Ready to take your festive bakes to the next level? Then look no further than these seriously decadent mince pie brownies. Check out those layers of sweet pastry and fudgy brownie packed with sweet fruit mincemeat, all topped off with the creamiest brandy buttercream frosting. Whether you're a mince pie lover or hater, these brownies are sure to be a hit!
It really is being to look like Christmas in our house now, and it certainly smells it too!
Trying to get ahead of the mad rush to get all my baking gifts made in time, I'd whipped up a couple of batches of my homemade mincemeat. It's also a reason to use up the odds and ends of dried fruit sat in the cupboard.
The problem with the mincemeat though is it smells so damn good and I can't just leave it alone in the fridge doing it's thing.
Nope... I just have to bake with it.
Table of Contents
Taste: Rich, decadent and full of Christmas joy
Pros: Where to start... everything about them
Cons: Only making them at Christmas time
Ingredients and substitutions
Check out my shopping list for ingredients and equipment
There's three different layers to these mince pie brownies, but they all use simple ingredients. Here’s everything you’ll need to make them...
- Fruit Mincemeat - I love making my own mincemeat but if I'm going with a store-brought version then it has to be Robertson's. I always remember my Granny using it when I was little, so I've always used it too.
- Dark Chocolate -
- Brandy - If you don't want to use brandy you can swap out for your favourite tipple
- Caster Sugar or Superfine Sugar - Just a simple white caster sugar is perfect for these brownies as it will let all the flavours from the mincemeat come through.
- Plain Flour or All-Purpose Flour - You'll need this for both the brownie layer and the pastry.
- Unsalted Butter
- Icing Sugar or Powdered Sugar
These brownies are made with my tried and tested recipe, but there are a few flavour tweaks or shortcuts you can take. Here are my recommendations...
- Ready-rolled pastry - If making pastry isn't you thing or you want something super, super quick then grab some ready-made pastry or even better still pastry sheets and then all you have to do is open the packet and pop it in the tin!
- Milk Chocolate - If you prefer a brownie than isn't quite as rich, swap out the dark chocolate for milk chocolate instead. This will give you a lighter flavour than balances well with the pastry and buttercream layers.
- Orange Extract - Brandy goes hand-in-hand with festive bakes, but not everyone wants to add alcohol for lots of different reasons. A great swap for the brandy in the buttercream is orange extract; it adds a delicate flavour that complements the brownie layer perfectly. Why not give it a try?
CONVERT TO CUPS: There is a cup conversion option in the recipe card to convert the ingredients. This is automatic and I can't guarantee the accuracy. For best baking results, I recommend using digital scales and weighing the ingredients.
Equipment you will need
You don't need any special tools or equipment to make these mince pie brownies, but these are the exact tools I use...
- Handheld Mixer or Stand Mixer
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Rubber Spatula
- Offset Palette Knife
- Rolling Pin
- Baking Parchment
You'll also need something to bake the brownies in. I prefer to use a loose-based cake pan, but it will work in any of the following. You'll also want to make sure they have deep sides...
REMEMBER: If you make your brownies in a tin different to the recommended sizes you will need to adjust the baking times. Smaller tin - longer time/ larger tin - shorter time.
How to make mince pie brownies
Full measurements and instructions can be found on the recipe card
There may be three different layers to these brownies, but they're three super easy layers. Just follow the steps and check out my top tips and they'll be perfect every time. Here's what you need to do...
The Pastry Layer
- Gently rub together the butter and flour, in a large mixing bowl. Use your fingertips and rub-in until you have a fine sandy texture.
- Add the egg yolk to the mixture and bring everything together into a dough. If you need a little extra liquid to help bind everything, add a small drop of ice cold water.
- Roll out the dough between two pieces of baking parchment until it's 5mm thick or the thickness of a £1 coin. Peel off the top layer of parchment.
- Place the pastry layer at the bottom of a lined cake pan, using the bottom layer baking parchment to work the pastry in place. Prick the pastry all over with a fork.
- Blind-bake at 180C/ 350F for 8-10 minutes before adding the brownie layer.
