Instant Pot Red Hots Cheesecake

Growing up, while everyone else was reaching for the chocolate, I was the one reaching for the Red Hots, the Hot Tamales or the Big Red gum. I’ve always been a huge fan of sweet cinnamon candy, which makes this amazing Red Hots cheesecake made in the Instant Pot (get yours here: a go-to recipe I crave all year round.

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This cheesecake has ground Red Hots candies in the crust, Red Hots mixed into the cheesecake, and is garnished with Red Hots, too. But don’t worry, the creamy, rich cheesecake mellows out the spiciness. Even those who don’t love spicy cinnamon flavors (bless their hearts!), love a wedge of this creamy-wonderful cinnamon candy concoction.

It’s a good thing this delicious dessert is made in a 7” pan, just the right size for a fulfilling treat without having leftovers tempting you for days. Even decadence needs a little moderation. 🙂

Pro Tips: Make sure cream cheese and eggs are at room temperature before starting or the cheesecake may get too fluffy and may not set properly. Be sure to use a hand mixer (not a stand mixer) to avoid overbeating. If the center isn’t set after cooking, reseal the pot and set for an additional 5 minutes with a QR.

Love a wedge of this creamy-wonderful cinnamon candy concoction!


Crust Mixture:

  • 1/4 cup red hot candies
  • 10 graham cracker rectangles
  • 5 tbsp melted butter

Cheesecake Mixture

  • 16 oz packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt (or sour cream)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup red hot candies
  • 1 cup water

To Finish:

  • 1/2 cup white candy melts
  • 2 tsp coconut oil (or shortening)
  • Additional red hots for decoration


  1. Coat the inside of a 7” springform pan with nonstick spray (we used this one:, then line bottom and sides with parchment paper. Wrap the bottom of the pan with aluminum foil.
  2. In a food processor or blender, grind 1/4 cup red hot candies to a powder. Add graham crackers and process again to a fine crumb.
  3. In a small bowl, combine graham cracker mixture and melted butter until uniform. Press evenly into the bottom of the springform pan (use the back of a measuring cup as a press). Place in the freezer for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, use a hand mixer to beat cream cheese and brown sugar for one minute. Add yogurt and, vanilla and beat for one minute. Add eggs and beat just until combined. Do not overmix.
  5. Fold in 1/2 cup red hot candies. Pour batter evenly into pan. Tap the pan on the counter several times to force any bubbles to the surface. Pop bubbles with a toothpick or fork.
  6. Pour one cup of water in the Instant Pot and insert the steam rack. Carefully lower the springform pan on to the steam rack.
  7. Secure the lid, making sure the vent is closed.
  8. Using the display panel select the MANUAL function*. Use the +/- keys and program the Instant Pot for 35 minutes.
  9. When the time is up, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, then quick-release the remaining pressure.
  10. Carefully remove the pan from the pot to a wire rack. Use a paper towel to soak up any water on top of the cheesecake.
  11. Allow to cool to room temperature, then remove the sides of the springform. Parchment will have wrinkled during cooking. Peel it back and re-wrap it around the cheesecake, smoothing the sides as you go. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
  12. Unwrap the cheesecake, remove pan bottom and parchment. Place cheesecake on a serving plate.
  13. In a small bowl, heat candy melts and coconut oil in the microwave in 15 second increments until melted and smooth. Smooth over the cake, using the back of a spoon to push the coating to the edges so it drips down the sides.
  14. Quickly garnish with additional red hots.

*The MANUAL and PRESSURE COOK buttons are interchangeable.