Margarita cheesecake bars by Mama Steph

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Published: May. 19, 2021 at 4:10 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 26, 2023 at 3:28 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Here’s a refreshing dessert you can make without any baking: light, fluffy cheesecake bars, flavored with sweet citrus. You can’t go wrong, especially on a hot day.

Margarita cheesecake bars by Mama Steph

  • 1¼ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1½ tablespoons light brown sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cup heavy cream, chilled
  • margarita salt (optional)

Lightly grease and then line a (8x8-inch or 9x9-inch) square baking pan with parchment paper, allowing a 1 ½-inch overhang on each side.

Whisk together the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and salt in a mediu-sized bowl.

Stir in the melted butter to evenly coat. Firmly press the mixture into an even layer in the bottom of the prepared pan. Place pan in the freezer while you prepare the filling.


Beat the cream cheese in a large mixing bowl at medium-high speed until fluffy, Add the powdered sugar, lime zest, lime juice, orange zest, and vanilla extract to bowl; beat at medium speed until combined. Mix in two or three drops of green food coloring, if desired.

In a separate bowl, whip the heavy whipping cream with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. (about three or four minutes, typically. )

Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Spread in an even layer over the graham cracker crust, then sprinkle with a bit of margarita salt and any excess graham cracker crumbs you have on hand, and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator eight hours or overnight. (Do not freeze.)

To serve, use the parchment paper “handles” to transfer the cheesecake to a cutting board. Use a serrated bread knife to cut into squares. Use a spatula to lift from the paper onto a serving platter. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Alternative: Buy single-serving graham cracker crusts (they come in packages of six, usually, and this will fill as many as 24 of those) and fill with the cheesecake mixture. Sprinkle each with a bit of margarita salt and graham cracker crumbs. Refrigerate 6 to 8 hours. Enjoy!

(TIP: If you want to make these for adults only to enjoy, you can add two tablespoons of tequila to the filling when mixing it up. Not for kiddos, of course!)

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