No,  I’m serious, I need you to tell me if that looks delicious.   I’m not a huge dessert fan so to me it looks about as appealing as a sweaty, rubber clown nose.

Skip right to the recipe.

However, in keeping with the great Instant Pot experiment of 2017, I made a cheesecake.  Along with hard boiled eggs, people go nuts over making cheesecakes in their Instant Pot. And by “people” I mean the collective cult of Instant Pot enthusiasts who will proclaim anything and everything can be made in an Instant Pot (whether it actually makes sense to make that thing in the Instant Pot or not).

Why do they cook everything from a whole chicken to cheesecakes in their Instant Pots?  Because they can.

Because I don’t cook a ton of desserts I researched as much as I could about cooking cheesecakes in the Instant Pot.

I scoured and studied and sleuthed until I found all the tips, tricks and techniques I thought I was going to need to make a photogenic cheesecake.

And yes that’s totally a can of cherry pie filling on top.  I was not going to spend my day making a topping for a sweaty, rubber clown’s nose.

New York Style Cheesecake

This creamy, tangy cheesecake base can be transformed to whatever you want it to be depending on your topping.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: ), They say it's from New York.
Author: The Art of Doing Stuff


  • 120 grams of finely ground graham crackers crust
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter crust
  • 1 Tbsp dark brown sugar crust
  • 1/4 cup of flour crust
  • pinch of salt crust
  • 2 packages of cream cheese 500 grams
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of boiling water


  • Process the graham crackers in a food processor until finely ground OR use a handy dandy crumb roller/rolling pin to crush them.
  • Mix graham cracker crumbs with 1 tbsp brown sugar, 1/4 cup of flour, pinch of salt.
  • Add 4 Tbsp of butter and mix. Add more butter if needed to make crust mixture hold its shape when pressed.
  • Press crumb mixture into bottom of parchment lined 7" springform pan.
  • Bake at 325 F for 15 minutes. While the crust is baking ...
  • Mix 2/3 cup sugar and pinch of salt together. Set aside.
  • In large mixing bowl beat the 2 packages of cream cheese with a hand mixer on low until it's just mixed together. Don't over beat.
  • Incorporate the sugar a bit at a time until well mixed. Again don't over beat.
  • Add 1/2 cup of sour cream and 2 tsp of vanilla. Beat with hand mixer until fully combined and mixture is smooth.
  • Add in the 2 eggs and beat just until combined.
  • Pour batter into pan with cooked graham cracker crust.
  • Bang the pan a few times to help release air bubbles.
  • Add 1 cup of boiling water to the Instant Pot.
  • Insert trivet and place cake on top.
  • Close lid immediately and set Instant Pot to 18 minutes using manual button.
  • When done allow natural release of pressure.
  • Blot top of cheese cake with paper towels (there will be water on top of it)
  • Cool in the fridge for at least 4 hours, preferably a day.
  • Serve and enjoy.


  • Buy a 7″ springform pan for this.  Anything bigger won’t fit in the Instant Pot.
  • A hand mixer works much better for mixing the filling than a Kitchenaid or Food processor.
  • Use a flat bottomed cup to press the crust down into the bottom of the springform pan.
  • Using boiling water in the bottom of the Instant Pot decreases the amount of time it takes to get up to pressure so add the water, trivet, cake and close the lid as quickly as possible so you don’t lose too much heat from the water.
  • After cutting a piece wrap the outside and top of the cake in parchment paper to keep it from drying out.
  • Freeze, freeze, freeze.  Cheesecake freezes perfectly.

The cheesecake turned out perfectly in the Instant Pot.   It looked great, had no cracking, wasn’t dried out and had perfect texture.

Seeing the thing covered in water when I pulled it out of the Instant Pot was a bit disconcerting but the paper towels cleaned the top of the cake up perfectly.

