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Instant Pot Pumpkin Cheesecake

This easy Instant Pot Pumpkin Cheesecake is smooth, rich, creamy, absolutely delicious, and a perfect dessert for fall, winter, and the holiday season…especially Thanksgiving!

Most of us usually think of using the Instant Pot for things like soup, stew, chili, hard-boiled eggs, and beans, but it’s also great for making dessert. And it really shines at making cheesecake!

Yep, cheesecake! I know that making cheesecake in a pressure cooker might sound strange – I definitely had my doubts the first time I made one – but you’ve got to try it.

It may just be the easiest cheesecake you’ve ever made. There’s no fuss, no stress, no heating up the oven, no water bath, no constant checking, and no worrying about cracks (because there won’t be any).

Cheesecake made in the Instant Pot comes out smooth, creamy, and perfect every time!

The homemade pumpkin cheesecake recipe I’m sharing today is filled with a whole can of pumpkin and warm fall spices in a buttery graham cracker crust. It’s a great alternative to pumpkin pie and would be a perfect ending to any Thanksgiving dinner.

And it’s the one that – finally – made my husband like cheesecake (and request seconds!).

Just be sure to plan ahead, though. It does need to chill in the fridge for at least 8 hours (overnight is best), so make it the day before you want to serve it.

whole instant pot cheesecake topped with dollops of whipped cream with an instant pot and a stack of plates and forks in the background

Ingredients you need:

  • Cooking spray
  • Graham crackers
  • Light brown sugar
  • Butter
  • Cream cheese (block style)
  • Canned 100% pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • Pumpkin pie spice (I use my Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice)
  • Vanilla extract
  • Eggs

Special equipment needed:

  • 6 or 8-quart Instant Pot with trivet (I used a 6-quart)
  • 7-inch springform pan
  • Electric mixer (hand-held or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment)

I recommend always using a springform pan whenever making cheesecake. The removable sides make things so much easier when it comes time to slice and serve.

Here’s a look at how to make Instant Pot Pumpkin Cheesecake:

Note: This is just a quick overview of the steps. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full recipe with detailed instructions.

2 images; one of graham cracker crumbs in a plastic bag with a rolling pin on the side with text that says crush the graham crackers into crumbs; the other of a bowl of moist graham cracker crumbs with a spoon with text that says mix the crumbs with brown sugar and melted butter
2 images; one of graham crackers crust in a springform pan with text that says press crumb mixture into the bottom and one half inch up the sides of a sprayed 7 inch springform pan; the other of cream cheese and sugar being beaten in a bowl with an electric mixer with text that says beat cream cheese and brown sugar until smooth
2 images; one of the pumpkin and cream cheese mixture being beaten with an electric mixer in a bowl with text that says add pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla, beat until smooth; the other of two eggs added to the batter in the bowl with text that says add the eggd
2 images; one of the pumpkin cheesecake batter in a bowl with a spatula with text that says beat by hand just until the eggs are completely blended; the other of the cheesecake batter in the springform pan with text that says pour the batter into the pan over the crust
2 images; one of water and the trivet in an Instant Pot with text that says put one and a half cups cold water in the Instant Pot along with the trivet; the second of the pan in the Instant Pot with a foil sling with text that says use a foil sling to lower the pan into the Instant Pot
2 images; one of the pan in the Instant Pot with the ends of the foil sling folded down with text that says fold down the sling ends so they don't interfere with the lid (don't let them touch the batter); the second of an Instant Pot with the lid on with text that says cook at high pressure for 45 minutes
2 images; one of an Instant Pot with text that says turn the Instant Pot off, let the pressure release naturally for 30 minutes; the second of a paper towel dabbing the top of the cheesecake with text that says remove cheesecake from pot, gently remove any water on top with a paper towel
2 images; one of the cooked cheesecake in the pan on a wire rack with text that says cool cheesecake to room temperature on a wire rack; the other of a refrigerator with text that says cover cheesecake, refrigerate for at least 8 hours (overnight is best)
2 images; one of a knife loosening the edges of the cheesecake from the pan with text that says if needed, gently loosen edges of cheesecake with a knife; the other of the finished cheesecake with the sides of the pan removed with text that says remove sides of pan, slice, top and enjoy

I know it looks like a lot of steps, and if you scroll down to the recipe it looks long…but trust me, it’s all very easy!

Tips & Tidbits:

  • For a different twist, you can make the crust with 1 cup of crushed gingersnap cookies instead of graham crackers.
  • Starting with room-temperature filling ingredients helps ensure that the batter will be nice and smooth.
  • Beating in the eggs by hand prevents over-beating, which can easily happen when using an electric mixer (and which can ruin the texture of your cheesecake).
  • Use a sealing ring that doesn’t have a smell (I highly recommend getting an extra one to use just for dessert recipes). No one wants a cheesecake that has a hint of pot roast or chicken soup!
  • There will be water on top of your cheesecake when it is done cooking (and it could be a little bit more than you might have thought). It’s normal and totally fine. Just carefully soak it up with paper towels.
    • I have tried covering the pan with foil and, in my opinion, it just doesn’t come out as good and can take longer to cook (plus, the cheesecake can rise up and stick to the foil).
  • Store leftover cheesecake, covered, in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
  • Freeze for longer storage (whole or in halves, quarters, or individual slices). Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment and freeze until solid. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and then in foil and place in a freezer bag and freeze for 1 to 2 months. Thaw and enjoy!
slice of instant pot pumpkin cheesecake topped with whipped cream on a white plate white plate with a fork

Enjoy your yummy homemade pumpkin cheesecake as is, topped with a dollop or two of whipped cream (try my Homemade Sweetened Whipped Cream), sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg, drizzle on a sauce like chocolate or caramel (or both)…whatever you like!