TOP TIP: You can use the dough straight away but if you find your dough is sticky, wrap it in cling film or plastic wrap and pop in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.
The Brownie Layer
- Melt the butter and the chocolate together - you can do this over a pan of simmering water as a double boiler or in 30 second blasts in the microwave. When melted, stir everything together and leave to cool.
- Whisk the sugar and the eggs, in a large mixing bowl, until the mixture is thick, pale and fluffy.
- Add in the cooled melted chocolate mixture and gently stir until well combined.
- Sieve the flour and the cocoa powder together and fold into the batter mixture.
- Add the mincemeat to the batter and folding everything together until evenly mixed.
- Pour the brownie batter over the pastry layer and use the back of a spoon or an angled palette knife to level off the batter.
- Bake the brownies for 30-35 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 180C/ 350F, then cool for at least 15 minutes before lifting out to completely cool on a wire cooling rack.
TOP TIP: Whisk the eggs and the sugar for at least 3 minutes to ensure plenty of air is incorporated. This helps keep the brownies light and fudgy, rather than heavy and dense.
The Buttercream Layer
- Whisk the butter with a hand held mixer or a stand mixer with the balloon whisk attachment, on medium-high for about 3-4 minutes. The butter will become pale in colour, light and airy.
- Add the icing sugar to the butter, a tablespoon at a time, whisking well between each addition, until fully incorporated. The buttercream will be smooth but thick.
- Add the brandy and whisk again for 2-3 minutes.
- Pile the buttercream on top of the cooled brownies and smooth over with an offset palette knife.
TOP TIP: Whisking the butter before adding any other ingredients gives a light and fluffy texture that's easy to spread. Trust me, your buttercream will be transformed!
Tips for success
Although this is an easy recipe, the three layers can be a little bit of a challenge, so here are a few tips for making these brownies...
- Make sure your pastry butter is fridge cold - Keep your butter chilled in the fridge until you're ready to use it. If warms up too much you can end up with a greasy, dull pastry. Don't be afraid to pop it back in the fridge to chill if you need to.
- Part-bake the pastry layer - As you're baking the brownie layer on top of the pastry layer, it's key to only part-bake the pastry during the first bake. Normally for a tart case, I'd bake for 15-20 minutes, so for this recipe we'll bake the pastry for 8-10 minutes. This way the pastry isn't over-baked and you get the perfect, buttery layer just like a regular mince pie.
- Make sure the brownies are baked properly - To get the perfect brownie bake, that's rich and fudgy, bake the brownies until the centre is almost baked. To test if they are done, use a toothpick and poke the edge of the brownies about 1-inch in. You want the toothpick to come out with a few crumbs and a tiny smear of batter, on for them to be baked just right. If you wait until your skewer comes out of the centre of the brownie clean, then you’ve gone too far and you'll have dry, cakey brownies.
- Let the brownies cool completely - It's tempting to dive straight in and lift the brownies out of the tin, but you must wait and let them cool in the pan first. When we take them out of the oven the centre is still very soft so lifting them out too soon can cause them to fall apart. Let them cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes, before lifting out onto a wire rack to fully cool.
- Make sure you butter is at room temperature - For the buttercream frosting, it's super important that your butter is soft and at room temperature, this makes it so much easier to whip up into a light and fluffy frosting. It also makes it so much easier to spread all over the brownies with a palette knife, and prevents you from tearing the top of the brownie layer.
FAQs about mince pie brownies
Yes you certainly can! You can go for ready-to-roll or skip the rolling entirely and grab pre-rolled pastry; either way you'll need enough to line the bottom of your baking pan.
I recommend using a 9-inch square cake pan or brownie tray. This will give you a nice thick brownie layer and serve 16-24 portions.
The brownies will keep up to 5 days and are best stored in an air-tight container at room temperature.
Yes you can; the best thing is to make the brownies and freeze them then add the frosting when you're ready to serve. Once they are fully cooled, slice up the brownies, wrap in baking parchment and place in air-tight container. They will keep for 1-2 months. Remember to fully defrost the brownies before frosting and serving.
