Mince Pie Cupcakes with Brandy Buttercream {gluten-free}

Mince Pie Cupcakes are delicious gluten-free cupcakes loaded with fruity spiced mincemeat and piped with velvety brandy swiss meringue buttercream.

Mince Pie Cupcakes with Brandy Buttercream {gluten-free}

So this is it, my final recipe before Christmas. I didn’t post nearly as many of my Christmas recipes as I wanted to as I hadn’t factored in having to take days off working on the blog to accompany Cole to his various Christmas parties. Honestly my two and a half year old has been to more Christmas festivities than me this year. Although not technically since I attended them as well. However, I harbour absolutely no resentment for these abandoned recipes as seeing Cole so amped during this run up to the big day has made me experience Christmas in the most magical of ways. He has loved meeting Father Christmas at all the parties, pulling on the bottom of his coat as he enters the room to tell him so sincerely that he wants a train and some track for Christmas.

Mince Pie Cupcakes with Brandy Buttercream {gluten-free}

It’s amazing how quickly he caught onto the idea of Father Christmas bringing presents. Without me really explaining the situation with the man in red it seemed very quickly to sink into his consciousness and as early as November whenever he saw something he wanted he confidently declared, I want a red scooter mummy, Father Christmas get it. Not that my child is either demanding or spoilt rotten.

All the various party buffets have also been a bit of a hit with him. I have tried to be very careful with Cole’s diet since I suffer so much from various intolerances. He was more or less gluten-free for the first two years, ate food high in nutritional value and never touched a crisp, drank any fizzy drinks or ate any cake that I hadn’t made. Now he has his own independence of sorts he makes a beeline for the foods he most wants to eat on the buffet and they don’t always adhere to this food ethos I tried to instil. Pigs in blankets, chocolate swiss rolls and mince pies seem to be his idea of a well-balanced meal. And really I can’t blame him, especially for the latter. My love of mince pies knows no bounds. This year I perfected my gluten-free mince pie (sorry, one of those recipes that has to wait until next year) and I have included mincemeat in so many of my Christmas bakes on the cake stall including Mince Pie Brownies, Clementine Mincemeat Loaf and Mince Pie Cheesecake Oat Bars.

Mince Pie Cupcakes with Brandy Buttercream {gluten-free}

Now, I would never think of having favourites on my cake stall despite many a customer trying to pin me down when they are undecided (there is an occasion and personal hankering for all of my offerings) I was really rather taken with these Mince Pie Cupcakes with Brandy Buttercream this December. I don’t make many cupcakes simply because they don’t sell incredibly well on the stall which is a terrible shame as I love making them. I love getting out the little cupcake cases, the baby sponges always look so inviting fresh out of the oven and then I love piping on the buttercream and decorating. It’s so satisfying to see pretty little cakes that are easy to achieve.

Mince Pie Cupcakes with Brandy Buttercream {gluten-free}

These Mince Pie Cupcakes are made from my favourite cupcake recipe which has a combo of four different gluten-free flours (sorry it is a lot but completely worth it for the depth of flavour). They are light and bouncy just as cupcakes should be and then loaded with Cranberry Cointreau Mincemeat. You can happily use shop bought but make sure it’s suet-free as the extra fat will mess with the structure of the cupcake. The mincemeat adds delicious spice and plenty of fruity texture. I then made my favourite swiss meringue buttercream, which is the easiest buttercream to pipe, so smooth and velvety and spooned in some brandy, not enough that it tastes too boozy but just enough to give it a Christmassy feel.

Mince Pie Cupcakes with Brandy Buttercream {gluten-free}

I hope you have time to give these a go this Christmas, they are so special and yet another twist on mince pies, one of my favourite Christmas foods.

I am hoping to post one more recipe before the year is out so until then Happy Christmas and I hope Father Christmas brings you everything you have asked for. We’re planning on a Christmas morning assembling the aforementioned trains and track!!

Print Recipe
Mince Pie Cupcakes with Brandy Buttercream {gluten-free}
Mince Pie Cupcakes are delicious gluten-free cupcakes loaded with fruity spiced mincemeat and piped with velvety brandy swiss meringue buttercream.
Mince Pie Cupcakes with Brandy Buttercream {gluten-free}
Prep Time 1.5 hours
Cook Time 18 minutes
Servings
18 cupcakes
Ingredients
Cupcakes
  • 170 g unsalted butter
  • 260 g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 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
Prep Time 1.5 hours
Cook Time 18 minutes
Servings
18 cupcakes
Ingredients
Cupcakes
  • 170 g unsalted butter
  • 260 g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 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
Mince Pie Cupcakes with Brandy Buttercream {gluten-free}
Instructions
Cupcakes
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C and line 2 x muffin tins (1 x 12 hole and 1 x 6 hole) with cupcake cases.
  2. Beat together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating on a low speed until fully combined.
  4. In a measuring jug whisk together the whole milk, sour cream and vanilla extract and set aside for a moment.
  5. Whisk together the flours, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a large mixing bowl until completely combined.
  6. 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.
  7. Finally add in the mincemeat, mixing in until evenly distributed throughout the batter.
  8. Divide the batter between the cupcake cases and bake for 18 minutes. Remove the cupcakes immediately onto a wire rack to cool before piping on the buttercream.
Brandy Buttercream
  1. Heat the egg whites and caster sugar in a bain marie (or a bowl set over simmering water), stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the temperature has reached 71°C.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Add the salt, vanilla extract and brandy and mix until thoroughly combined.
Decoration
  1. 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.

