Moving on to my favorite part of any celebration, it’s time for dessert! In case you’ve just come to the fiesta, IBC is celebrating Cinco de Mayo all this week! Check out the bottom of this post for links to the fun ideas and recipes.
Having had cocktails and dinner, we’re now ready for dessert: Mini Margarita Cheesecakes. Inspired by the ever-popular mini cheesecakes I made a few years ago, these are the perfect way to end your feast! The cheesecake itself is out-of-this-world good, but my favorite part is the candy cactus that garnishes each mini cheesecake. It’s beyond perfect for Cinco de Mayo, and you won’t believe how easy it is to make.
First, let’s talk about these mini cheesecakes. I think there is something special about single serving dishes. Giving each of your guests a miniature dessert is a surefire way to make them feel important. Here I’ve used small (4 ounce) mason jars to bake up the cheesecakes.
The base is a traditional graham cracker crust while the cheesecake is flavored like a margarita with a splash of tequila, orange liqueur, and lime.
While the flavoring is very subtle, it gives the cheesecake a uniquely fresh quality. It’s the perfect little addition.
With the cheesecakes prepared, let’s talk about these cactus garnishes.
Are they not the cutest things you’ve ever seen? Along with my mini piñatas (tutorial coming tomorrow), these might be the favorite thing about my Cinco de Mayo celebration.
They are really simple to make, too. Just melt colored candy melts (I used green, light blue mixed with green, and yellow mixed with green.) and pipe them onto wax paper. To add to their cuteness factor, I also made a couple edible sugar flowers. Bam!
Just pop them on the top of your mini cheesecakes and they are ready to go. Let’s dig in.
1 ½ cups crushed graham crackers
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup butter, melted
3 packs (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons lime zest
4 tablespoons lime juice
2-4 tablespoons Sauza® tequila
2 tablespoons orange liqueur
24 mason jars (4 ounce size)
Colored candy melts for garnish*
In a medium bowl, combine crushed graham crackers, sugar, and butter.
Press two large tablespoonfuls into each mason jar. Use a clean cork (from a wine bottle) or something similar to press the mixture tightly into the jar. Set aside.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Slowly pour in the condensed milk. Beat again. Add the lime zest, lime juice, tequila, and orange liqueur. Beat until smooth.
Finally, add the eggs and mix well.
Scoop the batter into the jars until about three-quarters full. (About 3 large tablespoons per jar.)
Place the jars into two 13x9" baking pans. Twelve jars per pan. Then fill the pans with hot water. The water level will be about halfway up the jars. Bake for about 20 – 25 minutes or just before the cheesecakes begin to brown.
Carefully remove the pans from the oven. (The pans and the water will be very hot.) Using a towel or oven mitt, remove the jars from the water and allow them to cool completely.
*To make the candy cacti, you'll need about 1 cup of candy melts. Line your counter with waxed paper. In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave the candy in 30-second intervals, stirring in-between, until melted. Place the melted candy into a pastry bag (or plastic baggie). Snip of the corner off the baggie. Pipe cactus shapes onto the waxed paper. Garnish with a candy flower before they set. Chill completely before removing them from the wax paper. Use the cacti to garnish your cooled mini cheesecakes.
Don’t you just love those cacti? These Mini Margarita Cheesecakes are the perfect way to end such a festive celebration.
Have no fear though, while it’s nearing the end, our Cinco de Mayo party is not quite complete. Join me back here tomorrow for our final treat. I’m going to show you how to make some adorable piñata boxes that can be used as decor and double as favors for your guests.
And just in case you missed an part of this celebration, I’ve linked up everything below. Happy Cinco de Mayo!