Last Updated on January 22, 2022 by Guillermina
Have you ever wondered what the point of using a water bath is for cheesecake? Here’s exactly how to do a water bath for cheesecake and more!
By using a water bath for your cheesecake, you will create a much better-textured cheesecake with a lusciously creamy and smooth mouth-feel. And, it is much easier to make than people think! All you need is foil and a large roasting pan. If you want to learn more about how to do a water bath for cheesecake, read on!
What Is A Water Bath For Cheesecake?
A water bath, also known as a Bain Marie in the culinary world, is a type of cooking technique. It is very often used to bake delicate items such as cheesecake, puddings, and baked custards. This piece of equipment is something you assemble, not something you can necessarily buy.
A water bath is basically made by filling a deep pan or roasting tray with water. Then you place the item about to be baked inside of the water. This technique mainly helps the item bake more evenly. It does this by slowly (and evenly) heating the water, which then gradually heats the batter or mixture being baked.
Even temperatures and gradual baking allow more delicate items, such as cheesecake, to develop a better texture. Often, it also prevents them from becoming dense and rubbery.
Now, it is important to know that the batter (or mixture) isn’t baked directly inside of the water. The batter is placed in a mold (or springform cake pan). The mold is placed inside the water bath. It is essential that your batter never comes into contact with the water. Water will change the consistency, alter the texture, and dilute the flavor.
Water Bath Vs Sous Vide – What’s the Difference?
A piece of equipment that kind of works in the same way as a water bath (but is much more technical) is a sous vide. Many people confuse these two cooking techniques because they look similar and are used for similar purposes.
A sous vide bath works with a piece of equipment that regulates the temperature of the water. So, if you set it to bake something at 150°F (65°C), it will lower or heat the water to stay at that temperature. This makes the item bake in a very specific way to achieve specific results. Sous vides are known to never overbake food, which is why so many people use it.
Naturally, it differs from a water bath. You cannot precisely regulate the temperature of a water bath. Especially not when making cheesecake (because you cannot open the oven door at all). You can have a look at more differences between these two cooking methods.
Why Do You Need A Water Bath For Cheesecake?
Using a water bath to make cheesecake has many benefits. First and foremost, it gradually heats and baked the cheesecake batter. If you’ve learned anything by now, it’s that cheesecake batters don’t like being exposed to sudden temperature changes. So, the gradual increase helps prevent the top from cracking.
Then, it also helps create a lusciously creamy and smooth texture. There won’t be some parts that are baking quicker as compared to others.
A water bath will also definitely help you prevent overbaking your cheesecake. Now, we aren’t saying that it is impossible to over-bake it, but it definitely will be harder. You will likely burn the top before overbaking the inside. That’s how effective a water bath is for evenly and slowly baking cheesecakes.
And finally, even though you can burn the top of the cheesecake, it is far less likely. The extra moisture in the oven helps the top evenly and slowly brown to a beautiful color. Simultaneously, it doesn’t make the cheesecake become super puffy. The water in the mixture doesn’t evaporate and creates steam quickly. So, the cheesecake doesn’t puff up much.
Convinced yet? Well, now we will explain exactly how to do a water bath for cheesecake.
How To Bake A Cheesecake In A Water Bath? What You Will Need
- Cheesecake batter
- Aluminum foil or heavy-duty foil
- Springform cake pan
- Large roasting pan
- Boiling water
- Step-by-step how to do a water bath for cheesecake
Step 1: line your springform pan
You will cover your springform cake pan used for the cheesecake with foil. Cover the outside of the pan. It will help prevent leaks. It’s easier if you cover it before adding the crumb and cheesecake batter.
Step 2: Add your batter
Then, place the filled springform cake pan inside a large roasting pan. The roasting pan should be as high or higher than the height of your springform pan. Next, carefully fill the roasting pan with boiling water.
Two things to be mindful of. First, don’t allow the water to spill into the cheesecake batter. And second, don’t fill the pan too much. You can leave about 1/4 inch space below the top of the springform cake pan. This will further help prevent you from spilling the water into the batter when you carry it into the oven.
Step 3: Bake your cheesecake
You can preheat your oven at 325°F (160°C) and bake your cheesecake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Check your cheesecake after 1 hour.
How to Do a Water Bath for Cheesecake – Tips and Tricks
- It helps if you place the roasting tray inside of the oven before adding the springform pan or water. This means you don’t have to move it and potentially spill water into the cheesecake batter.
- Use freshly boiled water. Using hot tap water doesn’t have an even temperature. Then, the water will first need to come to an even temperature. It will also potentially cause the cheesecake batter to bake less evenly.
- In theory, you will be able to use cold water instead of hot. However, it means your cheesecake will bake for much longer. This also may alter the texture of the cheesecake because it is baking at a very low temperature and for a very long time.
- Generally, when using a water bath to bake cheesecake, you bake at a slightly lower temperature and for longer. You can set the oven to 325°F (160°C) and bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
How To Tell If A Cheesecake In A Water Bath Is Done?
The rules are pretty much the same as with baking the cheesecake in a regular oven without the water bath. When the cheesecake looks dry but the middle inch or two still slightly jiggles, the cheesecake is done baking. The jiggle will look almost like set jello.
Remember, the cheesecake will continue baking when it is cooling. And, you can also find an in-depth article on our site on how to properly and correctly cool your cheesecake to help prevent cracks.
Read more about How To Defrost Cheesecake – The Ultimate Guide
How To Do A Water Bath For Cheesecake – Conclusion
If you found this article informative or you have any questions on how to do a water bath for cheesecake, let us know in the comments below! And, remember to share it with your fellow cheesecake lovers so they can also elevate their cheesecakes!
How to do a water bath for cheesecake
First, cover the outside of your springform cake pan with foil. Then, place it inside of a large roasting tray. Fill the springform pan with your cheesecake batter. Finally, add water into the roasting tray until it reaches 1/4 inch below the top of your springform pan.
Then, simply bake the cheesecake using a slightly lower temperature and for a slightly longer time.
How to bake a cheesecake in a water bath?
Generally, you can bake a cheesecake in a water bath at a slightly lower temperature for slightly longer. You can first set the oven to 325°F (160°C) and bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
How to tell is a cheesecake in a water bath is done
Once the cheesecake has baked and the center 1 to 2-inches are still jiggly, the cheesecake is done baking. It should also look kind of dry and shake like jello.
Lindy Van Schalkwyk is a culinary specialist with a background in Advanced Cooking, Advanced Pâtisserie, Media Communications and Nutrition. She has gained invaluable experience in the culinary industry having worked in some of the top restaurants in Africa in 2016 and 2017. Her expertise in nutrition has enabled her to develop recipes for special dietary needs. In 2018, Lindy began working in the Food Media industry, focusing on recipe development, recipe writing, food writing and food styling.