How Do You Know When a Cheesecake Is Done Cooking? The Wobble Test!

How do you know when that cheesecake, creme brulee or other custard is finished baking? Just give it a (gentle) shake!

Cheesecake is the perfect way to end a fabulous meal. But how do you know when yours is perfectly baked? Pull the cheesecake too soon and you’ll have soft, soggy (and unsafe-to-eat) results that won’t hold a pretty slice. Bake too long, and you risk a curdled texture or burnt top.

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How Do You Know When a Cheesecake Is Done Cooking?

You can tell if a cheesecake is done by checking the internal temperature with a quick-read thermometer. Stick the probe halfway into the cake—a baked cheesecake should read 150ºF.

However, testing cheesecake this way can mar the finish on top. You worked hard to create this cake, so we don’t blame you if you don’t want to go poking holes in it. That’s where this second technique comes in.

The Cheesecake Wobble Test

Taste of Home

You can check if your cheesecake is done by trying the wobble test. To check the doneness, open the oven door and give the pan a gentle but firm rap with a spoon to see if it wobbles.

How jiggly should the cheesecake be? Well, it should wobble just slightly (you can see in our video). An underbaked cheesecake will ripple and jiggle noticeably. The key to a perfect cheesecake is a subtle wiggle—not a sloshy jiggle.

Because cheesecakes are part of the baked custard family, you can use this technique not just for them, but for classic creme brulee and old-fashioned baked custards. Check out our other cheesecake baking tips, too.

Give These Cakes a Wobble
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Christine Rukavena
Christine loves to read, curate, sample and develop new recipes as a book editor at Taste of Home. A CIA alumna with honors, she creates cookbooks and food-related content. A favorite part of the job is taste-testing dishes. Previous positions include pastry chef at a AAA Five Diamond property. Christine moonlights at a boutique wine shop, where she edits marketing pieces and samples wine far higher than her pay grade.