Vegan Mince Pies
These vegan mince pies make the perfect Christmas snack. Mini dairy-free shortcrust pastry pies filled with sweetly spiced fruity mincemeat. They’re easy to make, with simple ingredients, and taste delicious warmed up with a glass of mulled wine!
Following my vegan mincemeat post, I’m bringing you this tasty eggless mince pie recipe! If you’ve never experienced a British Christmas mince pie before, I know what you’re thinking…
But fret not, friends, these pies do not actually contain meat. These are vegetarian mince pies made with fruit!
There once was a time in history when they were made with meat but nowadays, Christmas mince pies are made with dried fruits, spices, nuts and citrus, and sometimes alcohol too.
If you’re lucky, you might find accidentally vegan mince pies. But more often than not, they contain dairy or egg in the pastry or suet (which is fat that comes from an animal) in the filling. That means that sometimes they’re not even suitable for vegetarians!
Related post: 25 sweet vegan pie recipes
There are a few brands out there who make dairy-free mince pies now which is great. But the ones I tried last year had super crumbly pastry and were a little bland if I’m being honest. That solidified my belief think that nothing beats a homemader and I decided to create my own recipe. I wanted to make sure my vegetarian mince pies can be enjoyed suet-free and dairy-free this Christmas.
For the pie crusts, I used my own homemade dairy-free shortcrust pastry. It’s super easy and doesn’t take too long to make. But if you want to make this recipe easier, you can use ready-to-roll or ready-rolled pastry. Or you could make your own pastry and use jarred mincemeat (just make sure it is suitable for vegetarians).
Many pre-made pastry blocks/sheets are made with vegetable oils instead of dairy so they’re actually vegan-friendly. Here are some that I know of:
Fruit mincemeat pie filling
As I mentioned above, you could use a ready-made Christmas mincemeat if you want to make the recipe a little easier. But in my opinion, the homemade version is much tastier! And although it looks like there are a lot of ingredients, it’s SO easy to make.
If you’re ready to make your own, just follow the recipe below, preferably at least 1 day in advance. This will ensure the liquid is thick and syrupy, which makes for the best mince pie filling. You can check out my vegan mincemeat post for more information and tips!
To a large pan, add the following:
- 325g mixed dried fruit (I used a combination of raisins, sultanas, cranberries and glace cherries)
- 50g mixed peel (also known as candied peel)
- 1 small cooking apple, cored and finely chopped
- 50g blanched almonds, finely chopped
- 100g soft light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp all spice
- Juice and zest from 1/2 lemon
- 50g dairy-free margarine (The spreadable kind is best- this is used instead of suet to make the mince pies vegetarian.)
- 150ml dark rum, whisky or sherry (or use fruit juice for alcohol-free)
If you plan to store the mincemeat for any longer than 1 month, stir in the alcohol at the end when the rest of the mixture is cool, then store in clean, sterilised jars with lids. It’ll last for up to 2 years in a cool, dry place. Otherwise (or if using fruit juice), store in airtight containers or jars in the fridge for up to 1 month.
Contrary to popular belief, cooking the rum will not get rid of all of the alcohol, especially if you’re only heating it for a short time. It will reduce it but not completely. Spirits have to be heated to high temperatures for an extended period of time, and even then may still contain a small amount of alcohol. If you are making these for children to enjoy, it’s best to avoid the alcohol completely just to be on the safe side. You can use an equal amount of fruit juice such as apple, orange or pineapple.
Turn the heat on low and stir the mixture occasionally until the dairy-free margarine has fully melted. Turn the heat up to medium, cover with a lid and gently simmer for 10 minutes. Stir every so often.
After the 10 minutes are up, remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool completely.
Store the mincemeat in an airtight container or jar in the fridge for 24 hours before using as your mince pie filling.
If you prefer to buy a jar of ready-made mincemeat for ease, try one of these vegetarian mincemeat brands:
- Robertson’s traditional mincemeat (they sell this in many UK shops such as Tesco, Asda and B&M)
- Tesco mincemeat
- M&S brandy and clementine mincemeat
Most ready-made mincemeat is vegan-friendly nowadays but be sure to check the labels for ingredients such as beef suet, lamb suet or any dairy.
How to make vegan mince pies
First, I’ll run through how to make the best shortcrust pastry for dairy-free mince pies, then the baking instructions!
Before you begin, make sure you have a cupcake tin to hand.
Add 285g of plain/all-purpose flour to a large bowl.
Next, add 180g of cold vegan margarine and rub it in with your fingers until you have a mixture that resembles breadcrumbs.
You need to use the spreadable type of vegan “butter” (similar to margarine) for this recipe and not the blocky type. The two have different water contents and will work differently in the pastry.
Stir in 20g of icing sugar. This helps to add a little sweetness to the pastry without making it too sickly.
Next, add 20ml of ice cold water to the bowl. This is around 4 teaspoons- I recommend using measuring spoons so that it’s exact. If you add too much water, the pastry will turn out tough after baking.
Mix it into the rest of the ingredients until everything starts to stick together. Then use your hands to press it into a ball of dough. It will look crumbly at first but will eventually come together.
I recommend running your hands under cold water (then drying them) before handling the dough. Keeping your hands cool will prevent the fat from melting in the heat of your hands and making the dough too sticky.
Cover the dough in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill. This will help the pastry to hold its shape as it bakes.
At the same time, preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F (or 160°C/325°F for fan or convection ovens).
Once chilled, remove the pastry from the fridge and gently press it in your hands for a few seconds to get rid of any cracks.
