Easy sopapilla cheesecake combines two popular desserts into one decadent treat you will love. With the classic cinnamon sugar flavors and a silky cream cheese filling, everyone will beg you to make it over and over again. And thanks to the Instant Pot, you won’t mind! The pressure cooker turns out a perfectly cooked cheesecake easily each and every time.
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What is Sopapilla?
Sopapilla is a tasty, cinnamon and sugar seasoned pastry popular in the Southwestern United States and Mexico. The traditional recipe involves a sweet dough fried to perfection. You then sprinkle it with powdered sugar or cinnamon-sugar for a delicious dessert.
Sopapilla cheesecake builds on this popular Spanish recipe using nearly everyone’s favorite dessert: cheesecake. In our recipe, we make a cheesecake filling flavored with cinnamon and sugar, a graham cracker crust, and additional toppings to complete this decadent dessert.
Why Make in the Instant Pot
Many people are surprised to find that the Instant Pot can make a delicious cheesecake!
But it can!
When you bake a cheesecake in the oven, you need to bake it in a water bath to prevent cracking and ensure even cooking. The way the pressure cooker works means you don't have to worry about even cooking or water baths.
Plus, the resulting cake is light and lovely. Sheer perfection like our Instant Pot pumpkin cheesecake.
And if you are worried about baking in your Instant Pot, don't be! We have a handy guide to all things Instant Pot called Is the Instant Pot Worth It. It'll have you whipping up pressure cooker desserts like a pro in no time at all.
What you’ll need
Here’s everything you’ll need on hand to make this gourmet cheesecake filling:
- Cream Cheese - let it come up to room temperature
- Sweetened Condensed Milk- room temperature
- Heavy whipping cream- don't substitute for a lower fat cream
- Vanilla Extract
- Cinnamon powder
For the crust, you’ll need to have the following ingredients ready to go:
- Graham Cracker Crumbs
- Granulated Sugar
- Butter- use unsalted
Finally, for the toppings, you’ll need:
- Small tub of Cool Whip - you could use any whipped topping you like
- Caramel sauce
- Cinnamon & sugar mix
How to make this eggless cheesecake
To start, remove the cream cheese and heavy cream from the fridge. Let them come up to room temperature while you make the crust.
Make the crust
As they warm, use your food processor to ground the graham crackers into a fine powder or use prepackaged graham cracker crumbs.
Once the graham crackers are ready, melt the butter in a small bowl and mix in the sugar. Add the butter sugar mixture to the cracker crumbs and mix well.
Now trace the bottom of your 7-inch pan on parchment paper and then cut out the circle. Set it aside to line the bottom of the pan.
Before placing the parchment circle in the pan, use a small amount of butter to grease the inside of the pan. Finally, add the parchment paper to the bottom of the pan.
Pour the crumbs into it and press the crust very firmly into the bottom of the pan with a measuring cup or ramekin. You can use a measuring cup or ramekin to help you push the crust down. When the crust is ready, place in the freezer while you prepare the cheesecake filling.
Make the cheesecake filling
In a medium bowl, add the room temperature cream cheese. Use your hand mixer to mix on low speed for 15 seconds or until it becomes soft and creamy. If the cream cheese is not at room temperature, you can microwave it for 15 seconds. Just be careful not to overheat the cream cheese!
Next, pour in the sweetened condensed milk and mix it for 10 seconds. When it is well combined, add the vanilla extract, cornstarch, heavy cream, and cinnamon powder. Finally, whisk for 15 more seconds or until the batter is smooth without lumps.
When ready, pour the batter into the cheesecake pan. Carefully pick up the pan and tap it a few times on the counter slowly. This will help even out the batter and remove excess air bubbles.
Assembling the eggless cheesecake for the Instant Pot and Cooking
Next, place a paper towel on top of the pan. Make sure it does not touch the cheesecake. Tightly wrap a piece of foil on the top and another piece of foil on the bottom. The entire pan should be covered. The layers help prevent steam from getting on your cheesecake as it cooks.
Set your cheesecake aside and get out your Instant Pot. Pour one cup of water into the inner pot and place the trivet into the pot. Carefully place the cheesecake pan on top of the trivet.
Close the lid and select high pressure cook for 30 minutes. Once the timer goes off, wait an additional 10 minutes while the pot releases the pressure naturally. When the 10 minutes are up, use the valve to release the remaining pressure, remove the lid, and carefully remove the cheesecake from the Instant Pot.
Allow the cheesecake to cool completely in the refrigerator overnight or at least 4 to 6 hours.
To remove the cheesecake, use a sharp knife dipped in hot water and dried with a clean towel. Carefully run the knife along the sides of the cheesecake to loosen it. Carefully remove the cheesecake. If you used a spring form pan, it is a lot easier because you can pop the sides off.
As a final step, sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar mix all over the top. Slice it and then decorate with a dollop of whipped cream and drizzled caramel sauce.
Pro tips and tricks
Cheesecake is really not too hard to make at home. It’s even easier if you follow these tips and tricks.
- Use a hand mixer instead of a stand mixer. They are generally less powerful and won’t introduce too much air to the batter.
- Mix the batter in short bursts and only mix enough to combine the ingredients. This helps prevent overmixing.
- Use a springform pan for easy removal of the cheesecake.
