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Kitchen Queries

Welcome to Kitchen Queries, where the nigella.com team will answer your cooking or food related questions.  We’d love you to submit some of your recipe problems, dilemmas or queries for us to get our teeth into!

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  • Pumpkin Cheesecake Cracking

    Hi Nigella & Team, I have recently made the Pumpkin Cheesecake but the top cracked significantly as it cooled. Can you explain what I might be doing wrong? Thanks so much.

    From the nigella team:

    Nigella's Pumpkin Cheesecake (from Feast and on the Nigella website) is a mixture of pumpkin puree, eggs, cream cheese and sugar. This is a type of custard and it is set by baking it in the oven. If the cheesecake has cracked then the most likely reason is that the cheesecake has been slightly overbaked.

    The cheesecake is baked in a water bath at a fairly low oven temperature to ensure gentle, even cooking. However the cheesecake will continue to cook slightly as it cools so it is important to remove the cheesecake from the oven whilst the centre is still slightly wobbly (the wobbly centre should be roughly 2.5 to 3.5cm/1-1 1/2 inches in diameter). Also remove the cheesecake from the water bath as soon as the cheesecake comes out of the oven.

    It is also possible that if the cheesecke filling is beaten too hard it can have air bubbles in it and these can cause cracking as the cheesecacke cools. This is more likely to happen if the filling is beaten with a mixer rather than made in a food processor. If using a mixer then mix the filling on a low speed and stop as soon as all of the ingredients have been incorporated.

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