The secret of a good cheesecake is more what not to do than what to do:
- not too sweet. Too much sugar ruins cheesecakes (and all desserts).
- not overbaked. That’s how it stays soft and creamy
- not chilled. Flavors will be much fuller and brighter at room temperature.
— Levana Kirschenbaum, renowned cook, www.LevanaCooks.com
Be sure your cream cheese and eggs are room temperature, do not over beat the batter after adding the eggs (biggest culprit for cracked tops) and bake your cake in a water bath without opening the oven door to check on your cake’s progress!!!
— Rivky Kleiman, author of “Simply Gourmet”
Great quality cheese with decent fat content and a topping that can easily cover cracks.
— Jamie Geller, author of “Joy of Kosher”
The secret of a good cheesecake lies in the decoration. A covering of cherry pie or blueberry pie filling goes a long way to creating the most delectable cheesecakes.
— Gitta Bixenspanner, author of “Kosher Classics”
To be honest, I have never met a cheesecake I didn’t like, but over the last few years, I have replaced the vanilla in my cheesecake with bourbon, with fantastic results. It’s a subtle change, but a good one!
— Sandy Eller, Monsey, NY
Using non-whipped cream cheese and baking it at a low temperature (250 degrees) for a long time (three hours). And of course “going to town” with the toppings – dulce de lece, chocolate, Viennese crunch, berries, and fresh mint…
— Fruma Resnick, Chabad shlucha in Tri-Valley, CA
Tradition. In my case, my aunt’s 60-year-old recipe (which includes a few spoons of old-fashioned custard powder.)
— Lynn Bader, Riverdale, NY
The secret to making a good cheesecake is making the recipe your spouse loves most. (Usually what he grew up with.) Then spend time making it together! Voila!
Sarah Pachter, inspirational author and lecturer
Don’t keep tasting the batter before putting the cake into the oven!
The secret is homemade cheese. We made cheese (tvorog) in Russia from buttermilk and used it with a good chunk or two of butter to make it soft.
— Dina, a shadchan from California
For a yummy, no-bake cheesecake, the secret is using room-temperature cream cheese, fresh lemon juice, sour cream, and sugar. Add fruit or other topping, pour into a graham cracker crust, and refrigerate 4-6 hours.
— Menucha Chana Levin, freelance writer and novelist
I only use a brick of cream cheese, not whipped.
— Baila S., Yerushalayim
Since my Hungarian mother makes the cheesecake, I would definitely say that the secret ingredient is “a mother’s love”!
— Judy Landman
(Parve) Oreos for crust and, inside, cream cheese mix.
— Yehudit Garmaise, reporter, Los Angeles and Boro Park
After the cheesecake has finished baking, leave the cheesecake in the oven with the door open and the oven turned off. This way, the top won’t crack.
— Chaya Sarah Stark, Brooklyn, NY
The secret is having a twin sister who knows all the secrets and sends me the most delicious cheesecake. Thanks, Esther!
— Leah Zagelbaum, Flatbush, NY
The answer is “lemon peels”… Proven!
— a homemaker in Bnei Brak, Israel
My Oma always said that the secret to her smooth, creamy, yet light cheesecake was to strain the cheese (farmer’s or cottage) through a strainer. Her cheesecake is still the best I’ve ever had!
— Tamar Moscowitz, the Five Towns, NY
I think the first secret is knowing what’s good! Some like sweet and creamy, others prefer a light touch – and that’s a lesson for life! You need to know what someone would like before you can help them!
Tova Younger, Modiin Ilit, Israel
The secret to making a good cheesecake is picking up the phone and putting in an order at a bakery like Chantilly.
— Chaya Solomon
You have to bake the cheesecake in a water bath. You don’t put it directly on the oven rack. You take a large pan and fill it with a few inches of water and then put the pan that has the cheesecake batter in it. After it bakes for the designated amount of time, you shut the oven and let it sit for an additional hour.
— Sarah Zalmanov, Crown Heights, NY
I don’t have a secret; I have a good recipe presented by Florence K. Kutner in a JEC Sisterhood cookbook from the 1970s.
— Rivkah Blau, Washington Heights, NY
Keep it simple.
— Esty from Yerushalayim
Do you want delicious and nutritious too? Make cream cheese out of yogurt! Just strain your yogurt in cheesecloth for three days in the fridge and, voila! Yummy, creamy yogurt cream-cheese!
— Sterna Citron, author and niece of Shlomo Carlebach
Have your husband make it – especially if you’re told when you get engaged, as I was, that you’re marrying the man who makes the best cheesecake in the world.
— Bracha Leeds, Chabad shlucha in Berkley, CA
The secret is to bake the cheesecake in a water bath, which allows the sides and center to bake evenly.
— Y.B., Sydney, Australia