Mince Pie Cupcakes with Mincemeat & Brandy Buttercream

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These Mince Pie Cupcakes are loaded with fruity spiced mincemeat and piped with velvety brandy spiked swiss meringue buttercream. A gluten-free recipe made with alternative wholegrain flours.

Mince Pie Cupcakes with Brandy Buttercream {gluten-free}

If you love mincemeat, which I unashamedly do, then you’ll be looking to sneak mincemeat into all your holiday baking. These mincemeat cupcakes are for when you need to present something that is a little more fancy than your regular old mince pie. But we still have all the flavour and all the personality of this Christmas stalwart. Just cakified!

Mince Pie Cupcakes with Brandy Buttercream {gluten-free}

Why are these Mince Pie Cupcakes so good?

  • They are filled with festive flavour thanks to using a fresh and fruity mincemeat.
  • These gorgeous cakes are light and bouncy just as cupcakes should be.
  • The silky smooth Brandy Buttercream is deliciously creamy and buttery.
  • The recipe given is gluten-free and is made with delicious alternative flours. You can swap all the gluten-free flours out for regular flour if you need.
  • No xanthan gum needed.

What flours do we need for Mince Pie Cupcakes?

This recipe is made with gluten-free flours but you can swap them out for the same amount of regular flour.

  • Sweet rice flour – This is the main flour we use (not to be confused with regular rice flour). It’s a starchy flour so is great for binding our cupcakes and giving them a great texture and bounce. READ MORE >>> The Ultimate Guide to Sweet Rice Flour
  • Potato starch – Another starchy flour. Too much sweet rice flour can make the bake too chewy – so we lighten it up with potato starch.
  • Sorghum flour – We use this flour for taste and fluffiness. READ MORE >>> The Ultimate Guide to Sorghum Flour
  • Millet flour – A great neutral flour for rounding out our flour mix so it’s evenly balance in flavour and texture.

Shop the Recipe: Gluten-Free Sweet Rice Flour, Gluten-Free Potato Starch, Gluten-Free Sorghum Flour, Gluten-Free Millet Flour

What other ingredients do we need?

  • Unsalted butter – room temperature
  • Caster sugar – a lovely fine baking sugar
  • Eggs – medium sized
  • Whole milk – it gives a great softness to the crumb
  • Sour cream – which gives a lovely texture and tang to our cupcakes
  • Vanilla extract – never essence. I love the Nielsen Massey Brand
  • Baking powder – for great lift
  • Bicarbonate of soda – it works well with our acidic flavours for lifting the cake and giving a good soft texture.
  • Sea salt – just a pinch to balance out the flavours.
  • Mincemeat – You can use shop bought mincemeat but make sure it’s suet-free as the extra fat will mess with the structure of the cupcake.

READ MORE >>> If you are looking for a delicious suet-free mincemeat then try this Boozy Cranberry Mincemeat with Cointreau. It’s also nut-free and vegan.

Mince Pie Cupcakes with Brandy Buttercream {gluten-free}

How do you make Mince Pie Cupcakes?

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

  1. Beat together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the eggs one at a time, beating on a low speed until fully combined.
  3. In a measuring jug whisk together the whole milk, sour cream and vanilla extract.
  4. Whisk together the flours, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
  5. Add the flour mix alternately with the milk mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowls as needed and mix until just combined.
  6. Stir in the mincemeat, evenly distributing throughout the batter.
  7. Divide the batter between cupcake cases and bake for 18-20 minutes.

Pro Baker’s Tips

  • Using digital scales is highly recommended. Gluten-free baking can be quite pernickety and we want to make sure our quantities are exact!
  • You add the flour and the milk in alternately in 3 additions each, beating well between each addition. This helps combine all the ingredients evenly.
  • You can use a 12 hole regular muffin tin and bake the cupcakes in 2 batches. Gluten-free flours are okay to rest for a bit.
  • Use a trigger-release ice cream scoop to distribute the batter into the cupcake cases – about 1 ½ scoops per cupcake case. They should be about 2/3 full.
  • Remove the cupcakes out of the baking tin immediately onto cooling racks – this stops too much moisture getting into your cupcake cases which can lead to them pulling away from the sponge.
  • Cool completely before piping on the buttercream.