More brownie recipes to try
If you liked this mince pie brownie recipe here are some other festive chocolate recipes that I think you’d enjoy...
Did you make this recipe?
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Mince Pie Brownies
For the Pastry
- 150 g Plain Flour or All-Purpose Flour
- 35 g Icing Sugar or Powdered Sugar
- 75 g Butter Unsalted, Fridge Cold
- 1 Egg Yolk Medium
For the Brownies
- To make the pastry layer - Preheat the oven to 180C/350F, and line a 9-inch cake pan or brownie tin with baking parchment.
- Sieve the flour and icing sugar together into a large mixing bowl. Cube the fridge cold butter and add into the mixing bowl.150 g Plain Flour, 35 g Icing Sugar, 75 g Butter
- Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the dry ingredients, until it is a sandy texture. Alternatively you can pulse the ingredients together in a food processor.
- Add the egg yolk, and using a knife bring the ingredients together until it starts to form a pastry dough. You might need to use your hands to finish bringing the pastry together. If the pastry is too dry, add a drop of ice cold water to help the pastry bind.1 Egg Yolk
- Form the pastry dough into a disc and place between two sheets of baking parchment, then roll the pastry out so it is larger than your cake tin, and about 4-5mm in thickness.
- Peel off the top layer of baking parchment and use the bottom layer to lift the pastry over the cake tin. Gently press the pastry into the bottom of the pan., being careful not to stretch it. Trim off the excess.
- Lie a sheet of baking parchment on the pastry sheet and fill with baking beans, pie weights or uncooked rice. Bake the pastry for 8-10 minutes. When baked remove the parchment and weights.
- To make the brownie layer - Melt the chocolate and butter in a heat-proof bowl over a small pan of simmering water (double boiler) or in a microwave. Leave the melted mixture to cool down.200 g Dark Chocolate, 200 g Butter
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together the eggs and caster sugar with a handheld mixer for about 3 minutes until the mixture is thick, pale and fluffy. Alternatively, whisk together in a stand mixer with the balloon attachment.4 Eggs, 350 g Caster Sugar
- Pour the cooled melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and gently whisk on low speed until well combined. The mixture should be silky and smooth.
- Sieve together the flour, salt and cocoa powder, and add into the chocolate mixture. Gently fold together with a metal spoon or spatula making sure everything is well combined and there are no pockets of unmixed flour.120 g Plain Flour, 50 g Cocoa Powder, ¼ teaspoon Fine Sea Salt
- Add the fruit mincemeat into the batter. Stir everything together until well combined.150 g Mincemeat
- Pour the batter over the part-baked pastry sheet and gently smooth over with an angled spatula.
- Bake the brownies for 30-35 minutes until firm but still a little gooey in the centre. Test the brownies with a skewer after 25 minutes. Make sure you check the brownie about 1-inch from the edge of the pan; if it comes out with moist crumbs then its ready; if its still gooey bake for another 5 minutes and test again.
- Leave the brownies to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then lift out using the baking parchment and leave to fully cool on a wire cooling rack.
- To make the buttercream - In a large bowl or stand mixer with the balloon attachment, whip the butter until pale and creamy. Start on low speed for 2-3 minutes, increasing to medium/high for 4-5 minutes. Alternatively use a hand held mixer.150 g Butter
- Add the icing sugar a 2-3 tablespoons at a time, and gently beat in. Continue until all the icing sugar is combined and the buttercream is light, airy and smooth. Add the brandy to the buttercream and mix through until well combined.300 g Icing Sugar
- When the brownies are fully cooled, spoon the buttercream on top. Then using a palette knife, spread the buttercream evenly across the cake. You can add swirls with the palette knife for texture if you prefer. Sprinkle all over with icing sugar.2 tablespoon Brandy
- To serve the brownies - For perfect slices, once they are fully cooled pop the brownies in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill before cutting into pieces. They will be firmly set and you will end up with nice straight edges.
YOUR OWN NOTES
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