This Instant Pot Gingerbread Cheesecake is festive, spicy, creamy, and delicious! It’s made in a Pressure Cooker in minutes without turning on your oven. Perfect holidays dessert for two (or four)! Jump to Recipe
Yes, I took the plunge and got myself an Instant Pot pressure cooker on Black Friday. It’s been about three weeks and I’ve been using it a lot just to get my feel for it. I am not going to sing an ode to this nifty appliance. In fact, I might be teeny-tiny disappointed with it. Don’t get me wrong, it is useful and pretty cool, and I actually like it. But I definitely don’t love it. I am going to test it for a few weeks longer and then look forward to reading an article with my thoughts on this Instant Pot Trend in the near future!
Now that I have this out of the way, let’s talk about Gingerbread Cheesecake! I’ve been making it every Christmas for over 7 years now. It’s creamy, it’s spicy, it’s intensely festive! It smells like Christmas and tastes amazing. Smooth and soft and dense, just like a cheesecake should be. It has a lovely spicy crust made with ginger snaps cookies, but if I don’t have ginger snaps on hand, I usually use regular butter cookies (Maria is a popular brand) and add a bit of ground ginger to the crumbs.
Whenever I make any kind of cheese cake, be it a plain vanilla, or Instant Pot Gingerbread Cheesecake, I never add a full amount of melted butter to the crust that all the recipes call for. There’s enough butter or oil in the actual cookies and I don’t need all the extra calories. I always use at most 2/3 of the butter that is in the recipe but most often only use half.
Making this Instant Pot Gingerbread Cheesecake for Two means that you have your oven free to cook the rest of your Christmas dinner, such as Sheet Pan Christmas Ham Dinner for Two or Sheet Pan Turkey Dinner for Two. It is also a lot easier using a pressure cooker to make the cake instead of the oven. You don’t have to deal with pouring boiling water into pans, making sure that you don’t spill it and burn yourself (yes, that happened to me the first time I made a cheesecake over a decade ago), and, most importantly, you don’t have to wrap the pan in multiple layers of foil and pray to foil gods that the water won’t seep into the cheesecake. I still don’t know why that happens and why it happens randomly. One day my cheesecake is perfectly protected from the water bath in its’ cozy foil cocoon and another day the water gets into the foil and soaks the crust. Does anyone know why and how to prevent it from happening??? Well, using Instant Pot means that this Gingerbread Cheesecake isn’t even exposed to a water bath, so there’s no chance of soggy crust.
What about the time? Is it Instant making the cheesecake in the Instant Pot? No! Not even close to instant but it is significantly faster especially if you take into account the time that it usually takes to preheat the oven. And taste? Well, it tastes exactly the same as your regular oven cheesecake! So, if you love cheesecake but don’t love making it or if you want to make smaller portion of this dessert without getting the whole oven and water bath ready, then Instant Pot is extremely helpful (although, I am still not in love with the appliance).
Making this Instant Pot Gingerbread Cheesecake for Two (or actually four since the portions are pretty big) is easy. You can use either your big stationary mixer, hand mixer, or, like I did this time, a small food processor. Just mix all the room temperature ingredients until creamy and smooth, pour into the prepared ramekins that have ginger snaps crust at the bottom, loosely cover the cheesecakes with foil to prevent condensation and place on a rack into your Instant Pot or another pressure cooker. Add some water to the pot, set the time, and wait until it beeps. Let the pressure release naturally for about 10 minutes and then do a manual quick release.
For these photographs I didn’t let the cheesecake set in the fridge as I was chasing the light, so you could see that the inside of the cheesecake is a bit melty (and delicious), but once set in the fridge it gets smooth and dense, just the way I like my cheesecake.
This Instant Pot Gingerbread Cheesecake is festive, spicy, creamy, and delicious! It's made in a Pressure Cooker in minutes without turning on your oven. Perfect holidays dessert for two (or four) | Imagelicious
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart
- 1/2 cup ginger snap cookies (crushed into crumbs, about 50 g)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (melted)
- 250 g cream cheese (1 package, room temperature)
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons fancy molasses
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- pinch cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 large egg (room temperature)
- more ginger snap cookies for decoration (optional)
Mix crushed ginger snap cookies with one tablespoon of melted butter.
Divide the cookie crumb mixture between two oven-proof ramekins that are 250 ml each (or a bit bigger but not smaller). Press with the back of a spoon to create a dense crust. Set aside.
In a medium size bowl mix together the room temperature cream cheese, brown sugar, molasses, and the spices until everything is very smooth. You can either use a hand-held mixer, stand mixer, or, like I used in this case, a small food processor. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl a few times to get all the cream cheese incorporated.
Add the egg and mix just until it all comes together. Do not over mix as you don't want to whip the egg and create air pockets.
Evenly divide the gingerbread cheesecake mixture and pour into each prepared ramekin.
Loosely cover each ramekin with foil.
Add 1.5 cup of hot water to the Instant Pot.
Place the wire rack that came with the Instant Pot into the pot and place the foil-covered ramekins onto the rack.
Close the lid, turn the pressure valve to Sealing, choose either Manual mode or Pressure cooker mode (depending on your model) and use the arrows to select cook time of 4 minutes.
For me, it took 8 minutes to come to pressure. If you use cold water, it may take 10-12 minutes. If you use boiling water, it may take less than 8 minutes.
Once the 4 minutes of pressure cooking are up and your Instant Pot beeps that it's done, let it naturally release the pressure for 10 minutes and then do a manual quick release.
Carefully remove the ramekins form the pot. They will be hot.
Either let the ginger bread cheesecakes set in the fridge or let them cool slightly and eat warm. If you decide to eat the cheesecakes warm, then the centres will be soft and creamy.
Optionally, decorate with more crushed ginger snap cookies
Even though the recipe makes two ramekins, the gingerbread cheesecake is so rich and filling that one ramekin can easily serve two people. I would say that it actually makes 4 servings as opposed to 2 servings, especially after a big dinner.
If you don't have ginger snap cookies, feel free to use either butter cookies or graham cookies and add 1/4 teaspoon of ginger to the mixture.