Making Pressure Cooker Cheesecake is a piece of cake. To make it almost perfect in the pressure cooker is another story. I would be lying if I told you our first pressure cooker cheesecake was stunning. In fact, it took us 16 tries.

Imagine the excitement on my mother’s face when she received her share of our 16th cheesecake in 2 months!

Easy New York Instant Pot Cheesecake Recipe: make this smooth & creamy or rich & dense pressure cooker cheesecake with crisp crust. Impress guests & pamper yourself!
An almost perfect pressure cooker cheesecake should look and taste great. Relatively smooth surface and side with minimal air bubbles.

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Whether you’re here to learn about perfecting your pressure cooker cheesecake or to find answers for making a better pressure cooker cheesecake, these 11 tips will answer most of your questions.

You can click on the tips one by one or read them all. Have fun! 🙂

Preparation Tips

Tip 1 – Size Matters:
Start with the Right Cheesecake Pans & Containers
Tip 2 – Cream Cheese:
How Many Packages Do I Need?
Tip 3 – Ingredients:
Improve Texture & Prevent Cracking With Cornstarch
Tip 4 – Liner:
Line the Container For Smoother Finish and Cleaner Release

Technique Tips

Tip 5 – Crust:
Blind-Bake For a Firm & Crisp Crust
Tip 6 – Cheesecake Batter:
Dense vs Creamy Cheesecakes
Tip 7 – Air Bubbles:

Tap & Swirl & Fork Away 
Tip 8 – Cracking:

Why Did My Cheesecake Crack?
Tip 9 – Uneven Surface Dents:
Minimize Condensation
Tip 10 – Doneness:
Is My Cheesecake Done?
Tip 11 – Releasing:
Warm the Bottom of the Pan to Release the Cheesecake

Skip to Full Recipe: Instant Pot New York Cheesecake #17

Preparation

Tip 1 – Size Matters
Start with the Right Cheesecake Pans & Containers

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Cheesecake Pans and Containers
Both Fat Daddio's Cheesecake Pan (with removable bottom) and non-stick Springform Pan are great for making pressure cooker cheesecakes. The pink silicone cups from IKEA are great as well.

What Sizes Fit In The 6 Qt. Instant Pot DUO60 Pressure Cooker?

  • Fat Daddio's Cheesecake Pan (with removable bottom): 7 inches or smaller
    • Note: the 7 x 3 inch Push Pans we use are often out of stock due to the popularity, especially among Instant Pot users!! They do restock regularly, so you can either wait a bit, or find a similar one 🙂
  • Springform Cake Pan: 7 inches or smaller

Tip 2 – Cream Cheese
How Many Packages Do I Need?

In US, 1 package of Philadelphia Cream Cheese Block is 8 ounces (226g).

In Canada & Australia, 1 package of Philadelphia Cream Cheese Block is 250 grams (8.82 oz).

  • For a 7″ x 3″ Cheesecake pan: 2 packages
  • For a 4.5″ – 5″ x 2″ Cheesecake pan: 1 package
  • For standard size silicone cups (2.7″ x 1.25″): 1 package yields 8 – 10 cheesecake bites

Tip 3 – Ingredients
Improve Texture & Prevent Cracking With Cornstarch

Despite the name, cheesecake is more of a custard on a crust than an actual cake.

Four Essential Ingredients: cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, and eggs.

Cornstarch: Adding a small amount of cornstarch to the cheesecake improves the overall texture without changing the flavor profile. It also helps prevent the cheesecake from cracking.

Room Temperature: The secret to a lump-free cheesecake is to start with cream cheese, sour cream, and eggs at room temperature. *We will elaborate on this in the techniques section.


Tip 4 – Liner
Line the Container For Smoother Finish and Cleaner Release

Lining the container with parchment paper is not crucial for great tasting pressure cooker cheesecake.

But if you want a smoother finish and cleaner release (especially with Fat Daddio’s Pan), we recommend lining the container with parchment paper on the bottom and the sides.

From our test results, silicone cups from IKEA do not need to be lined with parchment paper.

Lining the container

We didn’t use any butter to line the parchment papers

Techniques

Tip 5 – Crust
Blind-Bake For a Firm & Crisp Crust

Freezing vs Blind-Baking: We did a direct comparison between the two different methods.

Method 1: Freezing the crust for 20 minutes
Method 2: Baking the crust for 15 minutes at 325°F in the oven with some additional flour

Comparing two cheesecake crusts directly

Baked Crust Wins (Method 2)

In our blind taste test, the baked crust was noticeably firmer and crisper when compared to the freezer version (method 1).

