Gluten-Free Mince Pies

These simple Gluten-Free Mince Pies are made with the most flavourful sorghum and almond flour pastry and filled with Easy Homemade Mincemeat. Mince pie lovers no longer need to miss out on gloriously flaky and tasty mince pies that are packed with Christmassy flavour and are easy to bake at home.

Gluten-Free Mince Pies

I often wax lyrical regarding my love affair with mincemeat and all the different and festive ways you can incorporate this treasure into your baking. However, sometimes we just need to go back to basics and bake us up some delicious old timey mince pies.

Gluten-Free Mince Pies

What are mince pies?

Mince pies are a traditionally eaten at Christmas across the UK and Europe. Filled with mincemeat and encased in pastry, mince pies are small and can usually be devoured in 3-4 bites. The ultimate Christmas treat.

But what is mincemeat?

Mincemeat is a richly spiced filling for your mince pies. Usually made from dried fruit, nuts and spices which are preserved in brown sugar, brandy with suet to provide a silky mouthfeel.

However, the variations of recipes for mincemeat are endless. You can switch up the alcohol, use fresh fruit, like apples, or omit the nuts or suet.

Do you need some inspiration for mincemeat recipes?

  • Victorian Mincemeat – inspired by traditional mince pies and uses actual beef mince along with the dried fruit, spices and brandy. This mincemeat is something special. You can’t taste that it is actually meat, it is just ultra flavourful with a wonderfully luxurious texture.
  • Cranberry Cointreau Mincemeat – a vegan, nut-free recipe. This is a family favourite – vibrant, light and incredibly festive.
  • Easy Mincemeat – my go-to everyday traditional mincemeat.

Gluten-Free Mince Pies

What pastry is used for mince pies?

There are many pastry routes you can go down with your mince pies:

  • open topped
  • double-crusted
  • frangipane
  • brandy butter topped
  • orange icing

However, I often like to stick to an old fashioned flaky gluten-free pastry to make my mince pies. This is my favourite gluten-free pastry recipe. So full of flavour and excellent to work with. This pastry will not crumble but melt in the mouth.

Gluten-free pastry is actually just as easy to make as regular wheat pastry. The only difference is that it is slightly more fragile to handle so may need a little more care when rolling out. It also requires a couple of minutes extra to blend together your gluten-free flour mix so you can ensure your pastry has the right bind, flakiness and snap.

This gluten-free pastry is more than just a vessel for holding your mincemeat, it has its own character and flavour profile to enhance your mince pies.

Gluten-Free Mince Pies

How do you make gluten-free pastry?

We just need just 4 ingredients to create a unique gluten-free flour blend that is delicious, easy to work with and creates the best casing for our mincemeat.

Sweet rice flour – this is the majority flour used in this recipe. It is needed to bind the ingredients together and add elasticity to the mix so that the pastry can be rolled out with ease. It has a near neutral taste so its role is mostly function.

Sorghum flour – an incredibly tasty pastry. Think wholewheat flour, earthy and wholesome. A perfect flavour match for the richly spiced mincemeat.

Almond flour – adds a mild nutty sweetness. Great protein structure so helps to hold the pastry together

Ground flaxseeds – help further bind the pastry to stop it from crumbling apart. It also adds a nice bit of texture.

Once these four ingredients are whisked together to make your gluten-free flour blend then you can continue to make the pastry the same way you would regular pastry.

  1. Use butter cold from the fridge, sliced as thinly as possible then rubbed with the flours to make rough shreds and add flakiness to your dough.
  2. Add a little caster sugar for sweetness.
  3.  Add 2 eggs and an extra yolk for richness.
  4. Bring the dough quickly together with your hands, with maybe a little ice cold milk if more liquid is needed to make the pastry cohesive.
  5. Wrap your ball of pastry in cling film and keep in the fridge until needed.

How long can the pastry keep for?

Up to 3 days. Just bring it out 30 minutes to 1 hour (depending on how warm your kitchen is) before you would like to roll it out.

What baking tin should you use for mince pies?

You can buy mince pie baking tins specific for this purpose. I have several which I love.

However, upon making the mince pies for this post I had a mini meltdown when I realised they had all been put into storage along with a bunch of my baking gear whilst we’re preparing to move house. This was obviously after I had cut out all my pastry rounds and the oven had been pre-heated and I was basically ready to go.

