Almond & Mincemeat Christmas Sponge Cake

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Cheat's Gluten-Free Christmas Cake

This Almond & Mincemeat Christmas Sponge Cake is like a cheat’s Christmas cake as it’s an easy cake to assemble last minute and is full of festive flavour. A lightly spiced almond sponge rings in the season with its secret ingredient – mincemeat. Drizzled to perfection with a quick tipsy Brandy Cream Icing.

Almond & Mincemeat Christmas Sponge Cake on a cake stand surrounded by greenery

I know how it is, with a busy household, all our Christmas baking come sometimes feel a bit overwhelming. Did you run out of time for your traditional Christmas Cake? Do you need a last minute offering that’s just as impressive? Or perhaps you like things a little lighter anyway and you want a version that’s more sponge than fruit.

Well this mincemeat Christmas cake is a brilliant festive bake to have up your sleeve come December. It’s my favourite way to keep a Christmas cake in the mix whilst making it a little more accessible for those family members who aren’t sold on the hefty traditional number.

Close up of a slice of Almond & Mincemeat Christmas Sponge Cake with a bite taken out

Why makes this Christmas Sponge Cake so good?

  • It’s festive with spices, brandy and plump fruits.
  • It’s primarily a sponge cake and not a fruit cake – it’s so much lighter and a bit more modern.
  • Incredibly quick to assemble.
  • Great use of leftover mincemeat.
  • The recipe below is gluten-free but it’s easy to swap in regular plain flour if you prefer.

Mincemeat

Mincemeat is our secret ingredient to make this cake taste like an actual Christmas sponge cake. All the flavour is right there is our ready-prepared mincemeat. It makes this recipe so easy!

You can happily make this cake with shop bought mincemeat but if you are in the market for some homemade mincemeat recipes then all of these work perfectly in this cake:

Close up of Almond & Mincemeat Christmas Sponge Cake on a cake stand

Almond Christmas Cake

We use ground almonds in this recipe to ensure the sponge stays beautifully moist with plenty of fluffiness. Plus the nuts add a lovely backdrop of flavour to this christmas sponge cake.

Pro Baker’s Tip: Grind your own almonds for more nutty flavour. The cake will also have a pleasantly nubby texture that sits really nicely with the mincemeat.

Which flour do we use to make this cake?

If you are making this cake gluten-free you can use your favourite brand of gluten-free flour. I like Doves Farm Plain White Gluten-Free Flour as it doesn’t contain xanthan gum.

If you are not gluten-free then plain white flour will work well.

What else do we need?

This is a classic sponge cake so all our regular ingredients are here:

  • Caster sugar
  • Unsalted butter – at room temperature
  • Eggs – 6 medium eggs make this cake lovely and rich
  • Vanilla extract – not essence, always extract – for the best flavour. I recommend Nielsen Massey.
  • Baking powder
  • Mixed spice – to really accentuate our Christmassy flavours.

Close up of Almond & Mincemeat Christmas Sponge Cake with slice taken out

How do you make this Almond & Mincemeat Christmas Sponge Cake

For full recipe instructions go to the recipe card at the end of this post.

The steps are simple:

  1. Cream the sugar with the butter until light and fluffy.
  2. Beat the eggs in one at a time then add the vanilla extract.
  3. Whisk the flour with the almonds, baking powder and salt then beat into the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Stir in the mincemeat.
  5. Pour the batter into a 9 inch cake tin, smoothing out the surface then bake for 1 hour or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Remove from the tin and leave to cool completely on a cooling rack before icing.

Brandy Butter Icing

The brandy butter icing is gorgeously subtle with brandy and sweet and buttery. However, if you would rather make an icing without the booze then just omit the brandy and add in a little more whole milk and a teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Here are the easy steps to make it:

  1. Stir the icing sugar together with the double cream until smooth.
  2. Stir in the brandy one tablespoon at a time until the icing has reached a thick dropping consistency.

Pro Baker’s Tips

  • To get that gorgeous drip effect just spoon the icing over the top of the cake nudging it towards the edges so it drips down the sides.
  • The Brandy Cream Icing is gorgeously sweet, creamy and subtle with brandy. However, if you would rather make an icing without the booze then just omit the brandy and add in more milk and a teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Close up of a slice of Almond & Mincemeat Christmas Sponge Cake on a plate with the whole cake behind

FAQs

How long does it keep for? – This cake keeps well stored in an airtight container in a cool dark place for up to 3 days. 

Can you freeze it? – Yes it freezes very well. I’d recommend to freeze without icing if you are freezing the whole cake. Wrap up well in a double layer of cling film and then aluminium foil to avoid spoilage. Defrost overnight on the kitchen counter before unwrapping and icing.

Recommended equipmentStand Mixer, Silicone Spatula, 23cm Springform Cake Tin, Baking Parchment, Cake Release Spray, Cooling Racks, Christmas Tree Cake Decoration, Reindeer Cake Decoration

More festive bakes you’ll love!

If you make this Almond & Mincemeat Christmas Sponge Cake then please leave a comment below and give the recipe a rating which helps others find the recipe on Google. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own baking creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

Almond & Mincemeat Christmas Sponge Cake on a cake stand surrounded by greenery

Almond & Mincemeat Christmas Sponge Cake

This Almond & Mincemeat Christmas Sponge Cake is like a cheat’s Christmas cake as it’s an easy cake to assemble last minute and is full of festive flavour. A lightly spiced almond sponge rings in the season with its secret ingredient – mincemeat. Drizzled to perfection with a quick tipsy Brandy Cream Icing.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 561kcal

Ingredients

  • 275 g caster sugar
  • 200 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 6 eggs medium
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 180 g gluten-free plain flour
  • 180 g ground almonds
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • teaspoons ground mixed spice
  • 280 g mincemeat

Brandy Cream Icing

  • 300 g icing sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons double cream
  • 3-4 tablespoons brandy

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4.
  • Line and grease a 9 inch round cake tin.
  • Cream the sugar with the butter on a slow to medium speed for about 6 minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Beat the eggs in one at a time, mixing well between additions.
  • Add the vanilla extract.
  • Whisk the flour with the almonds, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl then beat into the rest of the ingredients.
  • Stir in the mincemeat.
  • Pour the batter into the cake tin, smoothing out the surface then bake for 1 hour or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • Leave for about 5 minutes for the cake to settle then carefully remove from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack before icing.

Brandy Cream Icing

  • Stir the icing sugar together with the double cream until smooth.
  • Stir in the brandy one tablespoon at a time until the icing has reached a thick dropping consistency.
  • Spoon over the top of the cake nudging it towards the edges so it drips down the sides.

Notes

  • This recipe was made using a suet based mincemeat so there was a bit more fat in the mix. If you are using a non-suet mincemeat then increase the butter by 20g.
  • You can use your favourite shop bought mincemeat or to make the cake really special - use homemade!
  • This cake keeps well stored in an airtight container in a cool dark place for up to 3 days.
  • The cake freezes very well. I’d recommend to freeze before you ice it if you are freezing the whole cake. Wrap up well in a double layer of cling film and then aluminium foil to avoid spoilage. Defrost overnight on the kitchen counter before unwrapping and icing.

Nutrition

Calories: 561kcal | Carbohydrates: 78g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 122mg | Sodium: 262mg | Potassium: 84mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 64g | Vitamin A: 590IU | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 1.5mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @FromTheLarder or tag #FromTheLarder!

This recipe was originally published in December 2018 but updated in November 2020 with clearer instructions.

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