If you’re new to baking you may be curious about how a cheesecake is made. More specifically you may wonder, does cheesecake have eggs?
Well, the answer is both yes and no. If you’re confused, don’t worry we’re going to explain which cheesecakes have eggs and which don’t.
Why Does Cheesecake Have Eggs?
Baked cheesecakes have eggs as an essential ingredient. This is because eggs in the filling hold the mixture together as a binding agent. However, this is not their only function in cheesecake.
As well as providing binding properties to the cheesecake filling, eggs also give it a certain texture.
You can add whole eggs, egg yolks or egg whites depending on the cheesecake recipe, and they will all have their own unique texture.
For example, adding whole eggs will give the cheesecake a smooth, slightly aerated texture. By adding just yolks you still have a smooth texture, but the main purpose is to add color and flavor.
Whipping egg whites and adding them to cheesecake makes a very airy, light dish.
Of course, you can use a combination. Adding egg yolks for color and flavor and then incorporate whipped egg whites to introduce an airy texture.
Eggs in a cheesecake filling play an important role to help the mixture to set. When they are heated the proteins in eggs provide an infrastructure for other ingredients and prevents the cheesecake from being flat.
However, too many eggs can make it dense and rubbery.
How Is Cheesecake Made?
Now that we know that cheesecake does have eggs we can look at what else is in a cheesecake recipe.
The most important ingredient in a cheesecake is, unsurprisingly, cheese. This is typically cream cheese but can also be ricotta or cottage cheese.
All of these can be made into a smooth creamy filling and so can be used to make a cheesecake.
Cheese is present in both baked and unbaked cheesecake. In a baked cheesecake the next ingredient in terms of importance are eggs.
#As we have seen, eggs give a baked cheesecake structure and texture. They also bind all the ingredients together in the filling.
Adding just egg yolks give the cheesecake a rich color and flavor while including whipped egg whites will create a very light and aerated filling.
Sugar in cheesecake provides the sweetness. Without it a cheesecake would be more of a savory dish.
However, you can make a cheesecake that doesn’t have sugar but rather a sugar substitute such as a monk fruit based sweetener.
Finally, the base. Not all cheesecake has a base but those that do will have either a crumb base or one made with pastry.
Crumb bases are usually made something like graham crackers or digestive biscuits. Pastry bases are normally a shortcrust pastry.
Types Of Cheesecake
We have established that there are two general types of cheesecake, those that are baked and those that are not.
An unbaked cheesecake has slightly different ingredients as it doesn’t have the eggs in the filling to provide the structure, support or texture.
Let’s take a look at both baked and unbaked cheesecakes to see just how different they are.
A baked cheesecake will have at least 2-3 eggs depending on the ratio of ingredients.
For a pound of cream cheese you would need 3 eggs as well as the sugar, cream and a couple of tablespoons of flour.
The cream cheese is lightly beaten, and then the flour is added, followed by the sugar, cream and flavoring.
Once these ingredients are combined the eggs are added, one at a time. The filling is poured over a base made of crumb and butter pressed into a cake tin and baked.
The recipe for an unbaked cheesecake will not have any eggs as they are not necessary for this type of cheesecake.
As it never goes into the oven, not only do you not need eggs, but you would end up with raw egg in your filling, and that is not a good idea.
A no bake cheesecake relies on other ingredients to maintain its structure and to provide texture. It still uses cream cheese, sugar and cream.
However, it may use two types of sugar and two kinds of cream to create a filling that is thick enough to hold its own weight.
Heavy cream whipped into stiff peaks provides the structure and adding some confectioner’s sugar as well as granulated sugar helps to thicken the mixture.
These two ingredients fulfill the role that the eggs accomplish in a baked cheesecake.
Egg Substitutes In Cheesecake
If you don’t want to use eggs in your cheesecake you can make an unbaked version.
But if you find a baked cheesecake recipe that you are keen to try there are egg substitutes that you can use.
Sweetened Condensed Milk
A quarter of a cup of sweetened condensed milk will replace one egg in your recipe.
So for a three egg baked cheesecake you would need ¾ cup of this substitute. As it is sweetened you may need to adjust the amount of sugar in your recipe.
To replace eggs with ground flaxseed you need one tablespoon of ground flaxseed meal soaked in three tablespoons of water for about five minutes.
Buttermilk is easy to mix into your cheesecake filling as a substitute for eggs. It also has a creamy texture but is slightly tangy, so you may need to adjust your sugar quantity.
Mashed bananas can be used instead of eggs to bind ingredients together. It can be used if you have no other alternative.
If you need to avoid eggs for medical reasons then knowing which cheesecake is safe for you to eat is important. It is also helpful if you just wish to avoid eating eggs.
We hope you have enjoyed reading our guide to eggs in cheesecake, and we wish you happy baking.
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