However it turns out that a regular 12-hole muffin tin makes the perfect sized four-bite mince pies just as well. Your pastry rounds will only go halfway up the tin but this works out just fine. So you mustn’t despair if you don’t have a special tin for your gluten-free mince pies.

If you have been disappointed by tasteless, cardboard tasting and tooth-achingly sweet gluten-free mince pies from the supermarket, this recipe will be a revelation.

Gluten-Free Mince Pies

If you make these Gluten-Free Mince Pies 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.

Gluten-Free Mince Pies

These simple Gluten-Free Mince Pies are made with the most flavourful sorghum and almond flour pastry and filled with Easy Homemade Mincemeat.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Servings: 18 double-crusted pies
Calories: 214kcal

Ingredients

  • 140 g sweet rice flour plus extra flour for dusting
  • 125 g sorghum flour
  • 75 g almond flour
  • 25 g ground flaxseeds
  • 125 g unsalted butter directly from the fridge
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs + 1 yolk lightly beaten
  • pinch of salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons whole milk very cold
  • 300 g mincemeat
  • 1 teaspoon egg yolk + 1 tablespoon whole milk whisked together for the wash

Instructions

Making the pastry

  • In a large mixing bowl whisk together the sweet rice flour, sorghum flour, almond flour and flaxseeds.
  • Slice the butter very thinly and add to the flour. Then rub the mixture between fingertips until roughly shorn and crumbly.
  • Whisk in the caster sugar and salt and then pour in the eggs.
  • Bring the dough together using a wooden spoon at first if you like and then your hands. If the dough is still too dry and crumbly then add a little extra whole milk.
  • Turn the pastry out on to the work surface and knead very briefly into a ball until the dough is cohesive and slightly sticky.
  • Wrap the pastry dough in cling film and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (or up to 3 days) until you are ready to make your mince pies.

Making the mince pies

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
  • To make the mince pies, dust your work top and your rolling pin with extra sweet rice flour then roll your pastry out to 3mm thickness. The pastry will be quite fragile. I usually split the dough in half and roll out half at a time to save a lot of re-rolling.
  • Cut your pastry using an 8cm pastry cutter and place each round carefully in the hole of a 12 hole muffin tin. The pastry will come up about halfway. Fill each mince pie with a heaped teaspoon of mincemeat. If you want double crusted mince pies then cut out further 6cm rounds for the lid and tuck on top so the edges of the pastry all meet.
  • If you would like to decorate the top of the mince pies then cut out extra Christmassy shapes from the pastry and place on top.
  • Whisk the extra egg yolk and milk to make a wash then brush over the top of each mince pie. Place in the oven and bake the mince pies for 10 minutes until they are golden. Leave in the tin for 5 minutes to rest then carefully remove each mince pie from the tin with a palette knife and place on a wire rack to cool. Wash and dry the tin then make your next batch.
  • Store the mince pies in a metal tin. They keep quite well for up to 5 days but they are best on the day they are made.

Notes

Nutrition

Calories: 214kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 101mg | Potassium: 45mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 205IU | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 0.6mg

This recipe was updated in November 2019 to include clearer instructions.

Easy Mincemeat Recipe

Easy Mincemeat Recipe

This Easy Mincemeat Recipe is exactly what you need when you are required to make homemade mince pies pronto. You can use it straightaway. No resting time is needed, it’s a quick assembly job and the result is a supremely spiced and zesty mincemeat plump with fruits, rich with brandy and with a silky luxurious texture.

hands holding bowl of mincemeat next to ingredients for recipe

I simply adore Christmas mincemeat. In my humble opinion it’s the best thing about the season. Along with The Waitresses’ Christmas Wrapping, Hot Buttered Chocolate Rum and festive jumpers for Billy Buddy. Stir-up Sunday is coming up this weekend which is the traditional day to make your mincemeat (and Christmas pudding) for the season. It’s nice to get this job out of the way in November as it means you can have homemade mince pies at your disposal any time during the holiday period. Although if you are only using your mincemeat for a mince pie filling then you are missing a trick.

What is mincemeat?

Mincemeat is the traditional filling of a christmas mince pie. A few centuries ago mincemeat was a way to preserve meat, usually mutton, without smoking or salting. The meat would be chopped very finely, aka minced, then preserved with spirits and spices and sugar. It’s more usual these days for the minced meat to be replaced with beef suet and dried fruit.

Although if you haven’t tried mince pies made in the traditional method using this Victorian Mincemeat recipe then you really need to address your life choices.

