Last Updated on March 15, 2022 by Griselda M.
Do you have a cheesecake that has been sitting in the fridge for a few days, maybe even weeks? Do you know how to tell if cheesecake is bad?
It is sometimes very hard to tell whether or not your baked goods are still fine. Especially when you have put a lot of time and effort into them, the mere thought of having to discard them can be soul-crushing! Cheesecake is no exception, but eating expired food, especially dairy products, can be deadly.
So, we have made an in-depth list of all the possible signs of your cheesecake being bad.
By now you are probably already familiar with what a cheesecake is. To briefly recap, a cheesecake is a baked dessert made from a combination of eggs, cream cheese, sugar, and flavoring. This creamy batter is then poured over a cheesecake crust.
The crust can be made from a wide variety of ingredients. More often than not, the crust is made from graham crackers. You can also make it using oats or biscuits.
Then, you have unbaked cheesecake, also commonly referred to as a no-bake cheesecake. These cheesecakes don’t contain any eggs and naturally, aren’t baked. The cheesecake is simply set in the fridge overnight.
Now, when looking at plain cheesecakes, naturally they contain a lot of perishable ingredients. Both cream cheese and eggs, which are both based ingredients to make this dessert, are highly perishable. They don’t have a very long or stable shelf life.
Furthermore, a lot of cheesecake recipes have toppings. Common toppings include freshly cut fruits or berries. They can also be glazes, frosting, ice cream, whipped cream, jam, or coulis.
These toppings and decorative items will also affect the shelf life. They could potentially help shorten or lengthen it.
How To Tell If Cheesecake Is Bad – Shelf Life
The exact shelf life of cheesecake depends on a ton of factors. This sometimes makes it very difficult to determine how long is cheesecake good for.
Below, we have listed some common factors that will directly affect the shelf life of your cheesecake.
- The freshness of your ingredients (i.e. how close to their expiry date are they?)
- Ingredients included (common perishable ingredients include cream cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, cream, and eggs)
- Is it a baked or unbaked cheesecake
- How do you store the cheesecake
- The temperature at which you store it
- Toppings used or additional decorative ingredients
- The date you made the cheesecake
How Long Is Cheesecake Good For
Commercially made cheesecake will have a much longer shelf life as compared to homemade cheesecakes. This is because they usually include preservatives and stabilizers. These cheesecakes will last in the fridge for about 7 days.
Homemade cheesecakes have a much shorter shelf life of about 5 days at most.
Unbaked homemade cheesecakes have an even shorter shelf life. It usually only lasts about 4 days. This is because all of its ingredients are still fresh.
Now, if baked cheesecake is stored at room temperature, it will only last about 2-3 days. Although, you should highly consider storing it in the fridge. Unbaked cheesecake should always be stored in the fridge.
When frozen, cheesecake can be kept in the freezer for up to 6 months. We recommend using your frozen cheesecake within the first month of it being frozen. This will ensure you have the best quality thawed cheesecake.
How To Tell If Cheesecake Is Bad
So, unfortunately, sometimes food does go off. But it is often difficult to tell exactly when it crosses the line and should be completely discarded. And it is often difficult how to tell if cheesecake is bad.
Our rule of thumb when it comes to these things is always, “Why risk it?”. This is especially true if the cheesecake has visible signs of spoilage.
Expired Cheesecake has a Funny Smell
This is often the first sign you will notice when your cheesecake is starting to go bad. Because cheesecake is made from dairy products, they have a very distinguishable smell when they expire.
Cheesecake shouldn’t have any sour, acidic, or rancid smells to it. If you do notice any of these, we would look at some other characteristics of the cheesecake (like its texture) to determine if it is bad.
Mold on Cheesecake
Mold shortly follows the rancid smells. But, depending on the sugar content in your recipe, it could be the first sign of spoiled cheesecake.
Now, mold needs three main elements to thrive on food. This includes moisture, food, oxygen, and favorable temperatures. Just one of these elements could cause mold to rapidly grow!
So, this is why it is crucial to store cheesecake correctly and eliminate as many of these elements as possible. Wrapping your cheesecake will help eliminate moisture and oxygen. Storing it in the fridge will help keep it at temperatures outside of the temperature danger zone.
Texture Changes in the Product
Naturally, as food expired, certain physical changes also occur. The exact changes will vary from recipe to recipe.
Any changes that are different from what the original cheesecake looked like are signs that the cheesecake is getting old. These could include the cheesecake being extremely dry, chewy, gooey, watery, or curdled.
Rancid Dairy Flavor
Naturally, we don’t recommend taking a bite of cheesecake if it is very obvious that it has expired. But, if you do happen to take a bite and notice any rancid flavors, throw it out!
What Happens If You Eat Bad Cheesecake?
Bacteria like salmonella and listeria are only some that can grow on cheesecake. These alone are extremely dangerous and potentially lethal.
Food poisoning is all but a guarantee when eating expired cheesecake. This foodborne illness causes symptoms like stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea. And, in worse-case scenarios, you could end up in the hospital!
How To Correctly Store Cheesecake In The Fridge
It is extremely easy to store cheesecake. First, wrap the entire cheesecake in plastic or saran wrap. Make sure you don’t squish the cheesecake. But, the wrapping shouldn’t be loose.
Keep the cheesecake in the fridge for between 5-7 days You must make sure the fridge has stable temperatures. The cheesecake shouldn’t be allowed to cool and heat constantly.
How To Freeze The Cheesecake For Long-term Storage
Freezing cheesecake is also incredibly easy, Again, wrap the cheesecake in plastic or saran wrap. Then, cover it with a layer of aluminum foil. This helps further insulate the cheesecake and protects it from freezer burn.
Finally, label the cheesecake with all relevant information. This includes what it is, the date it is made, and the expiry date.
Place the cheesecake in the freezer and make sure it has stable freezer temperatures.
When storing the cheesecake in the fridge or freezer, it is much easier to do so by keeping the cheesecake inside of its pan. The pan just adds extra protection.
How To Tell If Cheesecake Is Bad – Final Words
Hopefully, this guide can help you determine whether or not your cheesecake is going bad or has gone completely off. And remember, don’t risk any dodgy food – it simply isn’t worth it! Also, feel free to share this article with family, friends, or your fellow bakers.
Read more about Can Cheesecake Go Bad? Expert Tips And Tricks To Avoid & Fix
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.