Christmas Sweet Mince Pies are a traditional British holiday dessert. Dried fruit, apple, citrus and brown sugar all soaked in brandy make up the filling inside homemade pie crusts. Individually made so everyone gets their own.

Pies stacked on a wood board

Growing up in England, it never really felt like the Christmas season until the sweet mince pies made an appearance. They truly are the best part of a traditional British Christmas. But they don’t just have to be saved for Christmas day. I make the a few days before because I love them so much and can’t be confined to enjoying just one day.

Powdered sugar being sprinkled

For this mince pie recipe,I make my own mincemeat recipe.  It is a tasty combination of currants, raisins, brandy, apples, candied orange peel, orange and lemon zest, spices and brown sugar.

Making Mincemeat filling ahead of time

Traditional mince pies taste best if the sweet mincemeat  is made ahead of time and has time to sit and let the flavors of the orange zest, lemon zest, fruits, brandy and spices combine. Overnight is fine, but up to a week is better. If you don’t have time for this, no problem they are still really good.

Traditional Christmas mince pies have beef suet in the filling. Suet is brand of beef fat in the U.K. Since I am an expat living in the U.S., it’s not easy for me to buy so I have constructed this recipe without it.

Best pastry for homemade mince pies

My homemade shortcrust pastry that is made very easily in the food processor by blending the flour with cold butter for the flaky, buttery pastry. This is my go-to pastry for my sweet and savory pies.

Speaking of pies (and not to be confused with mince pie filling) In England we also have a savory mince pie which is made with ground beef. 

An overhead image of the pies with holiday decorations

Before I started writing my own recipes, I used to make recipes from the British chefs Delia Smith or Jamie Oliver. I am so glad I now have my own recipe that I am so happy with and all the readers who have made them are too.

Would you believe that these pies used to actually be made with meat? I think we can all think the evolution of the recipe to make them now fruit mince pies and happy to never try the meat version.

Best baking pan for fruit mincemeat pies

I use a standard 12-cup muffin tin.

A closeup of a pie showing the decorative pastry snowflake

Christmas themed

Since these pies are traditional served at Christmas time, I used my favorite pastry cutters to cut out snowflake shapes for the top to make them more festive.

Storing Mince Pies

Store cooled mince pies in an airtight container to prevent them absorbing any surrounding flavors or odors.  Store in a cool, dry place like a cabinet. Avoid the fridge as this can affect the texture. Room temperature is best and consume within 1 week.

Freezing mince pies

Already baked and cooled, they do well when individually wrapped in plastic wrap then in an airtight container. Make sure to date them and they will last for 2-3 months.

Kid friendly Mince Pies

They are for the whole family, but if you choose not to serve brandy to children, you can substitute the brandy with apple cider/juice or orange juice.

If you’ve tried these Christmas Sweet Mince Pies please leave a star rating in the recipe card. You can also ask a question or leave a comment at the end of the page.

Yield: 12 pies

Christmas Sweet Mince Pies

Christmas Sweet Mince Pies on a wood board dusted with powdered sugar

Dried fruit, apple, citrus and brown sugar all soaked in brandy make up the filling inside homemade pie crusts.

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes


  • For the filling:
  • 1 cup/5 ounces (142 grams) currants
  • 1 cup/5 ounces (142 grams) raisins
  • ¼ cup (59 ml) brandy
  • ½ cup (70 grams) green apple, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 ounces (56 grams) candied peel of your choice
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Zest of ½ an orange
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • ½ cup (100 grams) dark brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (57 grams) butter, cold
  • For the dough:
  • 1 ½ cups (225 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, cubed and kept cold
  • ½ cup cold water
  • For the topping:
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon powdered/confectioners sugar


  1. Add the currants, raisins and brandy to a large bowl. Allow to soak for 1-2 hours up to overnight.
  2. While they soak, make the dough.
  3. To make the pastry in a food processor: Add the flour, sugar, salt and butter. Pulse until you get the texture of fine breadcrumbs. With the processor running, slowly drizzle in just enough cold water until it forms a ball, you may not use it all.
  4. To make the pastry by hand: Add the flour, sugar, salt and butter to a large bowl. Using your fingertips (or a pastry cutter) rub the butter and flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Drizzle in the water and mix using a fork until the it starts to come together and holds together when pressed in your hand. You may not need all of the water.
  5. Remove the dough, form into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 10-15 minutes.
  6. While the dough chills, make the rest of the filling. To the brandy soaked currants and raisins, add the apples, candied peel, orange juice and zest & lemon zest, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar. Use a box grater to grate in the cold butter, mix well.
  7. Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C.
  8. Butter a 12-count muffin pan.
  9. On a floured surface roll out the pastry to about 1/8-inch (3 mm) thick and use a 4-inch (10 cm) round cutter to cut rounds and place each into the cups of the muffin pan so the edges meet the edges of the cups of the pan. Scoop 5 tablespoons of the filling into each of the cups.
  10. Re-roll out the remaining pastry and cut out holiday shapes of your choice. Place them on top of the filling and brush the shapes with the beaten egg and sprinkle lightly with the confectioners sugar.
  11. Bake for 20-25 minutes (depending on your oven) until the pastry is golden brown.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 171Total Fat 6gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 31mgSodium 111mgCarbohydrates 27gFiber 1gSugar 13gProtein 2g

This nutrition calculation is provided by Nutronix that is only a guideline and not intended for any particular diet.