A springform pan is a type of cake pan that has removable sides, held together by an adjustable latch or buckle. They’re great for cheesecakes and other delicate baked goods since you don’t need to flip the pan upside down to get things out. Most springform pans are round, but every once in a while you’ll see a shaped one and, around Valentine’s Day, these pans often take the shape of a heart. The heart-shaped springform pans work just as well as their round counterparts, but give anything you bake in them a clear heart shape. Shaped pans can be difficult to work with, not only because cakes and other desserts can stick in corners of the pan, but because they are difficult to line with parchment paper to prevent sticking. A shaped springform pan ensures that the shape of your pan comes through when you’re done no matter what you’re baking.
I’ve seen them in both individual 4-inch serving sizes and full size 9-inch pans. Both sizes are ideal for baking heart-shaped cheesecakes, and you can divided just about any full size cheesecake recipe up into mini pans and reduce the baking time to make mini cheesecakes. The mini pans are just a bit larger than the muffin pans that I often use to bake single-serving cheesecakes, but my Chocolate Chip Mini Cheesecakes and Mini Double Chocolate Cheesecakes can be baked in pans like these for a super sweet Valentine’s treat.