SHOP THE RECIPE

The 12 hole cupcake tin I have always used and will thoroughly recommend due to its durability, ease of washing and of course the cupcakes it helps to produce are superb, is the MasterClass 12-Hole Non-Stick Cupcake Tray / Baking Pan, 35 x 27 cm

The piping tip I used in this recipe is the Wilton Large Number 2D Drop Flower Tip which can so many different kinds of piping patterns and is the one I use most often, along with the Wilton 1M.

I find these huge disposable piping bags are the most robust ones you can buy, I do get a huge pack of them as the worst thing is to get ready to ice your cake and discover you don’t have any piping bags left. I use disposable as I bake a lot of cakes and find washing up the re-usable piping bags takes a lot of time and I can never get them totally clean. I use these piping bags for everything from cupcakes to drizzling melted chocolate to piping a straight level of buttercream evenly over a whole layer cake. This 1 Roll of Savoy Disposable Piping Bags – 100 21 Bags by Cn-Ice is an absolutely invaluable piece of kit in my baking.I love this Kitchen Craft SDICUTHOL3PC Stainless Steel “Sweetly Does It” Holly Design Mini Fondant Cutter, Set of 3 It’s not the exact one I used for the recipe since I have no idea where I got mine from but these look very similar and I have to say I do use these quite a lot over the festive period.

The links above are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to click through to buy then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. It’s just a way for me to fund the blog so if you do click through then many thanks!!

Mince Pie Cheesecake Oat Bars {gluten-free}

A thick layer of rich fruity mincemeat cheesecake sandwiched between crumbly oaty shortbread.

Mince Pie Cheesecake Oat Bars {gluten-free}

I am finding it hard to fit in all the exciting Christmas inspired bakes and recipes in my usual 1-2 blog postings per week. So from here on until Christmas I’m stepping things up a notch. I do love to over exert myself, especially where food is concerned, so expect a bumper month of posts. I’m hoping to mix in a bit more savoury stuff into this advent period as well so let me know what you think of that. A lot of people have been saying that they missed my savoury recipes this past year where I have been more or less baking focused so in 2018 I’m planning on throwing in a few more gluten-free dinner ideas for good measure.

As usual I have set myself too much to do in the run up to Christmas, especially since Amazon have very destructively added the first series of The Marvellous Mrs Maisel to their streaming service this past week. So now I must endeavour to fit that in as well amongst the Christmas cards, extra cake orders, food prep and shopping for more Thomas the Tank Engine stocking fillers. Still, I can’t help but love December!!

Mince Pie Cheesecake Oat Bars {gluten-free}

It may be apparent to the eagle eyed reader that I am an ardent devotee of mincemeat. I try and put mincemeat in most of my bakes around December and a couple of weeks ago I made these Mince Pie Cheesecake Oat Bars for the market stall and have decided that they might be one of my best inventions yet.

Mince Pie Cheesecake Oat Bars {gluten-free}

They are a riff on my Blackberry Cheesecake Hazelnut Oat Bars. Two layers of oaty shortbread are sandwiched together with mincemeat cheesecake. If you are buying your mincemeat for the recipe then do make sure it’s suet-free as you don’t really want any extra fat messing up the recipe. I used my Cranberry Cointreau Mincemeat which is perfect for any kind of baking. By mixing the mincemeat with the cheesecake mixture you are making the centre of these oat bars extremely creamy. They don’t have the sweet punch of a traditional mince pie and are more of a subtle affair but still packed with that rich fruity spice flavour that is key to any mince pie creation.

