Mince Pie Cake

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas with this festive mince pie cake packed with fruity spiced mincemeat and frosted with a velvety brandy buttercream. It’s a fabulous twist on a traditional Christmas cake, with the flavours of mince pie.

Mince pie cake on a stand, frosted with brandy buttercream and decorated with red, white and green sprinkles

The alternative Christmas cake

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without cake, right?

That rich, dark, infused fruit cake, that you lovingly tend and feed on the run-up to the big day. That’s then enrobed with a layer of the sweetest marzipan and topped off with a slathering of Royal icing or fondant sugarpaste.

Mmm, mmm, mmm!

But what if you’re not a fan of the traditional style cake, or like me, allergic to nuts so marzipan is a no go area? I guess I could take the marzipan off and add a second layer of fondant, but that’s just a sugar overload.

Instead, why not try giving your favourite layer cake the Christmas treatment and give this Mince Pie cake a go! 

Slice of mince pie cake on a plate with a fork

Give your cake the mince pie treatment

I love the flavours of Christmas; the fragrant spices, the sweet fruit and of course… the brandy!  So when it came to creating my alternative festive cake I knew it had to have them all, perfectly balanced. Here’s how to do it…

  • Fruit Mincemeat – rather than just adding dried fruit into the mix and ending up with a fruit sponge cake, I recommend using fruit mincemeat for added spice and sweetness. How much you add to the cake batter is personal preference, but I found that after I’ve made my mince pies, there’s about ¾ of a jar, about 300g, left which is just the right amount. You can also make your own; try my mincemeat recipe!
  • Mixed Spice – adding a teaspoon of mixed spice to your cake batter really gives it that festive touch, and balances the sweetness of the buttercream frosting. If you can’t from mixed spice in the store, then I bet you have the individual spices in your pantry for a homemade version.   
  • Lemon and Orange Zest – mincemeat usually includes candied peel added into the mix, but for balancing the spices I like to add the zest of an orange and lemon as well. The citrus helps keep the cake light in flavour. Try a Microplane citrus zester for perfect zest without the pith.
  • Brandy – you can’t have a Christmas cake of any sort without a drop of brandy. For this cake, I’ve added it into the buttercream frosting, so you have an alternative to a traditional brandy butter. If you don’t want to add brandy, you could add a drop of orange extract instead.
Christmas layer cake with brandy buttercream frosting

Top tips for the best mince pie cake

  • Muscovado sugar or Caster sugar – I prefer to use a golden Caster/ Superfine sugar, as it keeps the cake light letting the spices and fruit zest flavours come through. But if you’d like a deeper taste that compliments the fruit, switch for a muscovado instead.
  • Crumb coat and chill – apply the first layer of buttercream to the cake, and level with a cake edge scraper. You don’t want a thick layer for your first layer, so don’t pile it on. After the first coat, pop in the fridge for about 30 minutes before adding a thicker second coat. This will help give your cake a smooth finish.
  • Bulk up your fillings – I like to keep the filling to just brandy buttercream, but if you want to add something extra, you could pipe a ring of buttercream around the edge of the layers and fill in the gap with extra fruit or maybe some marzipan for that traditional touch.
  • Crumble mince pies – if you wanted to take it to the next level, why not crush up mince pies and add in between the layers, and seal it in with a ring of brandy buttercream – just like I did in my Twix cake with the shortcake cookies. The texture of the pastry and the extra fruit will make this really indulgent – perfect for Christmas dessert.
  • Top with stars – if you have pastry left over from making mince pies, bake small stars and dust with icing sugar. Alternatively, you can use white sugarpaste fondant and paint with edible gold paint. Pop a star on the top of each buttercream swirl on the top of the cake.
Christmas layer cake with brandy buttercream frosting

What I used to make this mincemeat Christmas cake 

  • Store-bought mincemeat – I prefer Robertsons Classic Mincemeat, but you can use your favourite. You’ll get a great fruity and sweet mix, that’s not too wet so it’s perfect for adding to your cake batter. And it’s a great way to use up the leftovers from your mince pies. You can also make your own!
  • Cake edge scraper – since discovering this cake scraper with the top leveller, I’ve left my old bowl scraper in the kitchen drawer. This one gives you those perfectly, neat sharp edges, that I use to agonise over, for a professional finish.
  • Stand mixer with the paddle attachment – when adding the mincemeat into the cake batter, you want it to be evenly dispersed throughout, and the paddle is ideal. If you have a handheld mixer, then switch to a spatula and fold the mincemeat through by hand. You don’t want to risk breaking the fruit when mixing through.

How far ahead can I make this cake?

As with all buttercream frosted layer cakes, this mince pie cake is best eaten within 3 days of baking, and it should be kept in an airtight container. 

Depending on everything else you need to prepare for Christmas dinner, then you might want to make this on Christmas Eve, or the day before.

If you don’t have the chance to eat it all over the Holiday period, then wrap it well and pop it in the freezer for up to three months. So when you’re feeling nostalgic for the festive period, you can grab a slice in Spring.

