Frozen Margarita Bars

Made with tequila, these boozy Margarita Bars are a fun and delicious dessert that is perfect for any summer occasion. Whether you’re hosting a backyard BBQ or looking for a sweet treat to enjoy on a hot day, Margarita Bars are sure to be a hit.

Margarita bars cut into squares and garnished with salt.

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Margarita Bars recipe

Sweet and tart, Margarita Bars are the perfect dessert for any summer gathering. They are sweet, zesty and have just the right amount of a boozy kick to make them crowd-pleasers.

They are a little similar to lemon bars, but with a lime tequila twist that will impress your taste buds.

A crunchy and salty pretzel crust on the bottom gives each bar the perfect balance of texture and flavor, not unlike the salt on the rim of your favorite margarita!

These tequila lime bars come together quickly and bake up in the oven. Keep them in the freezer to keep the curd intact, then haul them out for dessert, snacks or happy hours.

More margarita Recipes: Margarita Jello ShotsFrozen MargaritaClassic Margarita

Why you’ll love this recipe

This boozy dessert is perfect for a hot summer day! Here’s why you’ll love them:

  • These gooey Margarita Bars are a fun and unique dessert that will definitely impress your guests.
  • The combination of sweet and tart flavors, along with a splash of tequila and the salty pretzel crust, make for a delicious treat. It’s like a boozy key lime pie in bar form.  
  • They are easy to make and are stored in the freezer for a quick and refreshing dessert anytime.

Bake up a batch to bring to the beach or serve them at a barbecue or summer happy hour. These sweet-and-sour treats with a hint of tequila will be gone in no time.

An overhead view of margarita-inspired dessert bars.

Tools & equipment

You’ll need a 9×9-inch baking dish for this recipe. You could also use an 8-inch pie dish.

Parchment paper is the key to lifting out these bars to cut them into perfect squares.

A cooling rack is also necessary for letting the crust cool while you make the filling, then for the bars themselves to cool.

You’ll also want to set aside some room in your freezer for the bars to set up.

Ingredients for a lime margarita perfect for margarita bars.

Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make these treats inspired by everyone’s favorite cocktails: 

  • fresh limes: About four limes make enough zest and juice for these bars. 
  • tequila: Blanco or silver tequila is the key to delicious bars that don’t overpower you with boozy flavor.
  • orange liqueur: A clear orange liqueur like triple sec or Cointreau helps to balance the tart flavor of the limes. You could use a splash of orange juice instead.
  • sea salt or kosher salt
  • egg yolks: You can use an egg separator like this one.
  • sweetened condensed milk: You can find this in the baking aisle.
  • flaky sea salt: My favorite is Maldon sea salt. (Try adding it to chocolate chip cookies!)
The ingredients for margarita bars.

These margarita bars have a delightful pretzel crust that — when combined with the lime flavor of the bars — is reminiscent of the salt rim of a classic margarita.

  • pretzels
  • butter
  • granulated sugar

You could also use saltine crackers or graham cracker crumbs instead. 

A crushed pretzel crust over brown parchment paper in a baking dish.

How to make Margarita Bars

Here’s how to make these easy and delicious frozen margarita bars:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease a 9×9-inch baking pan with butter or cooking spray. Line the pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang to help you lift the bars out of the pan later.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the pretzels into crumbs. Pour into a large bowl and stir together with the melted butter and sugar until it sticks together.
  3. Press the mixture into an even layer into the bottom of the prepared pan. Freeze for 15 minutes, then bake for 15-18 minutes. Place on a cooling rack.
  4. Meanwhile, add the lime zest, lime juice, tequila, triple sec and salt to a small bowl and stir together.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk. Slowly whisk the lime mixture into the yolks.
  6. Pour the margarita filling into the hot crust. Bake for 15-17 minutes. The filling should be set around the edges and slightly jiggly in the center. Remove from the oven and let cool on a cooling rack.
  7. Freeze for at least 2 hours. Use the parchment paper to lift the bars out of the bottom of the pan and onto a cutting board. Cut into 16 bars and sprinkle with sea salt and more lime zest if desired. Store any leftovers in the freezer.

