Pressure cooking isn't just for dinner.
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If you ever browse Pinterest for recipes, or really spend any time looking at cooking content online, there's virtually no way you haven't heard about the Instant Pot. This electric pressure cooker is easily the most popular cooking device of the past few years, and after having one for nearly a year myself, it's easy to see why. Pressure cooking makes it so easy to whip up a decadent and delicious meal with next to no effort and in no time at all.
While most people, myself included, will rave about savory recipes like juicy homemade meatballs or crispy chicken wings, the Instant Pot has way more to offer, and that includes the ability to make a wide variety of desserts. To whet your appetite and inspire your next big cooking adventure, we rounded up 20 mouth-watering desserts that you can make in an electric pressure cooker.
Editor's note: Many of these recipes call for a springform pan or cake pan. You'll need one that fits into the inner pot. If you have a 6-quart pressure cooker, look for something that's 7 inches or less in diameter. For 8-quart Instant Pots, you can get away an 8-inch pan.
What is more decadent and indulgent than a chocolate cake with gooey, molten liquid chocolate that flows out when you take your first bite? The recipe for "Instant Pot Better Than Sex Chocolate Lava Cakes" from Adventures of a Nurse makes it easy to pull off a dessert that can be tricky to make in the oven. Serve it hot with a scoop of ice cream for an unforgettable ending to any meal.
Cook time: 9 minutes
You'll also need: A microwave, a trivet (comes with the Instant Pot), and 4 6-ounce Pyrex bowls or ramekins
Sometimes you don't have the time or desire to bake a dessert from scratch, and that's totally OK. If you want to whip something up quickly and with minimal prep work, look no further than this recipe for Instant Pot Monkey Bread from FoodNService. It uses premade biscuit dough—you know the kind in the tube that you have to pop open— that you just cut up into chunks and cover with sugar, cinnamon, and an easy homemade caramel sauce for a simple but decadent dessert.
Cook time: 26 minutes
You'll also need: A microwave, a bundt pan or mini loaf pan, and a trivet
When you think of summery desserts, peaches are probably one of the first fruits that come to mind. And if you want to put a fun modern twist on the classic cobbler, you should try Instant Pot Stuffed Peaches from Recipes to Nourish.
Cook time: 3 minutes
You'll also need: A paring knife and a steamer rack or basket
Cheesecake is definitely one of the most popular Instant Pot desserts to make, and there are countless variants. But this Girl Scout cookie-inspired Samoa Cheesecake from Lady Behind the Curtain is possibly the most indulgent of them all, especially if you missed out on buying cookies this year.
Cook time: 30 minutes
You'll also need: A springform pan and a trivet
Eating healthier doesn't have to mean giving up all the delicious desserts you once loved. This Low-Carb Chocolate Mousse from My Life Cookbook blends indulgence and health together for a chocolate treat with only 4.4 net carbs per serving that will leave you satisfied without feeling guilty.
Cook time: 20 minutes
You'll also need: Ramekins or small glass jars and a trivet
What's better than dessert? How about one that's acceptable to eat for breakfast? This recipe for Whole Grain Banana Bread from Instant Loss is perfect for brunch, and it's easy to make in your Instant Pot. With a one-hour cook time, it's among the most time-consuming of this list, but unlike baking in an oven, you can't really under- or overcook this tasty treat.
Cook time: 60 minutes
You'll also need: A springform or bundt pan and a trivet
If you're using Weight Watchers for dietary guidance but still craving a sweet treat here and there, this Weight Watchers Instant Pot Cupcake recipe from My Crazy Good Life is sure to hit the spot. With healthy ingredients like bananas and almond milk, they're way better for you than a regular cupcake but still satisfy that sweet tooth. Each cupcake is only 9 points with the frosting (7 points without), so what are you waiting for?
Cook time: 25 minutes
You'll also need: Silicone cupcake liners, ramekins or glass jars, and a trivet
Key lime pie is the perfect dessert for warm weather, but if the idea of turning on an oven in the summer is understandably appalling, the Instant Pot can help. This recipe for Instant Pot Key Lime Pie from Living Sweet Moments makes is super easy to whip up a decadent and refreshing dessert from scratch. You could even skip the homemade whipped topping and use the can (or Cool Whip) to save even more time and effort.
Cook time: 15 minutes
You'll also need: A stand mixer or hand mixer, a springform pan, a zester, and a trivet
One of the things that stops me from baking is the fact that I usually need SO MANY ingredients. This 3 Ingredient Japanse Cheesecake from Kirble Cravings solves both of my baking woes—fewer things to buy and no need to turn on the oven. It's also far less complicated than baking a Japanese cheesecake the usual way thanks to the magic of pressure cooking. It's also gluten-free since there's no crust.
