable dessert that goes well with different meals. Still, you might not be able to finish an entire cheesecake in one sitting. So you might wonder, how long will a cheesecake last if you put it in the freezer? We consulted with different food experts to help you know the maximum time a cheesecake can stay in the freezer before going bad.
A cheesecake can last for several months inside the freezer if stored properly. Use an airtight container to maintain the dessert’s freshness while it’s in the freezer. But consider eating the cheesecake within two to three days after freezing it. Otherwise, the cake’s taste and texture might deteriorate after that period.
So now that you know a cheesecake won’t go bad for months while in the freezer, keep reading this article to find out how to store the dessert properly. Stick around to learn everything you need to know about preserving your favorite cheesecake.
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Putting a cheesecake inside a freezer seems like a no-brainer task. But doing it without thinking of the possible risks will only invite problems like bacteria and mold growth. Extending the shelf life of a cheesecake requires considering different factors, such as the dish’s type and ingredients used.
Cheesecake Shelf Life in the Freezer
The amount of time a cheesecake can last depends on several factors, including the ingredients used, packaging date, and storage technique used. If properly stored at 40 degrees Fahrenheit (about 4 degrees Celsius), the average homemade cheesecake can last for 5–7 days if it’s not in a container. The dessert can last longer than that period if you use an airtight container.
Commercially bought cheesecakes include an expiration date on each of their product labels. Take note of this date to give you a heads up before the dessert goes bad.
Also, the freshness of the ingredients can greatly affect the shelf life. Baking a cheesecake, like this New York-Style Cheesecake from PBS Food, using fresh ingredients, such as all-purpose flour, sugar, and eggs, will help maximize the cake’s longevity.
The ingredients also play an important role in extending the life of a cheesecake while it’s in the freezer. Here’s a list of the common ingredients used in a New York-Style Cheesecake and their expiration dates according to the extensive library of Eat By Date.
- Cream cheese – 1 to 2 weeks (opened)
- All-purpose flour – 6 to 8 months
- Vanilla extract – 2 to 4 years
- Eggs – 3 to 4 days
- Egg whites – 2 to 4 days
- Sour cream – 7 to 10 days (opened)
- White sugar – Best within two years
What Happens When You Put a Cheesecake Directly in the Freezer?
Rushing to put the cheesecake in the freezer after baking will crack the dish’s texture. It’s best to cool the dessert at room temperature before freezing.
Placing a cover over a newly-baked cheesecake and immediately putting it inside the freezer generates condensation from inside the cover. This additional moisture can drip on the cake, thus, ruining the taste. On the other hand, placing a newly-baked uncovered cheesecake in the freezer will crack the texture of the dessert. Further, the cake will absorb other flavors and smells in the appliance, which will, again, ruin the taste.
Because of these downfalls, it's important to properly store the delicious dessert in the freezer.
How do You Store a Cheesecake in the Freezer?
It might be tempting to place the cake in your freezer without putting it in a container, especially right after you finished baking it. But immediately putting the cake in the freezer after baking can promote problems. Freezing your cheesecake, however, for optimal taste and texture can be as simple as counting 1-2-3.
How to Store Freshly-Baked Cheesecake in the Freezer?
- Cool at room temperature. Putting the dish in the freezer right after taking it out of the oven will affect the consistency.
- Wait for a few hours until the cheesecake is solid. Cut the cake into slices. Then, cover each piece with plastic wrap. If you don't want to cut the cake, place the whole dessert on a piece of round cardboard or a dish. But you still need to cover the whole cake with plastic wrap.
- Wrap the slices or the whole cheesecake again, but this time use foil. Make sure the wrappers cover each piece tightly. Doing so will optimize the shelf life of the dessert while it’s in the freezer.
How to Thaw a Cheesecake?
Removing it out of the freezer and letting it sit on a kitchen countertop or table is an excellent way to thaw your cheesecake. It takes about 2–4 hours to thaw.
Kindly note that thawing times differ for cheesecakes of different sizes and thicknesses. A whole cheesecake can take a longer time to thaw than a small slice. Additionally, dense multi-layered cheesecakes can thaw slower than light single-layered variants.
Using a microwave oven to thaw cheesecakes isn’t advisable. The microwave heats food fast, even when using the defrost setting. It results in melting and uneven heating, among other problems.
How Long Does Frozen Cheesecake Last After Thawed?
Frozen cheesecake lasts about two hours after being completely thawed. Most cheesecakes have cream cheese as their main ingredient which tends to spoil quickly. Leaving dairy products at room temperature for extended periods can open doors to harmful bacteria growth like listeria.
Once listeria gets into food, it can even survive extreme temperatures. As such, this harmful bacteria will still exist and propagate if a spoiled cheesecake is returned to the freezer.
If a power outage occurs, or if you need to defrost your freezer, and it requires you to leave your cheesecake at room temperature for more than two hours than the dessert’s ideal thawing time, it’s best to throw it away. At this point, it’s best to play it safe than risk eating a spoiled cake.
Should Cheesecake be Served Warm or Cold?
Temperature preferences for eating cheesecake vary for each person. If eating cheesecake at room temperature, leave the dish out to thaw for about 20 to 30 minutes before serving and eating. Thaw it longer than that period if you want the food to be slightly warmer. Conversely, eat the cake before the 20-minute mark if you prefer eating it when it’s still slightly cold.
How do You Know If Cheesecake Has Gone Bad?
Cheesecakes will generally have an off-putting smell if they start to become bad. Mold or an unknown ooze will also begin to surface. If it’s difficult to observe these signs, take a tiny piece of the cake and taste it. If the flavor turns out foul, unfortunately, it’s time to toss the dessert to the dumpster.
Remember to take note of the date and time you store and thaw your cheesecake. Leaving the dessert outside for extended periods will only invite harmful bacteria like listeria and salmonella. The latter substance can cause infections with symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea that may last for several days.
A cheesecake can last for 5–7 days in the freezer but longer if the dish is in an airtight container. This dessert’s shelf life can vary depending on its type and ingredients used. Eat the cake within that 5–7-day period to tickle your taste buds without the risk of getting sick from harmful bacteria.