These incredible vegan mince pie brownies combine two delicious desserts to make a rich, festive, indulgent treat.
With a shortbread base, layer of fruity mincemeat and fudgy chocolate brownie on top, these are the ultimate dessert for Christmas!
These amazing vegan mince pie brownies combine the two, and the result is incredibly good!
With a combination of shortbread, mincemeat and fudgy brownie, they are very rich and indulgent; I sliced mine into 12 pieces, but you could easily cut them into 16 instead.
The flavour is perfect for the festive season - chocolate, fruit, spice, booze and buttery biscuit.
Vegan block butter: For the best results you need to use a block butter/margarine, NOT the spreadable kind in a tub which has too high a water content for baking. I use Naturli Vegan Block or Flora Plant Butter.
Non-dairy milk: Non-dairy milk replaces the moisture from the eggs. Soy milk is best for baking and is pretty much all I use as it has the highest protein content, but any variety will work.
Sugar: Sugar doesn't just provide sweetness in these brownies, it is also essential for the texture so don't reduce it! The crisp, shiny crust is achieved by making sure that the sugar is fully dissolved before baking; we do this by heating it up with the milk and butter.
I use caster sugar as it dissolves easily; granulated will also work. I don't recommend swapping it for brown sugar, liquid sugars or sweeteners as that will affect the texture.
Chocolate: Using part cocoa powder and part melted chocolate ensures a deep chocolate flavour, and the chocolate also helps to create that fudgy, dense texture.
I use a 70% dark chocolate. I don't recommend using milk chocolate rather than dark as it may make the brownies too sweet.
Espresso Powder: A bit of instant espresso powder really helps to deepen the chocolate flavour. You can't taste it at all but the brownies taste much better if you do add it so don't omit it unless you have to.
Flour: Vegan brownies need to use a bit more flour than non-vegan ones to maintain structure. Don't worry though, these aren't cakey in the slightest!
I make mine with plain (all-purpose) flour, but they can also be made using either buckwheat flour, or a plain gluten-free flour blend.
Cocoa Powder: Using both melted chocolate and cocoa powder gives the best, deepest chocolate flavour. I use a dark Dutch process one.
Vanilla Extract: Optional but recommended for the best flavour.
Salt: Pretty much all sweet things, but especially chocolate ones, benefit from the addition of a little salt to balance the sweetness and bring out the flavour more.
Mincemeat: No, for anyone outside of the UK, this doesn't contain actual meat. It is a mixture of dried fruits, sugar, alcohol, fat and spices which is used to make mince pies at Christmas.
Lots of shop-bought mincemeat is vegan friendly, but do check the jar just in case as occasionally it may contain beef suet or butter. I used one from Morrison's.
You can also use home-made mincemeat.
Cornflour (cornstarch): This helps to give the shortbread a lovely melt-in-the mouth texture. You can swap it for the same weight of plain flour if you don't have any.
How To Make Mince Pie Brownies:
(Full measurements and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the page)
Step 1: To make the shortbread, whisk together the butter, sugar, vanilla extract and salt until well combined then stir in the flour and cornflour.
Step 2: Tip the dough into a lined square cake tin and use your hands to pack it down as firmly and as evenly as possible. Bake the shortbread for about 20 mins until it is golden brown.
Step 3: To make the brownies, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder and salt, set aside.
Step 4: Place the butter, sugar and milk in a pan over a low heat. Stir until the butter is melted and the sugar is fully dissolved.
Step 5: Remove the pan from the heat and add the vanilla extract and chopped chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is fully melted.
Step 6: Add the sifted dry ingredients and stir until fully combined.
Step 7: Spread the mincemeat evenly over the shortbread base.
Step 8: Pour the brownie batter over the mincemeat and spread it level.
Step 9: Bake for 35-45 minutes until set and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out gunky with moist crumbs but not too much wet batter.
USE SCALES. As with all of my baking recipes I really do recommend using the metric measurements with a digital scales rather than the cup conversions. Cups are a wildly inaccurate measuring system and you will get far better, more consistent results using a scale, not to mention that it is also easier and less messy than cups!