If you like a crisper crust, we highly recommend baking the crust in the oven for 15 minutes at 325°F.

On a side note, noticed the air bubbles on the surface? We will tackle that in a bit.

More Even Crust Layer

To get a more even crust layer, use flat objects such as measuring cup or container to firmly press down the crust. Use a small spoon for the edges.Crust Even Layer


Tip 6 – Cheesecake Batter
Dense vs Creamy Cheesecakes

We always see recipes telling us not to overmix the pressure cooker cheesecake batter. But why?

During our 16 tests, we tried mixing our cheesecake batters a few different ways:

  • Speed: Slow speed, medium speed, high speed.
  • Duration: 30-seconds duration, 1-minute duration, 2-minute duration between each ingredient.
  • Temperature: Starting with cold ingredients vs. room temperature ingredients

Here are the conclusions:

  1. Never Mix with High Speed: High speed mixing adds too much air and shears the proteins in the batter.
  2. Room Temperature: Always start with ingredients at room temperature
  3. Mix Eggs One at a Time: Mix in the eggs one at a time at the end to avoid overmixing
  4. Don’t Mix the Batter for Too Long: We were able to control the density and creaminess of the cheesecake by controlling the time we used to mix each ingredient.

-The longer we mixed the cheesecake batter, the more tender the cheesecake became. However, when you mix the batter for too long, the batter becomes too runny and may cause the cheesecake to crack.

Cracked Cheesecake

Cracked cheesecake due to overmixed batter.

2 Methods For Making Cheesecake Batter

*Click on the method you prefer for further insturctions

If you like a firm and dense cheesecake resembling a New York Cheesecake, here is the method we used:

Remember: the less you mix the batter, the firmer the cheesecake will be.

  1. Add room temperature cream cheese in a medium mixing bowl, break up the cream cheese by pressing it with the mixer.
  2. Mix white sugar, cornstarch, and sea salt in a small mixing bowl and add the mixture to the cream cheese.
  3. Mix at low speed until everything have incorporated. Scrape down the sides and the mixer with a silicone spatula.
  4. Add sour cream, vanilla extract to the cream cheese mixture and beat until incorporated using low speed. Scrape down the sides and mixer with a silicone spatula.
  5. Blend in the eggs using low speed, one at a time. Mix until incorporated (about 15 – 20 seconds with a hand mixer). Try not to overmix on this step.

If you like a creamy and tender cheesecake, this method is for you:

  1. Add room temperature cream cheese in a medium mixing bowl, beat cream cheese over low speed with a mixer for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and the mixer with a silicone spatula.
  2. Mix white sugar, cornstarch, and sea salt in a small mixing bowl. Add half of the mixture to the cream cheese.
  3. Mix at low speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and the mixer with a silicone spatula.
  4. Add the other half of the sugar mixture to the cream cheese. Mix at low speed for a minute. Scrape down the sides and the mixer with a silicone spatula.
  5. Add sour cream and vanilla extract to the cream cheese mixture and mix at low speed for another minute. Scrape down the sides and mixer with a silicone spatula.
  6. Blend in the eggs using low speed, one at a time. Mix until incorporated (about 15 – 20 seconds with a hand mixer). Try not to overmix on this step.


Tip 7 – Air Bubbles
Tap & Swirl & Fork Away

Cause: Overmixing the eggs create a lot of air bubbles.

Prevention: blend in the eggs one at a time until incorporated. It should only take 15 – 20 seconds per egg with a hand mixer.

Methods to Remove Air Bubbles:

  1. Tapping the Cheesecake against the counter-top will cause the air bubbles to rise and pop.Tapping the Cheesecake against the counter
  2. Swirling the cheesecake will also cause the air bubbles to rise and pop.Swirling the Cheesecake
  3. Use a fork or toothpick to remove all the air bubbles on the surface.
    Use a fork to remove air bubbles

Tip 8 – Cracking
Why Did My Cheesecake Crack?

