Do you have more cheesecake than you could care to finish in one sitting? You are probably wondering ‘does cheesecake go bad?’ and you are looking for ways to make the most of your lovely dessert or face the possibility of tossing it out.
Before you do, read on to learn more about the shelf life of cheesecake and smart storage tips.
Does Cheesecake Go Bad
Cheesecake is packed with eggs, cream, cheese, and flavorings, all of which have a short shelf life. Inevitably, cheesecake does go bad and will quickly become unsafe to eat if left out at room temperature.
The high moisture content combined with the perishable ingredients, make cheesecake the perfect ground for visible mold and invisible bacteria such as listeria and salmonella, which you cannot see with your naked eye but are nonetheless dangerous.
Unfortunately, it does not take long for the cheesecake to go bad. Just leaving it out on the counter for a few hours is enough to turn your tasty dessert into a home for dangerous bacteria.
Let’s take a deep dive into how long cheesecake can last.
How Long Does Cheesecake Last?
Like other baked and filled goods such as quiches, pies, and casseroles, cheesecake is prone to bacterial infestation, which can reduce the cake’s shelf life.
Under the right conditions, bacteria take an incredibly short time to multiply. This is why the safety and quality of cheesecake will deteriorate within two hours of leaving the cake out at room temperature.
Refrigerating is the default method of storing cheesecake. In the fridge, the cheesecake will last 3 to 7 days but for peak freshness, we recommend finishing the cake 2-3 days after buying or baking it.
You can freeze cheesecake to keep it going a little longer. In the freezer, your cake will last about 1-2 months. When frozen for longer than this, cheesecake can lose some of its best qualities including the crunchy base and moist cheese, which can become rubbery.
Here’s a quick summary of how long cheesecake lasts.
Cheesecake Shelf Life
|Fresh cheesecake||Less than two hours||3-7 days|
4 Tips To Tell If Cheesecake Has Gone Bad
Due to its short shelf life, it is easy to tell if cheesecake has gone bad. The signs of a stale cheesecake will become visible in as short as a few hours.
Here is what you should keep an eye on when checking the cake for freshness:
Fresh cheesecake will usually have smooth, even edges and the cheese itself will be soft and mellow. Stale cake on the other hand will have crusty and split edges. The cheese will feel and taste rubbery, and other toppings might have an off taste too.
Cheesecake that has lost its freshness will turn an unpleasant yellow and may have some gray spotting. Do not be tempted to scoop out these discolored parts and eat the rest of the cake. A color change is often a sign of bacterial activity and you can get sick from eating such cake.
3. Foul smell
One look is usually enough to tell you if cheesecake has gone bad. But, just to be completely sure, you can give the cake a good sniffing to check for freshness.
If the cake smells like stale dairy products, you should definitely throw it out. The cake might also ooze liquid, which is another sign of bacterial activity.
The presence of mold is a sure sign of spoilage. Mold spores will usually form when cake has been left out at room temperature for more than the recommended two hours. Leaving the cake uncovered in the fridge can also cause mold to grow because of exposure to moisture.
Just because you cannot see the mold spores does not mean that the cake is good to eat. Unrefrigerated cheesecake will attract bacteria quickly and it is better to be on the safe side and simply discard it.
Keep track of the cake’s production date and the amount of time it remains outside the fridge. Discard cheesecake that has sat out on the counter for more than 2 hours.
4 Tips To Store Cheesecake
Correct storage will keep cheesecake flavorful and safe to eat. Here are some tips for storing both store-bought and homemade cheesecake:
1. Tightly wrap with plastic film
When it comes to storing cheesecake, your goal should be to minimize contact with moisture and to protect the cake from picking up surrounding flavors from other foods in the fridge.
Slice and serve the slices you need then, use cling film to tightly wrap the remaining cake. Be sure not to leave any space for moisture to get in.
2. Store in an airtight container
Airtight containers are a great alternative to freezer bags for storage purposes. If storing the cheesecake in resealable bags is not an option, try to preserve the cake in an airtight container. It is a good idea to first wrap the slices in a plastic wrap before placing them inside the container.
3. Refrigerate as soon as possible
Whether you baked the cake or bought it, you should stick the cheesecake in the fridge immediately and keep it there until you are ready to use it.
The most that cheesecake can stay out at room temperature is two hours. Anything longer and the cake will be unsafe to eat due to it containing potentially dangerous bacteria.
If you find it difficult to wrap the cake without damaging the surface, simply place back the cake in a sheet pan, cover with plastic wrap, and store in the fridge for not more than seven days.
4. Freeze for longer freshness
You can freeze slices of cheesecake or the entire thing. Ready-made cheesecake should be refrigerated as soon as you get home.
To freeze the cake, wrap in aluminum foil and stick in the freezer for up to two months. When you are ready to eat it, thaw and chill the cake in the refrigerator for up to seven hours before you can serve. We’ll talk more about how to freeze cheesecake later on.
The Risks of Consuming Expired Cheesecake
Cheesecake expires just a few days after its date of production. By the end of one week, even cheesecake that has been meticulously stored will be a harbinger for bacterial activity.
Let’s just say that there is a big risk in consuming expired cheesecake. Dangerous bacteria such as Salmonella Enteritidis, Escherichia coli, and Campylobacter will make a home in your cake.
Consuming these bad bacteria can lead to serious bacterial infections and symptoms such as stomach ache, vomiting, fever, nausea, and dehydration
If you notice even the slightest form of spoilage including a foul smell or taste, oozing, discoloration, and of course, mold, you should bin the cake.
Can You Freeze Cheesecake
Cheesecake freezes well. You can extend the shelf life and keep cheesecake safe to eat by freezing it.
Follow these steps to freeze cheesecake:
- Tightly wrap individual slices of cheesecake with aluminum paper. Careful place in the freezer and allow to freeze until you are ready to eat.
- Sometimes cheesecake can be too squishy to wrap. You can solve this by placing the cake on a sheet pan and freezing it.
- Take each piece of frozen cake, wrap it with plastic film, and put the individual slices in a resealable freezer bag.
- Consider making a cupcake-sized cheesecake that you can eat on a needs basis. You can bake just enough and avoid throwing out an entire cake that has come up to its shelf life.
- When you are ready to eat it, bring out the cheesecake from the freezer and allow it to defrost in the fridge overnight. For immediate use, you can let the cake thaw at room temperature for 20 to 40 minutes.
- Remember to write the date when you froze the cake. This way, you can keep track of how long the cake has been in the freezer and you can check for freshness when you are ready to eat.
Keep in mind that freezing can alter the texture and taste of food, including your cheesecake. Although freezing will preserve the cake for up to 3 months, we recommend finishing the cake in less than a month.
Cheesecake is vulnerable to bacterial activity and your favorite dessert will go bad pretty fast. Refrigeration will help to keep the cake fresh for a little longer but you should consume or toss it by the end of one week. Avoid consuming cake that has visible signs of spoilage and any that has stayed out at room temperature for more than two hours.