Mincemeat shortbread is a delicious and unique twist on traditional Scottish shortbread that is sure to please everyone this Christmas. I combine traditional shortbread with a layer of the signature Christmas flavour of fruity mincemeat. With its buttery-crisp crust, the mincemeat shortbread bars recipe is one of the most beloved holiday desserts that you can serve to family and friends. This is also a great recipe if you are wondering how to use up a jar of mincemeat leftover from Christmas.
So if you’re ready to get baking, discover everything you need to know about creating mincemeat shortbread this holiday season.
Explore our mouthwatering mincemeat shortbread recipe to add some excitement to your holiday baking.
Why you’ll love this Mincemeat Shortbread Recipe recipe
This mincemeat shortbread recipe is easy to follow and produces a delicious sweet treat time and after time.
Making Christmas shortbread is a great way to use up your leftover jar of mincemeat.
Baking with festive spiced mincemeat makes your whole house smell wonderfully Christmassy! It’s a great way to get you in the festive spirit.
For the full recipe and instructions scroll to the bottom of the page for the recipe card.
Mincemeat is a delicious concoction which is a centuries-old favourite around the world. Filled with dried fruit, apples and festive spices it is a Christmas classic. It’s good for mince pies but you wouldn’t believe what other baked goods mincemeat is good for. When looking for recipes using jarred mincemeat, this a great one to try.
Vital to the structure of your mincemeat shortbread, plain flour will help bring the shortbread dough together and when you flour your surface it will help stop the dough from sticking when you roll it out.
Unsalted butter is the best thing for this mincemeat shortbread recipe. Mixing the butter with the flour is what brings the dough together. Don’t forget to get your butter out of the fridge nice and early so its soft.
Caster sugar is what you need for this recipe, it’s finer than granulated so won’t leave your bakes with a gritty texture. If you are out of caster sugar, granulated will work fine for mincemeat slices.
How to make Mincemeat Shortbread – step by step
For the full mincemeat shortbread bars recipe and instructions scroll to the bottom of the page for the recipe card.
Making Scottish Shortbread
Cream together the butter and sugar until it’s creamy and fluffy. Then sieve in the plain flour.
Keep adding the flour until it all comes together. Be mindful not to over mix the mixture.
Assembling the Mincemeat Shortbread
Press the shortbread into your lined baking tin, using the back of a spoon will often help you get an even base.
Spoon your mincemeat on top and spread it evenly, leaving a little space at the edges to help it seal with the lid.
Roll out a second sheet of your dough, the same size as your base and lay it atop your mincemeat filling.
Press the edges down to seal the mincemeat shortbread slices in.
Baking the Christmas shortbread
Pierce the top with a fork and give your pastry a quick egg wash.
Then, bake your mincemeat traybake slices for 30 – 35 minutes, until it’s golden brown.
Finishing the shortbread
Mix the sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle over your mincemeat slices. Slice while still warm into even squares. This recipe using jarred mincemeat is easy to make and delicious while still warm!
Mincemeat shortbread slice Top Tips
While your mincemeat shortbread bakes you can mix together the sugar and cinnamon, this will save you some time once it’s baked.
Get your butter and mincemeat out of the fridge a little while before you need them, having all your ingredients at room temperature will help them combine better.
Serve your mincemeat shortbread while it’s still warm with a pouring of double cream for the perfect winter dessert.
Mincemeat Shortbread Recipe Serving Suggestions
This mincemeat traybake is perfectly served as is, the spiced mincemeat and cinnamon sugar are perfectly balanced with the simple shortbread.
But if did want to jazz up this mincemeat bars recipe, you can serve them decorated with a sprig of holly. This brings the dessert to life but doesn’t forget to remove the holly before you actually serve the mincemeat shortbread traybake to your guests.
Warm custard is a great pairing to this mincemeat bars recipe, it’s warm and thick and is perfectly festive. But if you’re a fan of hot and cold desserts you can pour double cream over your warm mincemeat slices.
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This easy mincemeat shortbread bars recipe is so great because you don’t need any fancy equipment.
Substitutions and variations
The warm spiced mincemeat is the perfect pair to a splash of light, fresh lemon. Zest half a lemon into the mincemeat layer of your mincemeat shortbread for a refreshing hint of citrus.
Depending on your preference, dark or milk chocolate grated into the mincemeat shortbread recipe. It melts in the oven and mixes wonderfully with the spiced festive mincemeat.
You could even melt some chocolate to drizzle across the top of your mincemeat slices for decoration.
As with the lemon, zesting and orange is a great way to level up this mincemeat bars recipe. You could even add a little juice of an orange to the mincemeat mix as well to really enhance the flavour.
Storing Mincemeat Shortbread Recipe / Making ahead of time options
Mincemeat bars should be kept in the fridge once they are baked and cooled. They’ll keep for a few days in an air-tight container in the fridge. I suggest layering your mincemeat slices with some kitchen roll in between to stop them from sticking together.
Can you freeze mincemeat slices?
Yes, mincemeat slices can be frozen once they have been baked. I recommend cutting them into mincemeat squares before you freeze them, this allows you to have mincemeat shortbread on demand.
Why is the filling of mince pies called mincemeat?
The filling of mince pies is called mincemeat as its an old 15th-century English name for the mixture that had chopped nuts, fruit and meat in. It was made to preserve sugar and alcohol.
Why do mince pies have suet?
Mince pies have suet in them to help preserve them. It also thickens the mincemeat mixture.
Can you eat mince pies on Christmas Day?
Yes, you absolutely should have mince pies on Christmas day. They are wonderful when served warm with a cup of tea in the morning or when you’re almost too full after having Christmas lunch.
How to use up a jar of mincemeat?
You can use up a jar of mincemeat by making lots of mini mince pies, adding it to layers of puff pastry and making mincemeat twists or by adding a spoonful to some homemade shortbread and creating mincemeat shortbread.
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Mincemeat Shortbread Recipe
- 8-inch square cake tin
- 250 g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
- 125 g caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 350 g plain flour / all purpose flour
- 300 g mincemeat
Cinnamon Sugar Topping (optional)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 teaspoons caster sugar
- Preheat oven to 180ºC / 350ºF / Gas Mark 4.
- Line an 8 inch square baking tin with greaseproof paper / baking parchment. (Or a 9-inch round cake tin.)
- Cream the butter and caster sugar in a mixing bowl until it's light and fluffy. Then mix in the vanilla extract.
- Sieve in the plain flour and stir well until it forms a crumbly dough. You don't want to over-mix.
- Divide the dough into 2 and press one half into the base of the tin.
- Spread a layer of mincemeat over the dough in the tin.
- Roll out the remaining dough to the size of the tin and lay it gently over the mincemeat.
- Use a fork to make holes all over the mincemeat shortbread and it's ready for the oven.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until lightly golden browned.
- Mix together the sugar and cinnamon if you want to make cinnamon sugar for the top of the mincemeat shortbread.
- As soon as the shortbread is out of the oven sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar or just the caster sugar depending on your taste.
- Slice the shortbread while still warm and leave to cool.
Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only.