Citrus Cheesecake (in the Instant Pot)

09 We can finally taste the citrus cheesecake

My husband’s favorite desserts are cheesecakes and anything citrus-flavored. I love anything chocolate, coffee ice cream, toffee, donuts, cake, basically anything sweet. My picky husband can have a small serving of something delicious and be satisfied. I often wonder how he obtained this magical power since that power does not exist within me. I am the opposite and will stuff my face until my stomach is very uncomfortable. Luckily, our daughter inherited his magical power.

I’m currently on the Ideal Protein diet and unfortunately cheesecake isn’t part of the diet. I’ve done SO well and have not cheated. But then I read that the Instant Pot can make cheesecakes. WHAT?!? I can make my husband’s favorite dessert in my new favorite kitchen appliance? Done and done.

So I gathered all of my cheesecake ingredients: cream cheese, eggs, sour cream, sugar, flour, vanilla, and Meyer lemons/lemons. Using my trusty stand mixer I cream the cream cheese and then add the rest of the ingredients until everything is fully incorporated. Make sure to scrap the sides with a spatula. Try to resist licking the spatula. I set it aside while I make the crust.

01 Ingredients for the citrus cheesecake

Using my food processor I crushed the cookies (I used 1½ bags of the Pepperidge Farm lemon cookies). Once the cookies are finely crushed, add the melted butter and run the food processor until it looks like wet sand (you want to make sure the cookie crumbs are completely moist from the melted butter).

03 Generously spray springform pan

Spray your 7″ Springform pan with vegetable oil (my favorite is Trader Joe’s coconut oil spray). The one I used leaked a little during the cooking process so I bought a leak-proof 7″ Springform pan for the next cheesecake I make. Press the cookie crumb/butter mixture into the pan. Try to spread it evenly on the bottom and half-way up the sides of the pan. If it’s not even, don’t worry, you can call your cheesecake “rustic.”

04 Prepare cookie crust

Pour the cheesecake mixture into your prepared pan. Before adding your pan to the Instant Pot, add a trivet (I used the stainless steel steam rack with the handle down) and 2 cups of water to the bottom of the Instant Pot.

To ease the pan easily into the Instant Pot, I created a sling. It’s just heavy-duty aluminum foil folded in half twice length-wise that cradles the pan. Carefully lower the pan with your sling into the Instant Pot so that it sits on top of the trivet. In lieu of the aluminum foil sling you can use silicone bands to wrap around the springform pan for easy lifting.

Cover and lock the lid. You’ll select “Manual” mode and press the “-” button until it reads 25 minutes. Once it has finished cooking turn off the Instant Pot so the pressure can release naturally.

05 Make Sling and Pour Cheesecake Ingredients in Pan

Once all the pressure releases you can lift it out of the Instant Pot to cool before chilling it in the refrigerator. If the cheesecake isn’t set, you can leave it in the pot and cook for another 5 minutes.

Once set cool it on a rack or trivet for an hour. Once cooled, you can add the citrus glaze or skip the glaze option. After the hour cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours.

07 Ready to cool down

After six agonizing hours your cheesecake is finally ready to eat. Use a butter knife to help loosen the cheesecake from the pan. Open your 7″ Springform pan to release the cheesecake and start slicing. See how ‘rustic’ my crust looks? I don’t mind my food looking ‘rustic’ or homemade as long as it is tasty. And it is. The combination of the Meyer lemon and regular lemon gives this cheesecake a great flavor.

010 Checkout the back

I added the glaze to our cheesecake and my picky husband and I both loved the taste. His only feedback was that the glaze layer separated from the cheesecake. I didn’t mind the separation because I enjoyed eating the glaze on its own. Next time I will try to add the glaze after the cheesecake is fully set and see if that makes any difference.

011 Oh My Goodness


For the Crust:
  • 1¼ cups lemon shortbread cookies (or graham crackers), crushed
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For the filling:
  • 16 ounces cream cheese (2-8 ounce bricks), room temperature
  • ½ cups sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • ¼ cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 1½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon citrus juice from a lemon, lime, orange, or Meyer lemon ( combined lemon and Meyer lemons)
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated citrus zest
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Spray a 7″ Springform pan with vegetable oil (I love Trader Joe’s coconut oil spray)
  2. For the crust, use your food processor to crush the cookies until it looks like sand (or place cookies in a plastic bag and use a roller to crush the cookies).
  3. Pour melted butter into the food processor with the crushed cookies and mix until it looks like wet sand (basically so that the cookie crumbs are moist).
  4. Press the cookie crumbs into the bottom and halfway up the sides of the pan.
  5. In a stand mixer (or using a hand mixer), cream the cream cheese until smooth.
  6. Add the eggs, sour cream, flour, juice, zest, and vanilla until incorporated into the cream cheese.
  7. Pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared pan.
  8. Add a trivet to the bottom of your Instant Pot so that the pan doesn’t touch the bottom of the pot. I used the stainless steel steam rack with the handle down.
  9. Pour 2 cups of water into your Instant Pot.
  10. Make a foil sling to make lowering and lifting the pan into and out of the Instant Pot You will need to cut off about 24 inches of heavy-duty foil and then fold in half twice lengthwise. It’ll be a long strip that you will place under the pan for lifting.
  11. Using the sling, lower your pan into the Instant Pot. If you need to, tuck any excess foil back into the Instant Pot.
  12. Cover and lock the lid.
  13. Select “Manual” mode and press the “-” button until it reads 25 minutes. Also make sure to set the top knob to “Sealing” and not “Venting”.
  14. When time is up, turn off (press the keep warm/cancel button so the screen reads OFF) or unplug the Instant Pot to allow the pressure to naturally release. It should take about 15 minutes.
  15. Unlock the Instant Pot and carefully remove the pan.
  16. If you see pools of water on the cheesecake you can use a paper towel to absorb the moisture. You can also cover the cheesecake with foil while it is cooking to reduce the chance of moisture collecting on the top of your cheesecake..
  17. Cool on a rack for an hour*, cover with plastic wrap, and then refrigerate for at least 6 hours to set.
  18. If using a spring form pan, use a butter knife to loosen the cheesecake from the sides of the pan before loosening the ring.
  • If adding the citrus glaze, add it after the cheesecake has cooled for the hour. Or you can wait until after the cheesecake is fully set.

Citrus Glaze


  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons citrus juice from a lemon, lime, orange, or Meyer lemon


  1. Add sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan.
  2. Slowly whisk in the water and citrus juice until smooth.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil while stirring constantly until the mixture thickens.
  4. Once it starts boiling cook mixture for 3 minutes.
  5. Chill the mixture until it is cool but doesn’t set (about 30 minutes).
  6. Spread the glaze over the cheesecake.
  7. Chill for at least 6 hours.

Adapted from Pressure Cooking Today

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