Mince pie Christmas cupcakes

Mince pie Christmas cupcakes

Mince pie Christmas cupcakes. Oh festive baking; in my mind there really isn’t anything better and complete to make me feel all cosy and Christmassy. Mince pies are such a classic staple in the UK, but I have to admit I’ve never been the biggest fan of all the dried fruit. For me; it’s the nostalgia of mince pies that gets me into the kitchen each year to make a batch, often on Christmas Eve. This year though I’ve created a little twist, which is a fun and festive showstopper and mellows the mincemeat for those that aren’t convinced. For those that love them already; these mince pie cupcakes will be a welcome addition to the Christmas gang. 

Absolutely love these cupcakes; all the tastes of Christmas. An orange scented sponge, filled and topped with classic mincemeat and iced with a gorgeous orange and almond buttercream. Topped with cuter than cute pastry stars, to complete the classic mince pie look. 

These are perfect for a Christmas party or family get together. Something a bit different, incredibly special but essentially pretty simple to make. I think yule love them 🙂

Ingredients for mince pie Christmas cupcakes

113g self rising flour 

113g caster sugar

113g softened unsalted butter 

2 eggs

¼ tsp salt

½  tsp ground cinnamon 

½ tsp vanilla extra 

½ jar of mincemeat (I often use Tesco vegan mincemeat, its really tasty and great for baking)

For the orange buttercream icing:

300g sifted icing sugar

150g softened unsalted butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp almond extract

¼ tsp salt

Zest 1 orange

Makes 9 cupcakes

For the pastry stars (optional)

170g plain flour

85g unsalted butter

30g icing sugar

Zest of 1 orange

1 egg

pinch of salt

Method – Mince pie Christmas cupcakes

First, let’s get started on the pastry star decorations. Now, these really are optional – they look gorgeous on the tops of the cakes and really complete that mince pie look but if you’re short of time, get creative and use what you have for toppings – festive sprinkles, toppers etc, some orange peel, it’s entirely up to you. 

If you’re making the pastry, pop the flour, salt, icing sugar and butter into a food processor and pulse until the butter is combined and it resembles fine bread crumbs. 

Then add in the orange zest and the egg and pulse to combine until you have a ball of dough. 

Flatten slightly, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge. 

For the cakes

Preheat the oven to 170°C, GM3. 

Line a muffin tin with 9 cases and leave aside while you make the mixture. 

Weigh out all of your ingredients.

In a separate bowl, sift the self rising flour, salt and ground cinnamon.

Using a food mixer, or free standing whisk, combine the sugar and butter together until it forms a light, creamy consistency. This will only take a few minutes with a food mixer. Then gradually add one egg at a time, leaving plenty of time for the egg to incorporate into the mixture before adding the next and keep the mixer running at a fairly high speed while doing this; this will help the mixture from curdling. You can also add a tablespoon of flour after each egg at this stage to help prevent curdling too. 

Once the eggs have been added, add in the dry ingredients and on a slow speed mix until they have only just combined. Then add the vanilla extract and fold into the cake mixture with the orange zest.

Using a medium ice cream scoop or two spoons, portion the mixture out amongst the cake cases. Take care not to overfill the cases as the mixture will rise more as it bakes. Just over half fill each case with batter. 

Bake in the middle shelf of the oven, turning the pan ¾ way through cooking time to help the cakes cook evenly. This should take between 17-20 minutes. 

How do I know when the cakes are cooked?

To test if the cakes are cooked, use a cake skewer and insert into the middle of one of the cakes and if it comes away clean then they are cooked. The cakes should also spring back when touched. 

Transfer the cakes to a wire rack to cool completely before icing. Cupcakes cool down really quickly so this will take less than 30 minutes. 

Let’s cook the pastry stars

As the oven is on, this is a good time to cook your pastry. Turn the heat up to 200°C. 

Roll out your pastry, cut out the small stars (I did 1-2 stars per cake) and put on a lined baking tray. Using a fork or cake tester, prong a few holes in the pastry, brush with milk and then bake for 5-7 mins. They are so small, they really don’t take long to cook at all. When they’re done (slightly brown on the edges and set), leave on a wire rack to cool.

While you wait, you can prepare the icing. 

To make the icing add the butter to a food mixer and cream it for a few minutes to make sure everything is very smooth before gradually starting to add the icing sugar. Once the mixture is combined and everything is light and fluffy (the longer you mix, the fluffier the mixture will get) then add the vanilla extract, orange zest and almond extract and salt and mix for a final time. Add milk to the icing if you think it needs to have a looser, more spreadable consistency.

Let’s get assembling the mince pie Christmas cupcakes

To bring the cakes together, cut out holes in the middle of each cupcake and fill with approx 1 tsp of mincemeat. You don’t want to overfill, as it makes it difficult to pipe the buttercream on top later. 

Then using a piping bag, swirl the vanilla buttercream onto each cupcake (or if you don’t have a piping bag you can use a palette knife and smooth it over the cupcakes). 

Spoon an extra bit of mincemeat onto each iced cupcake and then top with the pastry stars.

The mince pie Christmas cupcakes should keep well in an airtight container for up to 3 days but it is best to add the biscuits onto the cakes on the day you are planning on serving them to help them stay nice and fresh.


For baking, make sure that all of your ingredients are at room temperature, including the eggs, it will help all of the ingredients combine together well. 

An ice cream scoop is a great tool to help ensure that your cupcakes are the same size when they are baked. 

Weigh out all of your ingredients in advance; yes this means more bowls and more washing up, but the positive is that you have everything ready before you start, so you only have to think about the process of making the cake, instead of rushing to find the next ingredient and weigh it out while the mixer is running. 

The easiest way to fill a piping bag is to open the bag into a tall glass and bend the top over the sides of the glass, then fill with the icing. 

Got the baking bug this Christmas? Why not try more of our festive bakes? Reindeer Christmas chocolates, Vegan gingerbread, Fruit and nut fudge or Mince pie cookies – all completely yummy and easy to put together.

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