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The best way to prevent cracking is to use a water bath. It will give you consistently perfect results every time. The payoff is worth the extra effort. A cheesecake is a baked custard and controlling the temperature is an important component in uniform cooking. Especially in a thick cheesecake, it is hard to finish cooking the center without the perimeter ...


The water bath for a cheesecake is to control the temperature of the thick custard in the springform pan (cheesecake is technically a custard) - you don't need to worry about the moisture of the oven in the absence of a water bath. The equivalency you stated of your pan volumes is a problem, though. The two pans are not as comparable as your volumes ...

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