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This recipe is classed as easy

Rating 2.94 / 5 (209 votes)

Prep time:
20 min
Cook time:
25 min
makes 12 muffins

Fun, festive and easy to make - Rachel Allen's sweet Christmas recipe offers a tasty alternative to mince pies


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line a 12-cup muffin tray with paper cases.

2. For the mincemeat: Place all the mincemeat ingredients in a saucepan and set over a medium heat, allowing it to simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until nearly all the liquid has gone. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

3. For the muffins: Cream the butter until soft in a large bowl or in an electric food mixer. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Whisk the eggs together in a small bowl for a few seconds or just until mixed, then gradually add them to the creamed butter mixture, beating all the time.

4. Beat in the cooled mincemeat, then sift in the flour and baking powder and fold in gently to combine. Divide between the muffin cases, filling each three-quarters full, then bake for 20-25 minutes, or until well risen, deep golden on top and lightly springy to the touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the tin and placing on a wire rack to cool down completely.

5. For the icing: Whisk together all the icing ingredients and place in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring continuously, then remove from the heat and transfer to a large bowl or an electric food mixer. Using a hand-held electric beater or the food mixer, whisk continuously for a few minutes until the mixture has cooled and become very thick.

6. Spoon the icing onto the cooled muffins, and sprinkle with extra grated nutmeg for decoration. For an even more festive touch, you could decorate the tops of the muffins with fondant holly leaves, adding one or two to each cake, depending on the size of the leaves.

Text © Rachel Allen 2012. Photography © Philip Webb 2012.
Recipe from:


  • 50 g mixed dried fruit
  • 50 g soft dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 cooking apple, peeled, cored and grated
  • 1 orange, juiced and zested
  • 1 tbsp brandy or whiskey

For the muffins

For the icing

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 25 ml brandy or whiskey
  • 100 ml double or regular cream
  • 1/2 tsp finely grated nutmeg, plus extra for dusting

Tips and suggestions

If you want to speed up the process even more, use 175g of ready-made mincemeat

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Latest Comment


CarolynJ9750 CarolynJ9750  Posted 22 Dec 2013 10:59 AM

I saw this on the TV, and thought I'd make it the next time the baking urge hit me. not a lover of Eggnog and wanted to keep it more child friendly, I put icing on top.

Gizmo_G Gizmo_G  Posted 12 Dec 2013 4:33 PM