Gluten-Free Mince Pies on a tray in front of the fire

Why do we eat mincemeat at Christmas?

The reason we eat so many mince pies over the festive season is all to do with the spices. It is thought that cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg were given by the magi to the baby Jesus and so mincemeat, which is abundant in these spices, has always traditionally been associated with Christmas. And I totally take umbrage with the idea that if mince pies were so nice then why do we only eat them at Christmas. Well, that’s why Eccles Cakes were invented. They are basically mince pies that we are allowed to eat all year round.

Why should you make your own mincemeat?

I made the unfortunate mistake of buying pre-made mincemeat for some recipe testing recently and the difference between homemade and shop bought is extreme. The shop bought stuff is all sugar and no flavour

This Easy Mincemeat tastes of plump juicy fruits and spices and is rich with brandy with a silky luxurious texture.

Plus if you’re making it yourself you can make it exactly to your preference. It’s an extremely versatile recipe which you can switch up for the dried fruit, alcohol and type of sugar you have to hand. It will always be a preferred option to the sickly sweet supermarket version.

Why is this recipe so brilliant?

If  you need to make some Homemade Mince Pies asap then this Easy Mincemeat Recipe is the way to go. 

  • this homemade mincemeat is so simple to make and takes no time at all.
  • It’s a back-to-basics recipe using traditional ingredients.
  • no resting time required.
  • it’s not necessary to cook the mincemeat out before filling your pies.

If you want a more modern mincemeat which is made with fresh cranberries and is nut free and vegan then perhaps try this Cranberry Cointreau Mincemeat.

ingredients for mincemeat

What ingredients are in mincemeat?

  • Bramley apples – A lovely tart fully flavoured apple that breaks down into a gorgeous fluffy texture.
  • Dried fruit – Here we go traditional with raisins, currants and sultanas and mixed peel
  • Beef suet – the fat used to preserve the mincemeat and for texture
  • Dark muscovado sugar – a deep flavoured sugar
  • Lemon and orange zest – for a fresh zing
  • Spices – ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg
  • Brandy – traditionally used to help preserve the mincemeat but also gives a luxurious rich flavour.

bowl of fresh beef suet

Why do you use beef suet in mincemeat?

Beef suet is the hard fat from around the joints and kidneys of the animal and it is favoured in mincemeat due to its richness of flavour and the silky way it coats the luscious fruit.

Is beef suet gluten-free?

Unfortunately the commercial beef suet you can buy in a packet in your local supermarket is not gluten-free. The suet is processed into small pellets which are coated in wheat flour. This allows the suet to be easily stored and weighed and used in baking but it’s not gluten-free.

Can you buy gluten-free suet?

You can buy gluten-free suet in the supermarket but it is also vegetarian suet and it is not a product I like to use. The ingredients list is iffy and doesn’t have the right flavour.

If your butcher is able to source fresh beef suet for you then that is the best choice. It will probably be provided in a hard block which you will need to grate with a bit of gluten-free flour to create little fat pellets which helps to evenly disperse the fat. You can store the suet in the freezer in ziplock bags and you can use it directly from the freezer.

You can also use this fresh beef suet in your Traditional Christmas Pudding. Or in a Spotted Dick.

If you are finding it hard to source fresh beef suet or need a veggie or vegan alternative then you can substitute with grated coconut butter.

What can I substitute for the brandy?

You can substitute absolutely any alcohol for the brandy. Rum, Pedro Ximénez, Cointreau or even Amaretto are my favourites.

ingredients for mincemeat on a wooden board

What if I don’t like mixed peel?

If you don’t like mixed peel then just leave it out, or substitute for a couple of tablespoons of marmalade. However, have you ever tried making your own? Homemade Mixed Peel has a vastly superior flavour and can be useful for a lot of your Christmas bakes.

Can I substitute in other dried fruit?

Of course! Anything goes in mincemeat. Chopped dried figs, prunes, cranberries, sour cherries. You can just swap in the same weight of an alternative dried fruit and away you go.

bowl of brown sugar next to dried fruit

Why dark muscovado sugar?

Dark muscovado sugar is used here for its rich treacly flavour. However, if you want a slightly lighter mincemeat then you can use light muscovado sugar. Or if you only have in soft light brown sugar then use that.

How do you make the homemade mincemeat?

  1. Peel, core and dice the bramley apples.
  2. Then mix with all the other ingredients.
  3. It’s done (I know, pretty easy!!)

