How Long Can Cheesecake Sit Out Is it Safe to Eat

Left Your Cheesecake Out? Here’s how to know if it is safe to eat.

If it’s been on the counter for more than a couple of hours at room temperature, you might want to reconsider grabbing a slice, even if it has been in an airtight container.

See our Handy Cheesecake Storage and Expiration Table. For just how long can I leave out the cheesecake?

Is It Safe to Eat Cheesecake That’s Been Left Out of the Refrigerator?

How Long Can You Leave Cheesecake Out – Forgetting to refrigerate a cheesecake may compromise food safety. I would not eat a cheesecake, especially when left in the open for more than six hours. Read On and we will show you how to check if a softened cream cheese cake is safe to consume.

It is a perishable food that contains too much moisture because of the egg, milk, and cream cheese ingredients, thus it easily provides an environment for any type of bacteria to multiply contaminate the cake in a short period of time.

(What about the safety of pizza dough or a Big Mac left out overnight! – see the answers here.

Other additions to the food safety risk also include whipped cream, cream cheese frosting, buttercream frosting, soft cheese and sour cream all have risks of growing mold and being unsafe to eat if left at a warm ambient temperature for more than 3 hours – that is when the bacteria will start to grow and divide.

Even sooner if there has been some cross-contamination from a dirty knife. Storing it in a cake keeper will help keep air-borne bacteria and houseflies off but bacteria still will grow.

Cheesecake is everyone’s favorite because of how rich it is in flavor, who does not like a graham cracker cheesecake, unlike any other dessert there is. It is also considered the ultimate decadence in every event and activity.

This flourless type of cake can even be found in many restaurants as a favorite dessert. in the world. Here in a professional food safety environment they are always stored in the freezer and chilled sections, even if it is an establishment homemade cheesecake.

To keep you away from any food poisoning, it is important for you to get enough knowledge on how to properly store your food. Having said that, let us get into the details on how to know if your baked cheesecake is still safe to eat.

Look For Small Mold Spots On The Top or Sides Of a Cheesecake Before Eating
Look For Small Mold Spots On The Top or Sides Of a Cheesecake Before Eating

How to Know if a Cheesecake is Safe to Eat

How to tell if Cheesecake is bad, rotten or spoiled?

We have listed down the most common and visible signs you should check for on a spoiled or bad cheesecake.

  • Dried and cracked edges
  • Leather-like toppings (the fresh fruit or strawberry may look off)
  • Discolored or yellowed surface
  • Smells funky 
  • liquid on the surface
  • Visible mold on the top or side of the cake.

If your cake, cheesecake is free from these and an has not been out too long it is likely to be safe to eat.

Does Cheesecake Need to Be Refrigerated (No Bake and Baked Cheesecake)

For No-Bake Cheesecakes, it needs to be refrigerated and set up properly in the fridge. Make sure that it will not accumulate water or extra moisture. To do this, you should wrap and cover the cheesecake pie in plastic wrap and then tinfoil.

While the Baked Cheesecakes need to be refrigerated, too. Its perishable ingredients like eggs and milk will make it easier for the cake to spoil.

If you want to freeze your cheesecake, make sure it does not contain any sensitive toppings like pumpkin that will go watery when frozen.

What Ingredients Make the Cheesecake Perishable

Milk and eggs are the top ingredients that easily make the cheesecake quite perishable.  Basically, the dairy ingredients that you put in make it easier for the cake to grow almost any type or many types of bacteria. Just like other desserts (sponge cake, cheese danish etc) and food, it easily gets bad if it has a dairy product in it. 

Dairy products (butter) when left in a warmer area, also tend to create a sour taste. Of course, if you bake it into something that will help but not prevent issues.

Any type of cheesecake, whether it is baked or not, should not be left out overnight and eaten on the next day. 

The exception might be if you live in a very cold climate where the overnight temperature is close to 32F or 0C.

How Protein (Eggs) Contributes to bad or Spoiled Food 

Protein is almost found in the ingredients. It gives a cake or dessert texture and flavor in creating a perfect cheesecake for your gathering. This kind of compound is found in eggs, which is an essential ingredient in baking. The proteins take control of the amount of moisture as well as a dough conditioner in the cake. Thus, the more egg (or egg whites) that you mix in, the more protein and moisture will be. It is a natural leavening ingredient in baking. 

These are the functions that eggs contribute to your cheesecake:

  • Ensures the air to be mixed in the batter.
  • Acts as an emulsifying ingredient.
  • Binds the batter or ingredients together for a longer period of time.

And since eggs are very high in protein, they easily get bad if not kept at a cold temperature. With that, any type of cake should be kept in a refrigerator with good internal temperature control. 

Brownie Crumble Cheesecake
Brownie Crumble Cheesecake

How Moisture Contributes to Spoiled Food

Bacteria are able to multiply in wet or moist environments. It allows them to attack any food since it gives them the nutrients they needed to survive. On the other hand, if the food has lesser moisture content like flour and cocoa, bacteria can less likely to get an increase in quantity so fast. 

Moist food like a store-bought cheesecake can only last up to 7 days in the fridge. While homemade cheesecakes have a lower shelf life of 5 days. 

How Do You Store Homemade and Store-Bought Cheesecake

To make sure that your cheesecake will be safe to eat and has a longer shelf life, follow these tips:

  • Heat your cheesecake for 30 seconds

Heat it at least 160°F, cool it for 15 mins, and then keep them in a refrigerator if not for immediate consumption. Take note that the refrigeration process will not keep the bacteria away but will just slow down the growth of bacteria on the food. That is why we gave it exposure to 160 to kill any bacteria on the outside – this will prolong the life of your pie without hurting the quality.

  • Store in the fridge

To store your cheesecake in a fridge, it is very much recommended to wrap it using a plastic wrapper, airtight container, or a cake keeper – just like storing a carrot cake. In that way, it will protect the cake from gaining any water.

  • Freezing

Place the cake inside a large zippered freezer bag and seal it well, without any hint of space for the air or water to get in. Your cake will mostly last up to 6 months in the freezer with this step. 

  • Slice it individually

Another way to properly store your cheesecake is to slice them up and wrap the individual pieces. Use a plastic wrap again and place them together in a gallon-sized zippered freezer bag. 

Cheesecake cupcake – is a great because they are easy to wrap and store individually.

How to Thaw a Cheesecake

After storing your cheesecake in the fridge or freezer, place it out to let it come to room temperature for 30 minutes before you serve it to your friends and family. Thawing it will allow the rich flavor to get back again – do not treat it like an ice cream and serve it froozen.

Cheese Cake Squares
Cheese Cake Squares make it easy to Freeze

But if your cheesecake is frozen and you want to eat it, just be patient and allow it to chill in the fridge a day before consumption. This tip will allow the cake to thaw slowly without compromising the texture and flavor. 

However, if you thaw the cheesecake too fast-for example immediately leaving it out from the freezer-expect that it will have excess moisture due to the accelerated condensation. A soggy crust and a wet surface is the worst thing to happen when you thaw it like this.

The least amount of time that the cheesecake should be thawed is at least two hours for a medium-sized cake. Do not forget to unwrap the frozen cake and place it on the countertop at room temperature (20-22 °C (68-72 °F). However as we said thawing it overnight in the cooler is much better.

For individually sliced cheesecake, the thawing process is the same but it will obviously be ready to eat quicker.

Can You Get Sick From Eating Old Cheesecake

Old cheesecake does not mean it is bad spoiled. As mentioned above, a cheesecake can be stored in the freezer for a maximum time or period of 6 months. If you know that your food is properly stored with all the precautions stated, then it is probably fine. Otherwise, it will show the visible signs of a degraded state – maybe ice crystals have formed.

To prevent sickness from happening, you should at least check the expiration date. The USDA states that canned, frozen, and other shelf-stable foods will be safe to eat past their expiration dates, but the taste or texture may be less than optimum.

Frozen ricotta cheese and frozen cottage cheese would be best to be used in cheesecakes since it tends to last longer than other types.

Can You Eat 5-Day Old Cheesecake?

A cheesecake or other dessert that is store-bought will typically have a five to seven days shelf life.  Check the packaging specifies a shorter expiration date. Often these commercial cakes and desserts will also have a preservative so if it has been properly refrigerated it will be fine to eat.

For homemade cheesecakes that have no preservatives added, it would be best to consume it with a five-day window or freeze it for longer shelf life.

Mold On a Cheese Cake
Mold On a Cheese Cake
Cheesecake Type Cheesecake Stored In A FridgeCheesecake Stored In A Freezer
Fresh CheesecakeMaximum Storage Time 7 DaysMaximum Storage Time 6 months
Homemade CheesecakeMaximum Storage Time 5 DaysMaximum Storage Time 6 months
Cheesecake CupcakesMaximum Storage Time 7 DaysMaximum Storage Time 6 months
Cut CheesecakeMaximum Storage Time 5 DaysMaximum Storage Time 6 months
Handy Cheesecake Storage Time Table

Is it OK to freeze cheesecake

Yes – wrapped in an airtight way – this is the best way to store a cheesecake for a long time.

How do you store homemade cheesecake?

Same way as a commercial one – see out table above to shelf life and storage times.

Will cheesecake melt in the car?

Even with the air conditioning on maximum if it is a hot day your cheesecake will melt if your drive is longer than 15 minutes. For transporting a cheesecake to a picnic or a long way – use a cooler or portable 12v cooler.

There are, of course, certain health risks associated with spoiled foods so always remember to practice food safety and enjoy your foods before their shelf life has expired! – If in doubt throw it out.

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