Decadent, rich, and creamy! Yes, it’s the easiest Air Fryer Cheesecake!
A thick, creamy slice of homemade cheesecake — who can resist?
And now, with an Air Fryer, it’s even easier to make this iconic dessert. I don’t think I will ever go back to baking cheesecake the traditional way again!
Why Air Fryer Cheesecake?
Homemade cheesecake is one of those simple, elegant stand-out desserts. To achieve that super creamy texture without cracks, cooks often utilize a water bath (also called a bain-marie).
However, water baths can be problematic and fussy. Water can seep into the springform pan or accidentally spill into the cheesecake batter. What’s a cheesecake lover to do?
Enter Air Fryer Cheesecake — the modern solution to a beautifully baked, effortless cheesecake. No more fussing over water baths and fretting about a foil ring.
The reason: the Air Fryer works like a mini convection oven to circulate hot air around food items. The small size cooks food faster and acts like an insulating water bath for cheesecake — without all the fuss of one!
- Cream Cheese. The star ingredient. Don’t buy the cheapest brand, which contains a high amount of fillers and modified milk ingredients. I recommend Philadephia brand cream cheese for a smooth, rich, tangy cream cheese that’s full of flavor. As a bonus, it’s found in most grocery stores.
- Sour Cream. Full-fat sour cream adds a luxurious tang and silky lightness.
- Lemon Zest + Juice. Bright citrus flavor so the final flavor is light, fresh, and not too heavy.
- Vanilla. Essential flavoring that adds depth of flavor.
- Eggs. Adds richness and structure. I recommend organic, free-range eggs for the best flavor.
- Graham Cracker Crust. Make a quick and easy homemade crust with graham crackers, sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter.
- Raspberry Sauce. Macerated raspberries cut through the rich density of cheesecake with their tart acidity and sweetness. Adds so much fresh brightness!
- Air Fryer. I use a Cosori 5.8Qt Air Fryer (affiliate) but any Air Fryer should work. Do not preheat!
- Springform pan. A springform pan comes with a detachable bottom, making removal and serving much easier. Either a 7-inch or 8-inch springform will work – whichever size fits into your Air Fryer.
- Food Processor. Easily crushes graham crackers into crumbs. Otherwise, buy pre-ground crumbs from the store.
- Hand Mixer. Mix thick cheesecake batter into silky perfection!
How to make Air Fryer Cheesecake:
- Make the crust. In a food processor, add graham crackers, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Pulse to fine crumbs. Add melted butter. Pulse to combine.
- Make the filling. In a large bowl, add cream cheese and beat until fluffy. Then add sugar, sour cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, and eggs. Mix until smooth.
- Air Fry. Carefully place in the Air Fryer and bake at 320F for 22-25 minutes. When the timer beeps, keep the cheesecake inside the Air Fryer for an additional 10 minutes.
- Chill. Keep at room temperature until cool to the touch. Transfer to a fridge and chill 2-4 hours or overnight.
- Make fresh raspberry sauce. In a large bowl, add raspberries and sugar. Mash with a potato masher (or fork) until juicy and broken down. Chill.
- Serve and enjoy!
Watch how to make it:
- Use room temperature cream cheese. To ensure there are no lumps! Leave out for 2-3 hours (and up to overnight) before mixing the batter together. Otherwise, push the batter through a sieve before baking.
- Chill completely. A necessary step to achieving that super-creamy, thick texture. Helps to set the cheesecake to velvety smoothness.
- Cover with a foil tent. To prevent over-browning, cover the cake loosely with a foil tent while cooking. An optional step, but makes a visual difference.
- DO NOT OVERBAKE! The jiggly texture is key. There should be a slight pudding-like creaminess in the middle. Remember, the cheesecake will continue to set as it chills in the fridge.
- Determine doneness with the jiggle test. Air Fryer cook times range and can vary widely. Test for doneness with the jiggle test. Gently shake the pan and see how the center and edges respond to the jiggle:
- If the edges are set and the center jiggles — it’s done.
- If the center and edges all wobble significantly — it needs to be cooked longer.
- If the center is set and doesn’t jiggle at all – the cheesecake is overcooked.
Do I really need a 7-inch springform pan?