Note. This recipe makes about 4 large jars of mincemeat. Enough for 4 batches of mince pies. Presuming you are not making mince pies for a very large crowd you will want to store the mincemeat you are not using straightaway. This will require cooking it out (see below).

Easy Mincemeat Recipe

Can you use the mincemeat straightaway

Yes! Your mince pies will be delicious if you make them with the mincemeat you prepared 5 minutes ago.

However, if you are in the mood for planning ahead then the mincemeat will be even better if you make it a week or two before you want to make your mince pies which will allow the flavours to mature.

How long does mincemeat last?

If you are not using the mincemeat immediately then you need to cook it out before storing. This is to allow the suet and sugar to melt, coat and preserve all the fruit evenly. Plus it also stops the apples from fermenting.

How to cook out the mincemeat for storing

  1. Mix all the ingredients together as above except for the brandy.
  2. Place in a large ovenproof pot with a lid.
  3. Cook for 1 hour in an oven pre-heated to 150°C /130°C fan/gas 2 for 1 hour.
  4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  5. Stir in the brandy then decant into sterilised jars.

The mincemeat will keep for 3 months if stored in a cool and dark place.

  • To sterilise the jars – Place the very clean jars you would like to use in an oven pre-heated to 140°C for 20 minutes. Sterilise the lids by dropping them into a saucepan of boiling water for 10 minutes. It is best not to sterilise lids in the oven as they can easily ruin.

Recommended Equipment

Le Creuset Large Casserole Dish – my favourite preserving pan and it’s big enough to cook a large amount of preserves or mincemeat. It can be used in the hob or in the oven. 

Jam Funnel – Very useful for decanting the mincemeat into jars. If you make a lot of chutneys and jams then this inexpensive jam funnel is an absolute must-buy. Useful for decanting pretty much anything around the kitchen too!

Kilner jars (500g)– these are great for all kinds of preserving. You can re-use the jars again and again (just clean and sterilise them first) and buying new lids is very easy.

Of course this Easy Mincemeat Recipe is the ideal filling for mince pies but if you need any further inspiration, look no further than the following recipes:

Bramley Apple Mincemeat Pudding
Christmas Morning Mince Pie Muffins
Mince Pie Cheesecake Oat Bars
Cheat’s Gluten-Free Christmas Cake
Mince Pie Cupcakes with Brandy Buttercream

If you’ve never made your own then I urge you to give this Easy Mincemeat Recipe a try and if you do then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you use this recipe as a jumping off point then I’d also love it if you’d share your version and tag me on instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your creations and variations of my recipes.

Easy Mincemeat Recipe

This Easy Mincemeat Recipe is a quick homemade supremely spiced fruity boozy mincemeat essential for mince pies.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Servings: 64 servings
Calories: 87kcal

Ingredients

  • 400 g bramley apples about 1-2 apples
  • 225 g seedless raisins
  • 225 g currants
  • 225 g sultanas
  • 240 g beef suet for gluten-free suet see notes
  • 275 g dark muscovado sugar
  • 50 g mixed peel homemade is preferable
  • zest 1 orange
  • zest 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 60 ml brandy

Instructions

  • Peel, core and dice the bramley apples into small pieces.
  • Place the apple pieces into a large ovenproof pot with the rest of the ingredients (except for the brandy) and stir together until everything is well combined.
  • If you want to make mince pies straight away then set aside about 300g and stir in a couple of teaspoons of the brandy. Let the mincemeat rest whilst you prepare the pastry and then you can fill your pies immediately.
  • To prepare the rest of the mincemeat for storing put a lid on the pot and place in an oven pre-heated to 150°C /130°C fan/gas 2 for 1 hour.
  • Leave the mincemeat to completely cool before stirring in the brandy.
  • Decant the mincemeat into sterilised jars and store in a cool dark place for up to a year.

Notes

  • If you are gluten-free I recommend you use fresh beef suet. It’s not possible to buy gluten-free pre-packaged beef suet. I don't recommend the vegetarian version which is gluten-free. Do speak to your local butcher about obtaining fresh suet. It will come in a solid block which you will need to grate with a bit of gluten-free flour so that it can evenly disperse throughout the mincemeat. If you are vegan then I would recommend replacing with grated coconut butter but if you are not then I would urge you not to make the switch.
  • Yield 4 380g jars
  • You can make your mince pies straightaway using this mincemeat but if you are not then you will need to cook it and store in sterilised jars.
  • To sterilise the jars – Place the very clean jars you would like to use in an oven pre-heated to 140°C for 20 minutes. Sterilise the lids by dropping them into a saucepan of boiling water for 10 minutes. It is best not to sterilise lids in the oven as they can easily ruin.
  • The mincemeat will keep for 3 months in a cool and dark place.

