Baked in the moist heat of the Instant Pot, Instant Pot Cheesecake turns out smooth, creamy, and perfect every time!
I do not believe the Instant Pot is created for all to cook ALL things. Muffins, cookies, and steak can easily be ruined in a pressure cooker. But cheesecake is another story.
Classic Cheesecake is baked in a water bath, which provides a moist environment in the oven while the cheesecake bakes. This moist environment helps the cheesecake to bake evenly and to have a light, yet creamy texture.
Because pressure cookers use moist heat to cook things, the Instant Pot is the perfect vessel for making a creamy cheesecake. It is like the Instant Pot was made for cheesecake recipes!
Made with a buttery graham cracker crust, and a sweetened cream cheese filling, this recipe for Instant Pot Cheesecake is everything a good cheesecake should be. It is rich and creamy, yet light and fluffy, and finishes with just the right combination of tang and sweetness.
This Instant Pot Cheesecake is truly the BEST! It is the perfect ending to any meal. And because it is smaller than a traditional cheesecake recipe, you won't be tempted to overindulge😉
Ingredients for Instant Pot Cheesecake
The star ingredients in this recipe are fairly traditional for cheesecake, but there are a few things to note about selecting some of the ingredients.
- Graham Crackers: The crust for this cheesecake recipe is made with a classic graham cracker base. You can opt to use whole graham crackers and crush them yourself OR you can purchase graham cracker crumbs which are located in the baking aisle of most grocery stores. In place of the graham crackers, feel free to use an equal amount of vanilla wafer crumbs, chocolate graham cracker crumbs, or Biscoff cookie crumbs.
- Cream Cheese: Use full-fat or reduced-fat cream cheese blocks, not fat-free cream cheese or cream cheese sold in a tub. The results will not be the same.
- Sour Cream: Adding sour cream gives this cheesecake a bit of tang, which balances out the rich, sweet notes of the cheesecake, and it also helps the batter to be super creamy.
- Cornstarch: Adding a bit of cornstarch to the cheesecake batter helps insure against cracking. In place of the cornstarch, you can opt to use all-purpose flour.
The most important thing to remember is to use room-temperature cream cheese and eggs to ensure a smooth and uniform cheesecake.
Beyond the ingredients, you need a couple of inexpensive tools as well. You will need to have a 7-inch springform pan or push pan and a trivet to keep the cheesecake above the water as it cooks. You can use a 6 by 4-inch cheesecake pan, but you will need to add 7 minutes to the cooking time.
Tips for the BEST Instant Pot Cheesecake
Before you begin the process of preparing this simple recipe, I want to give you a few pro tips to keep in mind while you make this cheesecake, to ensure that you have the best possible results!
- Plan to prepare 8 to 48 hours before intending to serve. Just like all cheesecake recipes, Instant Pot Cheesecake is best prepared at least 8 hours prior to serving. This will allow enough time for the cheesecake to fully chill and for the flavors to really meld together.
- Use room temperature ingredients. I know I have already mentioned that it is crucial to use room-temperature eggs, cream cheese, and sour cream, but it is KEY to ensure the texture of the cheesecake is smooth and creamy.
- Don't overmix. Overmixing your batter, especially after adding eggs, creates air bubbles in the batter. And air bubbles are the last thing you want as they can cause your cheesecake to curdle or crack. Using room temperature ingredients and mixing at a lower speed, will help to ensure that you don't overmix the batter and that your cheesecake will have a perfect consistency.
- Use a clean inner ring. You want to ensure your inner ring is clean AND does not smell like chili or pot roast, as that can leave a lingering savory flavor to your cheesecake. I really recommend having 2 sealing rings for your Instant Pot, one for savory dishes and one for sweet dishes. That way your cheesecake will not taste like Instant Pot Chili.
- Use a foil sling. If your trivet does not have handles to easily remove it from the inner pot, I highly recommend creating a foil sling to help lift the cheesecake out of the pan. Fold heavy-duty aluminum foil into a long rectangle that fits underneath your pan with enough room to bend the ends up to create handles. your handles.
- Cook Fully. You want to be sure your cheesecake is fully set after the pressure has been released. While I find that 25 minutes is perfect, there are MANY reasons your cheesecake may not be fully cooked (covering the cheesecake with foil, using warm tap water in the inner pot, a thicker pan, elevation, etc). I recommend using a digital thermometer and checking to see that the temperature is about 140 degrees F. If not, cook for an additional 2-3 minutes--it won't ruin your cheesecake!
How To Make Instant Pot Cheesecake
Step One: Prepare Crust
- Lightly grease your springform pan or push pan. This will help the cheesecake release easily from the sides of the pan and help prevent the crust from sticking to the bottom of the pan as well.
- If needed, place 10 whole graham crackers into a storage bag and roll them with a rolling pin until finely ground. Alternatively, you can pulse the graham crackers in a food processor fitted with an s-blade until ground.
- Measure out 1 cup of crumbs and place them into a medium mixing bowl. Add the sugar, and salt and mix together until fully combined. Then pour in the melted butter and mix together until the mixture resembles wet sand.
- Pour the graham cracker mixture into the prepared pan and gently press the crumbs with a cup or measuring cup to form a firm, even layer on the bottom of the pan. Do not try to press the crust up the sides of the pan for this recipe.
- At this point, you have two options, you can bake the crust at 325°F for 15 minutes, or you can pop it into the freezer for 15 minutes. I prefer baking the crust, when I have the option, as it allows for a crispy, crunchy crust.
