The Heart of Christmas

The Heart of Christmas

This recipe was inspired by the Julehjerter, a Danish paper weaved heart-shaped Christmas ornament, which is a big part of Solvang culture. Obviously, this is my culinary interpretation. The initial thought was to re-create the white and red squares across the cheesecake, but it just didn't work. Maybe you'll have better luck! I encourage you to be creative with designing the top and please feel free to send me pictures! But for now, here is my take on the beloved Julehjerter.
Course Dessert


  • 1 Heart-Shaped Springform Pan


To Make Crust:

  • 2 Cups Ground Graham Crackers
  • 2 tbsp Strawberry Sugar*
  • 4 tbsp Unsalted Butter – Melted

To Make Batter:

  • 2 lbs Cream Cheese – Room Temperature
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Pinch Salt
  • 4 Eggs – Room Temperature

To Make Topping:

  • 2 Cups White Chocolate Morsels
  • Strawberry Glaze
  • 1 Pint Fresh Strawberries
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract Optional



  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray or grease with butter, a 10-inch heart-shaped spring form pan.

To Make the Crust:

  • In a large bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and strawberry sugar until compined. With your clean hand, press the mixture onto the bottom of the pan, using the palm of your hand or the bottom of a drinking glass.

To Make the Batter:

  • In a large bowl using a hand mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the softened cream cheese until whipped, about 3 minutes and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the sugar and mix until no lumps, about 1-2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl after. Add the vanilla extract, mix for 30 seconds. Add the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated, scraping down the sides after addition of each egg, making sure there are no lumps.
    Pour the batter into the prepared crust and bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes (see notes). Check the cake by gently shaking the pan to see if the center is still wobbly. It's okay if the center is wobbly, as it will set as it cools on the counter and more so when refrigerated.
    Once the cake is chilled, sprinkle the strawberry sugar on top. If you don't have strawberry sugar, just leave out this step.

To Make the Topping:

  • Take a small saucepan and add about 1-2 inches of water. Place a glass bowl atop the pan so it sits on top, but doesn't touch the water. Pour the chocolate into the glass bowl and bring the water to a boil, reduce to medium-low and stir chocolate until completely melted. Remove from heat. Make sure chocolate is completely melted and smooth.
    Pour the melted white chocolate over the top of the cooled cheesecake, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before applying glaze.
    Hull and cut the strawberries and mash in a saucepan, add the sugar and vanilla (if using). Cook on medium heat and let cool, slightly. Place sauce in a blender (or use an immersive blender), and blend until smooth. For extra smooth glaze, pour the puree through a fine mesh strainer.


Precise bake time can vary depending on your oven and whether you bake your cheesecake on a baking pan or not, the color of your springform pan (light or dark), and even the precise temperature of your ingredients. Because of this I recommend checking your cheesecake at 50 minutes and adding time as needed. However, it is not uncommon for the cheesecake to take as long as 75 minutes to bake, but it’s better to check sooner. 
BONUS TIP: When I use a stand mixer, I take a hand whisk and whisk the batter for about 20-30 seconds to ensure the batter is smooth. I don’t find this necessary with a hand mixer.
Strawberry Sugar can be purchased from The Solvang Spice Merchant or at
The Heart-Shaped Spring Form Pan can be purchased at
SEASONAL ADAPTATION: The heart-shaped cheesecake will obviously work equally as well as a Valentine dessert; simply cover the top entirely with the strawberry glaze.

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