So you decided to try one of my amazing cheesecake recipes, like my Biscoff Cheesecake or Sicilian Cheesecake, but accidently let it sit out? Now you are debating whether you should risk eating it or throw away a delicious dessert that you poured so much time and money into. But before you make any hasty decisions, keep reading to find out how long can cheesecake sit out.
So according to the US Department of Agriculture, cheesecake should not be left out of the refrigerator for more than two hours once it is already baked and chilled. Any longer than that and there is a high risk of contracting a food borne illness.
Why does cheesecake spoil so quickly if left outside of the refrigerator?
It is because the main ingredients in a cheesecake are all temperature sensitive. The heavily dairy-based ingredients that are essential for most cheesecakes, dictate how long a cheesecake can sit out.
Even though there are tons of varieties of cheesecake, most cheesecake recipes use the same core ingredients: cream cheese, eggs, and butter. Some recipes use even more dairy products such as whipped cream or sour cream. Each of these ingredients is temperature sensitive and once left out of the fridge for too long, will become a breeding ground of bacteria and food borne illness.
However refrigeration does no completely prevent or eliminate bacterial growth on foods, it just slows it down. That is why cheesecake can also go bad if not properly stored in the refrigerator! So how should we properly store cheesecake? Let's find out!
How to store cheesecake properly in order to prevent bacterial growth
I go into more detail about how to store cheesecake in my other blog post but the two main concerns of causing foodborne illness (eggs and dairy) need to be kept at at least 40 degrees or lower per FDA recommendations. Make sure that your refrigerator is set to the appropriate temperature by adjusting the temperature setting according to the user's manual.
To store your cheesecake in the fridge, wrap your cheesecake with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. This should keep for about 3 days.
To keep your cheesecake for even longer, you can freeze it. Wrap each slice in plastic wrap and place in an airtight container and then in the freezer. This should keep for 3 months.
How to transport cheesecake at a safe temperature
When it comes to traveling with cheesecake, it is best to use a well insulated storage container such as a cooler or an insulted thermal bag.
Place your cheesecake in an airtight container. Fill your cooler or bag with ice and then place the cheesecake container on top of the ice. Make sure that when you close the lid, there is a tight seal around the edges so that the temperature inside the cooler is maintained.
Does vegan or dairy-free cheesecake spoil slower than regular cheesecake if left outside of the fridge?
Absolutely. Remember that the ingredients which affect how quickly cheesecake spoils are eggs or anything containing dairy. When you make a vegan cheesecake, you do not use eggs or any ingredients that contain dairy. Therefore, vegan cheesecakes do not spoil as quickly as regular cheesecakes if left outside of the fridge.
If you suspect that a cheesecake has been left out for over two hours, it is best to not eat it. The risk of contracting a food born illness is not worth the time it takes to make a new cheesecake.
Although cheesecake is a delicious dessert it can spoil fast. If this happens to you, make sure to get rid of the cheesecake and to keep this lesson in mind the next time you make a cheesecake.