The Secret To Preventing This Classic Cheesecake Mishap, According To Duff Goldman

Cheesecake is one of those delicacies that just seems impossible to master. Even if you do everything right, spring for the expensive ingredients, and keep a close eye on it while baking, it's almost a guarantee that it'll leave your oven with a crack or two on the surface. Of course, presentation isn't always everything — at the end of the day, it'll still taste like a rich and velvety cheesecake, and no one is complaining there. Fortunately, pastry chef Duff Goldman may just have a few tricks up his sleeve to keep this common cheesecake dilemma at bay.

Goldman, who is one of the most-sought confectionary wizards in the field, took to Twitter to proudly share his holiday cheesecake this past Easter. Fans weren't quite sure how they felt about the addition of green maraschino cherries (that one's questionable), but many were in awe of the flawless, crack-free surface. It's the kind of cheesecake that any at-home amateur baker dreams of whipping up. One user asked Goldman to share his secret to a "beautiful" cheesecake that doesn't crack up top, and the baker wasted no time in getting us up to speed on this sweet hack.

Goldman recommends a few steps to keep your cheesecake from cracking

According to Duff Goldman's Twitter response, there are three rules to keep in mind when trying to achieve a flawless cheesecake: "Don't get air in the batter. Don't over bake. Cool in the oven with the door open." Noted, noted, and noted.

Goldman's no stranger to sharing his cheesecake secrets, which may be why he stated the three rules like some kind of mantra. Chances are, he's baked his way through many a cracked cheesecake to come to this conclusion, and we thank him for that sacrifice.

In 2018, Goldman detailed his favorite "bomb" cheesecake recipe with TODAY featuring some of the same tips, which just goes to show how much these extra steps can affect the outcome of your cake. He emphasizes the importance of only mixing for as long as necessary, then letting the cheesecake batter rest before popping each individual air bubble. "Those little air bubbles will kill a cheesecake. They are evil," says Goldman. Without popping the bubbles, they could expand into larger cracks while baking, and ruin your hard work. Once cooked, it's crucial to (patiently) leave your cheesecake in a partially opened oven to cook for about 90 minutes.

Goldman also shared another secret with TODAY that didn't quite make its way to Twitter. The chef suggests placing a full dish of water directly below the rack you'll be baking the cheesecake on to help keep moisture in the batter and prevent any additional cracking.

Even Goldman has struggled with perfecting the cheesecake

Despite his arsenal of tips and tricks, Goldman is the first to admit that cheesecake is a challenge that even he hasn't perfected. In a 2020 interview with Insider, the cake master explains that his mission for the upcoming year is to nail down the cheesecake once and for all. Goldman notes that he's "Okay at cheesecakes," but they always come out with stubborn air bubbles and cracks.

Considering Goldman's crack-free hacks and recommendations still haven't changed from prior to that interview, it's safe to say that cheesecake is just hard to master. If the award-winning Goldman can't achieve a smooth, bubble-free cheesecake every single time, then don't be too hard on yourself either. Instead, try practicing with Goldman's cheesecake secrets — over time, you may even find a hack that can rival his. Or, you could always stick with this simple trick that one of Goldman's Twitter followers suggests: Just grab some tasty ganache and cover the cracked surface. No one ever complains about too much chocolate, and it's like nothing ever happened!