You could have knocked me over with a feather as I was searching for ways to use my instant pot and locked eyeballs with—cheesecake. What?! I can bake in this thing? Every day, it seems, I learn something new that I can do with this multi-cooker. But cheesecake? I had visions of throwing cheesecake ingredients into a pot of boiling water and expecting some kind of miracle.
Well, I’m excited (and relieved) to report that I was way off base with the boiling water scene, but a miracle? Spot on! We’re talking silky smooth New York-style cheesecake that doesn’t come out dry or cracked—with a delightfully firm and crunchy crust—exactly the way it should be. Fast and so easy, too.
One time in my life, I’d attempted to make cheesecake long before I knew anything about pressure cooking. The results were less than stellar. I turned out a dry, rough-textured specimen with a big crack down the middle. It was quite awful. But that was then, and this is now!
There aren’t enough words to describe just how great this instant pot cheesecake recipe is. Instead, I’m going to show you. Prepare to be amazed.
You will need:
- graham cracker crumbs
- cream cheese
- brown sugar
- white sugar
- corn starch
- sour cream
- vanilla extract
You’ll need an electric pressure cooker such as a 3-, 6-, or 8-qt instant pot; the trivet that came with the Instant Pot, and a 6-inch cheesecake pan with a removable bottom—like this anodized aluminum Fat Daddio’s cheesecake pan, which works perfectly to release the cheesecake, and doesn’t leak.
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Pro tip: Never put aluminum in the dishwasher.
Instant Pot New York Cheesecake
- Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker
- hand mixer
- 6-in Instant Pot cheesecake pan with removable bottom (see post for detail)
- rubber spatula
- Parchment paper
- cooking spray
For the crust
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
For the batter
- 16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- ⅔ cup granulated white sugar
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- ½ cup sour cream, at room temperature
For the topping
- ½ cup sour cream, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons white granulated sugar
- Prepare pan by cutting a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom. Spray inside of the pan bottom and sides with cooking spray, then lay the parchment paper onto the bottom, where it will adhere nicely.
- In a small bowl, place graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, brown sugar, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Stir with a fork until well incorporated. Pour all of the crumb mixture into the prepared pan.
- Using the bottom of a drinking glass, a small ramekin, or another similar item with a flat bottom, press the crumb mixture on the bottom of the pan so that it is very tight, flat, and uniform. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together the corn starch, sea salt, and ⅔ cup white granulated sugar. Set aside.
- In a medium-size bowl, place the room temperature cream cheese. Break it up with a fork. Using an electric hand mixer, beat the cream cheese for about 15 seconds using Low speed. You do not want to incorporate a lot of air into the cream cheese, simply make it smooth. Add half of the sugar mixture and beat on Low speed, for about 30 seconds, until incorporated. Add the rest of the sugar mixture and beat on Low for 30 seconds.
- Add sour cream and vanilla to the cream cheese mixture. Beat on Low for about 1 minute.
- Add the room temperature eggs, beating on Low for about 30 seconds, or until well incorporated. Do not overmix.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan with graham cracker crust.
- Place trivet into the inner pot of the Instant Pot, making sure the "feet" are down. Pour one cup cold water over the trivet.
- Place the cheesecake pan on top of the trivet. Close the lid with the valve in the "sealed" position. Set Instant Pot to High Pressure for 28 minutes followed by 10 minutes natural release.
- Open lid gradually. Using hot pads or mitts, lift the trivet and cheesecake out of the Instant Pot and place on a cooling rack or heat resistant plate.
- Absorb any condensation that might have dripped onto the surface when you removed the lid, by lightly tapping it with a soft paper towel to absorb that water. Allow cooling for about 15 minutes before adding the topping to the still warm cheesecake.
- In the meantime, prepare the topping by placing ½ cup sour cream in a small bowl with 2 tablespoons white granulated sugar. Mix well by hand until all of the sugar is incorporated into the sour cream.
- Spread topping over the top of the still-warm cheesecake, then leave it in the pan on the cooling rack until it has fully cooled to room temperature.
- Cover cheesecake with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. This is very important. 4 hours is mandatory, 8 hours is better, or overnight is best. This refrigeration time is critical!
- To remove the cheesecake easily from either a springform or pan with removable bottom first run a knife dipped in hot water along the edge of the cheesecake to loosen it from the sides of the pan. Re-dip the knife as necessary to prevent the knife from dragging at the cake. Next, if you are using my favorite pan with a removable bottom, grab a tall drinking glass or similar and set it on the counter with the open end up (or if using a springform pan, release it now and move cheesecake to a serving plate.) Hold the cheesecake with both hands above the drinking glass. Now bring it down hard and swiftly on the open-mouthed drinking glass and watch the pan part drop to the counter leaving the removed cheesecake sitting on top of the glass. Good job!
- Move cake to serving plate. Enjoy!
What's the difference between New York style cheesecake and regular cheesecake?
New York–style cheesecake relies on heavy cream or sour cream. The typical New York cheesecake is rich, taller in size and has a dense, smooth, and creamy consistency. Chicago–style cheesecake is a baked cream-cheese version which is firm on the outside with a soft and creamy texture on the inside.
Why is my cheesecake still jiggly?
A cheesecake that is fully cooked (baked) will be still jiggly, but not soup. The top of the cheesecake will jiggle as a whole while the center two inches will be even a bit “jiggly-er.”
What is a water bath for cheesecake?
A water bath is simply a pan of hot water placed in the oven when baking, to create steam and add moisture This is important for baking foods like cheesecakes, which tend to crack from the heat of the oven, or custards which can become rubbery without moist heat. All these things can be avoided when making things like cheesecakes and custards in an electric pressure cooker because by its very nature, a pressure cooker is a water bath and just one reason it is such a lovely way to make cheesecake.
How long should cheesecake cool before removing from pan?
Once the cheesecake reaches room temperature, it should be covered tightly and then refrigerated for at least 4 hours; 8 hours is better, and overnight is best.