No-bake cheesecakes are some of my new favorite things – but who knew? Truly? I mean I’m going to go out on a limb here and just tell you that I am not really a cheesecake person. I know, I know: bordering on scandalous – I KNOW. But cheesecake is never the item I’d order from the dessert menu, not one I’d be excited about if I was invited to dinner and was told the dessert was cheesecake, and definitely not one I’d make myself.However, I created one of the no-bake variety for an article I wrote earlier this year, and now I am a convert. Like big time – I haven’t yet made one with a chocolate cookie crust, but that’s coming – trust me. So, when I joined the blogging party of peeps celebrating cinco de mayo with margarita inspired dishes, check this out, to see all that these fabo bloggers created, there was no question that I’d be bringing a no-bake margarita cheesecake to said party. This margarita cheesecake has tequila, lime and triple sec, like a traditional margarita, but is not super boozy. Feel free to add more tequila if you’d like it to be. Or make a tequila whipped cream for serving, or add some tequila to the berry juice with which you decorate the cake. I call for two zested limes, as I like the flecks of green and the flavor it imparts, but, again, if you do not, just zest one lime.The crust is graham cracker and the filling cream cheese and condensed milk, and no matter what you may have thought about cheesecake prior to reading about this recipe, I promise making it is going to rock your margarita-drinking/cheesecake eating world.
Margarita No-Bake Cheese Cake
For the crust
- 18 graham crackers
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons butter melted
For the filling
- 3 eight ounce blocks of cream cheese room temperature
- 1 1/2 cans of condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup tequila
- 2 tablespoons triple sec
- the zest of two limes
For the berry juice, optional
- a cup of red berries of your choosing
- sugar to taste
To make the crust
- Grease a 9-inch spring-form pan with cooking spray or softened butter. Line the bottom and sides with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Place the graham crackers, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processer and process until finely ground. Add the melted butter and process until the crumbs are uniformly moistened, scraping the bowl down if necessary.
- Transfer the crumbs to the prepared pan and firmly press them into the bottom and 2/3 of the way up the sides of the pan. I find it easier to start with the sides. After pressing with your fingers, use a measuring cup or straight-sided glass to tightly secure the crumbs into place. Place the crust in the freezer for at least an hour, and up to overnight.
To make the filling and assemble the cake
- Place the room temperature cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a medium-sized bowl and using a hand mixer, and beat on medium-low until smooth, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Slowly add the sweetened condensed milk and then the salt, scraping as you go. Once smooth, add the lime juice, tequila, triple sec, and lime zest, beating until combined. Then beat a minute more.
- Transfer the filling to the prepared crust, smoothing the top with an offset spatula or butter knife. If you’d like to decorate the top of the cake, combine the berries with the sugar and mash the berries up, until liquid-y. Evenly place several teaspoons of the berry liquid on the top of the cake and using a long toothpick, make figure-eights through the berry juice, creating a swirling pattern as you do so. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate the cake for at least 5 hours, but preferably overnight.
- When ready to serve, remove the sides of the pan. To remove the bottom, slide a long serrated knife between the crust and the metal bottom to loosen. Place the cake on a serving plate, slice into wedges with the same serrated knife. Run the knife under hot water each time you make a cut, to insure clean slices.