Are Cheesecake Factory Cheesecakes Made Fresh?

Cheesecake Factory: where middle school accomplishments are celebrated. Your parents might have taken you there as a reward for graduating eighth grade, but you knew it was just an excuse for them to enjoy the restaurant's creamy confections. It might have been your first taste of a more elevated dining experience, and even though it's a chain, you felt like it was a real treat, a place where the servers wear meticulously clean uniforms and study the menu like they are preparing for the BAR exam (via Insider).

Even though their nearly 300-item menu requires studying with flashcards, according to Cheesecake Factory's official website, every dish is made "fresh and from scratch in each restaurant." "Our standard of quality and food safety for our suppliers is a high bar to meet," Keith Carango, senior vice president and COO of Cheesecake Factory's Bakery Division, told Carolinas Gateway Partnership.This massive scratch-made menu they refer to on their website, however, does not include their cheesecakes, which are actually made in two offsite Cheesecake Factory Bakeries.

It depends on your definition of 'fresh'

When Evelyn and Oscar Overton first opened The Cheesecake Factory Bakery in 1972 in Los Angeles, it's unlikely they predicted that they would later serve millions of slices of cheesecake per year, let alone 35 million (via Reader's Digest). With that volume of production, they needed large, dedicated spaces just for the dessert menu, which includes dishes outside of their namesake confection (via Cheesecake Factory's official website). The brand opened its first "bakery production facility" in 1986 in Calabasas Hills, California, and its second in 2006 in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.

Although one may assume the baking process would be fully automated at these facilities, no cake leaves the factory without human eyes and hands on it to ensure maximum quality control (via Carolinas Gateway Partnership). So, if your definition of fresh is that the cakes are made by hand, then yes, they are fresh. If your definition of fresh does not involve freezing them, then you may be disappointed. 

In order to make the trip from Cheesecake Factory's mega-bakeries to the chain's locations across the country, the cheesecakes are frozen (via Eat This, Not That!). "They take about an hour to two to defrost. They leave them in the showcase all day so they are defrosting and staying chilled. Still tastes amazing," revealed one Reddit user Cheesecake Factory employee (via Delish).