Step Two: Prepare Cheesecake Filling
- In a large bowl, mix cream cheese, cornstarch, and sugar with a handheld mixer on medium-low speed until JUST smooth. As long as your cream cheese was at room temperature, this should not take long at all.
- Add the sour cream and vanilla, and mix on low speed until just combined, this should only take 15-20 seconds.
- For the eggs, add them one at a time, and mix on low speed until just incorporated. To help prevent overmixing, you can opt to mix the eggs in a small bowl BEFORE adding them to the batter. Remember the less mixing you do the better.
Step Three: Assemble Cheesecake
- Pour the batter into the springform pan on top of the crust. Tap the filled pan gently on the counter to bring air bubbles to the surface. If air bubbles appear on the surface, use a fork or toothpick to pop them.
Step Four: Pressure Cook
- Pour 1 and ½ cups of cold tap water into the inner pot. Do not be tempted to use hot water to speed up the time it takes to come to pressure, as this will ultimately interfere with the cooking time.
- Add the trivet to the inner pot of the Instant Pot.
- Place the cake on top of the trivet, using a foil sling under the pan if desired.
- Set to cook on high pressure for 25 minutes.
- Once the cooking time has elapsed, allow pressure to release naturally on its own. This will take 10-20 minutes. DO NOT be tempted to do a quick release of pressure, as this will result in a cracked, undercooked cheesecake with a weird consistency.
- Release any remaining pressure and VERY carefully remove the lid, to prevent condensation from dripping down on the cheesecake.
- Use a digital thermometer inserted in the center of the cheesecake, to ensure that the temperature is at least 140 degrees F. If not, cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Don't worry, adding a few minutes to the cooking time, will not ruin your cheesecake!
- If needed, use a paper towel to gently absorb any condensation on the surface and then carefully, remove the cheesecake carefully from the pot and let it cool on a wire rack.
Step Five: Chill
- After 10 minutes, use a butter or pairing knife to loosen the sides of the cheesecake from the pan but do not release the spring. This step will help ensure that it does not stick to the pan.
- Continue to allow the cheesecake to cool to room temperature. Once the cake has fully cooled, cover it well with plastic wrap and/or foil and refrigerate for at least 8 hours before serving.
Cheesecake will keep in the fridge for 4 days if wrapped well in plastic wrap or stored in an airtight container. If desired, you can opt to freeze your cooled cheesecake for up to 1 month. Wrap it well in two layers of plastic wrap followed by two layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil, and then place the wrapped cheesecake into a large freezer-safe storage bag. Defrost the cheesecake overnight in the refrigerator and enjoy the defrosted cake within 4 days.
It is best to remove the cheesecake from the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes and let sit at room temperature before serving, as this allows the flavors to really pop.
Once ready to serve, unmold the cheesecake, slice, and serve as desired. Instant Pot Cheesecake is delicious served plain or topped with fresh fruit, pie filling, chocolate syrup, whipped cream, or caramel--let your palate be your guide!
More Favorite Dessert Recipes
If you enjoyed this Instant Pot Cheesecake, I would love for you to leave a comment and review below.
Instant Pot Cheesecake
Cheesecake Graham Cracker Crust
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 3 tablespoons butter melted
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- pinch of sea salt
- 2 (8-ounce packages) full-fat cream cheese at room temperature
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup full-fat sour cream at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 eggs at room temperature
For Graham Cracker Crust
- Spray a 7x3-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. If baking crust, preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Place the graham crackers in a storage bag and roll them with a rolling pin until finely ground. Measure out 1 cup of crumbs and place them into a medium mixing bowl.
- Add the sugar, and salt and mix together until fully combined. Add in the melted butter and mix together until the mixture resembles wet sand.
- Pour in the graham cracker crumbs mixture. Gently press down the crumbs with a cup or measuring cup to form a firm, even layer on the bottom of the pan.
- Place the crust in a 325°F oven for 15 minutes, or place the prepared crust in the freezer while you prepare the batter. After baking, remove the crust from the oven and let it cool while you prepare the batter.
- In a large bowl, mix cream cheese, cornstarch, and sugar with a handheld mixer on medium-low speed until smooth, being careful to not overmix, as this incorporates a lot of air into the cheesecake.
- On low speed, in the sour cream and vanilla, until just combined, this should only take 15-20 seconds. Add the eggs one at a time, and continue to mix until blended. Don’t over-mix!
- Pour the batter into the springform pan on top of the crust. Tap the filled pan gently on the counter to bring air bubbles to the surface and pop with a fork or a toothpick.
- Pour 1-½ cups of cold tap water into the inner pot of the pressure cooker. Place the metal trivet in the inner pot. Place the cheesecake pan on top of the trivet, using a foil sling under the pan if desired.
- Close the lid, be sure the vent knob is sealed, and set it to cook on high pressure for 25 minutes, using the manual or pressure cooker button.
- Once the cooking time has elapsed, allow the pressure to release naturally FULLY. Once the pressure has been released, open the lid slowly. Check the cheesecake to see if the middle is set. If the cheesecake isn’t quite done, return the lid and cook at High Pressure for an additional 5 minutes, followed by a full natural release of pressure.
- Use a paper towel to gently absorb any condensation on the surface. Carefully, remove the cheesecake carefully from the pot and let it cool on a wire rack.
- After 10 minutes, use a butter or pairing knife to loosen the sides of the cheesecake from the pan.
- Continue to allow the cheesecake to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, cover well with plastic wrap and/or foil and chill for 8-12 hours. Unmold the cheesecake, slice, and serve as desired.