Learn how to make New York-Style Cheesecake — in the instant pot! This cheesecake recipe is so much simpler than the oven version!
You’ve officially seen it all.
Cheesecake made in the instant pot.
There’s a sentence I never thought I’d say. But not only is instant pot cheesecake easy to make; it’s just as good as it’s oven counterpart. It starts with a buttery graham cracker crust and is topped with a velvety smooth cream cheese mixture and then pressure cooked for a little less than an hour. It’s also a manageable 6-inch cheesecake so you can make it for dinner parties or during the holidays when you’re trying to stretch the dessert table a little more and don’t want to have TONS of cheesecake around after.
Side note: who are those people that don’t want to have cheesecake around? I’m one of them!
In the name of recipe testing, I have gone through many, many slices.
I have to tell you, the last time I made cheesecake before this instant pot version, was when I was in my third year of college, years ago. I was so traumatized by the experience; it took me a whole ten years to recoup. It was a Sunday afternoon, I had invited a few close friends over for lunch, and I thought cheesecake would make the perfect dessert after a light meal.
To skip ahead: the cheesecake was delicious; the crust was an entirely different story. I baked the crust as the recipe stated. The cheesecake mixture was creamy and tangy. I even decided I’d bake it in a water bath to ensure a crack-free cheesecake. But what I didn’t anticipate is that the water bath would end up doing more harm than good. You see, in my naivety, I poured the water so far up the sides that it ended up getting inside the foil wrapping. That first bite was nothing but a soggy-bottom, mouthful of mush.
Making instant pot cheesecake means there’s no need for a hot water bath or squatting every twenty minutes next to the oven to make sure your beloved cheesecake isn’t going to have cracks. Both of which I’ve been tortured with before. None of that nonsense when you’re making cheesecake in the pressure cooker.
To be honest with you, I never thought I’d be making anything sweet in the instant pot (affiliate link). Chicken broth? Yes. Soups? Definitely. Rice? That’s a given. But dessert? Um.. really?
The first time I made cheesecake in the instant pot, I learned a valuable lesson that I’m going to pass on to you. If you’re like me and use a ton of garlic or onions in your instant pot recipes, do yourself a favor, and buy an extra sealing ring (affiliate link) before you attempt to make this cheesecake. You can tell if you need a new sealing ring if when you lift the lid of your IP, the smell of ____ (insert last meal cooked in instant pot) starts invading your nostrils. The first time I made instant pot cheesecake, I almost died, because the top layer smelled// tasted// emitted smells of garlicky beef soup. I’m all for beef soup and cheesecake – just not together on the same plate, please and thank you!
So please, whatever you do consider ordering a new seal before you serve this cheesecake to loved ones, it’s quite a mortifying experience. One that almost had me halting my cheesecake making for yet another decade.
Tips on perfecting instant pot cheesecake:
- Crust: I’m using the crust I always use for my Key Lime Pie Bars. You’ll need graham cracker, pecans, sugar, butter, and cinnamon. Once you’ve made the crust, you can either bake it for 10 minutes or pop it in the freezer for 20.
- To ensure your cheesecake is crack-free: plan ahead. Sorry folks, no manual pressure release on this one! Seriously; don’t do it. After playing around with this recipe tons, I have to tell you, you’ve gotta let the pressure cooker naturally release its pretty to ensure that the cheesecake stays crack-free and cooks all the way through.
- Make ahead: my two favorite words around Thanksgiving! I like to make this cheesecake 24-48 hours ahead and guess what? Cheesecake tastes better as it rests; win-win. So make it today, or tommorow if you’re planning on serving this for T-Day.
- Use a smaller springform pan: This recipe will work with both a 6-inch (affiliate link) or 7-inch springform pan (affiliate link). You’ll also need the steamer rack (affiliate link) that came with your IP. We’ll add water to the base and then place the rack on top to pressure cook the cheesecake.
Dear Cheesecake Lovers: How about this year we make instant pot cheesecake and leave the oven to things like turkey//stuffing// rolls// pies and everything else that requires the ovens attention during the holidays?
I’m keeping it ultra classy with my New York-Style Cheesecake right here.
New York-Style Instant Pot Cheesecake
Graham cracker crust:
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 9 large graham crackers, pulsed into crumbs
- 2 tablespoons ground pecans
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 12 ounces cream cheese (or 1 1/2 packages)
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs + 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350ºF if you plan on baking the crust. If you’re freezing it, you can skip this step. Regardless of which method you use, wrap your 6 or 7-inch springform pan tightly in foil and spray the inside of the pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- crust: combine the butter and sugar in a microwave-safe bowl and zap until the butter melts, about 30-40 seconds. In a medium bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, pecans, and cinnamon. Pour the melted butter on top and using a rubber spatula mix until the crumbs are covered in the butter. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan and about 1-inch up the sides. Place the pan in the freezer for 15-20 minutes or bake for 10 minutes. If baking, allow the crust to cool to room temperature before proceeding.
- cheesecake filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, salt, vanilla, lemon zest, and cornstarch until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Add the sugar and let it mix in completely before adding the eggs one at a time. Add the sour cream and mix until just combined. Pour the batter into the crust. Cover the top of the springform pan with a piece of foil and wrap it tightly around the rim.
- pressure cook: Pour 1 1/4 cups of water into the base of the instant pot and place the steaming rack on the bottom. Place the springform pan on the rack. Lock the lid in place and seal the vent. Cook the cheesecake on manual high pressure for 37 minutes and allow the Instant Pot to naturally release its pressure for 25 minutes afterward (the ‘keep warm’ setting should still be on, you don’t want to turn your IP off completely).
- let cool: carefully remove the springform pan from the IP then remove the foil. Using a piece of kitchen towel, gently wipe the surface of the cheesecake if there is any moisture on the surface of the cake. Allow the cheesecake to cool to room temperature, about 3 hours before placing it in the refrigerator to cool overnight. Cheesecake can be prepared 24-48 hours in advance. Top with whipped cream, berries, or apple or cherry pie filling before serving!
- 9 graham cracker sheets is roughly 1- 1 1/4 cups of crumbs.
Update (1/30/2018): A few readers have mentioned the cheesecake didn’t set for them in the middle as it did for me in the time noted. For this reason, I’ll be retesting the recipe. This recipe was tested multiple times and my cheesecake was perfectly set in the time noted. In the meantime, a helpful reader suggested to help the cheesecake set, you can wrap it in plastic wrap and freeze it overnight. This seems to help solidify the center a bit more. You can also check the cheesecake once the pressure releases and if it is still pudding-like in the center, you can continue to pressure cook it for an additional 5-10 minutes (depending on how puddingy it is) then natural pressure release with the ‘keep warm’ setting on.
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