Margarita Cheesecake has all the splendid flavors of a classic Margarita cocktail! A refreshing homemade cheesecake for any occasion.

This Easy Cheesecake Recipe has a burst of citrus in every bite and is dense, creamy, and delicious.

 Margarita Cheesecake slice on a white dessert plate garnished with an orange and lime slice.

Why You Must Make

Just the thought of Key lime pie, slushy margaritas, and Margarita cheesecake make my mouth water.

  • Tart citrus is perfectly balanced with sugar to take away the pucker.
  • Besides the usual cream cheese, eggs, and sugar, this cheesecake is flavored with lime juice, lime zest plus Grand Marnier, and tequila!
  • Alcohol, like salt, is a flavor enhancer. So the bit of booze added makes this cheesecake even more delicious!

So all the additions play a role in making one sweet, tangy, and limey dessert. Perfect for our Tex-Mex party today. It’s also an excellent Cinco de Mayo Dessert!

 Margarita Cheesecake slice on a white dessert plate garnished with an orange and lime slice in front of the dessert with a slice removed.

Expert Tips

For the creamiest cheesecake, there are a few golden rules.

  • You must use a springform pan. It’s impossible to cut and remove slices using a regular cake pan.
  • Have your cream cheese, eggs, and sour cream at room temperature. Bring them out of the refrigerator an hour (2 max) before making the filling.
  • Use the paddle attachment when mixing. This keeps the batter dense. The whip attachment would incorporate too much air.
  • Add your eggs one at a time. When the first is blended into the batter, add the second. Then repeat.
  • Zest your own limes making a fine zest. The zest and its oil give a more intense citrus flavor than lime juice alone.
  • PRO-Tip: With your fingers, rub the zest into the sugar before adding it to the mixer. Doing this helps release the lime oils, giving an extra boost of lime. This is optional, but a trick I learned from Dorie Greenspan.
  • If you don’t want your cheesecake to crack, bake in a bain-marie or water bath. I use a roaster and fill it with a couple of inches of water. To prevent any water from leaking into the pan, wrap the outside of the pan with a couple of layers of heavy-duty foil.
  • PRO-Tip: When your cheesecake has a topping, this step isn’t necessary as the topping will cover any cracks.
  • Plan to make your cheesecake the day before you eat it. Letting it chill overnight in the refrigerator makes it even tastier!
  • Plus, check out all my Tips for How to Cut Perfect Cookie Bars.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a water bath necessary for making a cheesecake?

A water bath, or bain-marie, is a pan of water in which you place a cheesecake before putting it in the oven. The water surrounding the cheesecake and the steam it produces, help keep the cheesecake at a stable temperature and minimizes the chance of the cheesecake cracking. When you top your cheesecake with sour cream or another topping, any cracks will be hidden so a water bath is not a crucial step.

How Long Does a Cheesecake Last in the Fridge?

As long as it hasn’t been sitting out at room temperature longer than 2 hours, it’s safe to keep a cheesecake in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Can You Freeze Cheesecake?

Yes, cheesecakes freeze wonderfully. But if the topping is something that won’t freeze well, the defrosted cheesecake will not be as good as when fresh. Wrapped well in plastic, then foil, a cheesecake can be frozen for 3 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator.

How Do You Know When a Cheesecake is Done?

A cheesecake will continue cooking after it comes out of the oven due to residual heat. So it’s OK to pull it out when the middle (a quarter or 50c sized round) still jiggles. If you want to check with a thermometer, the internal temperature should be 150 degrees.

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A slice of margarita cheesecake on a white plate

Margarita Cheesecake Recipe

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Yield 12 servings

A dreamy cheesecake with all the flavors of a classic Margarita cocktail


  • 1 ¼ cups vanilla wafer cookie crumbs
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 3 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier, or another orange liqueur
  • 3 tablespoons tequila
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • Very thin orange and lime slices, to garnish, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Mix cookie crumbs and butter till blended. Press crumbs onto the bottom and 1-inch up sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Refrigerate while preparing the filling.
  2. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add 1 cup sour cream, 1 cup sugar, Grand Marnier, tequila, lime juice, and lime zest, and beat until well blended.
  3. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating just until blended. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a spatula and scrape the bowl to make sure the batter is well mixed.
  4. Pour filling into the crust. Bake until the center is just set, about 50 minutes. Mix remaining 1 cup sour cream, ¼ cup sugar, and 1 tablespoon lime juice in a small bowl. Pour over cheesecake. Using a spatula, smooth the top.
  5. Bake the cheesecake for 5 more minutes. Place the pan on a rack and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.
  6. Run a knife around the pan sides to loosen the cake. Remove pan sides. Garnish the cake with orange and lime slices.


Adapted from The Food Network
If you'd like, rub the lime zest into the sugar to help release the citrus oils. Add this lime infused sugar as directed in the recipe.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 466Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 152mgSodium: 278mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 1gSugar: 28gProtein: 7g occasionally offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site. This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased can change the nutritional information in any given recipe. Also, many recipes on recommend toppings, which may or may not be listed as optional and nutritional information for these added toppings is not listed. Other factors may change the nutritional information such as when the salt amount is listed “to taste,” it is not calculated into the recipe as the amount will vary. Also, different online calculators can provide different results. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information obtained is accurate.


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