‘Not my sisters mince pies’ Christmas cupcakes

Every Christmas, Sister Two bakes what may possibly be the most amazing mince pies in the entire galaxy. Some of you will shake your head and ask, ‘what kind of lunatic overstatement is that?’ Let me put it plainly. They just are. So there. These pastries are legendary enough to convert this mince pie loather into someone who actually delights in partaking of a few (delicate cough), every festive season. In the spirit of inclusivity for the gluten intolerant and coeliacs in our hoard, Sister Two also makes a gluten free batch. The Yak, who is English, adores these short-crusted and delicious wee morsels. Fruitcake, mince pies and plum puddings are the stuff of his festive childhood memories and dreams.

It is easy to know when The Yak is missing home. He hops onto the Information Superhighway and begins googling houses for sale in his hometown of Ulverston. (No Yak, we are not moving there.) A spot of coeliac cheering up was required but being a sensible woman, something simple was required. After all, it is only five more sleeps until the mince pie fairy works her magic and the roly-poly bloke in the red suit visits. I thought that a light cupcake version of a fruitcake would provide some solace to my far less portly old man. The weather is getting hot, hot, hot and these sponge-like, fruity, ever so slightly boozy cakes would be a super dessert on the day itself. Pop them in a fancy tin as an edible Christmas gift or just do as the Yak did. Happily devour them with a good strong cuppa tea.

Merry Christmas to my Yak and to you all.


175g butter, softened
150g soft brown sugar
3 eggs, beaten
175g gluten free self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground mixed spice
115g mixed dried fruit (I used 50g each of currants, sultanas and chopped dried tart cherries)
2 tbsp brandy or orange juice
115g icing sugar
1-2 tbsp hot water
White sanding sugar or edible white glitter or even regular white sugar for sprinkling on top
(2 tbsp extra brandy, liquer Muscat or rum or if you choose to soak the fruit)

If you want a more traditional boozy Christmas flavour, soak the fruit in the extra tablespoon of brandy or rum for an hour or two before baking. I used a liquer Muscat. Delicious.
Preheat oven to 180C and grease a 12 hole muffin tray , placing a circle of baking paper at the bottom of each hole. I used smaller brown cupcake papers and gave each one a light spray with a non-stick cooking spray.
Place the butter, sugar, eggs into a large bowl then sift flour, baking powder and spices over the top.
Beat with a hand held mixer (I used my stand mixer) for 3-4 minutes until pale and creamy.
Fold in the fruit and brandy or orange juice.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin trays or papers.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until they have risen and are golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Leave in the tray for 5 minutes then remove and let cool on a baking tray.
Once they are completely cooled, sift the icing sugar then add enough of the hot water to make a smooth and thick icing. Ice the cakes then sprinkle a shedload of the sparkly snow like sugar/glitter over the top of the cakes.
Makes 12 regular small muffin size or 14 smaller cupcake sizes.

Cooking Notes: These cupcakes freeze well, just don’t ice them. You can also pop a glace cherry on top of each with with some fake (or real) holly leaves so they look like mini-plum puddings.

A Cheergerm adaptation of a recipe from the Good To Know website. Website link after photos.


19 thoughts on “‘Not my sisters mince pies’ Christmas cupcakes

  1. I’m the one who longs for mince pies and Christmas cake in this household, the Husband isn’t too keen. I make the cake regardless, just use GF flour. However, this year, I insisted the Husband try one of my mini mince pies, made with GF puff pastry (out of a packet, natch, who has time to make the real thing?), and by George, he finds that actually, he loves mince pies. These little cakey jobs sound delicious and simple, and as I have pretty much everything I need already in the pantry, I shall give them a go 🙂

    • I think it’s about memories of things sometimes, I never liked the peel or glacé cherries in fruit cakes etc but my opinion has changed since realising I can control the fruit! Hope you get to them and wishing you both a beautiful festive season.

      • With you on the peel, but must confess to an unhealthy love for glacé cherries which I only allow myself to indulge at Christmas. I put chopped dates, apricots, prunes, sultanas, glacé ginger and cherries in my cake, leave it un-iced by universal preference (except mine) but put nuts on the top and glaze it with apricot jam. Have a wonderful Christmas yourself, you and the Yaks great and small! 🙂

      • Love the apricot jam glaze, totes old school Kate. This big ole world is full of so many different food ideas, likes, preferences etc – it’s just marvellous. Wishing you both and all of your loved ones a very Merry Christmas as well. 😊

      • I did it, I made them. This morning I had a batch of 14. Then the NBN installers came, and sniffed the air and declared they were starving. And the Husband has made an inroad or two. I may (ahem) have actually despatched a couple myself. I’ll have to make more tomorrow… And yes, absolutely I’ll be soaking the fruit overnight!

  2. I’m on the anti-side of mincemeat pies or tarts but I have a spouse who thinks Christmas is a woeful occasion without one or t’other. Thankfully, I have a sister-in-law who makes tarts just for him for Christmas dessert. Your cupcake recipe reminds me of a “koo key” recipe my American mother created to appease my Scottish dad who also loved mincemeat pie. I’ll have to dig that one out. Since no one but hubby and I will eat them, I’ll make them gluten free and report back. Daughter-one has taste buds like a sommelier and sniffs at the slightest whiff of gluten-free anything. Don’t you think the parenting kit should come with buttons and Scotch-tape for mouths like mine?

    • You crack me up…I could probably do with a dash of that Scotch tape myself sometimes.Old school Christmas fruit bakes do tend to divide the people. Thank goodness for family who can step in to provide that which is required. I ‘loo key’
      forward to hearing the results of your
      baking experiment.

  3. So sweet, the Yak googling his hometown at Christmas time 🙂 Christmas cake, mince pies and plum puddings are exotic “Ye Olde English” items hereabouts, and Fruit Cake is dreaded. But I’m with you–as long as one has good quality fruit and a lashing of booze to soak it in, the results can be very pleasant!
    I always thought “mince” had real meat in it! Is it simply fruit?

    • It is sweet. Easy for me being with my family but it’s at these times he feels the distance. Those fruit based baked concotions are very much part of our Chrissy traditions but can prove a bit heavy for our hot summer climate. Yes, a mince pie is a dried fruit sometimes boozy preserve popped in a light sweet shortcrustpastry then baked. They used to be made with meat mince back in Ye Olde
      Days. I have grown to love them but not
      any old version. Have a wonderful Chrissy with you and yours LM.

  4. Inspired alternative to Sister number 2’s premier mince pies! Just one cheeky question ….. If you only use 2tbs of alcohol for the recipe, what happens to the rest!?😋😉 Lucky, lucky Silly Yak for having such a wonderful wife – Mr Rob feels decidedly cheated with his choice, ha ha!! xxoxx

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s