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Mincemeat Muffins: A Healthier Take on the Traditional Pie

Yvonne Spence grew up on the Shetland Isles. She loves to create healthy recipes.

Tasty mincemeat muffins

Tasty mincemeat muffins

A Modern Take on the Traditional Mincemeat Pie

These festive muffins are a lighter alternative to the traditional British mince pies and are great for sharing with visitors over the holidays. This recipe makes 12 standard-sized muffins.

Healthy Mincemeat Muffins

Although all muffins tend to be lower in saturated fat and cholesterol than mince pies, these muffins are even lower than most. That's because the recipe uses sunflower oil instead of butter and water instead of milk.

Longer-Lasting Muffins

Another advantage of using water is that the muffins keep fresh longer—though these probably won't last long enough for you to find out. I use a pureed dates instead of sugar, but I have also included quantities for sugar should you prefer to use this.

Necessary Equipment

  • Large baking bowl
  • Small bowl
  • Glass measuring jug
  • 12-hole standard muffin tin
  • Festive paper muffin cases or red and green silicone muffin cases
  • Kitchen scales, if you have them

How to Make Your Own “Mincemeat"

If you don’t have any mincemeat, you could get a similar effect:

  1. Finely chop 1 apple.
  2. Put the chopped apple in a pan.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of sultanas or raisins, 1 teaspoon of mixed spice, and 1 tablespoon of molasses. To make it even more festive add 1 tablespoon of cranberries.
  4. Cook the mixture gently until the apples are soft.
  5. Use this mixture as your mincemeat.

Ingredients

  • 9 oz / 250g / 2 cups and 2 tablespoons flour (I use a mix of half plain and half whole grain, but you can vary this according to taste.)
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder (If you are using self-raising flour, reduce this to 1 teaspoon.)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon and a pinch of cloves, or 1 teaspoon of mixed spice
  • 2 eggs
  • 4fl oz / 90ml / 1/2 cup sunflower or corn oil
  • Around 6–8 fl oz / 60–90ml / 3/4–1 cup water, with some extra if using the dates. (The quantity of water needed will vary depending on the flour used; wholemeal needs more than white flour.)
  • Around 100gram / 4 oz mincemeat (This is about a third of a jar. Mincemeat keeps well in the fridge, so you can store the rest to use another time.)
  • 4 oz / 110g / 1/2 cup dried dates (or 3 oz / 85g / 1/3 cup sugar)

Method

  1. Line muffin tins with paper cases. Preheat oven to 190–200C / 375–400F or 170C for a fan oven. Gas: mark 5–6 on middle rack; 4–5 on top.
  2. If using dates, put them in a small pan, with just enough water to cover them, and boil gently for a few minutes, until the dates look soft and most of the water is absorbed. Then remove from the heat and puree. A hand-held blender is ideal for this. (The photo opposite shows the texture of dates put through a food processor, a handheld blender will get them even smoother, but mine is currently broken!)
  3. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and cinnamon and cloves (see photo.)
  4. In another bowl, beat eggs with a fork. Add the oil and around half of the water.
  5. Add pureed dates or sugar to wet ingredients.
  6. Pour all of the wet mixture into the dry. Stir until just combined and no dry flour is visible. Add more of the water until the mixture can easily drop off your spoon. (How much water you need will vary depending on the type of flour you use. Wholemeal generally needs more than white.)
  7. Using a dessert spoon, place a layer of mixture in each muffin case. This should use about half your mixture.
  8. Place 1 teaspoon of mincemeat on each muffin (see photo).
  9. Spoon the remaining mixture into the muffin cases, covering over the mincemeat (see photo).
  10. Bake for 20–25 minutes for standard size.
  11. To check for doneness, press a muffin top gently. If it springs back, then the muffins are done.
  12. Let them cool a little before you eat them, as mincemeat gets very hot.

Comments

BarbaraCasey on December 12, 2014:

I made mincemeat muffins for the first time last year, after finding myself with leftover mincemeat from a terrific baked apple with mincemeat recipe on a Squidoo lens (now hub). I hadn't seen the "trick" of putting the mincemeat mixture in between two layers of batter before. I'll have to try that.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on December 20, 2012:

Oh Kelly, you are missing out, mincemeat is great. (And I don't usually like raisins, but somehow the mincemeat transforms them.) Thanks for your comment and have an awesome holiday and Holidays!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on December 20, 2012:

Susan, we used to always make tarts too, but I find these so much quicker to do. And you are right they are delicious.