Nutrition

Calories: 87kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 100mg | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 5IU | Vitamin C: 0.7mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 0.3mg

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!!

Shop the Recipe:

  • Regular 12-Hole Muffin Tin
  • Large Drop Flower Piping Tip
  • Recyclable Piping Bags
  • Holly Leaf Icing Cutter Set

Love Mince Pies? Then you’ll probably also love these recipes:

I urge you to give this Mince Pie Cupcakes a try. If you do 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 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.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time18 mins
Total Time1 hr 18 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Servings: 18 cupcakes
Calories: 495kcal

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

Instructions

Cupcakes

  • 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.
  • 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 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 bain marie (or a bowl set over simmering water), 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.
  • 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.

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

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.

Mince Pie Cheesecake Oat Bars {gluten-free}

A thick layer of rich fruity mincemeat cheesecake sandwiched between crumbly oaty shortbread.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Servings: 12 bars
Calories: 475kcal

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

Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven to 170°C and line and grease an 8 inch square cake tin.
  • In a medium sized bowl stir the cream cheese, mincemeat and eggs together until well combined then set aside.
  • Place the rest of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and rub together with your fingertips until the mixture resembles rough breadcrumbs.
  • Tip half the mixture into the cake tin and press in tightly.
  • Spread the cheesecake over the top of the tin, then tip over the rest of the oat mixture, pressing down lightly.
  • Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  • 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 475kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 95mg | Sodium: 311mg | Potassium: 179mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 855IU | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 1.2mg

Boozy Cranberry Mincemeat with Cointreau

Boozy Cranberry Mincemeat with Cointreau is a fresh, fruity filling for your mince pies. Gorgeously spiced and rich with festive flavour. Plus nut-free, vegan, suet-free and gluten-free if you’re looking for the perfect free-from mincemeat.

Cranberry Cointreau Mincemeat in a glass bowl next to jars of mincemeat and a bottle of cointreau on a wooden box

 

It’s traditional to whip up your Christmas mincemeat on stir-up Sunday (the last Sunday of November). That way all the flavours have a chance to bed in and get to know each other before becoming a blossoming mincemeat for your mince pies.

Well this mincemeat recipe doesn’t worry about any of that. The joy of this Cranberry Mincemeat is that it is just as delicious made fresh the hour before you make your mince pies or stored in a jar for a couple of weeks and brought out on Christmas Eve to make a last minute batch.

Why should you make this Boozy Cranberry Mincemeat this year?

  • The clue is in the title – boozy mincemeat! A great glug of Cointreau goes into this mincemeat to make it lusciously orangey and full of festive spirit. The combo of orange liqueur and cranberries is a total game-changer. We also add in pale ale and brandy for good Christmas measure.
  • Fresh cranberries! – They give the utmost fruitiness to our mincemeat, making it light bright and of course – fresh tasting. Dried cranberries are used for good measure.
  • It can be made last minute. It doesn’t need any resting time.
  • All the traditional flavours of mincemeat are still there. It’s not like eating a christmassy fruit pie – this is still very much a mince pie filling with dried vine fruits, spices and apples.
  • It’s a perfect mincemeat for all our free-from friends as it is vegan, suet-free, nut-free, dairy-free and gluten-free.

More mincemeat recipes you’ll love!

  • Easy Mincemeat Recipe – a real traditional go-to recipe
  • Old-Fashioned Beef Mincemeat – this one is made with actual beef mince. It’s not a Rachel from Friends moment – this is the way they used to do it! And it’s got to be tasted to be believed – so amazing!!!
 
Boozy Cranberry Mincemeat with Cointreau in a glass bowl on a wooden table

How do you make this Cranberry Mincemeat?

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

The steps are simple:

  1. In a large saucepan add the fresh cranberries, sugar, ale, bramley apple, lemon juice and zest and all the spices. Bring to the boil then 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.
  4. Leave to cool completely before stirring through the brandy and Cointreau.

Pro TipBe gentle when mixing in the fresh cranberries. You want most of them whole so they burst in your mouth mid-bite adding a gorgeous tang to counteract the sweetness of the mincemeat.