Cook time: 17 minutes
You'll also need: A microwave, a hand mixer, a trivet, a cake pan or springform pan, and parchment paper
Just because you have dietary restrictions doesn't mean you shouldn't be able to enjoy a decadent dessert. This recipe for [Peanut Butter Blondies] from Instant Loss is flourless and grain- and dairy-free. If you're trying to build muscle, lose weight, or otherwise stay active, you'll be happy to know that it packs a protein punch thanks to the chickpeas (which you won't be able to taste in the finished product.
Cook time: 60 minutes
You'll also need: A cake pan or springform pan and a trivet
If you really want to impress your friends at your next brunch potluck, whip up this Lemon Blueberry Breakfast Cake from Tried & True in your Instant Pot. It's light but sweet and perfect with a cup of tea or coffee. And the recipe makes enough batter for two small cakes so you can bring one with you and save one for later.
Cook time: 30 minutes
You'll also need: A springform or regular cake pan
Want something simple that tastes like your childhood? How about rice pudding. This recipe for the Best Pressure Cooker Rice Pudding from Pressure Cooking Today makes it easy to get this old-fashioned treat without all the work. With a bit of prep work and just 3 minutes in Instant Pot, you can scoop up a big old bite of nostalgia.
Cook time: 3 minutes
You'll also need: A fine mesh strainer
Chocolate cake is the essence of indulgence, but it doesn't have to mean you sacrifice your healthy diet. With this recipe for Guilt-Free Chocolate Cake from Instant Loss you can have it all. It's gluten-free and dairy-free, and it calls for coconut oil instead of vegetable oil and black beans foran extra punch of nutrients and protein.
Cook time: 45 minutes
You'll also need: A cake pan, a trivet, and a microwave (for the glaze)
Want to bake something a little less traditional that will turn heads at your next gathering but won't require professional baking skills? Look no further than this 3-Ingredient Cherry Cake from The Typical Mom. All you need is cake mix, a can of pie filling, and two eggs (plus your favorite pre-made frosting) to whip up an unusually delicious twist on dessert.
Cook time: 50 minutes
You'll also need: A cake pan
For a summery dessert that will wow year 'round, you should try this Instant Pot Lemon Custard from Favorite Family Recipes. It's only got a few ingredients, and cooking the custard in a pressure cooker takes the guesswork out of getting the end result how you want it.
Cook time: 8 minutes
You'll also need: Ramekins or glass jars, a zester, a fine mesh strainer, and a trivet
Angel food cake is amazing. It's so fluffy and light that it practically melts in your mouth. This recipe for Instant Pot Angel Food Cake from Foodie and Wine is insanely easy. All you need is a box of cake mix, a cake pan, some foil, and maybe some rainbow sprinkles for color if that' your thing. Since you're "baking" in the Instant Pot instead of an oven, you can make this cake in the dead heat of summer without hating your cravings.
Cook time: 10 minutes
You'll also need: A cake pan and a trivet
If you've got allergies or dietary restrictions, dessert can be a huge minefield. This 21-Day Fix Instant Pot Apple Crisp from Confessions of a Fit Foodie eases some of those sugary woes with a healthy treat that's both gluten- and dairy-free, and fits oh-so-nicely into the 21-Day Fix and Weight Watchers dietary plans too.
Cook time: 7 minutes
You'll also need: Ramekins or glass jars and a trivet
In that same realm of healthier dessert options is this Instant Pot Low-Carb Low-Sugar Cheesecake from The Big Apple Mama. It uses crushed pecans (or almonds or almond flour) to reduce the amount of sugar in the crust, which does need to be oven-baked. But you can also skip the crust altogether for an even more low-carb outcome.
Cook time: 35 minutes (not including crust preparation)
You'll also need: A springform pan, a food processor, and a trivet
Sometimes dessert is more fun when eaten in handfuls, and this recipe for Instant Pot Caramel Corn from Recipe This is a great alternative to candy. The caramel might not be super healthy, but a popcorn center is much lighter than, say, fudge or peanut butter or nougat. Plus, who doesn't love freshly popped popcorn?
For this treat, you only make the popcorn in the Instant Pot—the sauce is made on the stove. So technically, if you have an air popper, you can use that for a lower-calorie version as the Instant Pot corn is popped in coconut oil.
Cook time: 5 minutes
You'll also need: A saucepan
What I love most about apple-based desserts is that biting into one fills me with nostalgia for childhood and fall (my favorite season). But I also love that it usually doesn't punch you in the face with sugar. And this recipe for Instant Pot Apple Cinnamon Cake is right up my alley, especially because a single serving is under 300 calories, so I can indulge without guilt.
Cook time: 60 minutes
You'll also need: A springform or cake pan and a trivet