I’ve joined the Instant Pot fan club! It’s been a game changer for meal prep the last few months but did you know you could make cheesecake in it? Try my Instant Pot Chocolate-Peanut Butter Swirl Cheesecake and you may never go back to making cheesecake in the oven. It’s not just convenient to make it in the Instant Pot, but it’s the best tasting cheesecake you’ve ever had!
I now own two Instant Pots. My husband gave me the Instant Pot Duo Mini 3-quart 7-in-1 Programmable Cooker for Christmas. I call it the baby. I had so much fun making New Years Day dinner in it-dried black eyed peas and fresh collard greens. (Recipes and pics for these two coming soon).
As soon as I got the Instant Pot DU060 6 QT 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Cooker I tested this cheesecake almost every day. I’ve tested different pans, cooking times, pressure release times, and ingredient amounts.
I’ve made it in two different pans, Fat Daddio’s 7″x 3″ removable bottom cheesecake pan and a 7″ springform pan that came in a set of three when I was testing recipes for my cookbook Magic Cakes. My favorite pan was the Fat Daddio’s pan but more on that later. Let’s get started!
We start with half of a package of peanut butter creme filled Oreo cookies-you know what to do with the other half, right? Yep! Pass around a few in the lunch boxes then snack on them while you make the cheesecake! Or, I guess you could save the other half for a second cheesecake!
Process them in a food processor until finely crushed. You can crush them in a large zip top bag but the peanut butter goodness tends to smash against the plastic bag. Using the whole cookie saves the step and ingredient of adding melted butter to cookie crumbs. The peanut butter creme acts as the binder instead of adding butter.
Press the crumbs firmly in the bottom of your pan sprayed with cooking spray and 1″ up the sides. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. Let it cool completely while you prepare the cheesecake batter. (You can also freeze the crust instead of bake it but it tends to be less crisp and it doesn’t save time because it takes longer to freeze than bake it.
As I mention in my cookbook, Magic Cakes, you don’t have to wait until cream cheese and eggs placed on the countertop come to room temperature. For two blocks of cream cheese, microwave them together (unwrapped) on HIGH (1100 watts) for 35 seconds. For the eggs, place them in a small bowl and cover with very warm water (not hot) for 10 minutes. The eggs can be warming while you make the crust.
A hand mixer is better for cheesecake than a stand mixer. A stand mixer tends to incorporate too much air in a cheesecake which creates air bubbles in your cheesecake. Save the stand mixer for layer cakes where you want to whip air into the batter.
Keep the mixer on medium-low speed. You can even just use the spatula to stir in the melted chocolate to keep those air bubbles from forming.
Dollop half of chocolate cheesecake batter in the baked and cooled crust. Gently spread it to the edges of the pan.
Microwave the peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl on HIGH (1100 watts) to thin out the peanut butter. This will make it much easier to spread on the batter. Dollop 3/4 cup of the peanut butter on the chocolate cheesecake batter, then spread with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon.
Spread the remaining half of chocolate cheesecake batter on the peanut butter layer, then randomly place tiny dollops of the remaining 1/4 cup peanut butter on top of the chocolate layer.
With a small offset spatula or table knife, gently run it through each dollop of peanut butter. Don’t push the spatula into the middle layer of peanut butter, just rake it through the dollops. I’ve made about 6 of these cheesecakes while perfecting them and I’ll have to admit I’ve had fun with this part. No two cheesecakes have looked the same on top. They each have their own unique “ink blot” art designs. What do you see in this one?
Place a large piece of heavy duty, extra wide aluminum foil over the top of the cheesecake pan, but don’t let it touch the batter. “Tent” it slightly by punching the foil up slight with your fingertips before pressing it down the sides and flattening it on the bottom. Be sure to gently push the covered pan down on the countertop so the bottom is flat. You don’t want to end up with a cheesecake that has baked a little sideways.
If you think your Instant Pot trivet handles are too short or your brand of programmable cooker doesn’t have handles on the trivet. Create a “sling” by folding an 18″x12″ piece of heavy duty, extra wide aluminum foil in thirds and lower the covered cheesecake pan down into the pot filled with 1 1/2 cups water on the trivet.
This is what it looks like with the sling in the Instant Pot without the cheesecake pan. I use the trivet handles with pot holders but some people swear by the sling.
Be sure to push the pressure release valve over to sealing not venting and then push the Pressure Cook button. Push the +/- button until it reaches 50 minutes on the timer. In 10 seconds the screen will say “ON”. In about 6 minutes the pressure will build up and the screen will change back to 50 and start the countdown.
Although it does take 50 minutes to cook the cheesecake, it is still less time than most cheesecakes and the texture is perfect because of the steamy environment of the Instant Pot versus the dry oven where you need a bain marie (fancy word for water bath). An NONE of the cheesecakes I’ve made in the Instant Pot have cracked-none.