Print Recipe
Mince Pie Cheesecake Oat Bars {gluten-free}
A thick layer of rich fruity mincemeat cheesecake sandwiched between crumbly oaty shortbread.
Mince Pie Cheesecake Oat Bars {gluten-free}
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
12 bars
Ingredients
  • 280 g cream cheese
  • 260 g suet-free mincemeat
  • 2 eggs
  • 240 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 100 g sweet white rice flour
  • 75 g oat flour
  • 40 g tapioca flour
  • 160 g gluten-free oats
  • 185 g soft light brown sugar sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
12 bars
Ingredients
  • 280 g cream cheese
  • 260 g suet-free mincemeat
  • 2 eggs
  • 240 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 100 g sweet white rice flour
  • 75 g oat flour
  • 40 g tapioca flour
  • 160 g gluten-free oats
  • 185 g soft light brown sugar sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Mince Pie Cheesecake Oat Bars {gluten-free}
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 170°C and line and grease an 8 inch square cake tin.
  2. In a medium sized bowl stir the cream cheese, mincemeat and eggs together until well combined then set aside.
  3. Place the rest of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and rub together with your fingertips until the mixture resembles rough breadcrumbs.
  4. Tip half the mixture into the cake tin and press in tightly.
  5. Spread the cheesecake over the top of the tin, then tip over the rest of the oat mixture, pressing down lightly.
  6. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove and leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then remove from the tin carefully and leave to finish cooling on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

Cranberry Cointreau Mincemeat

Cranberry Cointreau Mincemeat is fresh, fruity and sozzled with lots of lovely booze. It’s also the best choice for your free-from mince pie as it doesn’t have any pesky suet ruining things for the vegans, it’s nut free for our allergy afflicted friends and if you’re gluten-free you don’t have to worry about where to source your gluten-free suet.

Cranberry Cointreau Mincemeat

This Cranberry Cointreau Mincemeat is a re-post from a recipe that I published in 2013. I make this recipe every year to sell on my market stall and for personal use in my mincemeat recipes that require no suet such as Bramley Apple and Mincemeat Pudding. I have kept the below text as written four years ago for posterity. I can’t believe the John Lewis ad hee haw is still going as strong as ever.

It all starts here people. I was watching the ad breaks during X Factor on Saturday and they were very clear that we have now been given the all clear on Christmas. Have you seen the John Lewis ad with the hare and the bear? Well I didn’t understand it but it still made me cry. If John Lewis think it’s Christmas then it must be. Finally I will stop being embarrassed that I have been listening to Fairytale in New York since November 1st, I can dust off Delia’s Happy Christmas and henceforth will step into Christmas. Well, Christmas food at least, but that’s all I care about anyway. So if you’re not ready to start thinking sleigh bells and winter wonderlands then I shall simply call you a miserable scrooge and that is all.

No, don’t go, I’m sorry for not understanding that everyone isn’t totally into the carols and commercialism (ahem, family time) as much as me. But in my defence I am making mince pies for our WI Christmas themed meeting on Monday so really I am leaving it quite last minute to whip up the mincemeat.
Cranberry Cointreau Mincemeat

I am making two different types of mincemeat this year and this is the first one. It’s veggie and nut free and very quick to boot.

I was going to make Dan Lepard’s Dark Rich Mincemeat as I wanted to steer clear of suet for mincemeat number one and his take on it sounded delicious but I couldn’t find any dried sour cherries. Even a trip into town and my trusty pocketrobber Whole Foods had run dry, though I did get to see the Carnaby Christmas lights so the trip wasn’t a complete bust. But still, I needed something sour to counterbalance all the sugary fruit. So I added fresh cranberries which seemed to do the trick, not breaking them up too much in the mix so they burst in your mouth, immediately quelling the layers of fruity sweetness. With dried and fresh cranberries all stirred up I couldn’t help but think of adding some sort of orange note since it’s a natural pairing with cranberries. When it’s Christmas you should always reach for the bottle so I poured in a good glug of Cointreau, my favourite Christmas tipple, which happily is made from oranges. Then it tasted so good, so I added a bit more. Then a bit more. Then I poured myself a small glass and the rest is history.

Cranberry Cointreau Mincemeat

Print Recipe
Cranberry Cointreau Mincemeat
Cranberry Cointreau Mincemeat is fresh, fruity and sozzled with lots of lovely booze.
Cranberry Cointreau Mincemeat
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
4x 380g jars
Ingredients
  • 100 g dried cranberries
  • 200 g raisins
  • 275 g currants
  • 100 g soft prunes stoned and blended to form a paste
  • 2 dessert apples peeled, cored and diced small
  • 500 g fresh cranberries
  • 300 g dark brown sugar
  • 250 ml gluten-free pale ale
  • 1 bramley apple peeled and grated
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 30 ml brandy
  • 100 ml Cointreau
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
4x 380g jars
Ingredients
  • 100 g dried cranberries
  • 200 g raisins
  • 275 g currants
  • 100 g soft prunes stoned and blended to form a paste
  • 2 dessert apples peeled, cored and diced small
  • 500 g fresh cranberries
  • 300 g dark brown sugar
  • 250 ml gluten-free pale ale
  • 1 bramley apple peeled and grated
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 30 ml brandy
  • 100 ml Cointreau
Cranberry Cointreau Mincemeat
Instructions
  1. Pour the fresh cranberries, sugar, ale, bramley apple, lemon juice and zest and all the spices into a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes until some of the cranberries start to break down.
  2. In a large mixing bowl add the dried fruits and the dessert apples and add to the boiled mixture.
  3. Remove from the heat, add the dried fruits and give a very good mix through, making sure the prune paste is evenly dispersed.
  4. Leave to cool completely before stirring through the brandy and Cointreau.
  5. Decant into sterilised jars and store until ready to use or use straightaway.

