Brandy and Mincemeat Cake Recipe

Brandy and Mincemeat Cake, an easy, light, warmly spiced fruitcake alternative
Brandy and Mincemeat Cake is the cake for people who don’t like fruitcake. It’s got all the Christmassy flavours we crave without the heaviness of a typical dark fruitcake.

History of Brandy and Mincemeat Cake

I have been making Brandy and Mincemeat Cake for years, and first blogged it way back in 2009. But this year, I’ve found a way to give this wonderful, Christmassy cake a makeover. Not only does it taste even better – it looks better too!

Brandy and Mincemeat Cake has always been delicious – but this year I’ve adjusted the spices to give it even more flavour. I’ve also changed the pan I bake it in. For years I used an eight inch round pan to make this cake, but it did have a tendency to sink a bit in the middle. So even though it tasted amazing, it wasn’t a beautiful cake. This year I decided to bake the mixture in a 13 x 9 inch pan and serve it cut in squares. It was a very successful experiment!

Brandy and Mincemeat Cake - an easy, light, warmly spiced alternative to dark fruitcakes

What is Mincemeat?

While individual recipes may vary, mincemeat is a mixture of currants, raisins, sugar, apples, candied peel, spices and suet (a solid, shredded fat) all cooked together. Sometimes brandy, rum or other wines or spirits are added for flavour. More recently, cranberries or dried apricots may also be included. Mincemeat is a very traditional ingredient here in England and we’ve been using it in cooking and baking since the Tudor times.

Mincemeat does not contain any meat, although it does contain a shredded solid form of fat called suet. Some mincemeat contains beef suet, other varieties use vegetarian suet. While I can buy jars of mincemeat easily in any grocery store here in England, I know it can be harder to source if you live in North America. If you can’t find mincemeat near you, click here for an easy recipe from Jean at Delightful Repast. There is also a vegetarian sugar and suet free recipe from Vicky at Gluten Free SCD and Veggie.

Tips for Making Brandy and Mincemeat Cake

You can use a traditional dried fruit mixture that you buy in the supermarket, or mix your own with your favourite dried fruits. Sultanas and chopped dried apricots make a great combo but I have also used raisins or sultanas on their own very successfully.

Dark rum or whiskey work well in place of brandy, but please don’t skimp on the alcohol as it is what makes this cake so deliciously moist. If you need an alcohol free cake, you could substitute orange juice for the booze. If you are using alcohol it’s really nice to soak the fruit for a few hours if you can, stirring it from time to time, however I’ve been known to only leave the dried fruit soaking for about half an hour and the cake still tastes lovely.

Use unrefined icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar) for the glaze if possible. It gives a really lovely colour to the cake.

Brandy and Mincemeat Cake will keep, covered, at room temperature for three to five days. It’s one of those wonderful cakes that gets even more delicious as time goes on.

Mincemeat Cake Slice

I like to serve Brandy and Mincemeat Cake on its own with a cup of tea or coffee, or as a more substantial dessert with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream.

Brandy and Mincemeat Cake Recipe

Cuts into about 20 small squares, or 15 larger pieces.

1 cup mixed dried fruit, chopped if in large pieces
6 tablespoons brandy
1¾ cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ cup butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
¾ cup white sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
1 cup mincemeat

For the topping

2 tablespoons demerera or turbinado sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon

For the glaze

1 cup of icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar), unrefined if possible
2 to 3 tablespoons water

Brandy and Mincemeat Cake Instructions

Put the dried fruit in a bowl and pour the brandy over top. Stir to mix and cover with some Saran wrap or cling film. Leave for at least 30 minutes or up to 12 hours, stirring occasionally, so the alcohol can soak into the fruit.

Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Lightly grease a 13 x 9 inch pan with butter.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Set aside.

Cream the butter or sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl with a spatula and beating well after each addition.

Beat in the flour and spice mixture, a little at a time.

Add the mincemeat and mix until combined.

Remove the bowl from the electric mixer and use a wooden spoon to fold in the mixed dried fruit, along with any remaining brandy in the bowl.

Put the batter in the prepared pan, spreading it out to the edges with a spatula. It may look like there isn’t enough batter to fill the pan, but if you coax the batter to the edges of the pan it fills it nicely.

Mix the topping ingredients together and sprinkle over the batter.

Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Cool on a rack for 15 minutes before carefully removing from the pan. Allow to cool completely before glazing.

To make the glaze, add the water to the icing sugar a little at a time, until a smooth, pourable consistency is reached. Drizzle the glaze over the cake.

Allow the glaze to set before cutting into squares to serve.