The last part of the test was to taste it. I ate a small piece and immediately felt sick.  Again, sweaty, rubber clown’s nose.  Knowing I couldn’t trust my own judgement I fed the cake to everyone who came into or even near my house over the next couple of days.

The consensus was – delicious.  The cake turned out creamy, tart, and sweet with a smooth texture.  All the things you apparently want a cheesecake to be.  So the Instant Pot cheesecake was a 100% success.

But even after this success I kept asking myself one question.   Why?  Why cook a cheesecake in an Instant Pot.  It wasn’t any faster than cooking it in an oven.  I don’t think the flavour was any different.  So why?

And I think it simply boils down to “because you can.”


  1. Kelly says:

    Can I just say, I love your style of writing? You make me laugh and I love that about you already. That and you saved me $90 being thrown at an Instant Pot that I don’t think I would have loved. <3

    • Karen says:

      You can absolutely say that. Who knows. You might have loved the Instant Pot. A LOT of people do. I haven’t used mine in the past 2 months but … lol. ~ karen!

  2. Shawna G says: you think you could do this in an old fashioned pressure cooker rather than a fancy new Insta-Pot?

  3. Beth says:

    We make cheese cake quite often here and the water bath is a pain. No matter how well we wrap the spring form pan water gets in and gets the crust soggy. Doing it on a trivet will eliminate that issue.

  4. Jen says:

    Well, I make a maximum of 1 cheese cake a year (the no-bake kind!) Soooooo, one more good reason not to buy the Instant pot.

  5. Jody says:

    The cheesecake looks like food porn. If it was edible after the 18minutes of cooking I’d say great, but having to wait an entire day to eat it–forget it. I’d rather spend my 18 minutes running to Cake and Loaf for something really yummy.
    Since you are experimenting with the latest craze, will you be doing a review of Fidget Spinners?

  6. Jan in Waterdown says:

    Photogenic? You betcha babe!
    Appealing? No way!
    IMHO (and apparently I’ve never had a humble one in my life), cheesecake is cloying glop that’s a waste of time, calories and some perfectly good ingredients.

  7. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    It looks great…I would eat it!

  8. Lavada Shaft says:

    That is a gorgeous cheesecake!!!

    My guess on why — to lower the risk of cracking a cheesecake a waterbath is suggested (what a pain); also if you’re not sure of the accuracy of your oven temp, it could be slightly tan on top, which I have found undesirable from a select few (which, by the way, I no longer cook desserts for, thank you very much).

    Anyway, your cheesecake looks better than most I see in display cases for sale in delis and such.

  9. Elizabeth says:

    I bought an Instant Pot this year. During my pre-purchase research, I was highly amused by the cult-like fervour of owners who swore they only ever cooked in their IP anymore, no matter whether it made sense or not. I was especially amused by the weird devotion to cheesecakes; some people sounded as if they made multiple cheesecakes each week, when I make possibly one dessert a month at most. That being said, I do really like my IP now I have one. I bought it to replace my dying slow cooker, and I find that every meal I used to make in that tastes even better coming from the Instant Pot; something about the pressure infusing the flavours throughout, perhaps? And my happiest discovery has been how easy it is to make really wonderful Indian curries, which my family adore. Anyway, the Instant Pot isn’t for everyone, but I’m glad I have mine. It’s been so interesting reading this series of posts! Can’t wait to read the conclusion…

  10. rktrix says:

    I think it’s nice to know what you can and can’t make with every tool in the kitchen. And say on the day you’ve promised to make a cheesecake your oven isn’t working – then you have an alternative to buying a cheesecake and letting all your supplies go to waste.

    I also like the idea of not turning on the oven in the summer. I wonder what other sorts of deserts you can make in the pot – hmm.

  11. ktr says:

    I’m not sure I’d go through the hassle of getting a smaller pan and using my instant pot to make cheesecake. But, I will admit I have made tapioca pudding in mine. It isn’t any faster, but I don’t have to stand over it stirring the whole time which is nearly impossible to do without losing my mind with a toddler and a 5 year old running around. And, I didn’t burn any to the bottom of the pot like I normally do when I make pudding on the stove.

