This Instant Pot Cheesecake is the perfect summer dessert because you don't have to turn on your oven. It comes out moist, creamy and it takes a fraction of the time to make compared to traditional cheesecake in the oven.
Of course, you could make this recipe in the oven as well, the batter works just as well in the traditional cooking method, however I highly recommend the instant pot for this dessert.
For this recipe I used a combination of cream cheese, sour cream and heavy cream. I like the addition of the heavy cream because it creates a smoother texture and reduces some of the tang that you get with sour cream. With that being said, if you prefer a more tangy cheesecake you can use sour cream only.
The rest of the ingredients are probably already in your pantry and fridge as they are household staples. Use a good quality vanilla extract, fresh eggs and your favorite graham cracker for the base.
Tips for a smooth cheesecake
Cheesecake is all about texture! Nothing like a creamy, silky-smooth piece of cheesecake that hits your palate with that soft touch.
The trick to achieving that smooth bite is in the temperature of your ingredients. to avoid a lumpy cheesecake batter, your cream cheese needs to be at room temperature. Depending on where you live, it can take 1 to 2 hours for your cream cheese to be at room temp, so plan ahead.
The next trick to getting the best cheesecake texture is to beat your batter well after each ingredient addition. You need to create air in your batter to make it fluffy and smooth. When you add the sugar make sure to beat the mix for about 4 minutes.
Lastly, when adding your eggs, do so one at a time and beat the batter for one minute before adding the other egg.
Cheesecake in the Instant Pot
The reason why cheesecake works wonderfully in the instant pot is because of the moisture that the pressure cooker creates, the oven can't do that without a Bain Marie (water bath).
Besides that, when you make cheesecake in the oven, you are using a larger appliance and using more electricity and heating up your home. That's not an option in Arizona in the summer!
One important tip to keep in mind is to allow your pressure cooker to release the steam on its own. Let the pot do a natural release of the pressure and do not use the quick release, this will prevent spills inside your pressure cooker.
Use some non stick spray in your springform pan to make sure your cheesecake releases easily.
How to prevent the cheesecake top from cracking
When making cheesecake it is usual that the top crackles. This happens due to changes in temperature.
Your cheesecake needs to completely cool down before you put it in the fridge to avoid the drastic temperature change.
You can always smooth out any cracks with your topping. If you use a jam, jelly, ganache, etc. nobody will see the little imperfections on your cheesecake.
What's the ultimate cheesecake topping?
It all comes down to personal preference but undeniably, strawberry jam is a classic. The best kind is the homemade with fresh strawberries, sugar and a little bit of cornstarch to thicken it up.
Blueberry jam, Nutella, cookie butter, peanut butter are also great ways to add a spin to your classic cheesecake. Stay tuned for these flavors to come to the blog soon as I will keep experimenting with my cheesecake recipe.
What is the best crust for cheesecake?
I love a traditional graham cracker crust but cheesecake is very versatile.
You can use any of these and you won't go wrong:
- Oreo crust: This one is my second favorite. Chocolate and cheesecake? Sign me up!
- Digestive/Biscoff: these type of crackers are very popular in Europe, they are similar to a Graham cracker but have a deeper color and unique flavor.
- Sponge cake: If you have tried Junior's cheesecake, you know this one is a great alternative.
- Graham crackers/nuts: Another great combination is to add nuts to your graham crackers crumb. It gives it an extra nutty flavor and texture.
Instant Pot Strawberry Cheesecake
- 2 8 ounce pacakages cream cheese at room temperature
- ¼ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 eggs at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs about 9 graham crackers crushed
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 8 ounce package of straberries
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- In a bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter until the texture is like sand
- Spray your springform pan and press the cracker mixture evenly onto the bottom of the pan
- Press tightly with the help of a measuring cup
- Place in the freezer for 20 minutes while you prepare the cheesecake batter
- In a bowl, with a hand mixer, on medium speed, mix the cream cheese and sugar until silky soft. About 4 minutes
- Add one egg and continue mixing for 1 minute
- Add the second egg and mix for another minute
- Add the sour cream, vanilla extract and heavy whipping cream and mix until incorporated.
- Pour the cheesecake batter into the springform pan
- Cover with aluminum foil
- Add 2 cups of water to your instant pot. Add the thrivet and lower the springform pan using rack the handles. If you don't have the rack handles accesory, you can create a sleeve with aluminum foil to help you lower the springform pan
- Close the instant pot lid and set your pressure cooker to high
- Cook cheesecake for 35 minutes
- Allow a natural release of the pressure. Let the cheesecake cool down for about 20 minutes before opening the instant pot
- Remove cheesecake and place it in a cooling rack. Remove any excess water condensation by gently blotting the top with a paper towel
- Allow cheesecake to fully cool down before refrigerating to avoid cracks on the top of the cheesecake due to the sudden temperature change
- Refrigerate cheesecake for at least 3 hours or overnight
- Add strwberries and sugar to a sauce pan and cook on medium heat for about 20 minutes
- Once the berries start releasing their juice, reserve 4 tablespoons of the juice and dissolve the cornstarch until smooth.
- Add the mixture to the strawberries and allow the mix to thicken
- Cool down before topping your cheesecake
- Serve cheesecake with the straberry jam