I hope you try this Instant Pot Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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whole instant pot pumpkin cheesecake topped with dollops of whipped cream with a slice being taken out

Instant Pot Pumpkin Cheesecake

This easy Instant Pot Pumpkin Cheesecake is smooth, rich, creamy, absolutely delicious, and a perfect dessert for fall, winter, and the holiday season…especially Thanksgiving!
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Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Natural pressure release, cooling, and chilling time: 9 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 10 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 8
Estimated Calories: 421

Ingredients

Crust:

  • cooking spray
  • 6 sheets graham crackers, or enough for 1 cup of crumbs after being crushed
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter

Filling:

  • 2 (8-ounce) blocks cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can 100% pure pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature

Special Equipment

  • 6 or 8-quart Instant Pot with trivet
  • 7-inch springform pan
  • Electric mixer (hand-held or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment)

Instructions

Make the Crust:

  • Spray the bottom and sides of a 7-inch springform pan with cooking spray.
  • Place the graham crackers in a sealed plastic bag and remove any air; using a rolling pin, crush the crackers into fine crumbs (you should have about 1 cup of crumbs).
    Note: You can do this in a food processor if you prefer.
  • In a small to medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs with 2 tablespoons light brown sugar and the melted butter; mix until well-combined and the crumbs are moistened with the butter.
  • Firmly press the crumb mixture into the bottom and ½ inch up the sides of the prepared springform pan (use your hands, the back of a spoon, the bottom of a measuring cup, etc.); set aside while you make the filling.

Make the Filling:

  • In a large bowl, using an electric mixer (either a hand-held mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment), beat the cream cheese and ¾ cup of light brown sugar until smooth.
  • Add the pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract; beat until smooth.
  • Add the eggs; using a spatula or wooden spoon, beat the eggs in by hand just until they are completely blended in (beating by hand is important at this point to prevent overbeating the eggs, which can ruin the texture of your cheesecake).
  • Pour the mixture into the springform pan on top of the crust. Spread it out evenly all the way to the sides of the pan with the back of a spoon or a spatula.
  • Add 1½ cups of cold water to the Instant Pot. Place the trivet in the pot, and place the springform pan on top of the trivet.
    Note: If using a 6-quart Instant Pot, the springform pan is a tight fit, and it won't fit properly if you try to use the trivet with handles to put it in. You will need to make an aluminum foil sling for lowering the pan into and taking it out of the pot.
    To make a sling, take a long piece of foil, about 28 inches, and fold it over lengthwise a few times. Center the pan on the sling and bring up the ends of the sling and carefully lift the pan. Once in the pot, fold in the ends of the sling down so they don't interfere with the lid, and make sure they don't touch the batter.
    The 8-quart Instant Pot has more room. If you have a trivet with handles, you shouldn't need to make a sling.
  • Place the lid on the Instant Pot, turn the pressure release knob to "sealing," and cook on high pressure for 45 minutes (it will take about 8 to 10 minutes for the Instant Pot to come up to pressure before the timer starts counting down).
  • When the cooking time has finished, turn the Instant Pot off and allow the pressure to release naturally for 30 minutes (by this time all or most of the pressure should be released; if not, go ahead and release the remaining pressure).
  • Carefully open the lid to avoid dripping a lot of water on top of the cheese cake; remove the cheesecake from the Instant Pot and place it on a wire cooling rack.
    Note: the cheesecake will have a very slight jiggle at this point (it will firm up as it cools). If, for some reason, the batter is still loose, cook the cheesecake a little longer.
  • Carefully blot off any water that is on top of the cheesecake with a paper towel.
    Note: Because of the moist environment the cheesecake is cooked in, there will always be some water on top (maybe more than you might have expected). This is completely normal.
  • Allow the cheesecake to cool to room temperature (about an hour or so).
  • Cover the pan and chill the cheesecake in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours (overnight is best).
  • When ready to serve, if needed, loosen the cheesecake from the sides of the pan with a knife (my cheesecake usually pulls away from the pan as it cools, so I don't always need to do this) and remove the sides of the pan.
  • Slice and enjoy! If desired, top with whipped cream (or any of your favorite toppings).

Notes

  • Be sure to use a sealing ring that doesn’t have a smell (I highly recommend getting an extra one to use just for dessert recipes).
  • Store leftover cheesecake, covered, in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
  • Freeze for longer storage (whole or in halves, quarters, or individual slices). Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment and freeze until solid. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and then in foil and place in a freezer bag and freeze for 1 to 2 months. Thaw and enjoy!
  • For a different twist, you can make the crust with 1 cup of crushed gingersnap cookies instead of graham crackers.
  • Estimated calories is for one slice of cheesecake and does not include any toppings, such as whipped cream.
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