On a floured surface, roll the dough out to about 3mm (1/8″ thick). You want it to be quite thin but just thick enough to hold the mincemeat filling without breaking.
Use extra flour on the surface and your rolling pin if the dough starts to stick.
Use a fluted cookie cutter, that is slightly larger than the cupcake holes in your tin, to cut out 12 circles. You can reroll leftover pieces as needed. For reference, I used a 3.5-inch cutter and my tin was 3-inches wide.
Using the leftover dough, cut out 12 stars using a star-shaped cookie cutter. These will be the tops of your eggless mince pies and they should be the same thickness as the bases.
Place a circle of dough into each cupcake hole and gently press into place. Fill each once with mincemeat then add one of the dough stars on top. Make sure you get some of the mincemeat liquid in each pie to prevent a dry filling. While they’ll still be delicious, you won’t get that classic sticky filling that we’re after here.
Bake the pies in the oven for 25 minutes. They will continue baking for a few minutes after they’re out of the oven but the fillings should be bubbling when they come out. Let them cool completely before removing them from the tin.
Lightly dust the cooled pies with icing sugar before enjoying. I recommend serving them warmed up with a glass of mulled wine.
Keep them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place such as a kitchen cupboard for up to 7 days.
Yes, fruit mince pies can be frozen once cooled. Pop them in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Alternatively, you can freeze the cooked pies on a baking tray for 2 hours then pop them into a ziplock bag before returning to the freezer.
When you’re ready to eat them, transfer them to a wire rack and let them sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours until defrosted. Do not refreeze.
Yes. Vegan mince pies taste delicious cold but are usually enjoyed heated up. You can pop them in the microwave in 10 second bursts until warm. Alternatively, you can warm them in a preheated oven for a few minutes at 130°C/265°F (or 110°C/230°F for fan or convection ovens).
Yes, if you’re making this recipe for children, you can substitute the alcohol in the mincemeat for an equal amount of fruit juice such as apple, orange or pineapple. Alternatively, you can use a pre-made mincemeat, as most of them are vegan-friendly these days and are made without alcohol. Just be sure to double check the ingredients!
More vegan Christmas desserts:
I hope you enjoy my vegetarian mince pies! If you make them at home yourself, please let me know how you get on by leaving a comment and/or rating below. Happy baking!xo
Vegan Mince Pies (Dairy-Free)
Eggless mince pies for Christmas. Homemade dairy-free shortcrust pastry pies with a fruity mincemeat filling.
For the mince pie filling:
- 50 g Vegan margarine (3 tablespoons)
- 330 g Mixed dried fruit, roughly chopped (2+⅓ cups) I used a mixture of raisins, sultanas, cranberries and glace cherries
- 50 g Blanched almonds, finely chopped (⅓ cup)
- 50 g Mixed candied peel (3 tablespoons)
- 1 Small Bramley apple, peeled cored and finely chopped sub for any other green apple
- 100 g Soft light brown sugar (½ cup)
- ½ Teaspoon Cinnamon
- ½ Teaspoon All spice
- Juice and zest ½ Lemon
- 150 ml Dark rum (½ cup + 2 tablespoons) sub for sherry or brandy, or use fruit juice for alcohol-free
For the eggless shortcrust pastry:
- 285 g Plain flour (2 cups + 2 tablespoons)
- 180 g Cold vegan margarine (¾ cup) the spreadable kind, not the blocky kind
- 20 g Icing sugar (3 tablespoons)
- 20 ml Cold water (4 teaspoons)*
Mince pie filling:
Add all of the mincemeat ingredients to a large pan. Heat on low until the margarine has melted.
Turn the heat up to medium-low, cover with a lid and gently simmer for 10 minutes. Stir every so often.
When the 10 minutes are up, remove the pan from the heat and leave it to cool. If preparing in advance, store the cooled mincemeat in an airtight container or a jar in the fridge- it'll keep well for up to 1 month.
For the eggless shortcrust pastry:
Add the flour to a large bowl then rub in the cold margarine until you have a mixture that resembles breadcrumbs.
Stir in the icing sugar.
Add the water and stir until the dough starts to stick together. Use your hands to press it into a ball of dough. It will seem crumbly at first but will come together.
Cover the dough and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill. This will help the pastry hold its shape when it's baking. **Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F (or 160°C/325°F for fan or convection ovens).**
After the 30 minutes are up, gently press the dough in your hands to get rid of any cracks or crumbly bits. Roll the dough out on a floured surface to 3mm thick (⅛ of an inch). Turn and add more flour often to prevent it sticking.
Cut out 12 circles using a fluted cookie cutter that is slightly larger than the holes of a cupcake tin, re-rolling as needed. I used a 3.5-inch cutter and the holes in my tin were 3-inches wide.
Using the leftover dough, cut out 12 stars using a star-shaped cookie cutter. These will be the tops of your mince pies.
Place a circle of dough into each hole in your cupcake tin and gently press into place.
Fill each one with some of the mincemeat, then place one of the stars on top. Make sure to get a small amount of the mincemeat liquid in each pie so you don't end up with a dry filling.
Bake for 25 minutes. The filling should be bubbling.
Let the mince pies cool completely in the tin before removing.
- I recommend making the mincemeat at least a day in advance if you can. It’s not essential, but the extra time will give the liquid a chance to thicken and become syrupy, and will also enhance the flavour.
- Cup measurements are an estimate and have not been tested with this recipe. Use a scale for best results.
- *Use measuring spoons if you can. If you use too much or too little water, it will alter the end result.
- Mincemeat recipe adapted from Mary Berry’s special mincemeat.