How to Prevent Your Cheesecake Water Bath from Leaking (7 Easy Steps with Photos)

7 easy steps that will prevent your cheesecake water bath from leaking. Make a beautiful, creamy cheesecake with no cracks using this simple water bath method.

Today I am discussing a very important topic – how to prevent your cheesecake water bath from leaking. Water baths are totally necessary with cheesecake (at least most of the time), but boy are they a pain. Why do I think they are necessary, you might ask? Well often without one a cheesecake will brown around the edges, be a little drier, fall in the center while cooling and most likely crack. I prefer to avoid all of those things, so I use a water bath. If you are cool with cracks and such, by all means avoid the water bath. But if you’re using the water bath, leaks aren’t fun. And have you ever met a springform pan that doesn’t leak? Because I haven’t.

Fortunately I discovered a little secret a few months ago and today I finally am sharing it. Ever since then, I’ve yet to have a water bath leak. It’s the best. So let’s just go ahead and walk through the whole process of baking a cheesecake, beginning to end (secret included).

Step 1: You need a springform pan.

You may totally be rolling your eyes at me right now because, duh. But not everyone knows that and not everyone knows what one is. My mom was one of those people just a couple short years ago. So for those who aren’t aware, this is a springform pan. The bottom is removable and it’s got a spring on the side that releases.

Step 1 - Springform pan

Step 2: Line the bottom and grease the sides of the pan.

You don’t have to line the bottom, but it’s what I do. It keeps the cheesecake from sticking to the bottom. Occasionally I remove my cheesecake from the bottom of the pan when I put it on a cake stand and lining the bottom allows me to do that successfully. Greasing the sides helps the crust to not stick to the sides.

Step 2 Line and grease the pan - tracing parchment paper for springform pan

Here’s what it all looks like.

Step 2 - Line and grease the pan image of greased springform pan

Step 3: Make and bake your crust.

I’m not going to go through the whole crust process today, but here is what mine looks like all baked and ready to go.

Step 3 - make and bake the crust - image of cheesecake crust in springform pan

Step 4: Add your batter to the pan.

Another “duh” moment, I know. No tricks here.

Step 4 - add batter to pan - image of pouring cheesecake batter into prepared sringform pan

Step 5: Slow cooker liners!

My secret sauce! These little baggies are made to stand up to liquid and high heat in your slow cooker, so why not use them in your water bath?! It’s the best ever and NEVER lets water through.

Now let’s talk for a second about why this is necessary. We know we don’t want our water bath to leak, but WHY DOES IT?! Well aluminum foil, when folded and crinkled around the pan, gets teeny tiny little tears. You can barely see them, but they’re there. And the water knows it and gets through. Plastic bags don’t have this problem.

Step 5 - Slow cooker liners - secret to preventing your cheesecake water bath from leaking

The only thing to deal with is the fact that these suckers are big. Much bigger than we really need.

Step 5 Reynolds slow cooker liner

So here’s what you do. Spread it out on the counter.

Step 5 - Open Reynolds Slow Cooker liner

Place your cheesecake in the center.

Step 5 - Placing cheesecake into slow cooker liner

Doesn’t it look happy?

Step 5- image of cheesecake in slow cooker liner

Grab all that excess baggage and wind it up.

Step 5 - image of securing the slow cooker liner on springform pan

Tie that sucker in a knot. Try to keep the top of the bag right under the rim of the pan, just to be sure no water will get through.

Step 5 - image of tied slow cooker liner on the pan

Step 6: Aluminum foil.

I add my aluminum foil for double coverage. The foil can more easily be molded to come up over the edges of the pan, further assuring that no water gets through.

I do trim off the corners of the foil. So much foil.

Step 6 - aluminum foil - image of trimming foil to cover springform pan

Step 6 - image of aluminum foil covering springform pan

Step 7: Set your cheesecake pan inside another larger pan.

You can use a roasting pan or whatever works. I happen to have many rather large cake pans around so I use one of those.