Use a metal rather than a glass or ceramic pan. Glass dishes retain more heat and it is easier to overbake the brownies as they will continue to cook after you take them out of the oven.
You absolutely do not want to overbake brownies. Make sure that you take them out of the oven when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out a bit gunky with moist crumbs (but not wet batter). If the skewer comes out clean they they are overdone and might be dry, so keep a close eye on them.
Let the brownies cool completely before slicing them, that way you will be able to get neat squares.
If you want a softer, just-baked texture (or want to refresh them after they have been sitting around for a few days) then pop a brownie square in the microwave for 10 seconds. Warmed up like this they are also perfect for topping with ice cream!
I like these mince pie brownies best the day after they are baked, when the brownie has had time to firm up a bit.
They will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for around 5 days. If you prefer a denser, chewier brownie, store them in the fridge.
Yes, the texture may change slightly but they do freeze well. Allow to cool completely first then freeze them well wrapped or in a freezerproof container. Allow to defrost at room temperature to serve.
Many people mistakenly believe that it is the eggs in brownies that create the crisp, crackly crust when in fact it is the sugar. The key is to make sure that the sugar is fully dissolved before you bake the brownies.
To do this I heat it up with the milk and butter, stirring to dissolve it. It is also important to get the brownies in the oven as soon as the batter is ready, so line the tin before you start.
More Mincemeat Recipes:
- Mincemeat frangipane tart
- Vegan mincemeat crumble bars
- Vegan Viennese whirl mince pies
- Vegan mincemeat cake
- Vegan mince pies
- Mincemeat and marzipan cinnamon buns
- Mince pie tart
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Mince Pie Brownies (Vegan)
- 135 g (½ cup + 1 Tablespoon) vegan block butter slightly softened
- 60 g (¼ cup + 1 Tablespoon) caster or granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- 175 g (1 ⅓ cups + 2 Tablespoons) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 20 g (2 packed Tablespoons) cornflour (cornstarch)
- 160 g (1 ⅓ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 60 g (⅔ cup) cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 250 g (1 ¼ cups) caster or granulated sugar
- 120 g (½ cup) vegan block butter
- 120 ml (½ cup) unsweetened non-dairy milk (I use soy)
- 150 g (5 ½ oz) dark chocolate finely chopped
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 411 g jar mincemeat
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/gas mark 4. Line a 20 cm / 8 inch square cake tin with baking parchment, making sure that you leave some overhanging so that you can easily lift the baked brownies out of the tin.
- Start by making the shortbread. Whisk together the softened vegan butter and the caster sugar with an electric mixer until it is light and fluffy, then whisk in the vanilla extract and a good pinch of salt.
- Sift together the plain flour and cornflour (cornstarch) then add them to the butter mixture. Stir with a spatula until it forms a dough, it may seem like it is too much flour but it will combine eventually.
- Tip the dough into the prepared cake tin and use your hands to pack it down as firmly and as evenly as possible.
- Bake the shortbread for about 20 mins until it is golden brown. If it has puffed up at all press it back down gently.
- Once the shortbread is baked prepare the brownies. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder and salt.
- Place the butter, sugar and milk in a pan over a low heat. Stir until the butter is melted and the sugar is fully dissolved. It should be hot but not yet boiling.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the vanilla extract and chopped chocolate. Whisk until the chocolate is fully melted.
- Add the sifted dry ingredients and stir until fully combined.
- Spread the mincemeat evenly over the shortbread base.
- Pour the brownie batter over the mincemeat and spread it level.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes until set and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out gunky with moist crumbs but not too much wet batter.
- Allow the brownies to cool completely in the tin before lifting them out and slicing into squares.
- See post above for tips, details, storage and freezing instructions and step-by-step photos.
- USE SCALES. As with all of my baking recipes I really do recommend using the metric measurements with a digital scales rather than the cup conversions. Cups are a wildly inaccurate measuring system and you will get far better, more consistent results using a scale, not to mention that it is also easier and less messy than cups!