Top view of a mince pie cake, frosted with brandy buttercream and decorated with red, white and green sprinkles

More festive baking recipes to try

If you liked this mince pie cake recipe here are some other recipes that I think you’d enjoy…

Mince Pie Cake

Mince Pie Layer Cake

5 from 11 votes
Serves : 12 slices
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas with this festive mince pie cake packed with fruity spiced mincemeat and frosted with a velvety brandy buttercream.
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes


For the Cake

For the Brandy Buttercream


  • Make the cake: Preheat oven to 160C/325F and line a 6-inch cake tin with baking parchment or three individual 6-inch cake tins.
  • Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and caster sugar together until soft and creamy. Alternatively, use an electric hand whisk and a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating between each egg until well combined. The mixture should be thick and runny.
  • Sift the flour, mixed spice and baking powder together, and gently fold half of the mixture into the cake batter. Add half the milk and mix in well. Repeat with the rest of the dry ingredients and the remaining milk. The cake batter should be smooth and creamy.
  • Add the mincemeat and gently fold into the cake batter, either by hand with a spatula or on low with the paddle attachment.
  • Split the cake batter between the cake pans, and smooth over.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
  • Make the brandy buttercream: In a large bowl or the stand mixer bowl, add the butter and beat until smooth and creamy.
  • Add a quarter of the icing sugar and beat into the butter. Once combined, add more icing sugar and repeat until all has been mixed into the butter. Continue to beat on medium-high until the buttercream is smooth and fluffy.
  • Assemble the cake: Using a large serrated knife, level the top of the cake layer and fix the ‘bottom’ layer to a 6-inch cake board with a little of the frosting.
  • Using a palette knife or a piping bag and nozzle, spread or pipe buttercream across the bottom layer. Repeat for the next layer.
  • Top the cake with the final layer, bottom-side up, and spread the buttercream over the top and sides of the cake. Use a palette knife or cake edge scraper to take off the excess buttercream and give a smooth finish. Chill the frosted cake for 15 minutes in the fridge, to allow the layer of buttercream to firm up.
  • Add another layer of buttercream to the top and sides of the cake, and remove the excess. Chill the frosted cake for another 15 minutes in the fridge.
  • Using a star nozzle pipe swirls of buttercream around the top of the cake; then scatter with sprinkles.


  • The cake will keep in an air-tight container for up to 3 days, or you can freeze it for up to 1 month, but make sure it is well wrapped before freezing. 
  • If you have any leftover brandy buttercream, pop it in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or the freezer for 3 months.
  • Make sure your eggs are at room temperature, and if not, you can warm them up by popping them in a bowl of warm tap water for 10 minutes. 
  • Make sure your butter is softened but not too soft. To test it, press a clean finger in the butter – it should leave an indent but not go all the way through.


Serving: 1sliceCalories: 603kcalCarbohydrates: 81gProtein: 5gFat: 29gSaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 127mgSodium: 402mgPotassium: 84mgFiber: 1gSugar: 66gVitamin A: 919IUCalcium: 39mgIron: 1mg


The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.

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Hi I’m Lou

… Dessert obsessed baker, busy 9-to-5er, and the recipe developer and photographer behind Crumbs and Corkscrews. Based in the UK, I live in the beautiful Cotswolds. I’m so glad to have you here with me and I can’t wait for you to start trying some of my recipes.

18 thoughts on “Mince Pie Cake”

  1. 5 stars
    Hi, I made this recipe for a baking competition at church and won a prize! Thank you

    • Awww that’s fantastic Emily! Congratulations!

  2. 5 stars
    This looks so pretty. I’m not a huge fan of traditional Christmas cake so this looks like a great alternative (especially with the mince meat in it!) #BakingCrumbs

    • Thanks Helen! I’m so glad you like it. I love it as an alternative to traditional Christmas cake as you get all the festive flavours from the mincemeat and the spices.

  3. 5 stars
    This is the cake for me as I’m not a fan of traditional Christmas cake but love mince pies and brandy buttercream definitely yes please. Beautiful and tasty!

    • Aww thanks Jo! That’s exactly why I love this cake too – I don’t eat traditional Christmas cake because of the marzipan, but I love mince pies. The spices add that little extra Christmas flavour too.

  4. 5 stars
    What a great idea! This looks and sounds fab!

    • Thank you Donna! It’s a fabulous cake to make and taste; especially if you’re not a fan of traditional Christmas cake like me. Hope you have a good Christmas!

  5. 5 stars
    What a gorgeous looking cake and it sounds so delicious too. A lighter, better alternative to Christmas cake. Thank you for bringing it to #CookBlogShare.

    • Thanks Monika! I love this as an alternative version of a Christmas Cake. You still get the fruit from the mincemeat but you also have the fluffy sponge with a touch of spice, and the buttercream too.

  6. 5 stars
    I have fallen in love with Christmas sprinkles this year so your cake made me squeal! I too don’t do the whole marzipan thing so this cake would be perfect for me. It is of course and as usual a real stunner! Your bakes are always so creatively beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing it with #BakingCrumbs

    • Awww thanks Jenny, I love baking these buttercream cakes and the different flavour combos. I’ve got so many different ones I want to get round to baking soon! I’m totally with you on the Christmas sprinkles, there are so many different shapes and colours. The supermarkets have some great ones in at the moment. The Holly and Berry were from Asda.

  7. 5 stars
    This cake looks so beautiful and festive. I really love the idea of using mincemeat as a flavouring – it sounds absolutely delicious!

    • Thanks Rosemary! The mincemeat through the cake adds that touch of Christmas, especially with the spices in there too. I love using mincemeat in bakes others than mince pies. Have a good Christmas!

  8. 5 stars
    What a beautiful cake, I love your twist on the more traditional Christmas cakes which I find can be a little heavy. This looks deliciously light and I love the spice! Thank you for sharing to #CookBlogShare

    • Thank you Lesley! I love the spice in this cake, it works so well with the buttercream and the mincemeat whilst keeping it nice and light. I don’t eat traditional Christmas cake due to the marzipan so this is my way of still having a Christmas cake with all the flavours. Hope you have a good Christmas!

  9. 5 stars
    This looks beautiful and sounds delicious. I would rather have this over a traditional Christmas Cake any day!

    • Thanks Cat! I love a good buttercream cake, and can’t have traditional cake because of the marzipan so this one ticks all my boxes for an alternative Christmas cake. It works well for cupcakes too. Have a good Christmas!

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