    I definitely agree that people use instant pots for some things just because they can. I use ours a few times a week in the same way many people use a slow cooker – to do hands off cooking and so I can have supper ready when I get home from work. I have tried cooking chicken (both whole and boneless cuts) in mine and I’m convinced the only way it is good is in soup, otherwise it is drier than cooking it on the stove, grill or oven.

  12. shannon says:

    Your cheesecake looks beautiful! But yuck. I can’t bring myself to even try cheesecake. I find it so unappetizing.

    Anxiously awaiting your complete review of the IP!

  13. Linda Smutz says:

    Enough Instant Pot–more chickens! I just built a coop, pen, and run for my three newly acquired 10 week old chickens–finally, I’m a chicken mom! One Wyandotte, one Ameracauna, one Cuckoo Maran (really, not making that up Whether she’s really nuts remains to be seen). Already they provide stories–like the evening I went out to put them to bed and found all three roosting on the newly-built 4-foot tall gate to the run!

  14. Melissa says:

    No cracks on top? That’s a good reason to cook one in an instant pot. Cooking in regular oven can yield uneven spots, over-browning and cracks. Plus some recipes call for changing the temp mid-way through cooking, etc, etc, etc.

    I have enjoyed reading about the instant pot. A friend has one and loves it for broth and yogurt, so far. I’m thinking I won’t need any extra appliances cluttering up my overfull kitchen space anyway. I’ll just bake it in the oven since it’s not something I’m going to make on a weekly basis.

  15. Christy Welty says:

    Your cheesecake looks delicious! I have an instant pot and LOVE it! I use it mostly for yogurt and purchased it to take the place of my slow cooker. I found that after 10+ hours away from home a day, my slower cooker made everything into hockey pucks. I like that I can throw a meal in the instant pot and have a nice dinner on the table, that isn’t dried out, in a 1/2 hour to 45 minutes.

  16. Mary W says:

    I would totally prefer to make a cheesecake in an Instant Pot as opposed to climbing a mountain – because it is there. I love cheesecake and IF I ever get an instant pot will try using it for cheese cake – number one reason? You said to use a small pan to fit so I know I won’t eat as much. I LOVE cheesecake – not the topping, just the cheesy cake. Thanks for enduring this test for us and the image of a sweaty red rubber nose is making me ill – will try to remember that image next time I’m confronted with a huge piece of cheescake.

  17. danni says:

    hmmmm…. so far you haven’t convinced me. Which, at this point at least, I think means you aren’t convinced yourself.
    Unless you’re holding on to the really amazing things…
    But shoot! Eggs? Cheesecake? Meh….

  18. Danell says:

    Well the picture of the cheesecake is quite lovely. We love our desserts around here… Awww shucks we just love food ! But, cheesecake is a favorite both homemade and prepared by someone or somewhere else!! Not sure about the instant pot but might try it given a chance. Not heading out to buy one anytime soon though.

  19. Linda says:

    But can it cook a German cheesecake, the kind without a bottom crust? Mmmmmmmmmmy favourite and the only real kind of cheesecake, in my mind anyway, I don’t even care if it cracks, mmmmmmmmmmmmm,

    • ronda says:

      I think one of my favourite desserts that my Oma used to make was a German style plum cheesecake. It was only MANY years later that I found out she overcooked it! That may have been why it had such a tart flavour. I aleays found it to be delicious.

  20. Catt-in-Kentucky says:

    The cooking time is short but all the prep is just as long. The results are beautiful though. For the last year I have had an instapot on my Amazon wish list but just cant bring myself to buy it….just afraid it is just too much bother. I am looking forward to your overall assessment….yes or no to the instapot?

  21. Marna says:

    Yum! Looks great, I love cheesecake.

