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Cinco de Mayo – Nacho Cheesecake

A few months ago I made this for my husbands birthday.  It was in the Food Network Magazine for January.  It was absolutely amazing and really fun to make.  It does take a good hour and half to make from start to finish, but you could break it up into two days to make it easier too!  The best thing I loved about it was the flavor of the cheesecake.

If you are looking for a dessert recipe for Cinco de Mayo (although it’s not really a mexican dish) this one is festive and fun!


Nacho Cheesecake – From Food Network Magazine


For the cheesecake:

  • 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup plus 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • Yellow and red food coloring
  • Cooking spray, for the pan
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

For the chips:

  • 1 roll refrigerated pie dough
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

For the salsa and garnishes:

  • 8 red Swedish Fish (I used red licorice, cut diagonally)
  • 1 cup low-sugar strawberry jam
  • 3 strands green licorice twists (I used green gummy bears, diced)
  • 6 black licorice dots (I couldn’t find dots so I cut black licorice to look like sliced olives)
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • Yellow and red food coloring (To make the orange color I used 10 drops of yellow and 2 drops of red) 
  • 3 tablespoons chocolate-covered raisins


Make the cheesecake: Beat the cream cheese with a mixer until smooth. Add 2/3 cup sugar, the lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla; beat well. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Tint the batter orange with yellow and red food coloring.

Spray a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray. Pour in the batter; bake at 350 degrees F until puffed and almost set, 25 to 30 minutes. Mix the sour cream and the remaining 1/4 cup sugar; spread over the hot cheesecake and bake 5 more minutes. Let cool, then chill 2 hours.

Make the chips: Unroll the pie dough on a lightly floured surface and roll it out to flatten slightly. Brush the dough with the milk and sprinkle with the sugar. Cut the dough into 2 1/2-inch-wide strips.

Cut each strip into as many 2 1/2-inch triangles as possible. Place the triangles about 1 inch apart on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake in batches at 450 degrees F until lightly golden, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool completely.

Make the salsa and garnishes: Cut the Swedish Fish into 1/2-inch pieces and toss with 2 tablespoons strawberry jam. For the chiles, cut the green licorice on the diagonal into 1/8-inch-thick slices.

For the olives, cut the black licorice dots into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Use a straw or pastry tip to remove a circle from the center of each round.

Tint the sour cream orange with yellow and red food coloring to look like melted cheese. Spoon the orange sour cream into a resealable plastic bag. Press out the excess air and seal.

Press the pie chips into the cheesecake. Add the black licorice, chocolate-covered raisins and some green licorice and jam-coated Swedish Fish.

Snip a small corner from the bag of orange sour cream and pipe a few dots on the cheesecake for the melted cheese. Serve with extra chips on the side, and make extra salsa by mixing leftover candies and jam.

*Please note: this is the exact recipe from The bolded comments in this recipe is what I did different.

Do you have any fun recipes to share that you’ll be making for Cinco de Mayo? If so, please share in the comments! 


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  1. I had to take a 2nd and 3rd look at that picture–How COOL! I’m definitely keeping that on file :) We had enchiladas for dinner–does that count as celebrating? :)

    • Sure does, just in time for Cinco de Mayo tomorrow! :) Anything Mexican goes!