Cheesecake is rich and sweet, and it’s so customizable that an inventive cook can create endless varieties. No matter how good your cheesecake looks or tastes, however, you won’t get to fully enjoy it if you can’t get it out of the pan. Cheesecakes are notorious for sticking to their pans, but a few tips and tricks will help you bake a cheesecake that will slide out of the pan in one beautiful, mouth-watering piece.

Use the Right Pan

Bake your cheesecake in a springform pan to help it release from the pan more easily after baking. Springform pans have a locking mechanism that you release when you’re ready to remove the cheesecake from the pan. Unlocking the mechanism allows you to lift the sides straight up without having to tip the cheesecake pan upside down or try to remove the cheesecake with spatulas.

Lube Up Your Pan

Lubricate your pan with a layer of fat to help your cheesecake slide out unmarred. Greasing isn’t always fool-proof, but a grease-free pan almost always results in sticking. Rub the inside and bottom of the springform pan liberally with butter before you pour in the batter. Some cooks also flour the pan.

Rest Your Batter

Too much air from over-beating can dry out your cheesecake or cause it to crack and warp. Once you mix all your ingredients, let your cheesecake batter rest for 15 to 20 minutes before pouring it into the pan. Resting releases any air bubbles trapped in the mixing process and helps the cake keep its solid form and release easier from the pan. If you don’t have time to let the batter rest, take care not to over-mix the ingredients.

Cool Properly

If you don’t cool your cheesecake properly, it will inevitable stick or fall to pieces. The perfect cheesecake requires patience. Once it finishes cooking, turn off the oven and let it cool inside the oven for an hour. After you cool it for an hour, let it rest on the counter for another hour. As the cheesecake cools, it will begin to separate from the pan on its own. If it hasn’t separated from the pan, run a warm knife around the outside of the pan to guarantee it comes out of the pan in one piece when you release the springform pan’s tightening mechanism.