Preventing Cracked Cheesecakes

Sometimes a "cracked" cheesecake is unavoidable. But these steps can help prevent the top from slitting open.

Let cream cheese and eggs stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before mixing.

After adding the eggs, beat mixture on low speed. (If too much air is beaten into the mixture, it will puff during baking, then collapse and split when cooled.)

Gently fold in by hand any additional ingredients like chocolate chips.

Grease the sides of the pan so the cake easily pulls away as it cools.

Prevent drafts by opening the oven door as seldom as possible during baking.

Don't use a knife to test for doneness because it may create a crack.

Don’t overbake. When done, the edges should be puffed. The center of the cheesecake (about the size of a walnut) should not be completely set and will jiggle slightly. The center will firm upon cooling.

Cool your cheesecake on a rack at room temperature for 1 hour before refrigerating.