Who doesn’t like cheesecake? It’s sweet, decadent, and surprisingly filling. If you’ve bought a large slice or baked an entire cake and have a few things left over, how do you store this dessert? And more importantly, does the cheesecake go bad?
Or maybe you’re throwing a small party for a few friends in the middle of the week. And while they love your cheesecake, you don’t have time to make it the day of the party. So you’re thinking about making it ahead of time, but you’re not sure if freezing it will work or not.
In either case, if you’re willing to learn a thing or two about storing, preserving, freezing, and spoiling cheesecake, read on.
How to preserve cheesecake
Since the main ingredient in cheesecake is cream cheese (or sometimes cottage cheese or ricotta), I’m pretty sure you know to keep it refrigerated.
Obviously, you should keep it covered, so it doesn’t absorb odors from the fridge and doesn’t dry out. To cover it, use a cake stand, or cut the remains into smaller pieces and put them in airtight containers. Alternatively, you can wrap the cake in aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
If you are going to serve the cheesecake with a topping that does not refrigerate well, it is best to put the cheesecake in the fridge without the topping and add the finishing touches just before serving.
Cheesecake slice garnished with fruit on a black plate
(credit: Tina Guina)
Can cheesecake be frozen?
As you probably expect, cheesecake in the fridge stays fresh for only a few days. So if you want to keep it for a longer time, it is best to freeze it. And cheesecake is one of the cakes that freezes quite well, and many bakeries recommend freezing leftovers.
Of course, the way your cheesecake freezes depends on the ingredients and the recipe you or your bakery follow. In other words, when it comes to freezing, not all cheesecakes are created equal. But as a general rule of thumb, you can assume that dense cheesecakes without sensitive toppings usually freeze very well.
|For best results, freeze the tart without any topping and add just before serving.|
As for the way to freeze the cake, it is super simple.
Basically, you have to wrap the cake in something freezer-safe, so it doesn’t dry out or get freezer burn. It can be anything like an airtight container, freezer bag, or a double layer of aluminum foil. Just make sure you don’t crush the pieces when you wrap them.
When you need to thaw the cake, put it in the fridge the night before you want to serve it. Or a few hours before you need it, at least.
Finally, as long as you have defrosted the cheesecake in the fridge, you can refreeze it if you need to.
|Cheesecake is also a great way to use up frozen cottage cheese or frozen ricotta that sits in the freezer for months. Yes, you can freeze ricotta (which freezes well) and cottage cheese (which freezes well).|
how long does cheesecake last
As you already know, cheesecake is made with dairy products, especially fresh cheese. Eggs are also included in most recipes. These ingredients are quite delicate, so the cake does not retain its freshness for a long time.
Typically, the shelf life of store-bought cheesecake is 5-7 days in the refrigerator, unless the package label specifies a shorter period.
When it comes to a homemade cheesecake, it is usually not convenient to keep it refrigerated for more than 5 days. Or less, if the recipe you follow says so, or there are some very perishable ingredients.
If you need to keep the cheesecake for a longer time, it is best to freeze it. The tart should retain its quality in the freezer for at least a few months.
|If you plan to freeze the cheesecake for your guests to enjoy, it’s best to try freezing a small amount of that exact cake ahead of time. This way you’ll know what to expect after thawing and if the pie is good enough to serve to your friends.|
|Cheesecake (homemade)||3 – 5 days||1+ month|
|Cheesecake (store bought)||5 – 7 days||3+ months|
Please note that the above periods are only rough estimates. As usual, the store-bought variety lasts a little longer because it usually has some added preservatives, and the homemade variety is usually free of preservatives.
Image used under Creative Commons by Claire Thompson
How to tell if cheesecake has gone bad
Unfortunately, there’s no good way to tell if your cheesecake has gone bad.
Obviously, if it is moldy, discolored, or gives off an unpleasant odor, you should throw it away. But usually such signs appear after storing the cake for 2 weeks, or even more.
That means it’s safest to throw away homemade cheesecake stored for more than 5-7 days, and store-bought after 7-9 days. Yes, even if it looks perfect.