Instant Pot Cheesecake – How to Make Cheesecake in the IP


Welcome to Set It & Forget It, a series about all the ways we rely on our slow cookers, Instant Pots, and ovens during the colder months. Whether it’s a long braise on the stove or a quick burst in the pressure cooker, one thing’s for sure: Comfort food means comfort cooking.

Instant Pot cheesecakes have gone just the tiniest bit viral. One peek at the Instant Pot Community on Facebook, and you will see post after post about cheesecakes—“New York Cheesecake #17,” to be exact. This particular cheesecake recipe was developed and blogged about by two Instant Pot devotees, Amy and Jacky, and has proliferated across the internet.

Most members post a pic of their cheesecake, and maybe a question or comment about:

  • how to avoid cracks (cornstarch or flour);
  • whether or not to cover the cheesecake in tinfoil (I vote for not doing so, as it extends the cooking time by a lot, and any water that dribbles on the cake can be easily blotted with paper towels post-“bake”;
  • par-baking the crust (I’m against it: turning on the oven while IP’ing just seems inherently wrong to me);
  • and the pitfalls and/or merits of over-mixing your ingredients (a lighter, less dense cake results the longer you mix).

Before I was a convert, dessert in the Instant Pot always seemed kind of silly to me. I cook savory meals in it in order to save time (both hands-on and cooking) and to reduce dish washing. And because I am the queen of simple sweets, all of the dessert recipes I develop and bake are already short on time and clean-up.

Cheesecakes, in fact, have never been in the rotation (save for no-bake ones) as they are just too fussy. What with water baths, low ovens, long bake times, tinfoil-wrapped pans and cracked-top phobias, I have always just given them a hard pass. But the Instant Pot has changed all that.

Yes, it’s true: The assembly of an Instant Pot cheesecake is no different than that of an oven-baked one. But the actual “baking” of one in an Instant Pot takes a mere 26 minutes (plus time for a natural release). The resulting cake is dense, smooth, rich, and crack-free. That’s because instead of a water bath, the “naked” cake pan (no need to wrap it in tinfoil) sits on a trivet above a cup of water, and after a brief stint in the IP emerges—in my experience—sans cracks (likely due to the uniquely moist cooking environment that is a pressure cooker).

I’ve learned so much from my fellow pressure-cooked cheesecake loving folks and have managed to distill much of what they’ve taught me into my first (of what I hope will be many) Instant Pot cheesecake recipe below. To those who have always loved cheesecakes and Instant Pots, you’re so very welcome. And to those who are Instant Pot owners but cheesecake-wary, be brave: The rewards are plenty.

Have you joined the Instant Pot cheesecake club? Let us know in the comments below.

Jessie Sheehan is a cookbook author, food writer, recipe developer, and baker. She is the author of The Vintage Baker and the co-author of Icebox Cakes (both published by Chronicle Books). She has developed recipes for many cookbooks, besides her own, and has contributed recipes/and or written for Better Homes & Gardens, Rachael Ray Everyday, The Washington Post, Epicurious, Food52, Fine Cooking, TASTE, Chowhound, The Spruce Eats, Little Sous, and Main Street Magazine, among others. She blogs at jessie sheehan bakes and can be found on Instagram at @jessiesheehanbakes. She likes layer cakes with lots of frosting and cookies that are thick and chewy. Oh, and she has a soft spot for chocolate pudding. She lives in Red Hook, Brooklyn, with her husband and two boys, not far from her beloved Baked, the bakery where she got her start.