How Long Can Cheesecake Sit Out? (+Tips to Store It Longer)

There is nothing quite like a slice of decadent cheesecake after a delicious meal.

But if you’re about to dive into your New York cheesecake and notice that you forgot to refrigerate it, you might panic.

How long can cheesecake actually sit out before going bad?

To ensure you don’t eat old cheesecake (and potentially end up with food poisoning), keep reading to find out how long cheesecake stays fresh at room temperature.

How Long Can Cheesecake Sit Out at Room Temp?

Cheesecake should not be left at room temperature for longer than six hours. At that point, the dairy products will become inundated with bacterial growth.

That’s because baked cheesecakes (and no-bake cheesecakes) are made with dairy ingredients (primarily cream cheese, eggs, and heavy cream). 

And, as most of us know, any dairy product like cream cheese must be refrigerated.

Ideally, you wouldn’t want to leave a baked cheesecake out for more than two hours, especially if your kitchen temperature is above 72F.

How Long Does Cheesecake Last in the Fridge?

The best option is to refrigerate cheesecake for up to five days. (Other sites will say up to a week, but the quality will deteriorate after the fifth day).

If you just baked it, allow it to cool before storing it in the refrigerator. You don’t want to put warm cheesecake in the fridge as it might ruin the flavor and texture of your delicious cheesecake.

Once it’s cooled, refrigerate it for up to five days.

Take it out whenever you want to eat cheesecake – just make sure you refrigerate leftover cheesecake before the two-hour mark hits.

To keep cheesecake fresh, keep it in an airtight container and keep it away from other foods. 

The last thing you want is for your cheesecake to dry out or allow other flavors to penetrate your cheesecake, leaving it with an odd taste.

How to Store Cheesecake to Make it Last Longer

The best way to keep this favorite dessert nice and fresh is to place it in an airtight container in the fridge. You can put it in the freezer if you want even lengthier longevity.

Yup, that’s right – cheesecake will stay fresh for an impressively long period in the freezer, up to three months!

Storing cheesecake in the freezer is easy. Just do the following:

  • When your cheesecake is done baking, allow it to cool at room temperature for up to two hours.
  • Once thoroughly cooled, place the cake inside the freezer.
  • After one hour, remove the cake from the freezer. Take it out of the springform pan.
  • Wrap the cake tightly with plastic wrap.
  • Wrap with a layer of aluminum foil.
  • (Optional) Place inside of an airtight container.
  • Place inside the freezer and leave the cheesecake for up to three months!

Note: This is an excellent option for an entire fresh cheesecake. If you want to freeze cheesecake in slices instead, you can do so safely.  

To freeze leftover cheesecakes in slices, all you need to do is wrap each individual piece with plastic wrap and foil. You can store them in a container, if possible.

When you’re ready to consume your cheesecake, simply let it defrost in the fridge for around 12 hours.

You can defrost it on the counter, but be extra careful as treats with dairy – such as these cakes – can’t be left at room temperatures for too long without going bad.

Signs Cheesecake is No Longer Good for Consumption

A cheesecake stored properly for the recommended amount of time will generally be safe to consume.

However, knowing the signs of spoiled cheesecake can help stave off foodborne illnesses at the next family gathering.

With that in mind, here are a few signs that your cheesecakes have gone bad:

  • Mold. One of the tell-tale indicators of bad cheesecake is mold. Double-check your dessert for any signs of discoloration or fuzzy spots.
  • Odd smell. When milk, cheese, and other products go bad, they give off a rancid odor. The sugar in cheesecake can mask it somewhat, but if your cheesecake smells “off,” it’s best to toss it.
  • Sour taste. Another sign that cheesecake’s gone bad is a sour flavor. Again, this is all thanks to the milk, cheese, and other products going rancid.
  • Extended storage time. If you know your cheesecake’s been sitting in the refrigerator for longer than a week, it’s best to throw it out. You don’t want to risk it!

If you notice any of these signs of spoilage, it’s best to follow food safety guidelines and get rid of them ASAP. 


Is It Safe to Leave Leftover Cheesecake Out Overnight?

As a general rule, you should not leave these popular desserts out overnight.

This is true whether you’re baking your favorite cheesecake recipe or purchased one from a local bakery.

The cheesecake’s ingredients (milk, cheese, etc.) must go into the refrigerator within six hours (ideally two).

Will Cheesecake Firm Up in Fridge?

If you notice that your cheesecake is a little jiggly, don’t worry – it will firm up in the refrigerator.
This is especially true if you’re making a no-bake recipe, which actually requires refrigeration in order to set.

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