These easy air fryer creamy cheesecakes are delicious Russian-style cheesecakes (called Syrniki) with a smooth, creamy, and melt-in-your-mouth texture, surrounded by a crispy caramelized crust. Cooked in Air Fryer in under 10 minutes.
What is Syrniki?
Syrniki is a type of Russian pancake (or a small cheesecake) made from Farmer’s cheese (or cream cheese), eggs, flour, and sugar. They are usually served for breakfast or as a snack and can be topped with fruit, jam, or sour cream.
Traditionally Syrniki are pan-fried in lots of butter (or oil) until golden brown. It’s delicious, however, soaked in grease.
I gave Syrniki an air fryer run, which resulted in easy creamy cheesecakes, surrounded by an appetizing caramelized crispy crust. And it’s easier and healthier than the traditional version. My kids were obsessed! Plus no babysitting by the hot grease-splattering stove.
How to Make Creamy Cheesecakes (Syrniki) in the Air Fryer
Please find the detailed instructions along with the ingredient list in the recipe card below
I’m using cream cheese for this recipe.
Preheat the air fryer to 350°F (175°C)
Mix: To make the syrniki, mix together the cream cheese, egg, flour, sugar, vanilla extract, baking powder, and salt. Here I'm using 2 tablespoons of Semolina, which is optional. I love how it gives a bit of coarse texture. If you don't have Semolina, you can use an extra tablespoon of flour. (Pictures 1 and 2).
Make a patty: Divide the dough into 6 even parts. Using your hands, shape the mixture into a medium ¾ inch thick patties. If the dough is too sticky, pat it lightly in the flour. (Picture 3). Or scoop the mixture using a spoon directly onto the parchment paper. (Picture 4). Then spritz them with the cooking spray. I'm using Ghee butter spray.
Air fry: Place the patties in the air fryer basket and cook for 8-10 minutes until golden brown, flipping halfway through.
Serve: Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired and serve with fruit or jam.
What kind of Cheese to Use for Air Fryer Syrniki?
There are a few different types of cheese that can be used. Some of the most popular options include ricotta, cottage cheese, and farmer's cheese. All of these cheeses have a fairly neutral flavor, which allows the sweetness of the syrniki to shine through.
In terms of texture, ricotta is the smoothest of the three kinds of cheese, while cottage cheese has a slightly grainy texture.
Farmer's cheese is somewhere in between, with a fluffy texture that is similar to ricotta.
Can I make these Creamy Cheesecakes Low-carb or Keto-friendly?
Fortunately, there are a few simple substitutions that you can make to create a delicious and keto-friendly version of syrniki.
First, replace the flour with almond flour. This will give the syrniki a slightly different texture, but the flavor will be just as good.
Second, sweeten the syrniki with stevia or erythritol instead of sugar. These substitutes will not raise blood sugar levels, making them an ideal choice for those on a ketogenic diet. I'm using Monkfruit sweetener.
Air Fryer Creamy Cheesecakes
These easy air fryer creamy cheesecakes are delicious Russian-style cheesecakes (Syrniki) with a smooth, creamy, and melt-in-your-mouth texture, surrounded by a crispy caramelized crust. Cooked in Air Fryer in under 10 minutes.
- 8 oz Cream cheese (226 g), softened
- 1 Egg
- ⅓ cup All-purpose Flour (can sub for low-carb flour of choice)
- 2 TBS Granulated sugar (Can substitute for preferred granulated sweetener of your choice)
- 2 TBS Semolina (Optional)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Spray oil.
- Optional, but recommended toppings:
- Sour cream
- Powdered sugar
- Preheat the air fryer to 350F/175C for 3 minutes
- In a mixing bowl add all ingredients: Cream cheese, egg, flour, sugar, semolina, vanilla extract, and baking powder.
- Using a spoon or fork, mix all ingredients together until well combined.
- Divide the mixture into 6 even parts.
- Using your hands pick up one part and roll it into a ball. If the dough is too sticky (and this mixture will be sticky), roll the ball lightly in the flour. Or scoop the mixture using a spoon.