Fancy more mincemeat recipes? Then treat yourself to traditional Victorian Mincemeat which uses real beef mince for the richest and most decadent mince pies this Christmas.

Victorian Mincemeat - a traditional mincemeat made with real beef for the best mince pies this Christmas

Victorian Mincemeat

The Victorians knew what they were doing when they added real beef to their mincemeat. For the best mince pies this Christmas try this Victorian Mincemeat and accept no substitute.

Victorian Mincemeat - a traditional mincemeat made with real beef for the best mince pies this Christmas

Ever since investigating (otherwise known as making and eating a lot of mince pies) the best recipe for making mincemeat and discovering that the Victorians used real beef I have never looked back. For some reason we balk when we hear about mince pies with actual meat in it but I have no idea why. We eat sweet chutneys with meat all the time. In the words of Joey, what’s not to like? Pastry good. Brandied fruits good. Beef gooood. And as it turns out, together, really good.

This mincemeat is so delicious as it eschews an abundance of sweetness, instead the beef mince adds a wonderful soft texture which is molten in with the rest of the ingredients. Victorian Mincemeat is the ultimate choice for your traditional mince pie, rich, fruity, boozy and you would never know there was meat in it unless told. Which you must do as the veggies get annoyed. All you think is you are eating the best mince pie in town.

Victorian Mincemeat - a traditional mincemeat made with real beef for the best mince pies this Christmas

There are two very fine ladies I turned to in developing this recipe, Delia Smith and Mrs Beeton, two Great British institutions. It wouldn’t be Christmas without either in this house. I took advice from both of them regarding mincemeat and ran with it, adding a few twists and turns along the way.

Print Recipe
Victorian Mincemeat
For the best mince pies this Christmas try this Victorian Mincemeat and accept no substitute.
Victorian Mincemeat - a traditional mincemeat made with real beef for the best mince pies this Christmas
Prep Time 40 minutes
Servings
4x 380g jars
Ingredients
  • 1 bramley apple peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 cox apple peeled, cored and diced
  • 200 g beef suet get your suet from the butcher if you need it gluten-free*
  • 200 g raw beef mince
  • 275 g raisins
  • 225 g currants
  • 100 g natural glace cherries diced
  • 100 g pitted prunes diced
  • 300 g dark brown sugar
  • grated zest and juice of 1 orange
  • grated zest and juice of ½ red grapefruit
  • grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 50 g whole almonds slivered
  • 4 teaspoons mixed ground spice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 100 ml brandy
Prep Time 40 minutes
Servings
4x 380g jars
Ingredients
  • 1 bramley apple peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 cox apple peeled, cored and diced
  • 200 g beef suet get your suet from the butcher if you need it gluten-free*
  • 200 g raw beef mince
  • 275 g raisins
  • 225 g currants
  • 100 g natural glace cherries diced
  • 100 g pitted prunes diced
  • 300 g dark brown sugar
  • grated zest and juice of 1 orange
  • grated zest and juice of ½ red grapefruit
  • grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 50 g whole almonds slivered
  • 4 teaspoons mixed ground spice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 100 ml brandy
Victorian Mincemeat - a traditional mincemeat made with real beef for the best mince pies this Christmas
Instructions
  1. Stir everything together and decant into jars. My perfect recipe. You should wait about 2 weeks before using so the ingredients get a chance to settle with each other.
Recipe Notes

*Do persevere with different butchers if you are finding fresh suet hard to get hold of. All of my butchers in the high street couldn't get hold of suet for me and in the end I had success with going direct to the farm. To prepare the suet I grated it in the food processor using the grater attachment with scant amounts of rice flour to allow the suet to separate nicely. Sinewy bits will get entangled in the blades, just stop the processor, throw these bits away and carry on going. I store my suet in 200g bags in the freezer for easy use.

If you are vegan or veggie and the idea of putting real beef in your mincemeat is a total non-starter then do try Cranberry Cointreau Mincemeat instead which is fresh fruity and delicious.

Cranberry Cointreau Mincemeat