I love a good cheesecake, but then again, who doesn’t? I have tried my fair share of these sweet treats and it’s safe to say that there isn’t a single flavor of cheesecake I wouldn’t devour in a heartbeat. They are definitely up there as one of my all-time favorite desserts!
Given my serious love for these bad boys, I make my own cheesecakes on a pretty regular basis.
As an amateur baker, I didn’t really appreciate the importance of having the right equipment for making cheesecake at first. When I first started my cheesecake baking journey, there were some really horrendous disasters!
The biggest reason for these mishaps really came down to me not having the right equipment for the job, the most important of which was a springform pan. After investing in a good pan and a trusty mixer, I noticed an instant improvement in the quality of my bakes.
Now when I bake a cheesecake, I always reach for my springform pan, trust me when I say it makes a huge difference. There’s no denying these are a near-essential for rustling up a baked cheesecake.
That said if you, like me, are just starting out on your cheesecake baking journey and currently don’t have a detachable pan, what should you do? Can you make cheesecake without a springform pan?
Don’t panic. The good news is definitely alternatives to a springform pan you can try. That said, it will make things a little more tricky. If you have ten dollars to spare, I highly recommend picking up a quality cheesecake pan!
What is a springform pan?
Before we dive into springform pan alternatives, let’s refresh ourselves with the basics of springform pans and why they are so damn handy for baking cheesecake.
As you probably know, a springform pan is made of 2 parts, instead of a single solid structure, like a traditional cake tin. The first part is the base that the bake sits on. The second part of the pan is the detachable walls, which latch onto the base. This allows the sides of the pan to be easily removed from the base by popping open the latch and taking it off, while the bake remains on the base.
So why do we need this special pan for cheesecake? In truth, there are so many benefits to using a springform pan.
The biggest benefit is that when baking cheesecake, a springform pan allows you to bake it and cool it without the need to transfer it out of the baking tin. A baked cheesecake isn’t completely set when it comes out of the oven, so the cooling process in a very important step to getting that perfect structure and texture.
Before serving my cheesecake, I can run a hot knife around the inside of the ring to loosen the edges of the bake and pop the latch open. to remove the ring with no damage to the cheesecake and no fiddly removal.
We all know how delicate cheesecakes can be!
A springform pan is usually used for any bake that cannot be easily removed by turning it upside down to remove (inverting).
Cheesecakes especially aren’t suitable for this method of removal – unless you want a puddle of cheesecake on your kitchen floor! They have a base at the bottom for a reason!
A springform pan is the most suitable pan for a cheesecake for that exact reason!
A cheesecake can’t be inverted to remove it from the pan, whether it’s baked or not, and the structure is too delicate to try and force out.
Springform pan alternatives
Long before I had a springform pan, I used to bake a cheesecake by lining a regular cake tin with aluminum foil (or parchment paper) and allow it to overhang around the side of the tin.
Once it had finished cooling, I was then able to lift the cheesecake out of the pan. It’s not a bad springform pan substitute, but you do need to be super careful when removing the cheesecake or you will end up with a big gooey mess. Be warned though, it will leave your cheesecake with rough edges from the crinkles of the paper, and won’t exactly give you that gourmet finish you are looking for.
Disposable Aluminum Pans
If you don’t have a springform pan, the best substitute is definitely those amazing disposable aluminum cake pans. Once your cheesecake has completely chilled, you can literally cut the sides away from the cheesecake with little to no damage. Great, right?
Of course, this isn’t exactly a long-term solution, as you are going to need a lot of disposable cakes tins if you are planning on baking cheesecake regularly. It’s not exactly an environmentally friendly way to bake cheesecake either.
If my two springform pan alternatives aren’t for you, but you still have the overwhelming desire to create that beautiful cheesecake, then just use a regular cake pan. I would suggest cutting and serving the cheesecake from the tin, as this will avoid the messy job of trying to remove it from the pan.
You might have to write off the first slice as it will most likely fall apart when you are taking it out of the pan!
Baking cheesecake without springform pan
Although there is the potential that any cheesecake can crack during baking or cooling, regardless of which cheesecake baking pan you use, using something other than a springform pan will not make cracking more or less likely.
When you follow the science for baking the perfect cheesecake, the same rules apply, regardless of the pan you are using.
So what’s the worst thing that can happen to a cheesecake without a springform pan then? If you don’t use a springform pan for your baked cheesecake, you run the risk of completely ruining it in the process of trying to remove it.
If you are using a normal cake tin for your cheesecake, line it with greaseproof paper or aluminum foil, leaving lots of excess hanging over the sides to aid removal.
When your cheesecake has completely cooled down, simply lift it out of the pan.
And how about making a non-baked cheesecake without a springform pan? It is possible to make the cheesecake in a pan other than a springform pan, although because these types of cheesecakes are even softer, and more temperamental than their baked counterparts, you will probably find it even more awkward to lift out of a traditional cake tin.
The best piece of advice I can give to you is to use the disposable pans if you can, fully cool in the refrigerator, and then make cuts in the sides to expose the cheesecake.
If, however, there is absolutely no option but to use a one-piece pan to make a no-bake cheesecake, making the cuts for the first slice needs to be ideally done with a warm and dry palette knife and a steady hand!
Like mentioned earlier, the first slice will be the “tester” slice designed for the chef!
How to use a springform pan for cheesecake
Although there isn’t a specific tin designed for baking cheesecake, a springform pan is certainly the best option available to us bakers. Using a springform pan for a cheesecake is very simple and they come in all shapes and sizes, so there’s guaranteed to be one perfect for your requirements.
Even if you are using a non-stick pan, it’s still a good idea to grease the bottom and the sides of the pan with melted butter or cake release spray. Greasing your pan is especially important if you are baking your cheesecake. It prevents it from sticking to the sides and makes for easier removal.
Once your cheesecake has baked and completely cooled down, run a warm knife around the edges of the pan and release the latch. Gently lift out the ring and you should be left with a lovely, smooth cheesecake!
So, can you make cheesecake without a springform pan? Yes! You absolutely can.
There are definitely so good alternative ways to create a tasty cheesecake even if you don’t have a springform pan. By lining a regular pan with foil, or greaseproof paper, and making sure the cheesecake is thoroughly chilled, you can make the delicate cheesecake easier to remove from any pan. Or failing that, disposable aluminum pans are pretty good, and also means less cleaning up too!
With a few clever pieces of equipment and a steady hand when it comes to removing the cheesecake from the pan, it is certianly achievable. That said, it’s going be a make things a bit trickers, and you probably won’t get that proffesional finish you are looking for.
For that reason, I would highly recommend a springform pan for any cheesecake creations.They are cheap, simple to use, and get the best results for a perfect baked and no-bake cheesecake.
If you don’t have one, what are you waiting for!
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