Cheesecake is one of the world’s best-loved desserts, and it’s easy to see why. Who can resist that rich, creamy filling and golden biscuit base? They’re surprisingly versatile desserts, and work just as well as a comforting snack or dressed up with decadent toppings to impress your dinner guests. And with so many tempting cheesecake recipes on offer, there’s something for everyone, from velvety chocolate to juicy summer berries.
Cheesecakes have been around for longer than you might think. The ancient Greeks fed cheesecake with honey to athletes before the first Olympic Games, while the Romans gave them as offerings to the gods. Fast-forward a few thousand years, and people are enjoying different cheesecake recipes all around the world. One of our favourites has to be the classic baked New York cheesecake, invented by delicatessen owner Arnold Reuben in the 1920s and loved for its dense, creamy vanilla filling.
But as much as we all love cheesecakes, most people would find it difficult to eat a whole one. So unless you have a particularly large family, you’re likely to find yourself with leftover cheesecake on your hands at some point. An obvious way around this is to try smaller cheesecakes, like these gourmet cheesecake-stuffed strawberries, which are a great way to get your cheesecake fix in delicious bite-size morsels.
But if you do have leftover cheesecake, the good news is that it’s easy to freeze without impairing the flavour. This can also be helpful if you’re having friends round and want to plan ahead. If you won’t have much time on the day, simply make your cheesecake masterpiece a few days beforehand and keep it in the freezer until needed.
So how do you freeze cheesecake? It may seem obvious, but if you follow these quick, easy steps, you will find that your cheesecake keeps for longer, and tastes just as good as the day you bought it.
- Add the toppings later. Cheesecake freezes well, but your choice of topping may not. For best results, freeze your base and filling and add your toppings fresh just before eating.
- Cool to room temperature. If your cheesecake is baked, it needs to set before it can be frozen, so don’t be tempted to freeze it straight from the oven. Instead, leave it out on the counter until it reaches room temperature.
- Refrigerate overnight. This should firm up your cheesecake nicely, making it easier to remove from the tin and to slice.
- Slice. This will save time later, and is also handy if you want to thaw a few slices at a time.
- Arrange. Reassemble your sliced cheesecake on a cardboard round, placing strips of wax paper between each slice to keep them separate. If you’re freezing leftovers, simply cut the cardboard to the size required.
- Wrap. Wrap the cheesecake in a layer of plastic wrap, followed by a layer of foil. This keeps the air away and the flavour and moisture locked in. If you only have a couple of slices, you can wrap them individually, without using the cardboard round.
- Label. Stick a food label on the wrapping for easy reference. Be sure to include the date so you keep an eye on how long it’s been in there.
- Freeze. Your cheesecake is now safely stored, ready for when you need it.
How long can I keep cheesecake in the freezer?
How long you can freeze cheesecake can be different depending on who you ask. It will still be safe to eat after several months, but most people agree that the flavour will be past its best after the first month. The texture of the cheesecake is also important, as freezing things tends to make them denser. This doesn’t matter so much for a New York cheesecake - some people even prefer their New York cheesecake with the denser texture it gets from freezing - but a light, whipped cheesecake may not fare so well.
When you’re ready to eat your cheesecake, you should defrost it gradually to avoid losing structure. Here’s how:
- Refrigerate overnight. Remove the foil first, but keep the plastic wrapping on, so any condensation settles on the outside of the wrapper. This should stop your cheesecake from going soggy.
- Bring to room temperature. Leave the cheesecake on the counter until it reaches room temperature.
- Decorate. This is the fun part. Add your favourite sauces and toppings, and get everything looking just the way you want it.
- Eat. Sit back and enjoy a slice of delicious cheesecake. You’ve earned it!