Mince Pie Cupcakes with Brandy Buttercream {gluten-free}

How to make the best Brandy Buttercream

This Brandy Buttercream is the perfect dreamy topping for these Mince Pie Cupcakes and it is made using the swiss meringue buttercream method. It is incredibly buttery and so smooth and velvety.

We add just enough brandy, not too much that it tastes like a boozefest, but just enough to give it a Christmassy feel.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream can seem intimidating if you have never made it before. However, I assure you it is pretty foolproof and as long as you have a sugar thermometer and a double boiler to hand then you will have absolutely no problems.

What ingredients do you need for the Brandy Buttercream?

  • Egg whites – you need 180g (about 6) so I often buy them in the cartons you can get in the supermarket. The Two Chicks brand is my favourite.
  • Caster sugar – you can substitute for granulated sugar.
  • Unsalted butter – it’s really important that it is at room temperature and cubed
  • Salt – it’s a great flavour enhancer
  • Vanilla extract –never essence. I love the Nielsen Massey Brand
  • Brandy – it doesn’t have to be the expensive stuff

The steps are simple:

  1. Heat the egg whites and caster sugar in a double boiler, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the temperature has reached 71°C.
  2. Remove from the heat and pour into a stand mixer with whisk attachment. Whisk until the mixture forms stiff peaks and temperature has lowered to 32°C.
  3. Change the attachment to a paddle attachment. On a low speed add the butter slowly cube by cube.
  4. Once the buttercream looks smooth and creamy, add the salt, vanilla extract and brandy and mix until thoroughly combined.

Pro Baker’s Tips

  • If this is your first time making swiss meringue buttercream using a sugar thermometer is recommended.
  • Achieving a successful SMB is all about the ingredients being the right temperature. Saying that, the buttercream is incredibly forgiving and there is a fix for whatever problem which can arise.
  • Addding the butter, one cube at a time, slowly is the key. Once it has all been added your mixture will look curdled and you will be horrified. This is perfectly normal, don’t do anything. Just keep on mixing and watching your mixer. The buttercream has to go through this very brief stage in the process before it comes together to miraculously form the most silky velvety buttercream you can imagine.
  • If your SMB looks too soupy and just isn’t coming together after you have added all the butter then your butter was too warm. Place the mixing bowl in the fridge for 15 minutes before mixing again.
  • If your SMB seems greasy then your butter was too cold. Place the mixing bowl over a pan of simmering water. Watch to see when the butter on the edges of the bowl starts to melt and then remove and continue beating the buttercream until it comes together.

Recommended Decorating Equipment

Mince Pie Cupcakes with Brandy Buttercream {gluten-free}

Can you make these Mince Pie Cupcakes ahead?

You can make the cupcakes up to 2 days before decorating them with the buttercream. Store in a cool airtight tin (preferably not plastic as there is too much moisture).

Once decorated then the cupcakes should be kept in the fridge if you are not serving them on the same day. Bring to room temperature before eating.

Can you freeze the cupcakes?

Yes – you can freeze the cupcake sponges in a large ziplock bag in the freezer for up to 2 months. You can freeze the finished cupcakes decorated and they will still taste great once defrosted as long as you can keep the piped buttercream looking neat in the freezer. It helps if you put them in the fridge first for the buttercream to firm up.

More Mince Pie Recipes You’ll Love

If you make these Mince Pie Cupcakes with Brandy Buttercream 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 culinary 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.

