Making perfect pressure cooker cheesecake can be a challenge for some people, but it doesn’t have to be! Get my tips on electric pressure cookers, then use these simple tips to help you create the best pressure cooker cheesecake recipes!
Cheesecake seems to be the one thing that new pressure cooker cooks seem most excited to cook in their new pressure cookers. And who can blame them? The pressure cooker is the perfect environment for “baking” cheesecake, and pressure cooker cheesecake is fabulous – rich, smooth and creamy.
Making perfect pressure cooker cheesecake really is easy, but here are some key tips to help you:
1. Use Room Temperature Ingredients: The first key to making perfect pressure cooker cheesecake is having the ingredients at room temperature, especially the cream cheese and eggs.
Cold ingredients leads to a cheesecake that’s lumpy instead of smooth and creamy. And pretty much without fail when I ask if their cream cheese was at room temperature, the answer is no.
I’ve done it myself in the past. You get impatient to get baking, and think, I’ll just beat the cream cheese until it’s soft. Then when you think it’s smooth enough you add the cold eggs, and the mixture still has a few lumps, so you over beat it and the texture of the baked cheesecake is lumpy instead of the silky, smooth cheesecake you were craving.
But if you’re in a hurry to make the cheesecake, you can put the cream cheese in a Ziploc bag and place it in warm water (not hot) for about 10 minutes – 15 minutes. Add the eggs to the warm water and they’ll be at room temperature in about five minutes. I usually just fill up the small side of my sink, but you could use a bowl as well.
– Another tip for making perfect pressure cooker cheesecake is to use a foil sling.
– Your cheesecake will set up more when it’s refrigerated, but if it is still runny in the middle, put it back in the pressure cooker and cook it longer. Cheesecake “baked” in the pressure cooker is much more forgiving than baked in the oven, and you won’t get dried out crusty edges if you cook it longer. A longer cook time will generally result in a denser, more New York style cheesecake. Timing can vary based on the pan you’re using, whether it’s covered with foil, and the ingredients in the cheesecake.
– Also, don’t press your crumbs too high up the sides of the springform pan because you don’t want to get moisture in your crust.
Step-by-Step Simple Instant Pot Cheesecake Recipe
To make things easier for you, I’ll walk you through the entire process of making cheesecake in your Instant Pot, Mealthy, Ninja Foodi, or other brand of electric pressure cooker.
(I’ve included a more traditional recipe card for printing at the bottom of the post. Jump to the recipe.)
Before Starting: Check for Fit
If this is your first time making Instant Pot Cheesecake, you’ll need to double check that your cheesecake pan fits inside of your pressure cooking pot.
- 3-quart pressure cookers fit a 5-inch springform pan. Some 6-inch springform pans will fit if they have a very narrow latch on the collar. The Instant Pot Mini will also fit a 6-inch removable bottom pan (push pan).
- 6-quart pressure cookers fit a 7-inch springform pan or push pan. If you’re using a removable bottom pan (push pan) with a very narrow lip, you might be able to get away with a 8-inch pan. But I don’t recommend it.
- 8-quart pressure cookers fit an 8-inch springform or removable bottom pan (push pan).
This recipe is written for using a 7-inch springform pan inside a 6-quart electric pressure cooker.
Step 1: Bring Ingredients to Room Temperature
This is SO important for making a great cheesecake. This will allow you to get the cheesecake batter smoothly mixed without over-mixing.
Step 2: Prepare the Pan and Crust
Generously spray the bottom and edges of your springform pan with a nonstick cooking spray.
Some people like to use parchment paper in addition to the springform pan. If you choose to use parchment, simply cut a 7-inch round parchment for the bottom and a strip of parchment for the sides that’s around 4 inches tall and 22 inches long. (I prefer to not use parchment because it leaves lines in the cheesecake if the paper isn’t perfectly smooth and I don’t think it makes the process of removing the cheesecake any easier.)