  22. Ev Wilcox says:

    Really like cheesecake, but w/o goopy stuff on top of it. I prob would use the old fashioned way though of prep–the oven! I use my crockpotS-for many dishes through the year, and a pressure cooker thingy too. I am a savory-girl too, but my family are dessert addicts! I enjoy the baking but not the eating so much. On Memorial day next Monday, I will have muffins and other such goodies ready. The parade in this little township goes right up our street-we just bring out the picnic benches and enjoy! So nice of them to have a parade for us like that!
    We usually have a cookout for the out of town guests later. Anyway, your cheesecake looks lovely Karen!

  23. Rene walkin says:

    I have to agree-cheesecake is totally repulsive to me-I could no more think of eating it than flying to the moon and have often wondered how anyone can eat anything that sweet and enjoy it. It doesn’t even look good. I feel the same way about key lime pie-sickening.

    • Jan in Waterdown says:

      Hey Rene, thanks for saying that ’bout key lime pie! It’s not really a thing here in Ontario, appearing rarely on menus, but on road trips in the U.S., I’d see it all the time and think maybe I should try it. I made the wrong assumption that it would be like lemon meringue pie. Uchhh! It’s disgusting lol!

    • Pam'a says:

      I also dislike cheese cake. Cheese and cake do not belong in the same food together. It’s just wrong. 😉

  24. TucsonPatty says:

    The cheescake looks delicious, and I am of the opinion that Costco and The Cheescake Factory can probably make one much more easily than I can, so I’ll eat mine there. If I made it, I would eat it all, and it wouldn’t take long to do so, and I would then be sick, gain 10 pounds, and not want any ever again. Oh, hey, there’s a diet tip right there! I’m not convinced about the Instant Pot, and probably wouldn’t have used it much when I cooked and fed three people. I use my Crock Pot once a year for the Chili Cookoff in the neighborhood, and this looks to me like just another largish item to keep out on the counter in the way. I’m glad folks like it, it looks interesting.

  25. Tawnya M. says:

    ummm maybe in the summer I can see it so you’re not heating an oven that heats the whole house that you’re spending every penny on the electricity that HVAC is slurping by the gallon every minute. It does look drool inducing. But, I am a cheesecake lover so I find them a bit more appealing. Especially with cherry pie filling on top 😛

    • Karen says:

      Ha! Yep it all comes down to that elegant cherry pie filling, lol. ~ karen!

    • Lianne Raymond says:

      Tawnya – that is one of the things I love about mine – right now it is outside on a little table beside my bar-b-q (along with a single induction burner). All summer I will cook out there and rarely have to cook in my kitchen. It’s like having a mini Quebec style summer kitchen.

  26. Lois says:

    And, apropos of nothing: Can it get too late to pick rhubarb? Or, can rhubarb get too (something) to pick? It came up, I ignored it, then found out from my sister what it was, then I ignored it some more. It’s still out there, so, unless it gets tough (like green beans do it you leave them on the vine too long), I was thinking I’d make something with it.

    Karen? Anyone?

    • Karen says:

      Some of the older stalks can get tough/stringy/woody but really as long as the rhubarb plant is still producing you can pick it. I pick mine all the way into fall. Also people think if the stalk is thick it will be tough but that isn’t the case. It’s how old the stalk is, not how thick it is. ~ karen!

    • tina says:

      And if it (the rhubarb) has started to get a little stringy and old, here’s the way I know. If I go to slice it and there are strings hanging from the slice, I just strip them down. Although as long as your going to stew it, it doesn’t really matter. But I think I’d leave strings out of my rhubarb bread or cake.

  27. Lois says:

    Dang thing is very photogenic! Nice job on that.

    People take that “because you can” approach to slow cookers too. I’ve seen recipes for cooking hot dogs in a slow cooker. Shoot me now.

  28. Stephanie says:

    Why?? My sentiment exactly … I hated cleaning the seal more than I loved the machine and so it has joined the appliances I’ve donated to the local church thrift shop.

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