This recipe for Instant Pot white chocolate and cranberry cheesecake is the perfect festive dessert this Thanksgiving and Christmas!
(this recipe was originally published in December 2018 and has been updated with detailed instructions)
Gearing up for the festive season doesn’t have to be stress-inducing. With a little planning and some simple recipes, you can cut down the time you spend standing on your feet in the kitchen. This is one such recipe that lets the Instant Pot takeover, and lets you take care of more important things such as spending more time with your family!
Tips for making Instant Pot White Chocolate and Cranberry Cheesecake:
The Crust: Most cheesecake recipes call for Graham crackers, brown sugar and melted butter to form the crust. I don’t have access to Graham crackers here in Switzerland, and I also much prefer the ginger-bread-like taste of Lotus biscoff cookies. These usually go into my crust instead of Graham crackers. You can either blind-bake the cheesecake crust or freeze it – if you’re like me and prefer a crispier crust, then blind bake the crust. You can deep freeze it if you are more inclined towards a crumbly crust, and not a firm one.
The Filling: Over several trials with cheesecake in the Instant Pot, I’ve realised that the trick to making a smooth, crack-free cheesecake with a smooth filling is to make sure you do not over-beat the batter for the filling.
Start by beating the cream cheese until fluffy. Then, add sugar, a pinch of salt, a little corn-starch, sour cream, melted white chocolate and vanilla extract, and beat together with the cream cheese. Finally, add two eggs and beat on low speed until just incorporated. Not overbeating the eggs helps in retaining a smooth cheesecake top. Once the filling is added to the cheesecakepan, cover the pan with a layer of kitchen paper and aluminium foil. Then pressure cook the cheesecake for 30 minutes.
The Topping: The best part about using the Instant Pot for this recipe is that once you are done with cooking the cheesecake and have taken it out to cool, you simply rinse out the water from the inner pot, and prepare your cranberry topping while the cheesecake cools down.
For the topping, I used 250 grams (1 cup) of cranberries, sugar and freshly squeezed orange juice. Pressure cook this in the Instant Pot for 5 minutes. As the cooked cranberry compote cools, it starts to thicken. Spread it on the cheesecake while still runny.
Detailed video instructions for making a festive cheesecake:
If you liked this recipe, you might like these festive dessert recipes as well:
Instant Pot White Chocolate and Cranberry Cheesecake
For the crust:
For the filling:
- 450 grams (16 ounces) cream cheese
- 140 grams (5 ounces) sugar
- 60 grams (2 ounces) white chocolate
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ¼ cup cream full fat
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 2 eggs at room temperature
For the cranberry topping:
- 1 cup cranberries
- ¼ cup orange juice preferably freshly squeezed
- ⅓ cup sugar
- Prepare a 7” springform pan by lining the bottom with parchment paper and brush melted butter onto the sides of the pan and on the parchment paper.
- Start by making the crust:
- In a food processor, grind the biscoff cookies (or Graham crackers) to form crumbs. In a mixing bowl, mix together the crumbs, brown sugar and melted butter. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan, and using the back of a measuring cup, flatten out the crust.
- Now, you could either blind-bake the crust in the oven at 180 C (350 F) for 10 minutes or freeze the crust in the freezer for 15 minutes. The baked crust is most crispy, and is my preferred way of making the crust.
- Next, prepare the filling. Ensure all ingredients are at room temperature before you begin. The key here is to not overmix the ingredients. Using a stand mixer or a whisk and a bowl, beat the cream cheese for a couple of minutes until smooth.
- Then add the sugar, melted white chocolate, corn-starch, cream, salt and vanilla essence. On the lowest speed setting of your mixer, beat the ingredients until just combined. Finally add the eggs and either use a hand whisk or the lowest setting of your stand/hand-held mixer and mix until just incorporated (this will take no more than 20 seconds of beating).
- Transfer the batter into a 7” springform pan and give it a few raps on the counter, to break up any air bubbles.
- Now cover the springform pan with a layer of kitchen paper towel, followed by a layer of aluminium foil. Tuck the foil neatly down the sides of the pan. The kitchen paper towel will absorb moisture that collects over the cheesecake, and keeps the surface of the cheesecake condensation-free.
- In the Instant Pot, add around 1.5 cups of water. Place the prepared springform pan in the trivet that comes with the IP and lower it into the Instant Pot. Close the lid of the IP, with the vent in 'sealing' position, switch to 'Manual' mode (this is the ‘Pressure’ mode in newer models), in 'High' setting. Set the time for 35 minutes. Let the cheesecake cook, and let the steam release naturally (do not open the vent to release steam, let the vent go down on its own) for 10 minutes. Then, lift the vent to release any residual steam.
- Take out the cheesecake using the sling, and allow it to cool for an hour. As the cheesecake is cooling, prepare the cranberry topping.
For the cranberry topping:
- Drain the inner pot of the Instant Pot, rinse it and place it back in the IP. Add the cranberries, sugar and orange juice into the Instant Pot.
- Close the lid of the IP, with the vent in 'sealing' position, switch to Manual or Pressure Cook mode, in 'High' setting. Set the time for 6 minutes.
- Once cooked, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, release any residual steam and stir the cranberry compote inside the pot. The cranberry compote will thicken as it cools down. Let it cool for 5-7 minutes and top the cheesecake with the compote, while still runny.
- Chill the cheesecake for 2 hours – 24 hours before you serve it.
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