Mince Pie Cupcakes surrounded by christmas decorations and twinkling lights

Mince Pie Cupcakes with Mincemeat & Brandy Buttercream

These Mince Pie Cupcakes are loaded with fruity spiced mincemeat and piped with velvety brandy spiked swiss meringue buttercream.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 18 minutes
Servings: 18 cupcakes
Calories: 495kcal

Ingredients

Cupcakes

  • 170 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 260 g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs medium
  • 100 ml whole milk
  • 90 ml sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 130 g sweet rice flour
  • 30 g potato starch
  • 75 g sorghum flour
  • 70 g millet flour
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 250 g suet-free mincemeat

Brandy Buttercream

  • 6 egg whites 180g
  • 300 g caster sugar
  • 420 g unsalted butter at room temperature, cubed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons brandy

Instructions

Cupcakes

  • Pre-heat the oven to 170°C / 150°C fan / gas mark 3 and line 2 x muffin tins (1 x 12 hole and 1 x 6 hole) with cupcake cases.
  • Beat together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating on a low speed until fully combined.
  • In a measuring jug whisk together the whole milk, sour cream and vanilla extract and set aside for a moment.
  • Whisk together the flours, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a large mixing bowl until completely combined.
  • Add the flour mix alternately with the milk mixture, adding the flour in three additions and the milk in two (begin and end with the flour), scrape down the sides of the bowls as needed and mix until just combined.
  • Finally add in the mincemeat, mixing in until evenly distributed throughout the batter.
  • Divide the batter between the cupcake cases and bake for 18-20 minutes. Remove the cupcakes immediately onto a wire rack to cool before piping on the buttercream.

Brandy Buttercream

  • Heat the egg whites and caster sugar in a double boiler or bain marie, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the temperature has reached 71°C.
  • Remove the egg whites and sugar from the heat and pour into a stand mixer with whisk attachment. Whisk until the mixture forms stiff peaks and the temperature has lowered to 32°C.
  • Change the attachment to a paddle attachment. On a low speed add the butter slowly cube by cube. When you have almost added all the butter the mixture will look curdled. Do not fret – this is supposed to happen and just means you are nearly done. Just continue to add all the butter. Once the butter is totally incorporated the frosting will miraculously become a smooth velvety consistency or if not just leave the mixer beating until it does. It will.
  • Add the salt, vanilla extract and brandy and mix until thoroughly combined.

Decoration

  • Pipe the buttercream on top of the cupcakes. I used a Wilton 1M piping tip and piped the buttercream in a circle from the centre swirled to the outer edge of the cupcake. I then cut out the holly leaf using a teeny tiny leaf cutter from green sugarpaste and I piped on the red berries with a no.2 piping tip with a bit of the brandy buttercream tinted red. To make life easier you can buy these decorations ready made from good cake decoration suppliers.

Notes

  • Use a suet-free mincemeat
  • You can use a 12 hole regular muffin tin and bake the cupcakes in 2 batches.
  • Use a trigger-release ice cream scoop to distribute the batter into the cupcake cases – about 1 ½ scoops per cupcake case. They should be about 2/3 full.
  • Remove the cupcakes out of the baking tin immediately onto a wire rack – this stops too much moisture getting into your cupcake cases which can lead to them pulling away from the sponge.
  • Cool completely before piping on the buttercream.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • If this is your first time making swiss meringue buttercream using a sugar thermometer is recommended.
  • Achieving a successful SMB is all about the ingredients being the right temperature. Saying that, the buttercream is incredibly forgiving and there is a fix for whatever problem which can arise.
  • Adding the butter one cube at a time, slowly is the key. Once it has all been added your mixture will look curdled and you will be horrified. This is perfectly normal, don’t do anything. Just keep on mixing and watching your mixer. The buttercream has to go through this very brief stage in the process before it comes together to miraculously form the most silky velvety buttercream you can imagine.
  • If your SMB looks too soupy and just isn’t coming together after you have added all the butter then your butter was too warm. Place the mixing bowl in the fridge for 15 minutes before mixing again.
  • If your SMB seems greasy then your butter was too cold. Place the mixing bowl over a pan of simmering water. Watch to see when the butter on the edges of the bowl starts to melt and then remove and continue beating the buttercream until it comes together.

Nutrition

Calories: 495kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 100mg | Sodium: 258mg | Potassium: 126mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 41g | Vitamin A: 900IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 0.5mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @FromTheLarder or tag #FromTheLarder!

This recipe was originally published in December 2017 but updated in December 2020 with more detailed instructions and more tips and tricks.

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