In a small bowl, combine 1 cup graham cracker crumbs and 2 tablespoons butter, melted.
Step 3: Press and Freeze the Crust
Use a tart tamper or a flat-bottomed measuring cup to press the graham cracker crumbs firmly and evenly in the bottom of the pan.
If you like, you can also press it no more than 1-inch up the side of the pan.
Make sure to press firmly—the picture above is midway through.
Place the pan in the freezer for 10 minutes to set.
Step 4: Mix the Cream Cheese and Sugar
In a large bowl, mix cream cheese and sugar at medium speed until smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes.
DON’T OVER MIX IT!
Cheesecake is a delicate balance! You need to combine the sugar and cream cheese enough to be smooth, but you do NOT want to add air to your cheesecake batter.
(This is why it’s so important to use room temperature ingredients and to mix at a lower speed.)
If you’re using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment and mix on a medium-low setting.
Step 5: Add the Vanilla and One Egg
Scrape the bowl well, then add the vanilla and add 1 egg and mix at medium-low just until blended.
Step 6: Add the Other Egg
Again, scrape the sides of the bowl and the beater. Add the remaining egg and mix at medium-low until the egg is well incorporated but not so much that you incorporate lots of air into the batter.
Step 7: Pour the Batter on Top of the Crust
Remove the prepared crust from the freezer. Gently pour the batter into the pan.
I like to use an offset spatula or the back of a spoon to carefully smooth the top of the cheesecake so that it’s fairly flat and spread evenly throughout the pan.
(For example, in the photo above, I smoothed out the folds on the sides of the cheesecake so it was more level before putting it in the pressure cooker.)
At this point, America’s Test Kitchen recommends allowing the cheesecake batter to sit for 10 minutes so that air bubbles can rise to the top. I rarely have the patience to wait this long.
I prefer to pick up the prepared pan and gently tap the bottom on the counter a few times to bring air bubbles to the surface.
No matter how you bring the bubbles up, you’ll want to pop them before continuing the recipe. (You won’t be able to get them all, just focus on the big ones.)
Step 8: Prepare the Pressure Cooking Pot and Set the Cheesecake on a Trivet
If you’re using a 6-quart pressure cooker, pour 1 cup of water into the pressure cooking pot. If you’re using a larger pressure cooker, use 2 cups water.
Place a low trivet in the bottom of the cooking pot.
Carefully use the sling to lower the filled springform pan into the cooking pot.
Fold the ends of the sling down so it doesn’t get in the way of closing the lid.
Step 9: Cook at High Pressure for 25 Minutes
Lock the lid in place. Select High Pressure and 25 minutes cook time.
The amount of time it takes your cheesecake to come to pressure will vary based on the size and model of your pressure cooker. Generally, it’s about 10 minutes.
Step 10: Use a 10-minute Natural Pressure Release and Check for Doneness
When the cook time ends, I like to turn off the pressure cooker.
Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then finish with a quick pressure release. When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid and check the cheesecake to see if it’s done.
Trying to figure out when a cheesecake is “set” or “jiggly enough” in the middle can be difficult, especially for newer cooks.
The traditional rule of thumb is the outside should appear set with a small 2-inch circle that jiggles in the middle when you give the cheesecake a gentle shake or rap the side of the pan with a spoon.
However, if you’re still not sure, you can always use an instant-read thermometer. Your cheesecake is ready to move on to the next step when the middle hits 140 to 150°F. (More or less—if your cheesecake is 138 or 153°F, that’s close enough!)
If your cheesecake isn’t quite done: Return the lid and cook at High Pressure for an additional 5 minutes, followed by another 10 minute natural release.
Step 11: Cool to Room Temperature, then Chill
When the cheesecake is done, use the sling to carefully remove it from the cooking pot. Place it uncovered on a wire rack to cool.
After 10 minutes, run an offset spatula or a paring knife between the cheesecake and the side of the springform pan, to help it release from the pan.
