How To Fix Burnt Cheesecake Top – The Most Effective Method

Last Updated on January 22, 2022 by Guillermina

If you have ever burnt your cheesecake, you know it doesn’t look or taste very good. So, here is the best way, how to fix a burnt cheesecake top.

We naturally recommend trying to avoid burning the top completely, but sometimes accidents do happen. And, to fix this one is easier than you may think. By following our step-by-step instructions, you don’t have to worry about the crunchy texture and burnt flavor. We have got you covered!

Jump to Recipe

How Are Cheesecakes Made?

While there are many different kinds of cheesecake and many variations in their recipes, they all pretty much work in the same way. A baked cheesecake consists of a combination of soft fresh cheese, sugar, and eggs. Sometimes additional ingredients are added, especially flavoring ones. This can include extracts, essences, fruit zest, cocoa, or fruit puree.

These ingredients are mixed together in a very specific way to create a completely smooth cheesecake batter. Creating a smooth batter is essential for a lot of reasons. But, believe it or not, it actually also contributes to even browning on the top of your cheesecake.

Once the batter has been made, it is poured into a springform cheesecake pan and baked in a preheated oven. Now, the oven temperature for baking cheesecake is extremely important. The temperature will determine how quickly the cheesecake bakes, what the final texture will be like, if the cheesecake cracks, and how dark it gets. Yes, all that from only one factor!

 cheesecake brown on top

Why Does Cheesecake Brown on Top?

Browning in food is caused by one specific chemical reaction called the Maillard reaction. This occurs when amino acids and reducing sugars react with each other. They then cause a browning and toasting effect on food. At higher temperatures, this reaction changes to caramelization.

Caramelization refers specifically to the browning of sugars. Now, obviously, cheesecake contains sugar. The cream cheese itself, to a certain extent, also contains sugar. When the batter is baked, the sugars caramelize and brown the top.

Now, when cheesecake burn is usually when the sugars brown fat too much.

Causes Of Overcooked Cheesecake and Burnt Cheesecake

Now, we know we’re talking about burnt cheesecake, however, more often than not, when your cheesecakes’ top has burnt, the inside is usually also overbaked. So, by understanding when a cheesecake is overbaked (or how to prevent it) you will directly help prevent burning the top of your cheesecake.

Read more about How To Tell If Cheesecake Is Bad

Too high Temperatures Causes Overbaked Cheesecake

This is the most obvious and common cause of overbaked cheesecake and burnt cheesecake tops. When you use an extremely high temperature, the sugars will continue caramelizing before the actual inside has been fully baked. To correctly bake cheesecake, you generally use lower temperatures to ensure the batter bakes slowly and browns evenly.

On average, a cheesecake should bake between 320-360°F (160-180°C). This temperature range will ensure that no part of your cheesecake bakes too quickly. It will also keep your texture creamy and smooth. Sometimes, too high temperatures also cause the cheesecake to get a curdled-like texture.

 fails burnt cheesecake

Baked for too Long

This is naturally another very common mistake people make that causes the cheesecake to brown too much on top. When you continue to bake a cheesecake, even if it has already fully baked, the sugars will keep caramelizing and get darker and darker. This will eventually cause them to burn completely and leave you with a smoky cheesecake.

Your average 9-inch cheesecake will bake anywhere between 45 minutes to 1 hour. Obviously, the thickness of the cheesecake will affect the time, but you can use this as a guideline. Furthermore, you should also always correctly check when the cheesecake is done baking.

How To Fix Burnt Cheesecake Top

Now, there are a few ways you can “fix” a burnt cheesecake top. Some of the methods work better than others, but it will mostly depend on what you are willing to try and how burnt the cheesecake top is.

For us, the best way to fix a burnt cheesecake is to try and remove as many charred pieces as possible and cover it with a  delicious and very flavorful topping! The topping can be something as simple as sweetened or flavored whipped cream, or a berry coulis. Whatever is strong enough to hide the slightly smoky flavor your cheesecake will have.

What You Will Need To Fix Burnt Cheesecake Top

 how to fix burnt cheesecake top

Ingredients for the Chocolate Ganache

  • 8 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • Fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)

Equipment

  • Sharp knife
  • Microwave-safe bowl
  • Rubber or silicone spatula

How To Fix Burnt Cheesecake Top – Step By Step To Make A Chocolate Ganache

Step 1: Cool the Cheesecake

Once you’ve seen the cheesecake has been burnt, don’t remove it from the oven prematurely. Allow it to continue baking until it has been fully baked. You don’t want a burnt and raw cheesecake. Once baked, allow it to cool completely and set it in the fridge.

Once completely cooled, scrape off some of the super charred bits if you have any. You can also slice off the top layer if it is very burnt or even formed a crust.

Step 2: Make the Topping

While the cheesecake is cooling, make the topping. First, microwave the cream and butter together for about 1 minute. Then, add the chopped chocolate or chocolate chips and stir the mixture with a  rubber spatula. Continue stirring until all of the chocolate has melted and you have a smooth ganache.

If the chocolate doesn’t want to completely melt, microwave it for another 10-15 seconds. Then, stir again. Once you have a completely smooth mixture, allow the ganache to cool until it reaches room temperature.

Step 3: Cover the Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache

Once the cheesecake and chocolate ganache has cooled and is brought to room temperature, pour the thickened ganache over the cheesecake. Allow it to set inside of the fridge for an hour or so before topping the cheesecake with delicious fresh berries.

 overbaked cheesecake

How To Prevent Your Cheesecake From Burning

It’s pretty simple really; don’t bake your cheesecake at too high temperatures and don’t overbake it. By just using those two rules, you can prevent overcooking your cheesecake and burning the top too much.

We would also recommend checking the temperature of your oven with an oven probe or thermometer. Check if the temperature reading is correct and whether you have any hot spots. Knowing how your oven works will help you prevent any irregular baking.

Fails Burnt Cheesecake – Conclusion

As you can see, it is extremely easy to fix a burnt cheesecake top. And by using our technique, you are removing the worst of the char and adding additional flavor to hide the burnt flavor. If you know of anyone that can benefit from this article, give it a share!

What You Will Need To Fix Burnt Cheesecake Top

Cheesecakes World
Course Sweet Sauces
Cuisine American

Equipment

  • Sharp knife
  • Microwave-safe bowl
  • Rubber or silicone spatula

Ingredients
  

  • 8 ounces dark chocolate chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • Fresh berries strawberries, blueberries, raspberries

Instructions
 

  • Once you've seen the cheesecake has been burnt, don't remove it from the oven prematurely. Allow it to continue baking until it has been fully baked. You don't want a burnt and raw cheesecake. Once baked, allow it to cool completely and set it in the fridge.
  • Once completely cooled, scrape off some of the super charred bits if you have any. You can also slice off the top layer if it is very burnt or even formed a crust.
  • While the cheesecake is cooling, make the topping. First, microwave the cream and butter together for about 1 minute. Then, add the chopped chocolate or chocolate chips and stir the mixture with a  rubber spatula. Continue stirring until all of the chocolate has melted and you have a smooth ganache.
  • If the chocolate doesn't want to completely melt, microwave it for another 10-15 seconds. Then, stir again. Once you have a completely smooth mixture, allow the ganache to cool until it reaches room temperature.
  • Once the cheesecake and chocolate ganache has cooled and is brought to room temperature, pour the thickened ganache over the cheesecake. Allow it to set inside of the fridge for an hour or so before topping the cheesecake with delicious fresh berries.
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