Avoid Cracked Cheesecakes

Try A Steam Bath
If you've ever baked a cheesecake (or a delicate egg based dessert like tiramisu) then you know it needs to be in a water bath to keep it moist and avoid cracking on the surface. A water bath really isn't a difficult process. First you place your filled cake pan down into a baking pan with 1" of water and bake slowly at a low temperature. But what do you do when your cake pan is bigger than your baking sheets and creating a water bath is impossible?
 
Actually we get this call quite a bit. A bakery just contacted us with this same concern as they were baking a 16" cheesecake (Yep, 10 pounds of cream cheese!) for a wedding! This is what we told her...
  1. Prepare your cake batter according to the directions.
     
  2. On the bottom rack of your oven place a large baking pan and fill with 1 inch of water.
     
  3. Next place your cake on the rack above the water.
     
  4. Bake your cake according to the directions. The steam in the oven will keep your cake moist and eliminate the cracks.
     
  5. When your cake is completely baked, remove from oven and turn it off.
     
  6. Remove baking tray after water has cooled.

This 12" pie was too large to bake in a water bath, so we steamed it instead.
 
Cheesecake recipes you've gotta try.