Causes: 

  1. Overmixing the batter
  2. Overcooking the cheesecake
  3. Undercooking the cheesecake
  4. Cheesecake sticks to the container’s sidewall during cooling process
  5. Sudden shift of temperature

Solutions:

  1. Do Not Overmix: the first 3 problems can be easily solved by not overmixing your batter and cooking the cheesecake to perfection. 🙂
  2. Cornstarch: Adding cornstarch to the batter also helps prevent the cheesecake from cracking.
  3. Use the right cooking time, release method, and amount of liquid:

a) For 7″x3″ pressure cooker cheesecake (uncovered):
-Cooking Time: High Pressure 25 – 27 minutes
-Release Method: Natural Release
-Liquid: 1 cup of cold running water

b) For 4.5″ – 5″ x 2″ pressure cooker cheesecake (uncovered):
-Cooking Time: High Pressure 18 minutes
-Release Method: Natural Release
-Liquid: 1 cup of cold running water

c) For standard silicone cup (2.7″ x 1.25″) cheesecake bites (uncovered):
-Cooking Time: High Pressure 7 minutes
-Release Method: Natural Release
-Liquid: 1 cup of cold running water

Cause #4: Cheesecake Sticking to Container’s Sidewall

Cheesecake will continue to shrink in size during the cooling process. If the cheesecake happens to stick to the sidewall of the container, the cheesecake may crack.

Solution: After cooling for 10 to 15 minutes, carefully run a thin paring knife between the sidewall and the cheesecake or parchment paper to release the cheesecake from the container.

Releasing the Cheesecake with a paring knife

Cause #5: Sudden Shift of TemperatureCheesecake Temperature Chart in the Pressure Cooker

We recorded the temperature inside the pressure cooker during our experiments. There’s a sudden shift of temperature when we opened the lid.

The steam rushing out of the pressure cooker causes the temperature to rapidly decrease from 192°F to 126°F within a few seconds.

This sudden shift of temperature causes the expanded cheesecake to rapidly shrink. If the cheesecake was slightly under-cooked, cracking may occur.

Solution: open the lid very slowly to allow the temperature of the cheesecake to decrease more gradually.


Tip 9 – Uneven Surface Dents
Minimize Condensation

Cause: Condensation build-up happens during the “going up to pressure” stage and natural pressure releasing stage.

Method #1 – Aluminum Foil: One option to avoid condensation is to wrap the cheesecake tightly with aluminum foil. With this method, you will need to increase the cooking time by ~30%.

Remember, cheesecake batter will expand under pressure in the pressure cooker. If you are using the aluminum foil method, do not fill your cheesecake pan more than 80% full or it may look like this…

Aluminum Foil Cheesecake

This doesn’t look like an almost perfect cheesecake at all 🙁

With some elementary scientific calculations, we found that the dents on cheesecakes’ surfaces are mostly caused by the condensation build-up during the “going up to pressure” stage. So, we came up with a second method.

Dented CheesecakeMethod #2 – Start with Boiling Water: For a smooth surface cheesecake, wait until the water in the pressure cooker boils before placing the cheesecake in.

Once you close the lid, the floating valve should go up quickly and pressure will be achieved in less than 1 minute. You will have to add 2 -3 minutes to the pressure cooking time to compensate.

Almost Perfect Cheese in Pressure Cooker

The result: Almost smooth surface with minimal condensation build-up during the natural release stage


Tip 10 – Doneness
Is My Cheesecake Done?

The very center (about 2″ – 3″ for a 7″ cheesecake) of a perfectly cooked cheesecake should still jiggle when you move it from side to side.

At this point, you can remove it from the pressure cooker or just leave it in the turned off pressure cooker and let it come down to temperature more gradually with the lid open.


Tip 11 – Releasing
Warm the Bottom of the Pan to Release the Cheesecake

Whether you’re lining the bottom with parchment paper or using a non-stick pan. After chilling the cheesecake in the fridge, the bottom of the cheesecake will stick to the pan.

Why? Because the butter has hardened.

The easiest way to release the pressure cooker cheesecake is to warm the bottom of the pan to melt the butter. You can use a torch or heating pad for this step. 🙂


Conclusion
Almost Perfect Pressure Cooker Cheesecake Experiment  

I would love to make the Perfect Pressure Cooker Cheesecake, but I think my mother will start to hate me with Cheesecake #17.

After 16 trials, I am proud to say we have developed our New York Cheesecake Recipe. 🙂

Full Recipe: Instant Pot New York Cheesecake #17

Pressure Cooker New York Cheesecake

From Jacky the food nerd 🙂

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Pressure Cooker Cheesecake Guide: 11 tested tips that answer most FAQ for a stunning Pressure Cooker Cheesecake in Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker. Developed based on 16 experiments.

Last update on 2017-08-14 based on Amazon US | Images from Amazon Product API

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