Air fryers are easily some of the most popular gadgets on the market. Their claim to fame is cooking all kinds of food both quickly and efficiently. They can make lighter (yet equally delicious) fried chicken, crispy Parmesan french fries, and even juicy well-done burgers. If you thought that was a feat, here’s another surprise: They can also whip up a really good cheesecake.
There are several reasons to use your air fryer to make cheesecake. For one, it’s faster. Between the prep, baking, cooling, and chilling steps, most cheesecake recipes require over 8 hours from start to finish. Our air-fryer version is done in about half that time. (The overall cooking time is less than an hour!) Those time savings didn’t come at the expense of quality: With the air fryer’s heat coming directly from the top, I was able to achieve a rich and creamy interior with the golden-brown top that’s the mark of a great New York–style cheesecake. Another advantage of air-fryer cheesecake? There’s no water bath to balance precariously while transferring the cheesecake in and out of a hot oven.
Air Fryer PerfectionLearn the best food to cook in an air fryer and the test kitchen secrets that ensure even cooking; coax better browning; create the crispiest, crunchiest coatings; and guarantee juicy steaks.
The experts on our ATK Reviews team did a ton of research on air fryers, and they found that not all models are created equal. This recipe was developed using our winning air fryer, the Vortex Plus 6-Quart Air Fryer. If you’re using a different model, be sure to check your cheesecake at the lower end of the given time ranges and focus on the visual cues.
Ready to see what your air fryer is capable of? Go make this rich, decadent, creamy Air-Fryer Cheesecake. It’s a sweet alternative to typical air-fryer fare.
Serves 8 (Makes one 6-inch cake)
Total Time: 1¾ hours, plus 4½ hours cooling, chilling, and standing
- 6 whole graham crackers, broken into 1-inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 tablespoon plus ⅔ cup (4⅔ ounces) sugar, divided
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch plus ¼ teaspoon table salt, divided
- 18 ounces cream cheese, softened (Use 2 whole packages of cream cheese, plus 2 ounces from a third)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
1. Pulse cracker pieces in food processor to fine crumbs, about 20 pulses. Add melted butter, 1 tablespoon sugar, cinnamon, and pinch salt and pulse to combine, about 4 pulses. Sprinkle crumbs into 6-inch springform pan and press into even layer using bottom of dry measuring cup. Place pan into air-fryer basket and place basket into air fryer. Set temperature to 350 degrees and cook until crust sets and turns light golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Let cool on wire rack while making filling.
2. Wipe out processor bowl. Process cream cheese, vanilla, remaining ⅔ cup sugar, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt in now-empty processor until combined, about 15 seconds, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add sour cream and eggs and process until just incorporated, about 15 seconds; do not overmix. Pour filling over crust in pan, smooth top, and cover tightly with aluminum foil.
3. Place pan into air-fryer basket and place basket into air fryer. Set temperature to 300 degrees and cook until tiny bubbles form and edges begin to set, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove foil and continue to cook until top is golden brown, edges begin to crack, and center of cake is slightly wobbly when shaken, 15 to 20 minutes. Turn off air fryer and allow cake to continue to sit inside basket for 30 minutes.
4. Transfer pan to wire rack, run small knife around edge of cake, and let cheesecake cool completely in pan, about 1 hour. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 3 hours or up to 3 days.
5. About 30 minutes before serving, run small knife around edge of cheesecake and then remove sides of pan and slide cake onto serving platter. Let cheesecake stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes, then cut into wedges and serve.
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