Step 7 - placing springform pan into larger pan

I don’t have photos of myself adding water to the pan, but that’s next. You want to fill in the space between the pans with warm water, then bake. Once the cheesecake has baked, it’s time for the big reveal!!

prevent water bath from leaking secrets - image of cooked cheesecake no leaks

Would you look at that?! Totally dry!! Not a drop of water on that baggie. And there wasn’t a single drop on the cheesecake either. I don’t have the finished photo of the cheesecake to share because the cheesecake in the pictures is actually from the cookbook (see my Big Announcement post) I’m working on so it’s a secret. I share one, I keep another. You’re welcome. 🙂 The important thing is – look at that dry bag!! SO DRY!

image of dry slow cooker liner after cooking

My secret to preventing your cheesecake water bath from leaking!

I hope you found that helpful! Now time to bake a cheesecake!

Now that you know how to do a cheesecake water bath, here are some amazing cheesecake recipes to try:

Caramel Apple Cheesecake
Best Oreo Cheesecake
Snickers Cheesecake
Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake
Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cheesecake
Loaded Butterscotch Cheesecake
Amaretto Cheesecake
S’mores Cheesecake
Mint Oreo Cheesecake
Apple Cinnamon Cheesecake
German Chocolate Cheesecake
Red Velvet Cheesecake

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169 Comments
  1. Eve Stratton

    I followed ALL of your directions and my cheesecake turned out perfectly! No leakage after using the oven plastic bag, foil and waterbath….and best of all, NO CRACKS! SHEER PERFECTION! I wish I could share a picture of it!

  2. Dee

    Just made the lemon raspberry cheesecake. Taste is fantastic…..but the darn thing leaked. I used the plastic bag, then the foil. Did it sweat? I am not sure what I did wrong and it is so frustrating. I hope the crust will firm up a bit in the fridge.

  3. Jessica

    Hi, yr cake looks yummy with ceeam topping. I Have tried others recipe of banana cheesecake but not yrs. Yrs look special with cream topping. I will give a try on this Thursday as I have a birthday celebration going on this Friday.
    Btw, a question to ask. Can I use other plastic wrap instead of d slow cooker liners.
    Thanks and hope to hear from u soon.

    1. Lindsay

      You would want to use the slow cooker liners so that the plastic doesn’t melt. Other plastic may melt b if not built for high temperature.

  4. Nancy torres

    I like the the cake banana pudding cheesecake I’ll like to know when do i put it in the refrigerator or the freezer and how do I cover it

    1. Lindsay

      After the cooling process in the oven, you can put it straight in the fridge or let it cool to room temperature on the counter. Either way is fine. But if you put it straight in the fridge out of the oven, I wouldn’t cover it right away because it will create more condensation. Wait until it’s completely cool before covering it.

  5. Kaye Vanfossan

    I’ve been a huge fan of your website for several years and I’ve learned SO much while having SO much fun baking your fabulous cakes. I spend hours just reading your recipes and watching your tutorials! However, I’ve never baked any of your “fantasy” cheesecakes because I’ve never figured out how to remove the bottom of the springform pan! I’ve never seen anyone do it either—-
    PLEASE make a video tutorial on this so I can get taste one of these cheesecakes!!
    Thanks for your wonderful recipes!

  6. Sue Jehl

    This did not work for me. I used the springform pan, slow cooker liner and three layers of aluminum foil. When I unwrapped my cheesecake there was water inside the plastic bag. I am not sure what went wrong.

  7. Michelle King

    I was looking for a way to make my banana pudding I thought of using my springform pan.
    Always looking for new ways to bake or cook 🙂
    Thank you for this!!

  8. Doni

    Have you ever mad a cannoli cheesecake? With real homemade cannoli shells as the crust? And what would the ricotta cheese filling need? 

  9. JD

    I used these silicone lids which usually are used to cover food to use instead of the foil and it worked! The different sizes really helps for all my different sized pans. Silicone lids for cheesecake water bath!

  10. Carolyn

    I bought an Oster electric roaster for Thanksgiving 5 years ago. It made the best dang turkey I ever made! It occurred to me that if set my cheesecake on the rack and put water in the bottom of the roasting pan that would suffice as a water bath. It was the best dang cheesecake I ever made!

  11. Mary Ann

    I enjoyed reading your post.  However, I always place my springform pan inside a slightly larger pan, usually a silicone pan. No leaks, no fuss.  

