Cheesecake! A rich and creamy tart like cake, made with a crust of graham crackers, with a smooth custard-like cream cheese filling, and topped with fresh fruit or a fruit based sauce. How can you go wrong with that!
It’s a perfect summertime dessert as it is always served cool, just out of the refrigerator. The most awesome thing about this dessert is that it is best made a day in advance, as it needs to chill for 10-12 hours to be perfect.
Over the years, I have made many variations of this cheesecake and this recipe is the chosen one for my family. My family likes a skinnier cheesecake, which means, half the crust and half the filling. More like a Guilt-Free Cheesecake or Skinny Cheesecake– but that’s us. If you want to make a classic cheesecake, simply double up the ingredients. I have adapted this recipe for the Instant Pot– pressure cooker. It has a slight hint of lime and I like to top it with fresh berries, makes it ideal for small dessert plates after a filling meal. For larger gatherings, I pair it with other desserts, cut it in to bite-size squares and pass it around as cheesecake bites! One bite of this Skinny Cheesecake and you’ll know that good things come in small packages too!
When making this recipe in the Instant Pot Duo Mini 3 Qt, I use Silicone Cupcake Liners , fill it till 3/4 of the height, and cook for around 22-25 minutes on Manual High, NPR. That makes for perfect individual size portions, this way , we all get to top it with our favorite toppings. My kids’ favorite these days is Salted Caramel drizzled on top!
Important tip#1: This cheesecake turns out awesome if all ingredients are at room temperature. It may take a bit of a planning, but believe me, it’s worth it.
Important Tip #2: Do not over-mix the batter. If you notice my blend times are down to seconds in the instructions. The purpose of that is to ensure that we don’t over mix the batter. Over-mixing will create more air bubbles in the batter, which will result in an uneven cheesecake filling.
Best Results: Cheesecakes are one those foods that taste better the day after! The ideal chilling time for a cheesecake is 10-12 hours. I prefer to do that over-night, as that reduces the temptation to dig into it every time I open the refrigerator 🙂
Possible Toppings: (or as my kids call is “Genius Pro- Look Hacks” :-))
- Fresh Fruit– Top the cheesecake with your favorite berries and dollops of whipped cream.
- Salted Caramel– Melt a couple of tablespoons of your favorite store bought caramel sauce in a microwave safe bowl for 30-45 seconds. Pour over cheesecake and spread evenly, using an off-set spatula or a butter knife. Lightly sprinkle some sea salt on top.
- Dark-Chocolate Walnut (or Pecans) – Melt some bittersweet chocolate chips in the microwave for 30-45 seconds, Drizzle on the cheesecake in a side-to-side motion, creating horizontal stripes. Chop up some walnuts or pecans and sprinkle on top.
- Berry-Berry: Wash and rinse a pint of raspberries or blackberries or both. Add them to a sauce pan over medium heat and add a about 2 teaspoons of sugar (or more if they are tart). Stir and gently smash a few berries with your spatula. Stir for 7-10 minutes, till a light sauce forms and all the sugar has dissolved. Cool and serve over the cheesecake! (this is my personal favorite)
Instant Pot Skinny Cheesecake (Pressure Cooker Cheesecake)Print Recipe
- CRUST: (For a classic cheesecake, double up all ingredients)
- 5 honey Graham Crackers
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon Brown Sugar
- CHEESECAKE BATTER: (For a classic cheesecake, double up all ingredients)
- 8 oz Kraft Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup Sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- zest of 1 lime (optional, but highly recommended)
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 large egg
Finely grind the graham crackers in a food processor, or, take a ziploc bag, add crackers, zip it and crush them into a fine crumble with a rolling pin or the back of a skillet. Mix melted butter and brown sugar in the crust. Pour the mixture into a parchment lined 7-Inch nonstick springform pan and spread it around evenly. Using the back of a measuring cup or a bowl, press down the crust to set in the pan. Put the pan in the freezer for 20 minutes.
Take the pan out of the freezer and pour the mixture in. Wiggle the pan gently, it makes the air bubbles rise to the top. Take an icing spatula or a fork, and run it through the batter to pop the air bubbles. Cover the pan first with a paper towel tightly (it shouldn't sink into the cheesecake), and then with a piece of aluminum foil. Doing this prevents the moisture from dropping into the cheesecake. Pour 1 cup water in the Inner pot of the Instant Pot. Place the trivet. Place the pan on the trivet. Close the lid. Vent set to SEALING. Cook on MANUAL (High) for 35 minutes. Wait for Natural Pressure Release (NPR), takes about 17-18 minutes.
Open the lid. Remove the pan carefully, remove the foil and cool for 15 minutes. Using an off-set spatula or a knife, go around the cake to release the sides from the pan. This prevents cracks while chilling. Cover it loosely and refrigerator for 8-10 hours. Cheesecake will flatten a little after cooling, that's normal. Open the springform latch and lift the base. Slide the cheesecake on to a platter. Serve it as-is, top it with fresh berries, or a whipped topping of your choice.
If your cheesecake seems jiggly (jelly-like) in the center after 35 minutes and NPR, put it back in for another 4-5 minutes, NPR.
For an easy slicing and clean edges, cut with a clean sharp knife, wiping with a wet paper towel between each cut.
For cutting calories even further, use Philadelphia 'light' cream cheese instead of regular.