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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.
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 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
  • ¼ 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 ⅔ 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