This dessert takes inspiration from the classic Tex-Mex cocktail -- right down to the salt on the rim of the glass (in this case, a salted-pretzel crust). Tequila and orange-flavored liqueur make this ultra-creamy cheesecake an adults-only treat (or replace the liquor with lime juice for an alcohol-free version).

Everyday Food, May 2004


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary

15 mins
5 hrs 20 mins
Serves 8 to 10


Ingredient Checklist
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Crust: Preheat oven to 375 degrees, with rack in center. In a food processor, pulse pretzels until fine crumbs form (you will have a little more than 1 cup). Add sugar and melted butter; process until combined. Press evenly in bottom and 1 inch up sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake until golden brown, about 9 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

  • Filling: Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Wrap exterior of springform pan with a double layer of foil. Set a kettle of water to a boil. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese on medium-high speed until fluffy and smooth, about 3 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Reduce speed to medium. Mix in sour cream, sugar, Grand Marnier, tequila, lime zest, and salt; beat until well incorporated. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.

  • Pour cream-cheese mixture over cooled crust (filling will come up higher than crust). Set springform pan in a roasting pan; carefully pour in enough boiling water to reach halfway up side of springform pan.

  • Bake on center rack until cake is set and slightly firm to the touch, about 65 minutes. Transfer springform pan to a wire rack and remove foil; let cool completely. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 6 hours or up to overnight. Run a knife around edge of cake to loosen before unmolding. Garnish top of cheesecake with lime slices.

Cook's Notes

This recipe appears in our cookbook "Martha Stewart's Cakes."


Reviews (9)

137 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 25
  • 4 star values: 45
  • 3 star values: 43
  • 2 star values: 20
  • 1 star values: 4
Rating: 5 stars
I'll eat to that :-)
Rating: Unrated
This is a must have recipe for cheesecake. Make sure you wrap the bottom of hte pan tightly so the pretzel crust doesn't get soggy. It is the best tasting cheesecake. Even people who don't like margaritas love this!!
Rating: Unrated
This is my favorite cheesecake recipe- Everytime I make it people love it! Even my kids like it.
Rating: Unrated
This is a favorite of mine and get raves every time I make it. I even won a work baking contest with it. I add one little extra - a margarita mix glaze. In a small saucepan put in about 1 cup of margarita mix, bring to a boil. Then add in just enough cornstarch to thicken it up (enough to coat the back of a spoon). Cool and then pur over the cooled cheesecake and resume chilling until set.
Rating: Unrated
Made this (cause I hate pie) for my family (me) on Thanksgiving - was so good. Cheesecake tip - watch Alton Brown's video on Cheesecake - it helped out alot when making this. Mix sourcream alone for a few minutes before adding anything else!!
Rating: Unrated
Just made this one over the weekend and it was a big hit with the in-laws. Definitely recommended.
Rating: Unrated
I love to cook my cheesecakes in my digital pressure cooker. Has anyone adapted this recipe for a pressure cooker yet?
Rating: Unrated
I have made this numerous times, and the crust was always good. If it is too crumbly, add some more butter perhaps. I will advise to wrap WELL with foil, I have had a couple with soggy crusts!
Rating: Unrated
The cheesecake portion of this recipe was great, the pretzel crust, not so much. The crust was extremely crumbly and didn't hold together well at all. I'd make it again, but with a graham cracker crust.