If you love cheesecake, a springform pan is nice to have. The detachable base makes removal of the cheesecake and serving easier.
Since a 9-inch cake pan is standard for most recipes, a 7-inch one may feel unnecessary. But I find myself reaching for my 7-inch one quite often.
The benefits of a 7-inch springform pan (affiliate):
- Fits into my Air Fryer. I prefer baking in my Air Fryer vs oven as it’s more convenient, faster, and uses less energy.
- Petite-sized dessert. For my lifestyle, I don’t often need a 9-inch cake which often results in uneaten leftovers. With the exception of Thanksgiving, potlucks, or larger family dinners — I prefer a smaller cheesecake.
How do I store leftovers?
Store leftover cheesecake in the fridge, on a plate. If you’d like, cover loosely with plastic wrap. But make sure it’s not an airtight seal, as the crust will become soggy. It should last 2-3 days.
Store the raspberry sauce in a Tupperware container, separately from the cheesecake. That way, it will stay fresh.
Help! The top of my cheesecake turned brown!
One of the downsides of Air Fryer Cheesecake is its tendency to brown. The location of the heating element makes it almost impossible to achieve that super smooth finish on top. Unfortunately, browned spots are unavoidable. On the plus side, it doesn’t affect the overall flavor or texture at all!
To hide the browned top, I serve with a fresh raspberry sauce. Or, add a foil tent on top of the pan when baking.
Can I make this in advance?
Yes, both the cheesecake and raspberry sauce can be made the day before serving. The chill time in the fridge is absolutely essential to the final texture of the dish.
Other Air Fryer recipes you may enjoy:
Air Fryer Cheesecake with Fresh Raspberry Sauce
- 7-inch or 8-inch springform pan (choose the size that fits in your Air Fryer)
- Air Fryer (I use a Cosori 5.8Qt Air Fryer)
- Food processor
- Handheld mixer
- 1 package/142g graham crackers (about 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs)
- 3 Tbsp/50g butter (unsalted) melted
- 3 Tbsp white granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 16 oz/460g full-fat cream cheese (2 8oz packages)
- 1/3 cup full-fat sour cream
- 1/2 cup/100g sugar
- 2 eggs (large)
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice (approx 1/2 lemon)
- 1 tsp lemon zest (approx 1/2 lemon)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 pints fresh raspberries
- 3-4 Tbsp sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)
- Bake cheesecake at 320F for 20-22 minutes.
Graham Cracker Crust:
- Pulse graham crackers. In a food processor, add graham crackers and break them up slightly with your hands. Add sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Pulse until finely ground. Add melted butter and pulse a few more times to combine.
- Grease springform pan. Generously grease a 7-inch or 8-inch springform pan. Make sure to grease the sides, all the way to the top, as well as the bottom.
- Press graham cracker crust. Add the finely ground graham cracker mixture into the pan. Using the back of a measuring cup, press firmly to the bottom of the pan. If you like, press the crust 1 inch up the sides of the pan as well.
- Beat cream cheese. In a large bowl, add cream cheese. Using a hand held mixer, beat on medium speed until fluffy and no longer lumpy or dense, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add remaining ingredients. Add sugar, sour cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, eggs, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until combined, about 1-2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, as needed.
- Transfer to pan. Add cheesecake filling to the graham cracker crust, making sure to scrape every last bit into the pan.
- Air Fry cheesecake. Carefully transfer cheesecake to Air Fryer. Bake at 320F/160C for 22-24 minutes. Do not preheat Air Fryer beforehand!
- *When the timer beeps, keep in the Air Fryer for additional 10 minutes. (The heat should be turned off but there will be residual heat to keep it warm.)
- Transfer to the counter. Rest until cool enough to handle then transfer to the fridge. Chill for 3-4 hours or up to overnight.
Fresh Raspberry Sauce:
- Make the fresh raspberry sauce. In a large bowl, add raspberries and sugar. Using a potato masher or fork, crush the raspberries and sugar together. They will release a lot of juice.
- Transfer. Scrape into a Tupperware container and chill in the fridge until ready to serve.
- Serve. Cut cheesecake into 6 slices. Serve with a dollop of fresh raspberry sauce, and additional sauce in the center of the table. Guests can add more sauce if they like. Enjoy!