Caramel Pretzel Cheesecake

Make this Caramel Pretzel Cheesecake in the Instant Pot! A creamy cheesecake tops a cookie dough crust. Add caramel and pretzels for a sweet and salty crunch.

We’re excited to share our THIRD Instant Pot cheesecake. We’ve got you covered if you like cinnamon cheesecake and chocolate cheesecake. And today we’re adding Caramel Pretzel Cheesecake.

Caramel Pretzel Cheesecake on a plate

This cheesecake has three impressive layers:

  • chocolate cookie crust
  • creamy caramel cheesecake
  • pretzel and caramel topping

What are the benefits of an Instant Pot for cheesecake?

You’ll see that we make this Caramel Pretzel Cheesecake in a pressure cooker, specifically, the Instant Pot. Here are a few of the benefits of this method:

  • It makes a small cheesecake. If cheesecake is hugely tempting to you, this will make just small cake that won’t last long.
  • It’s fast. This cheesecake cooks in just about 35 minutes. Cheesecake in the oven can take over an hour.
  • No cracks. Of all the cheesecakes we’ve made in the IP, none have ended up with cracks. That’s thanks to the steaming water keeping the cheesecake moist.
  • Creamy texture. The instant pot makes lighter, creamier cheesecakes than some dense oven baked cakes.

What does sour cream do in cheesecake?

This recipe calls for not just cream cheese. It also calls for sour cream. So why sour cream in cheesecake? It prevents the cheesecake from being too dense. It creates a smooth, creamy texture. And the sour cream will add a touch of flavor, too.

How to Make Cheesecake

Prepare the crust.

  • Prepare a 6” springform pan with nonstick spray.
  • Place the cookie dough in the bottom of the pan and using a clean hand or spoon, press into the bottom of the pan to form the crust. Place the in the freezer until you are ready to add the filling.
cookie dough base for cheesecake in a pan

If you’d like you can give this a traditional graham cracker crust instead of a cookie crust. See our graham cracker crust here.

Make the filling.

  • In a large bowl using a hand mixer (you can also use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment) cream the cream cheese for 3-4 minutes until there are no lumps and it is completely smooth. Be sure to scrape the bowl at least 2 times during this time.
  • Add in the sugar and mix well until combined and fluffy. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  • Add in the sour cream and vanilla extract and mix until just combined. Scrape the sides and bottom of bowl.
  • Add the caramel sauce and mix until just combined.
caramel pouring in cream cheese in a bowl
  • Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and make sure there are no lumps in the batter. If there is, mix for an additional minute or two.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, making sure to completely combine the first before adding the second. Be careful not to overmix here, you just want to mix long enough that you don’t see the yolk anymore. If you overmix the batter, it will cause the cheesecake to be too “fluffy”.
  • Remove the crust from the freezer and add the cheesecake batter. Tap on the counter a couple times to release any air bubbles.

Cook the cheesecake.

  • Cover the springform pan completely with aluminum foil making sure to seal well around the top.
  • Using another piece of aluminum foil, make a sling by folding the foil from long end to long end. Place underneath the cheesecake to help you drop it down into the Instant Pot.
  • Prepare your Instant Pot by adding in the trivet and adding one cup of water.
  • Place the cheesecake on the trivet and seal the lid.
  • Set your pot on high pressure for 35 minutes and allow to naturally release.
instant pot cheesecake in a foil covered pan

Cool the cheesecake.

  • Once you can open the lid, remove the cheesecake and allow to cool on the counter (Remove the foil while cooling to room temperature). Once cooled, place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours but best overnight.

Top the cheesecake.

We topped our cheesecake with more caramel sauce and some crushed pretzels. Do this right before serving or your pretzels may get soft.

Caramel Pretzel Cheesecake with cookie crust

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should you chill cheesecake?

You should chill cheesecake for at least 6 hours after it has cooled to room temperature. It will have the best flavor and texture if you chill it overnight.

Can you make cheesecake in advance?

Yes! You can make cheesecake up to 3 days before you want to serve it. Store it in the refrigerator until serving.

Can you freeze cheesecake?

Yes! If you are freezing the whole cheesecake, wrap it first in plastic wrap, then again in foil. You can freeze the pie for up to 1 month.
If you want to freeze the slices, wrap them in plastic wrap, then wrap again in foil or place the slices in a storage container.

How do you defrost cheesecake?

When you are wanting to serve frozen cheesecake, allow it to defrost in the refrigerator for 24 hours. You want it to be fully defrosted before you unwrap the cake to prevent any condensation.

Should cheesecake be brown on top?

Cheesecakes do not need to be brown on top to be fully cooked. Oven baked cheesecakes often get lightly browned, but IP cheesecakes don’t really brown at all.

Caramel Pretzel Cheesecake on a plate with a bite out

Oven Baked Cheesecakes

Love cheesecake in the oven? Try our original cheesecake recipe and our pumpkin cheesecake. They are amazing!

Caramel Pretzel Cheesecake on a plate with a bite out
Caramel Pretzel Cheesecake on a plate with a bite out

Caramel Pretzel Cheesecake

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Use your Instant Pot to make this creamy cheesecake with cookie dough crust.
Servings 8
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Chill Time 6 hours

Ingredients
 

For the cheesecake:

  • 15 ounces refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
  • 16 ounces cream cheese- ( softened)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup caramel sauce
  • 2 large eggs (at room temperature)

For the topping:

  • caramel sauce
  • 1/2 cup chopped pretzels

Instructions
 

  • Prepare a 6” springform pan with nonstick spray.
  • Place the cookie dough in the bottom of the pan and using a clean hand or spoon, press into the bottom of the pan to form the crust. Place the in the freezer until you are ready to add the filling.
  • In a large bowl using a hand mixer (you can also use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment) cream the cream cheese for 3-4 minutes until there are no lumps and it is completely smooth. Be sure to scrape the bowl at least 2 times during this time.
  • Add in the sugar and mix well until combined and fluffy. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  • Add in the sour cream and vanilla extract and mix until just combined. Scrape the sides and bottom of bowl.
  • Add the caramel sauce and mix until just combined.
  • Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and make sure there are no lumps in the batter. If there is, mix for an additional minute or two.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, making sure to completely combine the first before adding the second. Be careful not to overmix here, you just want to mix long enough that you don’t see the yolk anymore.
  • Remove the crust from the freezer and add the cheesecake batter. Tap on the counter a couple times to release any air bubbles.
  • Cover the springform pan completely with aluminum foil making sure to seal well around the top.
  • Using another piece of aluminum foil, make a sling by folding the foil from long end to long end. Place underneath the cheesecake to help you drop it down into the Instant Pot.
  • Prepare your Instant Pot by adding in the trivet and adding one cup of water.
  • Place the cheesecake on the trivet and seal the lid.
  • Set your pot on high pressure for 35 minutes and allow to naturally release.
  • Once you can open the lid, remove the cheesecake and allow to cool on the counter (Remove the foil while cooling to room temperature). Once cooled, place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours but best overnight.
  • Once you are ready to serve, top with caramel sauce and chopped pretzels and enjoy!

Notes

The calories shown are based on the cheesecake being cut into 8 pieces, with 1 serving being 1 slice of cake. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information.**

Nutrition

Calories: 535kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 129mg | Sodium: 418mg | Potassium: 208mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 960IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 91mg | Iron: 2mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 535
Keyword cheesecake recipe, instant pot dessert

About Julie Clark

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