- Place onto air fryer basket or tray, lined with Air Fryer parchment paper. Or use a regular parchment paper cut to fit the basket.
- Gently shape the ball and press it into a pancake shape and make it approx. ¾ inch thick. If the pancake is too sticky, gently pat it with a bit of flour.
- Lightly spray cheesecakes with oil. I use Ghee butter oil spray.
- Air fry (air crisp mode) at 350F/180C for 5 minutes
- Open air fryer, flip each cheesecake on the other side, lightly spray with oil, and fry for an additional 3-4 minutes or until golden brown with a crispy caramelized crust.
- Transfer to a plate, let cool a bit, and serve with your favorite topping, like powdered sugar, and top with some fruits. Delicious with a dollop of sour cream on top. Enjoy!
How to make the Air Fryer Cheesecakes low carb and keto-friendly:
Substitute flour for almond flour and
Substitute sugar for granulated sweetener of your choice
Can I use almond flour instead of regular flour?
Yes, absolutely. And this will make them low carb and keto friendly
If I don't have "optional" semolina, how will that impact the end result in terms of taste and texture?
No worries, You can just add an extra tbs or two regular flour or preferred flour. I just love semolina which adds extra crunchiness and texture. Otherwise, they are still delish! (PS: I know I replied to your email. This is for the record)
Are these meant to be served warm/hot? If you chill them before serving does that ruin the texture?
I like them better warm. Although they are still delicious chill. To warm them up, pop into a microwave for 30-40 seconds or back to the air fryer for a minute to crisp them up again
How much vanilla?
Can you recommend a decent air fryer?
There are so many options. I would be preparing for under 4 people so nothing huge is needed.
The one that I'm using for 2 years (multiple times a day) is the Cuisinart air fryer oven
I like it because it has multiple functions and I can peek at the food thru the window. I'm very happy with it. It has a 3-year warranty on it from Cuisinart.
Another one that is highly rated are Ninjas
2 basket-style: https://amzn.to/3aoOY29
Air fryer and pressure cooker: https://amzn.to/3FiVR32
Ninja grill https://amzn.to/2YjeRh1 I've seen the food come out of it fantastic looking and delicious
Not sure if I over softened the cream cheese, but even with 4tbs of flour there was no way these would roll into balls. I just dropped them into blobs. I am gluten free, so used bobs gf 1:1 flour. I don't even know what semolina is, so skipped it. Turned out really good, a little dangerous as they're so easy and fast to make. Didn't turn very brown but gf never does. Soft pillowy circles. Will make again, super yum!! Thanks for a great recipe!!
HI Julia, Thank you for your feedback! I'm glad that you loved the recipe.
Has anyone made this recipe? Because it is definitely not correct I was up to an entire cup of flour and still couldn’t get it to form a dough. No matter what I did I had a big mess that I had to drop by tablespoons fall and couldn’t even flatten out. I would love to have this recipe your work anybody have an adjustment?? This was an epic fail
I had the same issue! Not sure what I did wrong! Super sticky!
The recipe says baking soda and the instructions say baking powder. Which is correct?
It's baking soda. Fixed! Thank you so much for letting me know. I hope you enjoyed the recipe.
Just a heads up that recipe still shows baking powder instead of baking soda and the instructions mention vanilla extract but vanilla is not showing on the ingredient list. Thanks for updating. Going to wing it and give this a try.
Can you use 1/3 less fat cream cheese?
Absolutely. Same amount. Should work the same.
This is the first air fryer recipe that instructs the user to preheat "after" placing food in basket. Is that the correct procedure?
The correct procedure is to pre-heat first and then place the food in the air fryer 🙂 Thanks for pointing it out! I will correct the recipe card
Can you make this in oven? Temp and time if can be done. Please & Thank you😊
Bake them at 400F for 20 minutes, Flipping halfway.
Or until a caramelized golden crust
Hi, I'd love to make these but my air fryer mfgr says not to pre-heat unit. Should I make an adjustment for this?
You can run it empty for 2-3 meanutes. This will equal to preheating
How much salt? I am a newbie to air frying I’ve not tried it before so want to make sure I have everything as it should be. Thanks