My daughter called me up asking for advice on how to prevent a pumpkin cheesecake or any cheesecake from cracking. She had tried cooling in the oven as well as cooling on the countertop prior to refrigerating. However, her attempts all failed. I shared with her all of my tricks and told her to apply all of them and to be patient. She was elated. Her cheesecake finally did not crack! She told me the words a mother always wants to hear, “I should listen to you more often!” I’ve included everything she did. So, if your cheesecake has been cracking or falling, follow these instructions to the T! Don’t forget to read the Tips section as well.
Photo compliments of my daughter.
The Perfect Gluten Free Pumpkin Cheesecake
Learn how to make the perfect pumpkin cheesecake without cracking or sinking the filling. Your guests will rave about it!
For the Crust:
- 1 recipe Gluten Free Graham Cracker Pie Crust or your desired crust
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus 1/2 teaspoon for the crust
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, for the crust
For the Filling:
- 3 (8 ounce) packages gluten free cream cheese (Philadelphia), at room temperature
- 1 (15-ounce) can 100% pure pureed pumpkin
- 4 eggs, 3 eggs plus 1 yolk
- 1/4 cup gluten free sour cream
- 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons Carla's Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour Blend (or a gluten free flour blend that contains gum)
- 1 teaspoon pure/gluten-free vanilla extract
- The Perfect Homemade Whipped Cream, for garnish (optional)
- Prepare the graham cracker pie crust in a buttered 9-inch springform pan as instructed in the above-linked recipe, but add 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon to the dry ingredients. Double wrap the bottom and sides in aluminum foil (just in case your pan leaks); set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Add the cream cheese to the bowl of your electric mixer and beat on medium speed until smooth.
- Add the pumpkin puree, 3 whole eggs, 1 egg yolk, sour cream, and sugar. Beat until just blended.
- Whisk together the flour, cloves, and nutmeg and add to the mixing bowl along with the vanilla. Beat on medium speed just until well combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared crust, and distribute evenly. Place the cheesecake inside a roasting pan (or a baking sheet, if that's all you have) and fill halfway up the pan with boiling water (or halfway up a baking sheet). Bake on center rack of oven for 30 minutes.
- Decrease the temperature to 325°F. Bake for an additional 20 minutes.
- Turn off the oven, allow to slowly cool for 20 minutes with oven door closed. (Door closed 20 minutes.)
- Remove from the oven. Using a knife, loosen the edges away from the springform pan, but leave on the ring.
- Return to the oven and crack the door. Allow the cheesecake to cool an additional 1 hour and 10 minutes. (Door cracked 1 hour 10 minutes.)
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the countertop for 2-1/2 hours.
- Refrigerate uncovered for 2 hours.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight or at least 4 hours. Cover with plastic wrap over the springform pan.
- When ready to serve, remove the ring, garnish the edges with whipped cream, if desired. Then, slice and serve.
- To store, poke several toothpicks in the cheesecake, especially along the edges and cover with plastic wrap. Ideally, store with a cake cover such as a Tupperware cake carrier.
The key to preventing cracks is applying an extremely slow cooling process. To prevent sinking/falling, always cook any cake thoroughly and do not beat too much air into the batter.
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