These instant pot mini turtle cheesecakes are an absolute treat! Made of creamy cheesecake topped with lush caramel, rich chocolate ganache, and crushed pecans, they ooze deliciousness with every bite!
Made with a graham cracker crust, rich chocolate ganache, creamy cheesecake filling, lush caramel, and crushed pecans, every bite has layers of textures that delight the epicurean senses.
But why are they called turtle cheesecakes? Because they’re a modern cheesecake twist on the classic turtle candy recipe.
But why is turtle candy called turtle candy? What are turtle candies made of?
Turtle candies are turtle-shaped chocolates made by coating pecans and caramel in chocolate sauce. The extra chocolate running off from the center of the chocolate covers the pecans at the edge and gives them a turtle-like appearance.
Although chocolate covered pecans were a regular offering back in 1916, George DeMet revolutionized them by adding gooey caramel to the mix. The candy was made at the Johnson’s Candy Company which later changed its name to the DeMets Candy Company. One of the factory workers told a salesman that the candy looked like turtles, and the name caught on.
Turtles are famous for being soft and chewy and having a comforting effect. So adding cheesecake to the chocolate turtles takes them to a whole new level!
INGREDIENTS FOR THE INSTANT POT TURTLE CHEESECAKES
These pressure cooker cheesecake bites require only a baker’s dozen ingredients to turn into a very delightful dessert!
- Can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
- Graham Cracker Crumbs
- Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
- Heavy Whipping Cream
- Cream Cheese
- Light brown sugar
- All-purpose Flour
- Sour Cream
- Vanilla Extract
- Chopped Pecans
HOW TO MAKE PRESSURE COOKER CHEESECAKE BITES
With a little time and patience – some time spent beating, microwaving, and mixing, and some time in the instant pot – you’ll be happy you picked this yummy turtle cheesecake recipe.
STEP ONE: PREPARE THE CARAMEL
Remove the label and lid of the condensed milk can. Cover the can with aluminum foil and place it on a trivet in the instant pot. Fill the instant pot with water to reach 3/4 of the height of the can.
Cook at High Pressure for 35 minutes. Once done, use a pair of tongs to remove the can and set it on a cooling rack. This is your caramel sauce ready for use later.
STEP TWO: PREPARE THE CRUST
Mix together all the ingredients for the graham cracker crust. Next, grease the egg molds lightly with cooking spray. Place a tbsp of the crust at the bottom of each mold. Press down so that they’re compact and the cheesecake bites don’t fall apart later while removing them from the mold.
STEP THREE: MAKE THE CHOCOLATE GANACHE
Add the milk and chips to a bowl and microwave for a minute. Mix well. If the chocolate chips haven’t fully melted, put the mixture back in the microwave for a bit longer.
Pour 1 tbsp each of the chocolate ganache on top of the graham cracker crusts in the egg molds.
STEP FOUR: MAKE THE CHEESECAKE
Beat the brown sugar, flour, and the cream cheese together in a large bowl. Next, add in the vanilla extract and sour cream and mix well. Now add one egg at a time to the bowl while continuing to mix.
Once done, pour the cheesecake mixture on top of the chocolate in the egg molds. Cover the egg molds with aluminum foil. (Don’t overfill the molds so that the aluminum doesn’t get stuck to the cheesecake.)
Add 1 1/2 cups of water to the instant pot and place the trivet inside. Stack the egg molds one on top of the other inside the pot and seal the instant pot lid. Cook the cheesecake at High Pressure for 5 minutes before allowing a natural release for 10 minutes.
Once done, move to a cooling rack to cool. After cooling, let it set in the refrigerator for 4 hours or more.
STEP FIVE: DECORATE THE CHEESECAKE
After 4 hours or longer, pop the pressure cooker cheesecake bites out of the molds and arrange them on a tray. Drizzle the chocolate sauce and caramel sauce over the bites. Top with chopped pecans and serve!
OPTIONAL SERVING SUGGESTIONS AND TIPS
- These mini cheesecakes are the perfect bite-sized treats for dinner parties.
- Don’t forget to remove the lid of the condensed milk can before cooking.
- These mini turtle cheesecake bites are vegetarian too!
- You can use homemade caramel sauce made from scratch if you prefer.
- If you’re not a fan of chocolate, replace the ganache with your favorite pie filling or sauce.
- You can replace pecans with praline or butterscotch.
- If you don’t have egg molds, cake pop molds will work just as perfectly!
FAQs ABOUT INSTANT POT MINI TURTLE CHEESECAKES
Although pecans are the traditional ingredient to use in this turtle cheesecake recipe, you can replace them with any other chopped nuts of your choice – almonds, walnuts, cashew nuts, etc.
Yes, you can store leftover cheesecake bites for 4 to 5 days in the refrigerator. Just put them in a dish and cover with cling wrap or store in an airtight container.
If you want to freeze these cheesecakes, store them in a refrigerator and freeze before adding any caramel sauce or other toppings. The cheesecake will keep well for a few weeks. As with most freezer meals, to use them, thaw in the fridge overnight, the next day add the toppings and serve.
Yes, to make the recipe gluten-free you’ll need to replace the graham cracker crust with a gluten-free crust. Here is some good information on how to make a gluten-free crust.
INSTANT POT MINI TURTLE CHEESECAKE RECIPE
You can print off the complete ingredients and instructions for this Turtle Cheesecake Recipe via the recipe card below.
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Instant Pot Mini Turtle Cheesecakes
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/2 cup butter melted
- 2 tbsp sugar granulated
- 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 12 tbsp heavy whipping cream
- 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 6 tbsp heavy whipping cream
- 24 oz cream cheese room temperature
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- Chopped pecans
- Remove the label from the condensed milk can. Open the lid, remove, and cover with aluminum foil.
- Place the can on the trivet. Pour enough water in the instant pot so it covers 3/4 of the outside of the can.
- Set to High Pressure for 35 minutes. It will take about 30 minutes to come to pressure due to the amount of water.
- Once the time is complete, carefully remove the can with tongs, and transfer to a cooling rack.
- Mix together all the ingredients for the crust.
- Lightly grease with cooking spray your egg molds. Place 1 tbsp graham cracker crust at the moment. Make sure to press down or they will fall apart in the removing from the mold process.
- Place the milk and chips in the microwave for about 1 minute. Mix well. Place in the microwave longer to melt if needed.
- Place 1 tbsp of the chocolate ganache in the mold on top of the egg mold.
- In a large bowl, beat together the brown sugar, flour and the cream cheese.
- Add in the vanilla extract and sour cream. Mix well.
- Followed by this, add one egg at a time while continuing to mix.
- Pour the cheesecake mix in the egg mold over the chocolate. Don’t overfill so the aluminum doesn’t get stuck to the cheesecake.
- Cover the egg molds with aluminum foil.
- Add 1 1/2 cups of water to the instant pot. Place the trivet inside the pot. Place the egg molds inside your pot (the egg molds will stack one on top of another.).
- Lock and seal your lid. Close your sealing valve.
- Set Instant Pot to High Pressure for 5 minutes. Allow for natural release for 10 minutes.
- Remove the egg molds, and transfer to a cooling rack. Allow it to cool, and then transfer to the refrigerator. Let it cool in the fridge for at least 4 hours before popping out of the molds.
- Drizzle the chocolate sauce over the bites, followed by the caramel sauce. Top with chopped pecans.