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Question on Water Bath and Cheesecakes

I was wondering if anyone has tried putting there cheesecake pan inside of a silicone pan instead of wrapping it in foil when baking a cheescake in a water bath. The reason I am asking is because when I wrap the cheesecake pan with foil. It leaked.

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  1. Because the water bath equalizes the temperature of the pan in which the cheesecake is baked, it needs to make direct contact with the pan. Unless the silicone pan is a "glove" fit over the primary baking vessel I wouldn't risk it; unless of course I just wanted to try it and consumet the results, good or bad, myself. IMHO there are some things that don't work well cooking either directly or in concert with silicone pans and I think cheesecake is one of them.

    1. I'm not sure why you would want put your pan inside of silicone and then put it is a water bath. I am wondering if you ask this because your foil has leaked and your cake is soggy.

      You could possibly dispense with the springform and use a silicone pan for cheesecake because a cheesecake doesn't need to brown on the bottom and sides, and the stretchability of silicone would make depanning easier, especially if the bottom is lined with a parchment round.

      Ive never done this but I wonder if others have and I am very interested in hearing what the results were.

      1. I use two layers of reynolds wrap heavy duty aluminum foil, extra long and it doesn't leak. I'd give the silicone a try by itself, as Kelli suggested. You really don't need a springform pan.

        1. I have never cooked my cheesecakes in water baths, and they always come out perfectly. I put a crumb crust on the bottom and partly up the sides and I think that this acts as a kind of dam for the filling since I have never had a problem with leaking. I use the Katish's Cheesecake recipe from an old Gourmet magazine, and it is a classic cheesecake -- elemental with cream cheese and a bit of sour cream. Never needed the water bath, so maybe you could try a different cheesecake recipe and solve the whole problem!

          1. I do this everytime I make cheesecake and it works great. I use a removable bottom cheesecake pan instead of a springform, and it fits snuggly in the silicone pan. The silicone pan alone is terrible for making cheesecakes. It is next to impossible to remove the cake from the pan without making a big mess.

            1. I use heavy duty foil, wrap several times very securely around bottom of pan, place pan in water bath,and have never had a problem with leaks. You could also place the cheesecake inside a large oven roasting bag, place the cheesecake inside the bag (again, it has to be pretty large) making sure the top of the bag does not cover the cake. Put cake into water bath. I've done this with several cheesecakes and have had good results. Also, you could bake your cheesecake in a regular cake pan with a nonremovable bottom, place a parchment liner on bottom of pan, (no crust), then place in a water bath. After cake has cooled, run a thin bladed knife around the sides, invert, and remove cake from pan. I watched Alton Brown do this on a Good Eats episode on Food Network. I've never tried this, but he made it look so easy. Then, again, he's Alton Brown!

              3 Replies
              1. re: addicted2cake

                I've never bothered with a water bath, and never needed them.

                1. re: dolores

                  I bothered with a water bath for years, just because that is the way I learned. One day, in a rush, I decided to nix the water bath. The cheesecake turned out no differently. Since then I havent bothered with one and I don't miss it at all.

                  1. re: Chefsquire

                    I never use a water bath either. I've made tons of cheesecakes (all flavors and types) and they have always come out beautifully (I'm known for my cheesecakes). So, I'm with dolores and chefsquire (and roxlet above) - haven't found a water bath necessary.

                    I like a creamy cheesecake and that's how mine come out (I bake until just barely set in the middle). I think most people over bake them, but perhaps it is personal preference.

              2. I'm in the water-bath camp. I think the texture of the cheesecake is creamier because of the moisture in the oven. The cheesecake doesn't dry out as much.

                I double-wrap the springform pan with aluminum foil also, scrunching the sides of the foil tightly against the pain before filling it with batter. Wonderful results.

                The silicone pan idea sounds intriguing...but I haven't bought too many silicone baking pans yet! I'm still a Luddite happily using metal pans for many things!

                6 Replies
                1. re: maria lorraine

                  Interesting if it's just the moisture in the oven that makes the difference. If that's the case, the traditional techniques for humidity in bread baking would work just as well. (Pan with water on the oven floor, squirting the walls with water, etc.) Anyone else think this might be the case?

                  1. re: Harlan

                    I think that water baths are used for cheesecake b/c it's technically a custard. The bath helps it heat gently and evenly b/c the max temp of water in an oven in normal conditions is 212F whereas the oven will be 350F (or whatever tempt he recipe calls for.

                    I've had good luck with multiple layers of the extra-long, heavy duty foil and make sure that all of the edges are above the water line.

                    1. re: Candice

                      Right, but having the oven at 250 or whatever might work just as well as 350+waterbath. And then if you humidify the oven, you'll reduce drying of the custard, which might be the important secondary effect of the waterbath.

                      This calls for a controlled experiment...!

                      1. re: Harlan

                        This is a good point. I've baked cheesecake overnight at a low temperature and it doesn't need a waterbath. It's amazingly creamy. I would guess that the higher temperature would dry out the cheesecake more-- I always use a waterbath at 350. I would like to try this out in a crockpot, because that would be an ideal waterbath in itself and you get slightly lower heat.

                        1. re: chowser

                          I never use a waterbath, but I do put a pan of water in the bottom of the oven. I always ignore the temperature given in the recipes and bake at 250F. And I always take the cheesecake out of the oven when it still has the slight jiggle in the centre. My cheesecakes are creamy and delicious.

                          1. re: Sooeygun

                            I see how using a pan of water would work, but you didn't mention the length of time you cook the cheesecake. Is it the same as the recipe suggests or longer?

                2. Actually, I just made a cheese cake for a party a couple of weeks ago, and I decided to try using Magic Cake Strips around the perimeter of the pan as I do when baking a regular cake. If you don't know, Magic Cake Strips are strips of teflon sewn to cotton and filled with cotton batting. You wet them thoroughly before wrapping around your cake pan, and they prevent the cake from doming. It was a great success with the cheesecake. My cake did not crack at all and was fabulous.

                  1. FYI, I know someone who makes spectacular cheesecakes, and she never uses a water bath. Don't know if you're willing to try without.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: sfumato

                      O hyes, be very willing to try without the bath. Used to do it without the bath until I saw it being used on Travel Channel and Food T.V. We do like how much more creamy it is, and is almost as a custard.

                      How did your friend do it?