  12. Janae

    Made my first cheesecake today, used the crockpot bag idea and there was still water in the bottom. Not much and there was no holes in the bag because I blew in it to make sure… If the water is not to the top how can water still get in? 

    1. Lindsay

      Great question. I’m not sure how it would have gotten in if there were no holes, unless it somehow came over the top of the bag.

  13. Donna

    I use the 9 inch Springform pan and put it inside of my 3 inch high 10 inch cake pan. This eliminates the need for foil wrapping. I use my 12 inch cake pan for the water bath . I put water in the 12 inch and press down on the 10 inch on the water in order to get my water level right. Then I heat the water for the water bath , and pour it into the 12 inch pan and put it in the oven after baking the crust. After filling the pan with batter, simply pop the Springform into the 10 inch pan and place into the water bath.

  14. Jill

    I’ve tried this twice with same liners and still they leaked. I was excruciatingly careful the second time and couldn’t believe it when same thing happened. BUT a cheesecake has been requested again so I’m gonna give it another shot. Wish me luck. I’ll pick up a backup cake just in case!

    1. Lindsay

      I actually had that happen recently and I’m convinced it was that particular box of bags. I opened a new box and those were fine.

      1. Jill

        Same thing happened to me the third time, with a fresh box of bags. I just can’t make this method work for me! I tried a fourth time without a water bath, using a tray of water underneath, and that one came out fine. I think I’m not meant for the water bath method.

        On the upside when it happens, I just get an ugly but delicious cheesecake all to myself, so there’s that 🙂

  15. Elizabeth

    Could I bake the crust, let it cool, then wrap the pan in the liner bag and the aluminum then pour the filling.
    It would be easier not to spill. Is fhere a reason why it shouldn’t be done this way.

    1. Lindsay

      Yes, the timing of when you add the wrapping on the pan isn’t so important. It’s mainly that you have it on there when you add it to the water bath and bake it.

  16. Nancy

    Wow!  That was a great tip!  Why didn’t I ever think of that!  😀. I I would think roasting bags would also work and you can get smaller sizes.

  17. Robert Lawrence

    We were asked to bring desert to a family gathering. I decided to make cheesecake. I bought a ‘leak-proof’ pan and made a chocolate cheesecake with Oreo crust. Wrapped it in foil and baked it. When I pulled it out, I watched the water pour from the bottom of the pan. It dried out (to a point) while being refrigerated, but the crust was not the crumbly crust I wanted. I found this post and duplicated it for a second vanilla cheesecake. Perfect crust! Thank you!!

  18. Bonnie

    HI Lindsay, I just found your recipe and method of keeping the water from getting into your cheesecake. This is fantastic The parchment paper on the bottom of the pan,is a fantastic idea as well. I use parchment for baking everything but never thought about putting it on the bottom of my cheesecake pan. Which brings me to my question. Is there a way to remove the bottom of the spring form pan from the chilled cheesecake easily? This is the worst part of making a cheesecake for me, trying to figure out how to flip the whole cheesecake upside down just to peel that bottom part of the pan away without breaking or cracking the whole thing. I made the mistake of asking my sister-in-law what type of cheesecake they’d like this year for our Christmas dinner get together. Unfortunately her favorite is one I’ve never tried making before. “Turtle” cheesecake. I’m not a fan of desserts with caramel in, or on them. Would you offer tips of removing the bottom of the pan please? Thanks so much your recipes are fantastic and I’m so glad I found your page today!
    Bonnie in MI.

  19. Emily Shaft

    I googled online and it said that those liners are not oven safe. I’ve never used one of those before in my life and I’m scared it’s going to melt everywhere. 

    1. Lindsay

      I’m not sure about what it says online, but I have probably made 50 cheesecakes or more with those liners and never had a problem.

  20. Jessica

    Ugh! I just baked a cheesecake. The recipe says to do 2 layers of heavy foil- that previously leaked. Tonight I used the bag and a layer of heavy foil. I don’t add as much water as suggested and I still had water in the foil and the bag. What about putting the water on the rack below the baking cheesecake? 

    1. Lindsay

      I’m sorry you’re having such trouble with it. It really can be a pain. You certainly could try putting the water separately on another rack. I know people often have success with that.

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

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“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12