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.
- 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