THE FIX: One cause of the cracks is overbeating the cream cheese mixture, the eggs, or both. Excess beating causes the mixture to get really fluffy. It then falls as it cools, creating those ravine-like cracks that speckle the cake’s surface. Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature before you begin so there’s less need for heavy mixing. Another cause is overcooking. It’s easy to do since cheesecake often still looks underdone when it’s time to turn off the oven. Recipes usually read something like this: “Cook until the cheesecake center barely moves when pan is touched.” When it comes to cheesecakes, the center is actually the 3-inch area in the middle of the cake, and it should slightly jiggle when you shake the pan to test doneness.