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I recently made a pumpkin cheesecake in a springform pan. The instructions say to run a knife around the outside immediately after removing the cake from the oven, and then allow it to cool to room temperature before placing it in the fridge to prevent cracking. Following these instructions produced a cake that had a rough outer edge, and there was still a crack in the middle of the cake.

What I'm wondering is if it would be wise to cut a strip of parchment paper to go all around the inside of my springform pan before baking the cake next time. My thinking being that as the cake cooled the parchment paper would be pulled inwards with it, thereby preventing any cracks, and I'd be able to pull the strip off the outside once the cake was fully cooled thereby keeping a smooth outer edge.

Has anyone tried this before? Is there a reason that cookbooks don't recommend doing it?

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    1 time only, so anecdotal only. With graham cracker partially up the side. Worked fine on the cracker part but stuck badly and pulled chunks out of side were it touched cheesecake. For me at least, it sticks far less to the springform than to parchment. I do have a coated springform so your results may differ. I would only call this a comment though, more experience would be needed to say definitively. – dlb Oct 15 at 16:35
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    Posting as a comment since this isn't the question you asked, but it could be that you have over cooked (i.e., over dried) your cake. Do you know if the crack appeared early in the cooking, or near the end of the bake time? – spuck Oct 15 at 20:14
  • @spuck I think it appeared near the end of the bake. I did consider that it might have been slightly over-baked. – Dugan Oct 15 at 20:59
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    A crack in a cheesecake is almost certainly due to overbaking. Running a knife around the edge while it's hot may prevent the crust from sticking to the pan, but it's not going to affect the middle of the cheesecake one iota. (Also, cracks in cheesecake are one of the reasons God gave us whipped cream.) – Marti Oct 16 at 17:42
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With a properly non-stick springform pan, the cake should shrink and pull slightly away from the edges as it cools. Don't do anything to it until it's fully cooled (to refrigerator temperature). At that point a spatula might help release, but probably wouldn't be necessary.

I would expect parchment paper to be counterproductive. It would absorb some liquid during cooking and become more adhesive than your non-stick pan. Also, it would make forming the crust against the sides trickier.

  • +1 for bringing up "forming the crust against the sides", I was going to point out that A LOT of people forget too do that. – Juliana Karasawa Souza Oct 16 at 9:28
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If you're going to line the tin with something (e.g. if you have a not-non-stick tin), reusable non-stick cooking liner (random Amazon example) is a better bet. You can cut it to size with ordinary scissors, and wash by hand or in a dishwasher.

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