Use the corner of a paper towel to soak up any water that may have condensed on top of the cheesecake.
Once your cheesecake is close to room temperature, cover the springform pan tightly with plastic wrap. Place it in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight (ideally) to allow the cheesecake to set.
Step 12: Top, Slice, and Serve Your Cheesecake!
If you want to keep things simple, this cheesecake is delicious all on its own.
However, you can’t go wrong topping your cheesecake with whipped cream, fresh fruit, pressure cooker berry compote, or even a chocolate drizzle.
If you want a knockout presentation, you can top your cheesecake before serving. However, I find that it’s easier to serve if I top the cheesecake after slicing and dishing up onto individual plates.
The trick to slicing your cheesecake is to use a sharp knife dipped in very hot water. (I like to use my watermelon knife for perfect cuts.) Wipe the knife dry for every cut.
- 1 cup graham cracker cookie crumbs
- 2 tablespoons butter melted
- 16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- Prepare a 7-inch springform pan by coating it with nonstick cooking spray. Line with parchment paper, if desired.
- In a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and butter. Spread evenly in the bottom and no more than 1-inch up the side of the pan. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, mix cream cheese and sugar at medium-low speed until smooth. Mix in vanilla and add eggs one at a time just until blended. Don’t over mix!
- Pour 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 cup of water into the pressure cooking pot, and place a trivet in the bottom. Center the filled pan on a sling and carefully lower it into the cooking pot. Fold the sling down so that it doesn’t interfere with closing the lid.
- Lock the lid in place. Select High Pressure and 25 minutes cook time. When the cook time ends, turn off the pressure cooker and allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then finish with a quick pressure release. When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid.
- Check the cheesecake to see if the middle is set with an instant read thermometer or using the jiggle test. If the cheesecake isn’t quite done, return the lid and cook at High Pressure for an additional 5 minutes, followed by a 10 minute natural release.
- When the cheesecake is done, use the sling to carefully remove it from the cooking pot. Place on a wire rack to cool.
- Use the corner of a paper towel to soak up any water on top of the cheesecake.
- When cheesecake is cooled to room temperature, refrigerate covered with plastic wrap for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Serve plain or topped with your choice of whipped cream, fresh fruit, berry compote, or a chocolate drizzle.
*If you like a denser, more New York style cheesecake, you will need to increase the cook time by 5 or 10 minutes. (The exact timing will vary based on your model of pressure cooker, the pan and trivet you’re using, and whether you've covered your cheesecake with foil.)
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 355 Total Fat: 26g Saturated Fat: 14g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 9g Cholesterol: 111mg Sodium: 279mg Carbohydrates: 26g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 19g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 6g
Making Pressure Cooker Cheesecake Recipes in an Instant Pot
An Instant Pot is one of the most popular brands of electric pressure cookers. They are easy to use and your Instant Pot can help you create these delicious cheesecake recipes!
I’ve posted many cheesecake recipes on Pressure Cooking Today. My favorite pressure cooker cheesecake that I’ve made so far is my Pressure Cooker Samoa Cheesecake. It has the texture of a New York cheesecake, richer and denser.
The New York Cheesecake with a Toffee Pecan Shortbread Cookie Crust is my version of a recipe sent to me from one of my wonderful readers.
If you’re looking for a great fall dessert, give my Pumpkin Caramel Pecan Cheesecake a try. It’s a cross between cheesecake and pumpkin pie.
The first cheesecake I made in the pressure cooker was my Meyer Lemon Cheesecake adapted from a cheesecake recipe by the queen of pressure cooking, Lorna Sass. It’s a lighter, less dense cheesecake that bakes in only 15 minutes.
One of my most popular recipes on Barbara Bakes is my Strawberry Cheesecake with an Oreo Cookie Crust. I turned that into a pressure cooker cheesecake and share the recipe in my pressure cooker cookbook, The Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook.
What about you? What’s your favorite cheesecake flavor?