To serve, you can eat them with your hands, or serve them in bowls with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream

Yellow square desserts sit next to a bowl of rock salt.

Tips & tricks

  • Be sure to use fresh lime juice for the best flavor.
  • Use high-quality tequila and orange liqueur for a smoother, more flavorful end result.
  • Don’t be tempted to make the curd earlier than you plan to bake them, as the lime juice may thicken it and affect how it bakes.
  • Store the bars in the freezer to keep them from melting.

What to serve with Margarita Bars

Margarita bars are the perfect dessert for a summer cookout, a Cinco de Mayo celebration or just regular Taco Tuesday.

For an appetizer, start with chips and guacamole or some peach salsa.

Then serve your favorite summer foods, like pulled pork tacos or hamburgers.

To drink, make a pitcher of margarita sangria for a crowd. Watermelon margaritas are also perfect for summertime.

You could even set up, well… a margarita bar for folks to shake up their own margaritas with homemade margarita mix and a few types of tequila.

A yellow margarita bar sits on a white surface with a bite taken from it. More bars sit in the background.

FAQ

What are margarita bars?

Margarita bars are a boozy dessert made from a custard of lime juice, eggs and sweetened condensed milk. They are topped with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt, making them taste just like a margarita drink.

More boozy desserts

— Did you make this recipe? —

Please leave a ★★★★★ review or comment below.

Margarita bars cut into squares and garnished with salt.

Margarita Bars

Yield: 16 bars
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours
These tequila-lime Margarita Bars are like an edible cocktail. Baked then stored in the freezer until ready to eat, these frozen margarita bars are perfect for parties.
5 from 1 vote
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ingredients

Pretzel crust

  • 3 cups pretzels
  • ½ cup butter melted
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Filling

  • 3 teaspoons lime zest
  • ½ cup lime juice
  • ¼ cup blanco tequila
  • 3 teaspoons triple sec
  • pinch of salt
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • flaky sea salt to garnish

instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease a 9×9-inch baking pan with butter or cooking spray. Line the pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang to help you lift the bars out of the pan later.
  • In a food processor, pulse the pretzels into crumbs. Pour into a large bowl and stir together with the melted butter and sugar until it sticks together.
  • Press the mixture into an even layer in the prepared pan. Freeze for 15 minutes, then bake for 15-18 minutes. Place on a cooling rack.
  • Meanwhile, add the lime zest, lime juice, tequila, triple sec and salt to a small bowl and stir together.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk. Slowly whisk the lime mixture into the yolks.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared crust. Bake for 15-17 minutes. The filling should be set around the edges and slightly jiggly in the center. Remove from the oven and let cool on a cooling rack.
  • Freeze for at least 2 hours. Use the parchment paper to lift the bars out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Cut into 16 bars and sprinkle with sea salt and more lime zest if desired. Store any leftovers in the freezer.

notes

Be sure to use fresh lime juice for the best flavor. Use high-quality tequila and orange liqueur for a smoother, more flavorful end result.
Don’t be tempted to make the curd before you plan to bake them, as the lime juice may thicken the custard and that will affect how it bakes. The curd should be made about 10 minutes before you bake them.
Store the bars in the freezer until ready to eat.
Adapted from The New York Times

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nutrition information

Yield: 16 bars

amount per serving:

Serving: 12×2-inch bar Calories: 222kcal Carbohydrates: 27g Protein: 4g Fat: 10g Saturated Fat: 6g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0.2g Cholesterol: 84mg Sodium: 702mg Potassium: 143mg Fiber: 1g Sugar: 15g Vitamin A: 328IU Vitamin C: 3mg Calcium: 85mg Iron: 1mg
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