Thanks for your kind wishes and Merry Christmas to you and yours too!

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on December 19, 2012:

The muffins look awesome, I've never ever had mincemeat! I'm glad you added the instructions in the blue box so I could imagine:)

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on December 18, 2012:

I usually make mincemeat tarts at this time of year but I must say I think I'd rather have your Mincemeat muffins. Sound delicious!

Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on February 19, 2012:

Hi alocsin,

Thanks for reading this hub. I was noticing last night it’s not had many views lately and thought it probably won’t till Christmas is close again, so it’s particularly nice to see you here! And why not! Mincemeat muffins can be eaten at any time of year. Hope you enjoy them! And thanks for the vote up.

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on February 18, 2012:

Mincemeat muffins! I love it. Healthier than a full pie, in the sense that instead of gorging on a quarter or half a pie, which I tend to do, I can just have a little muffin. Voting this Up and Useful.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on December 31, 2011:

Hi phdast7

Thanks for your comment. I hope your children enjoy the muffins. They might even enjoy making them!

Theresa Ast from Atlanta, Georgia on December 30, 2011:

Sounds wonderful. I love mincemeat pie, but none of my children care for it. I think I will try this recipe on them. Muffins, especially fruit ones, are always a big hit. :)

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on December 30, 2011:

Hi Deborah,

Oh my, you have been missing out! You’d never get through Christmas in the UK without trying mince pies - though I do know one person who doesn’t like raisins and so never eats them. Having said that, I’m not keen on raisins in cakes but I love mincemeat. I hope you enjoy the recipe, and thank you for your comment.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on December 30, 2011:

Hi Simone,

Thanks for your comment, and glad you like the hub and the photos. Hope you enjoy the muffins if you make them.

Deborah Brooks Langford from Brownsville,TX on December 30, 2011:

Thanks for the recipe.. sounds great. I don't think I have ever had mincemeat.. I think I will try it since you have this wonderful recipe on here.. and pictures. Thanks for sharing.

Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on December 30, 2011:

Wow, these look amazing!! Your photos are awesome, and I love the adaptation on a British classic. Thanks for the awesome recipe!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on December 30, 2011:

HI grayareas,

Thanks for your comment; it’s useful to know you found it clear.

grayareas from Sanford, North Carolina on December 29, 2011:

Love the clarity of your recipe!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on December 29, 2011:

HI Maren, and thanks very much for your comment and vote up. I’m glad the pictures help. Please do let me know which expressions aren’t easy to understand as I am trying to make my recipes as "bi-lingual" as as I can - hence all the different ways for amounts.

Maren Elizabeth Morgan from Pennsylvania on December 29, 2011:

This is a brilliant idea! And, I love all your pictures which help me understand your British expressions for amounts and equipment. VU and more!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on December 29, 2011:

Hi Brian,

I think you will find these easy to do, even if you’re not much of a cake maker! Hope you enjoy them. Glad you like the pictures, I’m trying to include more in my recipe hubs to make them easier to follow.

Thanks for you comment and the vote up, much appreciated! Hope you are enjoying the festive season.

Brian Slater from England on December 29, 2011:

Melovy I'm not much of cake maker myself but I do like trying out new things and these look really yummy. We're always on the look out at Christmas for some alternative cakes from "plain old mince pies", although the first and second ones are nice at the beginning of December. Great pictures btw. voted up.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on December 29, 2011:

HI Missolive,

Glad you like the recipe, and I hope you enjoy making them. I find muffins so easy to make.

I’m interested to read that your grandmother made mincemeat pies because I wasn’t sure how common they were in the States - what I found when I did a little research suggested they are less common with you than here in the UK.

Marisa Hammond Olivares from Texas on December 29, 2011:

These sound great Melovy - I love this variation. My grandmother used to make mincemeat pies for Christmas. How I miss her baking!

Bookmarking with my HP recipes :)