Margarita Cheesecake

Prep Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
5 hrs 20 mins
8 to 10 Serves

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).



  • 4 ounces salted pretzels (4 cups)

  • cup sugar

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


  • 1 ½ pounds (three 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, room temperature

  • 1 cup sour cream, room temperature

  • ¾ cup sugar

  • 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier, Triple Sec, or other orange-flavor liqueur

  • 1 tablespoon tequila

  • 1 tablespoon plus two teaspoons grated lime zest (from about 3 limes)

  • 1 pinch kosher salt

  • 4 large eggs, room temperature

  • Key limes or small Persian limes, very thinly sliced, for garnish


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

    margarita cheesecake
    Con Poulos

Cook's Notes

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

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