From the Instantly Sweet cookbook, this Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker Caramel Pecan Cheesecake features a smooth, creamy filling that’s sweetened with brown sugar baked on top of a shortbread pecan crust with a decadent caramel topping, studded with toasted pecans.
The holidays are finally here! There’s just something magical about this season—the lights and the smells and the chances to celebrate with family and friends.
Somehow at these get-togethers, I’m always in charge of bringing dessert. 🙂 I have a few classic recipes I go to over and over again—big batches for large celebrations, gorgeous desserts for more intimate gatherings, and quick desserts for impromptu gatherings.
This Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker Caramel Pecan Cheesecake is my go-to dessert for small gatherings. It is beautiful, delicious, and surprisingly easy to make. (It’s one reason why it’s featured on the cover of my cookbook, Instantly Sweet.)
Seriously, no one will ever guess how easy this dessert comes together!
Instantly Sweet Is Perfect for the Holidays
Pressure cooker desserts really are perfect for small gatherings. First of all, making desserts in the pressure cooker is fairly hands-off, so you can focus on other things while your dessert cooks itself.
Cheesecakes, puddings, pies, and so many other favorites are ready in a fraction of the time compared to oven-baked desserts. Plus, desserts “baked” in the pressure cooker are much more forgiving because they don’t dry out as easily.
Finally, with all the sweets around the holidays, pressure cooking desserts is an easy way to portion control. The smaller-sized pans required for pot-in-pot pressure cooking mean there won’t be tons of leftovers to tempt you long after your get-together is through.
You can trust my cookbook, Instantly Sweet, to provide the best recipes for your holiday desserts.
Customize Instantly Sweet for Holiday Flavors
One of the best things about the Instantly Sweet cookbook is how easy it is to customize the recipes to your favorite flavors. This brown-sugar cheesecake is a wonderful base that you can dress up with different holiday flavors.
For example, I had some leftover candied cinnamon pecans that I threw on top of a slice on a whim. It totally changed up the cheesecake and gave it a great holiday flavor. (To make this combination yourself, use my Candied Cinnamon Almonds recipe as a base for the chopped pecans and cook them just to the furry stage so the nuts stay softer. Add 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon to the crust for even more cinnamon flavor. Serve topped with a generous sprinkling of chopped candied cinnamon pecans.)
Making Pressure Cooker Caramel Pecan Cheesecake in the 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 this Pressure Cooker Caramel Pecan Cheesecake!
When you’re making the crust, know that the cookie and pecan mixture can be a little more sticky than a traditional graham cracker crust. (Thanks to the extra butter in the shortbread pecan cookies.) Rather than using my cheesecake tamper for this crust, I prefer to spread the crust with a spoon or a rubber spatula and push it down as well as I can.
For making the cheesecake, the most important thing you can do is make sure your ingredients are completely at room temperature. If your ingredients are too cold, your cheesecake will often turn out lumpy.
The second most important thing you can do is to not overmix your ingredients. It’s tricky because you want to combine the brown sugar and cream cheese until they’re smooth, but you don’t want to add air to your cheesecake. If the cheesecake gets too much air in it, you’ll have lots of air bubbles and the cheesecake will rise and fall when it cooks.
Take the guesswork out of making cheesecake by using an instant-read thermometer . Your cheesecake is ready to come out of the pressure cooker when the middle is between 140 to 150°F.
Get more cheesecake tips from my Perfect Pressure Cooker Cheesecake Post.
Finally, for the caramel-pecan topping, when I’m in a hurry I love the Ghirardelli Caramel Sauce Topping. It has a great flavor and the consistency is perfect for getting a beautiful drizzle. Plus, it doesn’t harden like pure melted caramel does when it is chilled.
Also, before you top your cheesecake, determine what aspect of the presentation is most important to you. Adding the caramel-pecan topping to the uncut cheesecake makes for a beautiful presentation. However, this cheesecake is easier to serve if you slice it first then the top the slices individually instead.
- 3/4 cup crushed Pecan Sandies cookies (about 9 cookies)
- 1/4 cup toasted pecans, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter melted
- 16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs, room temperature
Caramel Pecan Topping
- 1/2 cup Caramel Ice Cream Topping
- 1/2 cup toasted pecans
To make the crust:
- Coat a 7-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a small bowl, stir together the cookie crumbs, pecans, and melted butter. Spread the crust evenly in the bottom and no more than 1 inch up the side of the prepared pan. Freeze for 10 minutes.
To make the filling:
- In a large bowl, with a handheld electric mixer, mix the cream cheese and brown sugar on medium speed until smooth. Blend in the cream, flour, and vanilla. One at a time, add the eggs and mix just until blended. Do not overmix. Pour the batter over the crust.
- Pour 1 cup water into the pressure cooker cooking pot and place a trivet in the bottom. Carefully center the filled pan on a sling and lower the pan onto the trivet. Lock the lid in place and turn the pressure release valve to the Sealed position. Select High Pressure and 25 minutes cook time.
- When the cook time ends, turn off the pressure cooker. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, and finish with a quick pressure release. When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid.
- Use an instant-read thermometer to check that the cheesecake has reached 150°F in the center. If not, relock the lid and cook the cheesecake at High Pressure for 5 minutes more, followed by another 10-minute natural pressure release.
- With the sling, transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool. Soak up any water that may have collected on top of the cheesecake with the corner of a paper towel.
- When the cheesecake has cooled to room temperature, refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap, for at least 4 hours, or overnight, until ready to serve.
To make the Caramel-Pecan Topping:
- To make the caramel pecan topping: Just before serving, in a small bowl, stir together the caramel sauce and pecans. Spread over the cheesecake.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 560Total Fat: 41gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 122mgSodium: 381mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 1gSugar: 32gProtein: 8g
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