Today we’ll talk about the shelf life, storage options, and spoilage of cheesecake.
Say you got a bunch of leftover cheesecake after a birthday party, and you don’t want it to go bad. That makes you wonder: how long does cheesecake last?
Or maybe you crave fresh cheesecake, and you’re considering doubling the recipe and freezing half of it. But you’re not quite sure if you can freeze cheesecake.
If either sounds familiar, this article is for you. In it, we’re going to cover the shelf life of cheesecake, storage practices, and when to toss it.
Let’s get into the nitty-gritty.
The storage periods in this article work for all kinds of cheesecakes. But if you’re following a recipe that doesn’t resemble your typical cheesecake (i.e., the filling isn’t made of cream cheese or ricotta, eggs, and sugar), check the recipe for storage info.
Table of Contents
- How Long Does Cheesecake Last?
- How To Store Cheesecake?
- Can You Freeze Cheesecake?
- How to Tell if Cheesecake Is Bad?
- Cheesecake Shelf Life and Storage Summary
How Long Does Cheesecake Last?
Store-bought cheesecake lasts between 5 and 7 days in the fridge, while a homemade one is good for about 5 days. If you need the cake to last longer, you can freeze it if it doesn’t come with a topping that freezes poorly.
Speaking of toppings, many cheesecakes come with one. And sometimes, that topping is more volatile than the filling.
(For instance, unstabilized whipped cream lasts only a day or so.)
If that’s the case, the cake will be okay as long as the topping is.
For homemade cheesecake, you can always whip and add the topping right before serving the case. But if you buy one with a fancy topping in the bakery, ask how long it will hold up.
How To Store Cheesecake?
Store your cheesecake in the fridge, sealed tightly.
Store-bought cheesecake often comes in a plastic container, which is perfect for storing the baked good. That is assuming that it’s resealable, of course. Otherwise, wrap the cake with plastic wrap or transfer it to an airtight container.
If yours comes only wrapped in paper or in a paper bag, what you do with it depends on when you plan on eating it.
If you’re going to eat it right away or within like 2 to 3 hours, you can leave the cake as-is on the kitchen counter. Otherwise, discard the paper, transfer the cake into an airtight container or bag, and refrigerate.
When it comes to homemade cheesecake, you can cut it into pieces and transfer them to storage containers or freeze bags. Or use a cake carrier if you have one and it fits in your fridge.
All in all, you need to ensure your cheesecake is sealed tight so it doesn’t dry out or pick up any smells when in storage.
(The same storage practices work for other baked goods that require refrigeration, for instance, bread pudding.)
Now, if the 5- to 7-day period in the fridge is not long enough for your needs, consider freezing the cheesecake.
Can You Freeze Cheesecake?
You can freeze cheesecake, and it freezes well as long as it doesn’t come with a topping that’s ruined by freezing.
You’ve probably seen frozen cheesecake in a supermarket. Or, if you’ve ordered cheesecake online, it arrived frozen or half-defrosted with dry ice packs all over the package.
That’s a sure sign you can freeze this baked good if I’ve ever seen one.
The method is super easy, too. All you need is some plastic wrap and freezer bags or containers.
Here’s how you freeze cheesecake:
- Wrap it. Tightly wrap the cake with plastic wrap, aluminum foil, or freezer wrap.
- Add extra protection. For added protection against cold air and freezer burn, put the wrapped cheesecake in a freezer bag or container. Bags take less freezer space, but a container is the best option if you’re worried that the dessert will get squished. You can skip the second layer if you’re going to freeze it for only a couple of weeks.
- Freeze. If you like, you can add a label with the name and date.
If you don’t plan on eating the whole cheesecake within 2 to 3 days, consider cutting it into portions and freezing each one separately.
When it comes to defrosting, it’s best to place cheesecake in the fridge and leave it there overnight. If it’s a large piece or a whole cheesecake, you might even need 12+ hours to thaw it, so start early.
Now, some sources also suggest that you can defrost cheesecake on the counter, which takes about 4 to 5 hours.
I don’t particularly recommend this approach, as leaving perishable food outside the fridge for more than 2 hours is dangerous. That said, if you keep the cheesecake sealed well and leave it on the counter for 4 to 5 hours, in most cases, everything should turn out okay.
Finally, you can refreeze the leftovers if you thawed the cheesecake in the fridge and won’t eat it within a couple of days.
Leave the cheesecake on the counter for about an hour before serving so it warms up to room temperature.
If you’re interested in learning more about the topic, I wrote a guide on freezing cheesecake on my sister site CanYouFreezeThis.com.
How to Tell if Cheesecake Is Bad?
Discard cheesecake if:
- There’s mold. That’s pretty obvious. Look for fuzzy spots on the top and the filling (after cutting).
- The cake smells sour or funny. Dairy products such as cream cheese, ricotta, and so on give off a sour aroma as they age. That said, cheesecake typically has a ton of sugar that keeps everything smelling sweet, so it’s not common to find that your cheesecake smells weird.
- It has turned sour or discolored. If your cheesecake tastes sour or off in any other way, it’s gone. The same is true if the filing has started to change color.
- It sits in the fridge for more than a week. The cake might look perfectly fine after a week in the refrigerator, but it’s no longer safe to eat. Better safe than sorry.
Of course, if anything else about the dessert seems off or weird, it’s best to assume that the cake has spoiled. There’s no sense in risking food poisoning.
The cheesecake filling combines cream cheese (or sour cream or ricotta), eggs, and sugar. And as we all know, neither eggs nor cream cheese last forever. Thus cheesecake goes bad pretty quickly.
If you store cheesecake for longer than 3 or 4 days already, always sample a small piece to check its taste. If it has started to turn sour, discard it for quality reasons.
Cheesecake Shelf Life and Storage Summary
Thanks for reading this primer on cheesecake. Here are the takeaways:
- Store-bought cheesecake lasts for 5 to 7 days, while homemade one typically keeps for up to 5 days. In either case, you should keep the cheesecake in the fridge and sealed tightly.
- If you need the cheesecake to last longer than a couple of days, you can freeze it. To do so, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and then place it in a freezer bag.
- When checking if your cheesecake is okay to eat, look for mold, off smell, filling discoloration, and if the feeling hasn’t started to turn sour. Either is a sure sign the cake is bad.