Today we’re excited to be sharing our recipe for Instant Pot cheesecake with a graham cracker crust and topped with homemade blueberry sauce. Read on for the details.
When I read you could make cheesecake in the instant pot I was at first doubtful. I had heard of Instant Pot desserts like these chocolate lava cakes. And we have had success making things like Instant Pot chili, Instant Pot rice, and even Instant Pot hard-boiled eggs…but we had never tried making a dessert. This was uncharted territory. But, I decided to try anyway. I figured if there was ever a time to charge into uncharted territory, it should be for a dessert. And I love cheesecake.
After making it, I realized the Instant Pot cheesecake cooks perfectly. No brown or burned top, no under-cooked middle, no turning the oven off part way through, or any of the other problems I’ve had making cheesecake in the oven! I wish I knew it was going to be so easy, I would have made this a long time ago!
Making Instant Pot Cheesecake
To begin, I measured the diameter of our Instant Pot and purchased a 7-inch springform pan. They’re not hard to find, we grabbed ours from Amazon (where we buy way too much stuff). After doing the calculations, I realized it would be about half the size of our normal 9-inch cheesecake pan, so, I basically cut the original recipe in half and made a smaller version. I think for our family the Instant Pot cheesecake ended up the perfect size. As much as I love it having too much of a rich dessert lying around can be trouble. But, if I were hosting a larger crowd, I would just make the original version and pour half in each pan and make two.
This instant pot cheesecake recipe is basically the same as our lemon cheesecake recipe cut in half as I mentioned. However, after the first time making it in the Instant Pot and having a slight overflow (still delicious, but not ideal), we cut back on a few ingredients and didn’t bother to beat the egg whites (skip an extra step, sign me up!). The next several tries seemed to work. I also think the natural release helps with the overflow problem as well. There is usually a small puddle on the top of the cake when opening, just gently dab it off with a paper towel and it should be fine.
What’s a cheesecake without blueberry sauce? I always love cheesecake with some sort of fruit topping and this blueberry sauce goes really well with this lemon cheesecake. My stepmother used to make this with huckleberries and it was amazing. I like going with blueberries and have even found that the small frozen “wild” blueberries from Trader Joes or Wymans work really well. I’m sure fresh blueberries and other fruits would be delicious as well.
I don’t think the cornstarch/thickening is necessary, but it’s a personal preference. If you do use cornstarch, make sure it is thoroughly mixed with the water, because otherwise it will clump and harden in the sauce. And, it isn’t the worst idea to make extra to try on pancakes.
Graham Cracker Crust
Speaking of things that go great together, I’ve never met a cheesecake that didn’t get along with a graham cracker crust. A must for our Instant Pot cheesecake. This graham cracker crust is super easy and is basically just 3 ingredients: the graham crackers, melted butter, and powdered sugar (and a pinch of salt).
We place the graham crackers in a ziplock bag and then crush them with a rolling pin. Our kids love helping with this step (and with the cheesecake eating). Then it’s just a matter of mixing in the other ingredients and then pressing it into your pan. Not hard.
After mixing and adding in your filling, the Instant Pot does the rest! The only bad thing is that this cheesecake is best when chilled over night. I know, I know, you want it now! But think of the cheesecake dreams that will dance through your head…it will be worth the wait!
For the crust
- 5 graham cracker sheets (10 squares), crushed
- 1/4 c . melted butter
- 1/2 T . powdered sugar
- pinch of salt
For the cheesecake
- 2 8 oz . packages of cream cheese , softened
- 1/2 c . sugar
- 2 eggs at room temperature
- 2/3 c . sour cream at room temperature
- 1 tsp . vanilaa
- juice of half a lemon
- 1 tsp . lemon zest
For the blueberry sauce
- 1 c . small blueberries or huckleberries
- 1/8 c . sugar
- 1 T . lemon juice
- 1 tsp . cornstarch mixed in 1 T. water , optional
- Crush graham crackers in a ziplock bag with a rolling pin until no big pieces are left.
- Add powdered sugar and salt to the baggie and mix.
- Melt butter in a 4 c. pyrex measuring glass.
- Add graham cracker crumb mixture to butter and stir.
- Spread crumb/butter mixture in a greased 7 inch springform pan and press/flatten down on the bottom and slightly up the sides with a flat bottomed ramekin.
- Freeze crust while making cheesecake.
- In a mixer beat the cream cheese until soft.
- Beat in sugar, scrape down sides of the bowl, and mix until fluffy.
- Add in eggs one at a time and mix.
- Mix in sour cream, vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice until smooth.
- Remove crust from freezer and pour mixture into pan.
- Place trivet with lifting arms in the up position into your Instant Pot (or if your trivet does not have arms--make a foil "sling" to place under pan so that you can carefully lift out after cooking).
- Pour 1 cup of water in the bottom of the Instant Pot.
- Carefully lower pan down into pot on trivet.
- Close lid, turn vent to sealed position, and set Instant Pot to manual for 35 minutes.
- When cycle ends, cancel/turn off Instant Pot and let naturally release for 15 minutes.
- Open lid, soak up and water from top of cheesecake gently with a paper towel, and carefully lift cheesecake with trivet arms or foil "sling" and let cheesecake cool on a plate.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (preferably overnight).
- To make blueberry or huckleberry sauce, place blueberries, lemon juice, and sugar in small pot over medium low heat. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer for 6-8 minutes. If you prefer a thicker sauce add cornstarch/water mixture (make sure it is thoroughly mixed to avoid lumps in sauce) and heat to berry sauce and heat until thickens.