Can You Freeze Cheesecake?

The Golden Girls had it right. There are many reasons to love cheesecake, including that it freezes beautifully.

Key Lime Cheesecake
Photo:

Antonis Achilleos; Prop Stylist: Christine Keely; Food Stylist: Chelsea Zimmer

Yes, you can freeze cheesecake. And if you go to all the work of making one of these beautiful desserts and have leftovers, you should freeze cheesecake. Here's how.

Can You Freeze Cheesecake?

Layered with fruit or drizzled with chocolate, this smooth and silky dessert is like no other. But cheesecake can be time-consuming, and it’s a big task to undertake while actively cooking and entertaining family and friends. That's why you shouldn't let a single slice, wedge, or square go to waste.

“The sugar and fat content in cheesecake are high enough to allow for proper freezing without damaging it,” said Jürgen David, director of pastry research and development at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE).

Frozen cheesecake is a great make-ahead secret

Cheesecake generally needs to cool and chill before you can enjoy it anyway, so a really good hack is to make it ahead of a dinner, gathering, or event, then just freeze it until it’s time to gift or enjoy. it. It only needs a few hours at room temperature to thaw (more on that below).

By making that cheesecake in advance, you are removing some stress from a busy time. You can be more engaged with your guests and still impress them with an incredible dessert.

When To Freeze Cheesecake

Freeze that cheesecake as soon as you can so that it’s nice and fresh and will taste that way when you defrost it and enjoy it later. It makes sense that a cheesecake that has been sitting around a few days that is then frozen will still taste like it has been sitting around a few days once defrosted.

How To Freeze Cheesecake

Can you freeze cheesecake with toppings?

Many of our favorite cheesecakes may be topped with something like fresh fruit. Keep in mind even if the cheesecake can survive being frozen, the toppings may not.

“Items high in water usually don’t defrost well. For example, fresh strawberries, they lose their fresh color and look wilted because the sharp fractals from the water cut up the cell walls,” David says. So, if there is fresh fruit or whipped cream on the cheesecake, remove it before freezing. Cooked fruit toppings should freeze well because of their sugar content and concentration.

Step 1: Let cool completely

As I mentioned earlier, freezing cheesecake that is fresh is the best cheesecake to freeze. But you don’t want to freeze it when it was just made. Make sure it has cooled completely before freezing.

“Chilling it before unmolding will give it a chance to set firmly to withstand any handling. I recommend 24 hours in the refrigerator before freezing,” David says.

Step 2: Slice the cheesecake

Decide if you want to freeze the cake whole or in slices. “If it is sliced before freezing, it is already portioned and allows you to take out just the servings you need,” David says.

Step 3: Wrap in plastic, then foil

You’ll want to wrap and package the cheesecake well before freezing. “If sliced, cover the sides of the cut cake with a strip of parchment paper, which will keep the pieces separated, prevent sticking and messy cuts,” David says.  Double wrap in plastic wrap, then in foil, to prevent freezer burn. Be sure to label it too with a name and date so it doesn't become another freeze mystery food.

wrapping cheesecake in pan in plastic wrap

Dotdash Meredith

Frequently Asked Questions

Does freeze cheesecake change the taste?

Sometimes we worry about freezing food, and that it will impact taste or quality. But do not have that worry with cheesecake. Freezing cheesecake is actually rather common with professionals.

"Retail and foodservice cheese cake that is often distributed frozen to help maintain freshness,” said Chad Galer, vice president of product research and food safety, Dairy Management Inc.

How long does cheesecake last in the freeze?

“There is not a food safety concern when freezing cheesecake, but for best quality it should not be frozen for longer than 3 to 6 months,” Galer says.

Can you freeze a no-bake cheesecake?

Yes, you can freeze no-bake cheesecakes just as you freeze regular cheesecake. However, the end result may be not quite as great as the fresh version. Depending on the recipe, some cheesecakes will be higher in moisture or have a softer texture. “The more moist or softer versions have a higher likelihood of developing ice crystals when frozen and could lead to grainy texture after freezing,” Galer says. When wrapping and freezing, keeping air out will be your main priority, so be sure to keep that in mind so you defrost the best possible cheesecake when ready to eat it.

How To Defrost Frozen Cheesecake

The occasion has come, guests are arriving, and you are ready to defrost that frozen cheesecake. “To defrost, remove the desired amount of slices, unwrap them, place on a serving dish, and let them sit at room temperature for 20 to 45 minutes (depending on size), or place in the refrigerator overnight,” David says. If you're defrosting a whole cheesecake, do it overnight, not at room temperature.

Once defrosted, feel free to give the cheesecake new life by using this opportunity to add new toppings, such as fresh fruit, chocolate, or whipped cream.

You’ll want to keep the remaining cheesecake tightly wrapped in the freezer.

How do you know if thawed cheesecake is still safe to eat?

There should be no concerns with the safety of the cheesecake from freezing if properly handled before freezing. But cheesecake that has been frozen for a while may have texture changes. “Freezing may change or decrease the flavor and lead to some grainy or crumbly texture,” Galer says. The longer cheesecake is kept frozen the more likely these changes to the quality could happen.

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