As far as trendy recipes go, Instant Pot cheesecake lives up to its own hype. It requires half (yes, half!) the effort of classic cheesecake, and it’s so much lighter and creamier than even the best oven-baked versions. Our take on this cult-favorite dessert has the fewest ingredients possible, and is so unbelievably delicious, everyone who tries it immediately falls in love. Here’s how to make the easiest, tastiest Instant Pot cheesecake of all.
What’s So Great About Instant Pot Cheesecake, Anyways?
Classic cheesecake involves a lot of mixing, stirring, scraping, and creaming to create the perfect emulsion, then a low-and-slow bake in a water bath to achieve a creamy center without any cracks. The total time investment? At least one hour in the oven, one hour to cool, then anywhere from four to 24 hours in the fridge to chill.
Instant Pot Cheesecake requires way less work — you don’t have to pre-bake the crust, and the filling comes together with just a few pulses of the food processor. Plus, it needs just 10 minutes to come to pressure, 25 minutes of cooking time, and 20 minutes to cool. It does require an overnight rest in the fridge, but the incredible texture of this cake is well worth it.
But Instant Pot cheesecake isn’t just easier — it tastes better, too. Think of the Instant Pot as a turbo-charged steam bath (you pour a cup of water into the pot under the cake pan), creating an even creamier, silky-smooth result.
What Makes This Recipe the Absolute Easiest?
There are a lot of really good Instant Pot cheesecake recipes on the internet, but most require more ingredients (an extra egg yolk or two types of milk) or extra steps (creaming the sugar and cream cheese for the filling; chilling the crust). This recipe is the most stripped-down version — as few ingredients and dirty dishes as possible — while still giving you the same excellent texture and tangy-sweet flavor.
What Ingredients Do I Need for Instant Pot Cheesecake?
Philadelphia cream cheese is crucial to this cheesecake’s success. Typically we try not to call for specific brands, but a lot of poking around the Instant Pot Facebook community led me to the conclusion that not all cream cheeses are equal. Philadelphia brand has the perfect mix of fat and emulsifiers to create the the super-smooth texture that makes this Instant Pot cheesecake rave-worthy.
For the rest of the ingredients — sour cream, heavy cream, eggs, sugar, vanilla, flour, butter, graham crackers, and salt — feel free to use whatever brand you prefer or have on hand.
What Kind of Pan Do I Need for Instant Pot Cheesecake?
Given its interior diameter, the Instant Pot can only hold a seven-inch pan. You can use a small springform pan if you’ve got it, but we like this removable bottom pan because it’s easy to work with, and plenty deep for a tall cheesecake.
For easy removal, you’ll want to create a sling out of foil to place under the pan (alternatively, you can invest in a silicone sling for the Instant Pot). Then, after you pour in the filling, you’ll need to cover the cake with paper towels (to wick away moisture) as well as foil (to keep the moisture out).
How Long Before I Can Eat My Instant Pot Cheesecake?
After just 55 minutes of total Instant Pot time (coming to pressure, cook time, and natural release time), you’ll need to cool the cheesecake for an hour before refrigerating overnight. The top of your cheesecake might not be perfectly smooth (the quick pressure causes the batter to rise and fall) but a quick sour cream topping covers any cracks.
It’s important to refrigerate the cheesecake for at least eight hours before slicing, or the flavor and texture won’t be quite the same. However, your patience will be rewarded with the smoothest, creamiest cheesecake ever.
Serve your cheesecake with a classic cherry topping, or opt for one of these creative topping ideas.
How To Make the Easiest Instant Pot Cheesecake
For the crust:
- 3/4 cup
graham cracker crumbs (from about 8 whole crackers)
- 1/4 cup
- 1 tablespoon
- 2 tablespoons
unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
- 2 (8-ounce) packages
Philadelphia cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup
- 1/4 cup
large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup
- 1 teaspoon
- 1/4 teaspoon
For the sour cream topping:
- 1/2 cup
- 2 teaspoons
- 1 teaspoon
Measuring cups and spoons
7-inch-wide, 3-inch-deep springform baking pan
Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker
Prep the pan. Coat a 7-inch-wide, 3-inch-deep springform baking pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom with a parchment paper round. Pour 1 1/2 cups of water in the bottom of an Instant Pot and set a trivet on top. If you’ve got a trivet with handles, make sure they are up. Otherwise, fold a 15-inch piece of aluminum foil into a 2-inch-wide strip to be used as a sling.
Make the crust. Place the graham cracker crumbs, flour, and sugar in the bowl of food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse 2 to 3 times to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the crumbs are moist and press together easily, 10 to 12 pulses. Transfer the crust to the prepared pan and use a heavy-bottomed glass to tightly press it into the bottom of the pan.
Make the filling. Wipe out the bowl of the food processor with a paper towel or clean kitchen towel. Add the cream cheese, sugar, cream, eggs, flour, vanilla, and salt. Pulse, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until smooth, 12 to 14 pulses. Pour the filling into the pan and smooth out the top with a spatula.
Cover the pan with paper towels and foil. Cover the pan with a paper towel. Cover the paper towel with a piece of aluminum foil, crimping the foil tightly around the edges of the pan. If you’re using foil as a sling, place the sling under the pan and then place the pan in the pressure cooker.
Cook on high for 25 minutes. Lock the lid into place and make sure the valve is set to seal. Use the manual setting to set the pressure cooker on HIGH pressure for 25 minutes. It should take 10 to 15 minutes to come to pressure.
Natural release for 20 minutes. When the cook time is complete, let the pressure cooker naturally release pressure for 20 minutes, then do a quick release of the remaining pressure. Gently remove the pan from the pressure cooker and uncover. The cheesecake should be mostly set with a jiggly, not wiggly, center — just the center (about an inch) should move like jello when gently shaken.
Top with a sour cream mixture. Whisk together the sour cream, sugar, and vanilla in a small bowl. Pour onto the cheesecake and let cool in the pan for 1 hour.
Refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours. Refrigerate the cheesecake for 12 to 24 hours before removing from the pan and slicing to serve.
Storage: Refrigerate leftovers uncovered to avoid condensation building up for several days.
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