Boozy Cranberry mincemeat with cointreau in a glass bowl on a wooden table in front of cointreau and jars of mincemeat

How do you store the mincemeat?

Once the mincemeat is ready store in clean and sterilised jars and keep in a cool dark place.

How long does it keep for?

This cranberry mincemeat keeps very well for up to 6 weeks. The alcohol and sugar help preserve it. However due to the fresh cranberries it doesn’t last months and months like other mincemeats. 

Need ways to use all your mincemeat?

I urge you to give this Cranberry Mincemeat a try. If you do 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.

Boozy Cranberry Mincemeat with Cointreau

Boozy Cranberry Mincemeat with Cointreau is a fresh, fruity filling for your mince pies. Gorgeously spiced and rich with festive flavour. Plus nut-free, vegan, suet-free and gluten-free if you're looking for the perfect free-from mincemeat.
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: British
Servings: 64 servings
Calories: 63kcal

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

Instructions

  • 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.
  • In a large mixing bowl add the dried fruits and the dessert apples and add to the boiled mixture.
  • Remove from the heat, add the dried fruits and give a very good mix through, making sure the prune paste is evenly dispersed.
  • Leave to cool completely before stirring through the brandy and Cointreau.
  • Decant into sterilised jars and store until ready to use or use straightaway.

Notes

  • Yield 4x 380g jars
  • You can use this mincemeat straightaway for your mince pies. Or you can store in clean sterilised jars and keep in a cool dark place for up to 6 weeks.
  • Top tip - when you're heating up your fresh cranberries try not to break them up too much - you want to keep as many of them whole as you can.

Nutrition

Calories: 63kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 99mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 25IU | Vitamin C: 1.8mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 0.3mg

 

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

Mincemeat with Real Meat

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 meat 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 ham 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.

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.

Which Meat to Use in Mince Pies

This mincemeat recipe uses fresh minced or ground beef. I recommend you choose the highest quality you can find either direct from the farmer or butcher so there is plenty of fat which will give the mincemeat a luxurious quality once cooked. Plus I always advocate buying the best meat you can source for any recipe.

What Does Real Meat Mincemeat Taste Like?

Victorian 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 your vegetarian friends 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

How Long Can You Store Victorian Mincemeat

The reality is that mincemeat keeps extremely well as long as you put the mincemeat straightaway into sterilised jars and store in a cool dark place. The sugars and alcohol preserve all the ingredients, including the beef, excellently. However, this recipe contains raw meat so you may want to be more careful and use within at least six weeks of preparation.

Please note as well that since this recipe contains raw meat you will need to cook the mincemeat, such as within a mince pie, before eating. For a recipe on how to make Gluten-Free Mince Pies using your Victorian Mincemeat see my recipe here.

More Mincemeat Recipes

  • 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.
  • Or for a more modern mincemeat recipe which skips out the real meat but does contain beef suet try this Easy Mincemeat Recipe.

If you make this Victorian Mincemeat then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. 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.

Victorian Mincemeat

For the best mince pies this Christmas try this Victorian Mincemeat and accept no substitute.
Prep Time40 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Servings: 4 380g jars
Calories: 1524kcal

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

Instructions

  • Stir everything together in a large mixing bowl and decant into sterilised jars.
  • Wait about two weeks before using so the ingredients get a chance to settle with each other.

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.
Since the mincemeat contains raw beef mince the mincemeat should be cooked into a mince pie before eating.
This recipe contains raw meat which is preserved by the sugar and alcohol. As such I recommend that you use within 6 weeks of making. However, as a Brit who has been led by her grandmother's example I am happy to eat this mincemeat well into the next year as long as the jars have been sterilised correctly and the mincemeat has been stored in a cool dark place.

Nutrition

Calories: 1524kcal | Carbohydrates: 220g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 64g | Saturated Fat: 30g | Cholesterol: 69mg | Sodium: 84mg | Potassium: 1685mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 141g | Vitamin A: 285IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 202mg | Iron: 6.4mg

If you like this recipe then you may like…

Traditional Christmas Pudding

Traditional Christmas Pudding

Bramley Apple Mincemeat Pudding

Bramley Apple and Mincemeat Pudding

Christmas Morning Mince Pie Muffins

These gluten-free Christmas Morning Mince Pie Muffins are exactly what you should be treating your family to Christmas morning. They are light, fluffy, moist and full of Christmas spice and cheer.