Printable Recipe

5.0 from 6 reviews
Brandy and Mincemeat Cake Recipe
 
Ingredients
  • For the cake:-
  • 1 cup mixed dried fruit, chopped if in large pieces
  • 6 tablespoons brandy
  • 1¾ cups flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup mincemeat
  • For the topping:-
  • 2 tablespoons demerera or turbinado sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • For the glaze:-
  • 1 cup of icing sugar (confectioner's sugar), unrefined if possible
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons water
Instructions
  1. Put the dried fruit in a bowl and pour the brandy over top. Stir to mix and cover with some Saran wrap or cling film. Leave for at least 30 minutes or up to 12 hours, stirring occasionally, so the alcohol can soak into the fruit.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Lightly grease a 13 x 9 inch pan with butter.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Set aside.
  4. Cream the butter or sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl with a spatula and beating well after each addition.
  5. Beat in the flour and spice mixture, a little at a time.
  6. Add the mincemeat and mix until combined.
  7. Remove the bowl from the electric mixer and use a wooden spoon to fold in the mixed dried fruit, along with any remaining brandy in the bowl.
  8. Put the batter in the prepared pan, spreading it out to the edges with a spatula. It may look like there isn't enough batter to fill the pan, but if you coax the batter to the edges of the pan it fills it nicely.
  9. Mix the topping ingredients together and sprinkle over the batter.
  10. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  11. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes before carefully removing from the pan. Allow to cool completely before glazing.
  12. To make the glaze, add the water to the icing sugar a little at a time, until a smooth, pourable consistency is reached.
  13. Drizzle the glaze over the cake.
  14. Allow the glaze to set before cutting into squares to serve.

 

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Article by April Harris

April has written 1236 great articles for us.
April is a food, lifestyle and travel writer who lives in Berkshire, England. She shares inspiration, tips and trends for anyone who loves food, cooking, entertaining, fashion, travel and the finer things in life at her blog, AprilJHarris.com.
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Comments

  1. This sounds so unique and delicious, thanks for sharing!

  2. I love finding new dessert ideas like this, especially when I gt to learn about it’s history! Looks amazing!!

  3. I’ve always wondered exactly what mincemeat is. Thanks for clarifying it! This cake looks so delicious, I can’t wait to give it a whirl!

    Luci’s Morsels | fashion. food. frivolity.

  4. Looks delicious April. Love the combo of brandy and mincemeat cake.

  5. Yum, this recipe just begs to be made for Christmas and it’s getting me super excited as the big day draws closer. Can’t wait to make this and spoil our family and friends. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  6. Dear April, I didn’t knew this cake and since, I’ve read its name, ingredients and history, I’m amazed. Spanish and British cooking are different, but, this mincemeat cake is a must for Christmas.
    Thanks for sharing.

  7. Two of my favorites in one cake. I can’t wait to make this. Lovely recipe.

  8. April, this caught my eye because I am a mincemeat fan from way back, but I didn’t know you had mentioned and linked to my mincemeat recipe! Thank you! This cake is going to the top of my must-try list. I just have to decide which pan to use. I have a 12-inch round, which equals a 13×9, and an 11-inch square, which equals a 13×9, and of course a 13×9. Or maybe I’ll make two 7-inch rounds. Can you tell I have too many pans?! 😀

    • Hi Jean – I updated the post recently and inserted a link to your recipe as your mincemeat sounds so good! I highly recommend using the 13 x 9 inch pan. The mixture tends to sink in the middle a bit in the round pans. It still tastes good, but it’s much prettier in the 13 x 9. It’s great to have a choice though!

  9. This looks so delicious, April. Though I am not a huge fan of the dense dried fruit cakes, but yours looks lighter and so flavorful! Pinning and tweeting to try later.

  10. Hi April,
    I am so interested in your Brandy and Mincemeat Cake. My Grandmother made a Mincemeat pie that I loved, but I have never had a Mincemeat Cake, can’t wait to try the recipe. Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday and have a great week!
    Miz Helen

    • Hi Miz Helen, I’m interested to read about your Grandmother’s mincemeat pie. Mincemeat pies and tarts are so popular over here in the UK, but it’s fairly rare to find them in the US. Thank you so much for hosting. I hope you are having a great week too.

  11. This sounds so tasty April, I would love to try some right now, yummy 🙂 Thanks for sharing at the weekend blog hop. Would love you to share at this weeks Creative Mondays blog hop ..

  12. What a fabulous idea to make this in a 9 x 13 inch pan. This way you can feed so many more people.

  13. What a pretty cake! I never knew exactly what mincemeat was.

  14. This sounds like my kind of fruitcake! The traditional kind is too dense and potent for me!

  15. This cake looks absolutely perfect for the holidays! Thank you for the recipe!

  16. Jenn @ peas and crayons says:

    I love that you amped up the spices to add more flavor – totally something I would do too! This looks delicious 🙂

  17. Congratulations April!
    Your recipe is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. Enjoy your new Red Plate and thanks so much for sharing with us.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen