How Long Can Cheesecake Sit Out

Cheesecake is a much-loved dessert worldwide, and if you are lucky enough to know how to make it well, or a friend has given you some, then you want to ensure you store it properly. There are a few types of cheesecake, and each has slightly different storage instructions that can make knowing what to do with your cheesecake very confusing indeed.

As a rule of thumb, you should never let cheesecake sit out for longer than six hours, regardless of whether it has been baked or not. If you live in a particularly hot and humid part of the world, you should leave cheesecake out for no longer than two or three hours.

If you want to learn everything there is to know about storing cheesecake, then you have come to the right place. Use this article as a reference for when you have some oh-so-yummy cheesecake leftover.

Types of Cheesecake

In order to know what the best way to store your leftover cheesecake is and how long you can keep it on the kitchen counter before storing it, you need to know what type of cheesecake you have. Here is a list of the most popular cheesecake styles and how to identify them.

  • New York Cheesecake

New York cheesecake is probably the most popular cheesecake of them all. It is rich and creamy, with a very distinct flavor that is hard to mistake. New York cheesecake is made mostly of eggs, heavy cream, cream cheese, and sugar.

  • Philadelphia Cheesecake

Philadelphia cheesecake has nothing to do with Philadelphia. It got its name through reference to the recipe by the Philadelphia cream cheese brand. Its flavors are light and gentle, and the cake itself is less heavy than the New York cheesecake. This cheesecake is not baked. Its main ingredient is Philadelphia cream cheese with a digestive biscuit base.

  • Chicago-Style Cheesecake

Chicago-style cheesecakes are very similar to most no-bake cheesecakes, and you might well mistake it for a similar type of cheesecake. What makes Chicago cheesecakes different from the rest? The answer lies in the cheesecake’s base. Instead of using digestive biscuits for the base, this cheesecake has a shortbread base with a light vanilla flavor.

  • Swedish Style Cheesecake

The origin of this cheesecake is connected to its name this time. This cheesecake does not have a biscuit base. Instead, it is served with whipped cream and jam while it is still nice and hot. Although the Swedish cheesecake recipe isn’t very well known, there are plenty of variations for you to try that.

  • Vegan Cheesecake

Vegan cheesecakes have become more popular over the last couple of years, especially amongst people who are not vegan and don’t have an allergy to dairy. Fitness fanatics and the health-conscious amongst us like to opt for vegan cheesecakes because the recipe calls for natural and unrefined ingredients.

The faux cheese filling is made out of blended cashew nuts and coconut cream whisked together. You will usually find the cake topped with a tangy topping of blueberries or lime, and the base of the cake is kept simple using crackers or biscuits.

  • ‘Cotton’ Cheesecake

Here is another cheesecake trend. You will recognize a slice of Japanese ‘cotton’ cheesecake as soon as it is put in front of you. It looks like a cloud and is as soft and fluffy as you would imagine one to be too.

This cheesecake is a Japanese invention. It is called the souffle cheesecake in Japan and is a rather new creation. Cheesecake only became popular after the second world war due to increased imports of American ingredients.

As you can see from the list of cheesecakes above, there is a popular theme: either baked or no-bake cakes. No-bake cheesecakes require instant refrigeration so that they can set, and they are never left out of the refrigerator for longer than two or three hours as they could melt and fall apart. On the other hand, baked cheesecakes need to cool before refrigeration and do not need to be kept cool to hold together.

Refrigerating Cheesecake

If you don’t keep your cheesecake refrigerated, then it will go bad very quickly. As I mentioned above, no-bake cheesecakes should always be kept in the refrigerator, and most of us do remember this, but when it comes to baked cheesecakes, we tend to forget about it as it cools or we simply don’t know that it needs refrigerating at all.

Always remember that it is never a wise idea to leave dairy products out of the refrigerator overnight. Not only is it important to refrigerate leftover cheesecake, but you also need to make sure you store it in the best possible way. Take a look at the following step-by-step guide if you want to learn the best way to refrigerate cheesecake.

  • Find an Appropriate Container

If the cake is in a paper or card box, you should place the cheesecake on a plate or into a plastic or glass container. This keeps the base tasting fresh and preserves its texture.

  • Cover the Cake

Always cover the cake in the refrigerator. Covering your cake with foil, wrap, or a tight-fitting lid will stop it from drying out. If a cake is left uncovered, it not only dries out but its taste and texture change, as well as becoming dangerous for consumption.

  • Make Sure the Refrigerator is Set Correctly

This is an important step and something that you should check on a weekly basis, especially if you have meat and other dairy ingredients in your refrigerator. Refrigerators should be set to 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) at all times.

When is the Best Time to Refrigerate Baked Cheesecake

Baked cheesecake should be left to cool completely before refrigerating. This might take an hour, and sometimes longer. Once the cake is cool all the way through, pack it up and refrigerate it ready for when you want a bite.

This might not be convenient at the time, especially if you are hosting friends and want to serve the cake fresh out of the oven. As long as you remember to refrigerate it within six hours, then you have nothing to worry about.

