A light and fluffy mince pie flavoured sponge, topped with a delicately flavoured brandy buttercream, these are the perfect cupcake for Christmas.

Mince Pie Cupcakes with Brandy Buttercream - Gorgeously light and fluffy mince pie flavoured sponge topped with a lightly flavoured brandy buttercream. The perfect cupcake for Christmas! | thehecticcook.com

I love Christmas. Like, LOVE Christmas. I am one of those folk who starts getting excited in October; who changes their playlist to their ‘Christmas playlist’ in November (everyone has a Christmas playlist right?); and has the tree up punctually on the 1st of December. The Husband thinks I’m hilarious – he tries to be all Bah Humbug but I’m sure he secretly likes it. And since having kids, Christmas has just gotten even better. They’re at an age where they still all fervently believe in the big man. We have an elf (oh yes, we’ve joined the legions of parents panically moving a little felt toy around the house every night), we’ve watched Christmas movies (this is totally indulgent for me to be honest), they’ve made Christmas cards (in Alice’s case, about 10 each for her teacher and TA because they didn’t have any – I hope they’re feeling special),  and they are so excited I’m just waiting for one of them to pop.

There are certain foods that go hand-in-hand with Christmas for me. I always start making sausage rolls around this time. We currently have a freezer full, ready to bake whenever the need arises (pretty much every lunchtime in the Husband’s case). If you haven’t already, do check out my sausage roll recipe here (and team them with my Quick & Simple Lentil Soup).

Homemade Sausage Rolls - You haven't had a sausage roll until you've had a homemade sausage roll! | thehecticcook.com

I started making these cupcakes years ago, it was another Delicious magazine recipe. They’re a lovely alternative to mince pies, lighter too, whilst still getting that mincemeat hit. If you’re not a fan of mince pies, but like dried fruit and the gentle spices of mincemeat, these cupcakes could be your perfect option. They’re really simple to make, and you can decorate them however you’d like, they don’t have to be fancy.

Mince Pie Cupcakes with Brandy Buttercream - Gorgeously light and fluffy mince pie flavoured sponge topped with a lightly flavoured brandy buttercream. The perfect cupcake for Christmas! | thehecticcook.com

I’m not a fan of brandy, or anything alcoholic near my sugar fix to be honest. Chocolate and liqueur? Bleugh. Boozey trifle?  Wrong-diddley-wrong. Your taking two perfectly good things and completely spoiling them. In my humble opinion. However. When I first made these cupcakes I was making them as a gift, so figured I’d shove in the brandy as per the recipe since they weren’t for me (I’m a totally selfish cook btw). I did have a little old taste test though. And by jove, these are better with the brandy buttercream. I promise. It’s only a subtle flavour, but it lends itself exceptionally well to the mince pie cakes.

Mince Pie Cupcakes with Brandy Buttercream

Yield: 24

Mince Pie Cupcakes with Brandy Buttercream

Mince Pie Cupcakes with Brandy Buttercream - Gorgeously light and fluffy mince pie flavoured sponge topped with a delicately flavoured brandy buttercream. The perfect cupcake for Christmas!

Ingredients

  • 225g unsalted butter, softened
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 250g mincemeat
  • 210g self-raising flour
  • 25g cornflour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • BRANDY BUTTERCREAM
  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 400g icing sugar
  • 2-4 tbsp brandy

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C / 160C (fan) / gas 4.
  2. Line a muffin tray with cupcake cases (this will make about 24 cupcakes).
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
  4. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, giving the mixture a good beating after each one (the mixture might look curdled but don't worry).
  5. Stir through the mincemeat until well incorporated.
  6. Sift the flour, cornflour and baking powder into the mixture, and fold in.
  7. Spoon mixture into the cupcake cases, filling each to about 2/3 full.
  8. Bake for about 20-23 minutes until risen and golden. A skewer inserted will come out clean.
  9. Cool in the tin for about 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. For the buttercream, place the butter and icing sugar in a bowl and beat until lightened in colour - here an electric mixer is really handy. The longer you beat it, the lighter your buttercream will be.
  11. Add the brandy and beat again until fully incorporated - start with 2 tablespoons and taste it. Then decide whether you want to add any more.
  12. Top your cupcakes with the buttercream and decorate as you wish.
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Mince Pie Cupcakes with Brandy Buttercream - Gorgeously light and fluffy mince pie flavoured sponge topped with a lightly flavoured brandy buttercream. The perfect cupcake for Christmas! | thehecticcook.com

If you have to take a sweet bite anywhere this Christmas, you can’t go far wrong with these cupcakes. I actually made them for my kids’ teachers and TAs. Four teachers and three TAs, I made a box for each class which is possibly a bit cheap, but at this time of year any saving is a bonus!

Mince Pie Cupcakes with Brandy Buttercream - Gorgeously light and fluffy mince pie flavoured sponge topped with a lightly flavoured brandy buttercream. The perfect cupcake for Christmas! | thehecticcook.com

Happy Christmas!

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Mince Pie Cupcakes with Brandy Buttercream - Gorgeously light and fluffy mince pie flavoured sponge topped with a lightly flavoured brandy buttercream. The perfect cupcake for Christmas! | thehecticcook.com

 

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