This Instant Pot Caramel Apple Cheesecake is everything dessert should be — sweet, creamy, delectable, and incredibly easy to make!
If you love the fall flavors of a juicy caramel apple but also appreciate the decadent creaminess of cheesecake, this dessert is going to be your new favorite! If you want those same flavors for breakfast, you’ll also love this Apple Cinnamon Monkey Bread.
An Easier Way to Enjoy Caramel Apples
Caramel apples were invented in the 1950’s by a Kraft Foods employee who wanted to find a healthier way to enjoy the caramel candies he had left over from Halloween. From that point on, caramel dipped apples have been a fall seasonal favorite.
But let’s be honest, eating a caramel apple is a chore! It’s almost impossible to do without ending up with caramel all over your face, hands, and sometimes, even in your hair.
Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the delicious combination of crisp apples and sweet caramel without wrestling with a traditional caramel apple on a stick. You can enjoy Caramel Apple Hand Pies and Caramel Apple Cake.
Now, if you also happen to like cheesecake, this recipe is going to make you very happy!
Why I Love This Recipe
In addition to being the perfect combination of three amazing standalone foods (apple, caramel, and cheesecake), this recipe has several other appealing features:
- It’s always a hit at parties
- Looks beautiful on a plate
- Fills the house with a delicious aroma
And like this Caramel Apple Bundt Cake, it’s made in the Instant Pot so you don’t have to babysit it and will still get a perfectly moist result.
There are no surprising ingredients in this recipe. You’ll recognize most of the common cheesecake ingredients with the addition of the two star ingredients that bring the flavor to this dessert.
For the Crust You’ll Need:
- Graham cracker crumbs: The traditional cheesecake crust ingredient works best with the caramel and apple. Use the regular flavor or try cinnamon for a new spin!
- Granulated Sugar: You don’t need much since graham crackers are already sweet, but you also don’t want to leave this out since it helps bind the crumbs together.
- Unsalted melted butter: Aside from adding amazing taste to the crust, the butter is essential to holding the crust together.
For the Cheesecake You’ll Need:
- Cream cheese: The cream cheese is the foundation of your cheesecake. You’ll need two 8 ounce blocks. Regular works best as the reduced-fat version will change the texture. Make sure to soften the cream cheese before mixing it.
- Granulated sugar: We’re making dessert and this is where most of the sweetness is going to come from.
- Eggs: These are vital to binding the other ingredients together and play a key role in the texture of the cheesecake. Without them, your cheesecake will be very dense.
- Sour cream: It may seem like a strange ingredient for a dessert but sour cream adds a richness and balance to cheesecake you won’t get with heavy cream.
- Apples: To counter the sweetness of the cheesecake and the caramel, I like a tart granny smith but pink lady apples work well too.
- Caramel sauce: If you happen to keep this on hand for drizzling over ice cream, popcorn, or to stir into your coffee, go ahead and use it here.
Crumbs: If you want to switch the crust up even more, use crushed Nilla wafers or Biscoff cookie crumbs instead of graham cracker crumbs.
Homemade Caramel Sauce: If you don’t have caramel sauce on hand already or simply prefer to make your own, try one of these. You can make this homemade caramel sauce with sugar, butter and cream or make caramel sauce with a can of sweetened condensed milk.
Variations / Options / Add-Ins
Chocolate: Love chocolate? Go ahead and add some chocolate chips to the cheesecake batter before cooking and/or drizzle some chocolate sauce on before serving.
Pumpkin Spice: Go all in on fall flavor and mix in some pumpkin spice.
Chopped Nuts: Add some crunch to your cheesecake my sprinkling nuts over the top of the caramel sauce.
Equipment Needed / Helpful Tools
Aside from your Instant Pot, you’ll need a couple of other items.
- Springform pan: Make sure your pan fits inside your Instant Pot’s inner liner. Many springform pans are 9-inches but you’ll need one that’s smaller than 8 inches.
- Silicone sling: This will make lifting the pan out of the Instant Pot incredibly easy. If you don’t have one already though and don’t want to purchase one, you can form a sling out of aluminum foil.
- Food processor: This will save you some time and effort when it comes to making the crust.
If necessary, provide short explanations for each item as to why they are needed.
How to Make Caramel Apple Cheesecake in an Instant Pot
This recipe is pretty straightforward but does need to be followed closely to get good results.
Step 1: Prepare Pan
Grease the sides and bottoms of a 6-inch push pan and line the pan with a parchment round. Alternatively, you can also line the sides of the pan with parchment paper.
Step 2: Make Crust
In a food processor, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter and pulse to mix ingredients. Then, press crust out on the bottom of the pan and ½ way up the sides.
Tips: You can use the bottom of a glass to press down the crust. Place pan in the freezer while making the filling. Freezing will help hold the crust together.
Step 3: Prepare Filling
Mix the cream cheese and granulated sugar until nice and smooth, and then add in one egg at a time while mixing in between adding the eggs.
Add in the flour, sour cream and vanilla and mix to incorporate.
Step 4: Prepare to Cook
Pour the filling into the push pan and tap the pan several times on the counter to remove air bubbles. You can also run a fork or knife through the cheesecake filling to remove air bubbles.
Cover the cheesecake with aluminum foil and/or a paper towel to prevent condensation from accumulating on the top of the cheesecake.
Step 5: Pressure Cook
Add 1 ½ cups of water to the inner pot of the Instant Pot.
Using a sling (you can buy a sling for the Instant Pot or make one out of foil), lower the pan into the inner pot.
Close lid and set for a manual high-pressure cooking time of 30 minutes. Allow for a natural pressure release when the cooking time has finished.
Step 6: Cool
Remove the cheesecake from the Instant Pot. Take the foil off of the top and gently soak up any condensation that has formed on the top of the cheesecake with a paper towel or flour sack towel.
Let the cheesecake cool on a wire rack for at least an hour before refrigerating for 12 hours or overnight.
Step 7: Top
After 12 hours, remove the caramel apple cheesecake from the refrigerator and set the pan on top of a large can. Push the sides of the cake pan down, slowly.
Remove the cheesecake from the pan bottom, and set on a cake plate or serving tray. Top with caramel and apples. To prevent apples from browning, dip in a bowl with a cup of water and tablespoon of lemon juice.
Instant Pot Caramel Apple Cheesecake
- Instant Pot
- Food Processor
- 7 inch springform pan
- IP Silicone Sling
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted
- 2 8 oz packages cream cheese softened
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 apples sliced or chopped
- ¼ cup caramel sauce
- Grease the sides and bottoms of a 7-inch springform pan and line the pan with a parchment round. Alternatively, you can also line the sides of the pan with parchment paper.
- In a food processor, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter and pulse to mix ingredients. Then, press crust out on the bottom of the pan and ½ way up the sides. You can use the bottom of a glass to press down the crust.
- Mix the cream cheese and granulated sugar together until nice and smooth. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after adding each one.
- Add the flour, sour cream, and vanilla extra. Mix well.
- Pour filling into pan. Tap sides of pan or run a knife through the filling to remove air bubbles.
- Cover the pan with foil.
- Add 1 1/2 cups of water to bottom of Instant Pot liner. Place springform pan on a silicone sling or one fashioned from foil and lower into pot.
- Secure lid and set vent to sealing. Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes. When time ends, let pressure release naturally.
- Once pressure has fully released, carefully remove the pan from the pot. Remove the foil and use a paper towel to absorb any excess condensation.
- Let cheesecake cool on a wire rack for one hour then cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight (at least 12 hours).
- Remove cheesecake from pan. Set on serving plate and top with caramel and apples.