- Make sure you wrap the cheesecake with a paper towel and two pieces of aluminum foil. This helps prevent steam from getting into the cheesecake.
- Heat your serving knife under warm water before drying and then cutting the cheesecake away from the sides.
- Chill for at least 4 to 6 hours before you serve the cheesecake
How do I serve the cheesecake?
Like all cheesecakes, you serve it chilled. It needs to chill for at least 4 to 6 hours before you serve it.
We recommend sprinkling cinnamon and sugar on top of the whole cake. We also like to top it with whipped cream and caramel sauce.
You could also serve the cheesecake with vanilla or other flavored ice cream. Similar to sopapilla’s you could serve with honey on the side.
A good chocolate sauce also makes a nice drizzle or dipping sauce. If you like, you could also try topping it with cinnamon and sugar roasted nuts.
Can I freeze?
Yes, you can freeze the sopapilla cheesecake for up to a month. We recommend not topping with caramel or whipped cream before freezing, but you can freeze the cake itself.
To freeze the cake, allow it to set overnight. Follow the steps to remove the cake from the springform pan.
You can then wrap the whole cake in plastic wrap if you plan to serve this to guests at a party or get together. If you prefer, you could slice the sopapilla cheesecake into individual slices and wrap each slice in plastic wrap.
Once wrapped in plastic wrap, use aluminum foil to tightly wrap the cheesecake whole or slices. When they are tightly wrapped, place them in the freezer for up to 1 month.
You can thaw the cheesecake for 2 to 4 hours on the counter or place in the fridge overnight.
How long does it last in the refrigerator?
A well-wrapped eggless cheesecake can last up to about 5 to 6 days in the fridge. Make sure to wrap it tightly with plastic wrap or store in a sealable container. We recommend storing cheesecake without adding a whipped cream or caramel topping first.
More Delicious Desserts
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- 16 oz. Cream Cheese -room temperature
- ¾ Cup Sweetened Condensed Milk- room temperature
- 1/4 cup heavy wiping cream
- 2 tbsp. cornstarch
- 2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1 Cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
- 2 tbsp. Granulated Sugar
- 4 tbsp. Butter, melted
- ½ cup caramel sauce
- 2 tbsp. cinnamon +sugar mix
- Place cream cheese, heavy cream on counter-top to reach room temperature.
Make the crust
- Finely ground the graham crackers in a food processor.
- Add the melted butter, sugar, and mix well.
- Trace the bottom of your 7-inch pan on parchment paper and cut out the circle to line the bottom of the pan.
- Use butter to grease the interior side of the pan very well.
- Line the springform pan with parchment paper.
- Pour the crumbs into your springform pan and press the crust very firmly onto the bottom with a use of a measuring cup or ramekin.
- Place the cheesecake pan in the freezer while you make the cheesecake batter.
- We highly recommend using a hand mixer instead of a Stand Mixer. Stand Mixer is usually more powerful; thus, you can easily overmix and introduce too much air into the cheesecake batter.
Make the cheesecake Filling
- Add the room temperature cream cheese in a bowl and mix on low speed for 15 seconds until soft and creamy. (If the cream cheese is not at room temperature you can microwave it for 15 sec)
- Add Sweetened Condensed Milk and mix it for 10 seconds.
- Next add the vanilla Extract, cornstarch, heavy cream, and cinnamon powder.
- Give it a final whisk for 15 seconds till batter is smooth & homogeneous until it is smooth and there are no lumps.
- Pour the batter into your cheesecake pan.
- Pick up the pan and tap it a few times on the counter slowly to even out the batter and this also helps pop air bubbles in your batter.
Assembling the cheesecake for the Instant Pot and Cooking
- Place one piece of foil on top and seal tightly, then another piece of foil the bottom that wraps up towards the top.
- The entire pan should be covered. This helps prevent steam getting on your cheesecake.
- Pour 1 cup water into the inner pot.
- Place the trivet in the Inner Pot
- Carefully place the cheesecake pan on top of the trivet.
- Close the lid and SELECT HIGH-PRESSURE COOK. Select 30 minutes.
- Once the timer is up and you hear the beep, wait an additional 10 minutes while the pot releases the pressure naturally.
- Open the lid and take out the tin carefully.
- Keep the cheesecake in the baking pan, you don’t want to remove the cheesecake until it’s been cooled.
- Place it in the refrigerator overnight or at least 4 - 6 hours
Unmold the cheesecake
- Take a sharp knife and dip it in hot water, then dry with a clean tea towel.
- Run the knife around the tin to loosen the sides.
- Then carefully remove the cheesecake from the pan
- Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar and decorate it with some dollop of whipped cream and drizzle caramel sauce.
- Slice the cake using a sharp knife and serve
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McCormick Ground Cinnamon
Steamer Rack Trivet with Handles Compatible for Instant Pot 6 & 8 qt Accessories - Great for Lifting out Springform Pan / Cheesecake Pan
365 by Whole Foods Market, Organic Condensed Milk, Sweetened, 14 Ounce
Honey Maid Honey Graham Crackers, 14.4 oz
Hiware 9 Inch Non-stick Cheesecake Pan Springform Pan with Removable Bottom/Leakproof Cake Pan Bakeware with Cleaning Cloth