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cheesecake batter in wrapped aluminum foil sitting in water bath in the oven.

How to Make a Cheesecake Water Bath

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cheesecake
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Baking your cheesecake in a water bath is the best way to ensure cheesecake success. Follow these directions using your own cheesecake recipe. Here is my classic cheesecake, if you’d like to try it.


  • Cheesecake recipe, or any cheesecake that requires baking
  • Springform pan (I usually use this one)
  • Aluminum foil (I recommend heavy duty)
  • Large roasting pan
  • Kettle of water


  1. Preheat oven as directed in your cheesecake recipe, and adjust an oven rack to the middle or lower-middle position.
  2. Make the Crust: Make the crust according to your cheesecake recipe instructions and press it into your springform pan. If your recipe calls for pre-baking the crust, bake as directed.
  3. Wrap the Pan: Tear or cut two large pieces of aluminum foil, and lay one on top of the other. Set the springform pan (be careful if it’s hot from the oven!) on top of the foil, and tightly wrap the foil around the outside of the pan. This will prevent any water from leaking into the cheesecake. *You can also wrap the pan before pre-baking the crust, if you’d like.* Place the wrapped springform pan inside your large roasting pan.
  4. Boil Water: Fill a kettle or pot with water and set over high heat to bring the water to a boil. You need 1 inch of hot water in your roasting pan for the water bath, so make sure you boil enough.
  5. Add the Filling: Pour/spread your cheesecake batter into the crust as directed in your recipe.
  6. Place the entire roasting pan with the cheesecake inside it onto the middle or lower-middle oven rack. Carefully pour the boiling-hot water into the roasting pan, so that the water is about 1 inch deep. Close the oven door quickly to trap the steam inside.
  7. Bake the cheesecake as directed in your recipe.
  8. Cool & chill the cheesecake: Turn the oven off and open the oven door slightly. Let the cheesecake sit in the oven with the water bath as it cools down for 1 hour. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and the water bath, and set the springform pan on a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled to room temperature, refrigerate the cheesecake as directed in your recipe.


  1. Recommended Tools (affiliate links): 9-inch Springform Pan or 10-inch Springform Pan | Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil | Large Roasting Pan | Kettle or Electric Kettle | Cooling Rack
  2. Alternate Water Bath Method: Place the cheesecake (no need to wrap the springform pan in foil) on the center oven rack of the preheated oven. Place a large roasting pan or metal baking pan (do not use glass—I usually use a 9×13-inch baking pan or an extra-large cast iron skillet) on the bottom oven rack. Pour boiling-hot water into the empty pan on the bottom rack, about 1 inch deep. Immediately close oven door to trap the steam inside. This unique water bath adds steam to the oven without having the cheesecake sit inside the water itself. 

Keywords: cheesecake water bath