How Long Does Cheesecake Take to Go Bad?

Cheesecake can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week before going bad. As long as you cover it and follow the refrigerating instructions in this article, you won’t have to worry about running into ‘off’ cheesecake.

Recognizing Bad Cheesecake

Let’s face it, is the cheesecake really going to last long enough for it to go bad? If you are one of the lucky ones to still have a slather left, you should make sure that the cake is safe for consumption before digging in. here is what you should look for:

  1. Smell
    Smell the cheesecake before taking a bite. Does it still smell sweet and creamy, or has it developed a slightly sour or bitter smell that you can’t quite put your finger on? Smelling food before eating it is wise, especially if it has been in the refrigerator for a number of days.
  2. Texture
    Cheesecakes are either light and fluffy or smooth and creamy. If the cheesecake has developed clumps and crunchy bits, it has probably gone bad. Another sign to look out for is pools of liquid at the base of the cake. If the cake looks very wet, it is very likely that the cake has begun to separate.
  3. Color
    Has the cake turned brown or yellow around the edges? Changes in color are a very obvious sign that the food has gone bad. Do not eat food that has changed color drastically.
  4. Taste
    Sometimes, we are so eager to get that mouthful of cake in our mush that we forget how long it has been sat in the refrigerator or to check whether it is still edible or not. Don’t worry; it has happened to us all. If the cake doesn’t taste right or has developed a slightly sour taste, you should stop eating it immediately.

Cheesecake Fun Facts

Is it me, or does food become even more exciting when you know some cool facts about it? Here are a few fun facts about cheesecake that your friends and family will love to know.

  • Cheesecake is an Ancient Greek Creation
    Cheesecake is thought to be an ancient Greek treat. I wonder what their recipe looked like!
  • There are five national cheesecake days in the year
    If you are looking for an excuse to make cheesecake, then there is probably a national cheesecake day around the corner for you to celebrate. Here are the dates:
  • March 6th is National White Chocolate Cheesecake Day.
  • April 23rd is National Cherry Cheesecake Day.
  • May 26th is National Blueberry Cheesecake Day.
  • July 30th is National Cheesecake Day.
  • October 21st is National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day.

These national cheesecake days are not mainstream celebrations, but I feel like they should be!

  • Arnold Reuben Created the New York Cheesecake
    Oh, the New York Cheesecake; what a delight you are! We can thank Arnold Reuben for his signature sandwiches, but more importantly, for inventing the New York cheesecake. This has become the nation’s go-to cheesecake, and I can’t imagine that changing any time soon!
  • The biggest Cheesecake was made in Mexico
    The largest cheesecake ever made weighed 4703 pounds. It was made by Philadelphia Kraft Foods Mexico in January 2009. I wonder who ate all the cake?
  • Cheesecake was served to athletes in the first Olympics
    The first Olympic games took place in 776 BC. Athletes participating in the game were given cheesecake to keep their energy levels up. No one is sure whether this is fact or fiction, but I know I would love to have cheesecake if I was competing in the Olympics, wouldn’t you?


Do you feel like a cheesecake expert yet? The frequently asked questions section below should boost your confidence even more. Enjoy!

Q: How long after baking cheesecake can I eat it?
A: Cheesecake will usually stay edible in the refrigerator for up to seven days after baking. I recommend eating it before day five. If you are worried that your cheesecake will go bad before you have a chance to eat it, it might be a good idea to give some to friends and family. I’d love to have a slice too!

Q: How long should cheesecake be left out before serving?
A: Cheesecake should be served at room temperature. This goes for both baked and no-bake cheesecakes. Baked cheesecakes should be left to cool completely before serving, so leave it out for an hour or so before digging in.

Q: How do I know if my baked cheesecake is done?
A: Doing the jiggle test is the best way to determine whether your cake is ready or not. Take the cake out of the oven and wiggle it a bit. If the cake wiggles but keeps its shape, then it is ready.

Q: Can I put the warm cheesecake in the fridge?
A: No, you should never put the warm cheesecake in the fridge to cool. Cheesecake needs to cool very slowly to maintain its smooth texture. Refrigerating cheesecake before it has cooled completely will cause it to sweat and might even make it chewy and unpleasant.

Q: Can I leave cooked cheesecake in the oven overnight?
A: No, you should not leave cooked cheesecake in the oven overnight. Cheesecake needs to sit in the refrigerator for a few hours to set before serving, and the ingredients need to stay fresh to ensure the cake is safe for consumption.

Q: What happens if you overmix cheesecake?
A: Over mixing cheesecake batter is easy and often happens when people struggle to incorporate cold ingredients into a warmer batter. Over mixing cheesecake batter will result in pushing too much air into the mixture.


Peter's path through the culinary world has taken a number of unexpected turns. After starting out as a waiter at the age of 16, he was inspired to go to culinary school and learn the tricks of the trade. As he delved deeper, however, his career took a sudden turn when a family friend needed someone to help manage his business. Peter now scratches his culinary itch on the internet by blogging, sharing recipes, and socializing with food enthusiasts worldwide.

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