When the timer goes off, hit cancel so the “Keep Warm” cycle doesn’t start. The natural pressure release method will kick in and take about 15 minutes before the pin drops and it is safe to remove the cheesecake. Remove it slowly. When a cheesecake goes from one temperature to a different temperature too quickly, it “shocks” it. I read one blog that said this caused dimpling on the top of their cheesecake. I haven’t had any trouble with the top of mine and have loved the swirl on top.
Uncover the cheesecake and let it cool for 1 to 1 1/2 hours before covering and chilling for at least 6 hours. If any water drips from the foil onto to the top of the cheesecake when you uncover it from the pot just gently blot it off with a flat paper towel.
Enjoy and I’d love to hear your Instant Pot cheesecake adventures. Be sure to click to the right to sigh up for my email list so you never miss a post.
- 15 peanut butter creme Oreo sandwich cookies
- 2 8-oz packages cream cheese, room temperature* softened*
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder I use Hershey’s Special Dark
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips half of (12-oz bag)
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder or instant coffee granules optional
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
Preheat oven to 350 °.
Place cookies in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely crushed (1 1/2 cups). You can also crush them in a zip top bag and a rolling pin but the peanut butter filling tends to stick to the bag.
Coat a 7”x3” removable bottom pan (I use Fat Daddio’s) or springform pan with cooking spray. Press cookie crumbs into the bottom and 1-inch up the sides of the pan with your fingertips or the bottom of a glass. Bake for 8 minutes. Let crust cool while you prepare the filling (about 10 minutes).
Place cream cheese in a large mixing bowl and beat on medium-low speed with a hand mixer until creamy. A stand mixer is more powerful and tends to incorporate too much air in cheesecake. Scrape down sides of bowl.
Add sugar and cocoa and beat at medium-low speed until combined. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl.
Add eggs, one at a time, and beat on medium-low speed just until each egg is incorporated.
Combine whipping cream and chocolate chips in a glass measuring cup or microwave safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH (1100) watts for 40 seconds. Stir until mixture is smooth. It will look like it won’t come together but it will suddenly and be silky smooth. Stir in espresso powder for a more intense chocolate flavor, but it’s not crucial. Add chocolate mixture, sour cream, and vanilla to cream cheese mixture and beat on medium-low speed just until incorporated.
Microwave on HIGH (1100 watts) peanut butter in a glass measuring cup or microwave safe bowl 16 seconds or until slightly thinner.
Spoon half of chocolate filling into the prepared crust. Spoon 3/4 cup of the peanut butter in dollops over the chocolate filling, then spread almost to the edges of the pan. Pour the remaining half of chocolate filling over the peanut butter, spreading it to the edges of the pan. Dollop 1 teaspoonfuls of remaining peanut butter randomly onto the chocolate filling. Run a table knife through the peanut butter but not through to the middle peanut butter layer.
10. Wrap a large piece of heavy duty aluminum foil by placing it on top of the pan, slightly tenting it so it doesn’t touch the filling. Press the foil down the sides of the pan and around the bottom. Press the pan down on the countertop mashing the foil flat on the bottom.
11. (Optional) Make a “sling” of aluminum foil to help remove the hot pan when finished by folding a 20” long piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil in half then in thirds. Place this on top of the trivet that fits inside the 6-quart Instant Pot pan. I don’t have any trouble removing the cheesecake pan with the handles on my trivet but if your brand trivet doesn’t have handles or are hard to reach with potholders, the sling will make it easy to remove. Just fold the ends of the sling over the covered pan.
12. Secure the lid of the Instant Pot. Turn the steam vent to sealing position. Press the Pressure Cook button. Press the -/+ buttons to 50 minutes. In about 5 minutes, the countdown will start.
13. When the cycle ends and it beeps allow it to release pressure naturally. Mine took about 15 minutes for the pin to drop. Do not use Keep Warm setting or it will keep cooking. I set a timer for 15 minutes to check to see if it was safe to remove the lid. Remove lid and remove pan carefully, using your homemade sling or trivet handles. Let stand 5 minutes for foil to cool down. Remove foil carefully. I tore it from the bottom up the sides in a couple of pieces. Let cool completely on a wire rack 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until completely cooled. Cover with foil and refrigerate at least 6 hours before serving.
*Tip: To bring the cream cheese to room temperature (softened) quickly, place both unwrapped packages on a plate and microwave it on HIGH (1100 watts) for 40 seconds. *Tip: To bring eggs to room temperature, place eggs in a small bowl of very warm (not hot) water for 10 minutes.)
Level of Difficulty: Medium