These Mince Pie Bakewell Squares are a festive twist on a bakewell tart, and are made in a traybake style for ease. They have a sweet shortcrust pastry base, a filling of fruity mincemeat and a frangipane inspired almond cake topping. They are great for Christmas bake sales or parties as they are so easy to portion up for a hungry crowd!
Ingredient Tips & Equipment Information
- Make sure all your ingredients (particularly the butter and eggs) are at room temperature before you start baking the cake. The butter for the pastry should be cold.
- For the pastry, you can either cut the butter into chunks, or if you are using real butter you can grate it into the flour using a cheese grater.
- You can use either baking spread or butter for both the pastry and cake layers.
- If you can't get hold of golden caster sugar, regular caster sugar will work well too.
- I like to use a good quality mincemeat for the filling (and preferably one with some added booze - it is Christmas after all!) or of course you can use homemade mincemeat.
- Although I provide cup measurements, I highly recommend weighing your ingredients out using digital kitchen scales*. It is the most accurate way to measure ingredients and will ensure the best results. Digital scales are very low cost and can be purchased for around £12 ($16.50) .
- For teaspoon (tsp) and tablespoon (tbsp) measurements, please use measuring spoons* and not the type of spoons you eat with. Again this will ensure accuracy and provide the best results.
For the full recipe with measurements, head to the recipe card at the end of this post.
How to make Mince Pie Bakewell Squares
To make the pastry, rub butter into plain flour and caster sugar. Add cold water and bring the mixture together to form a dough. Tip it into a lined baking tray and spread it out in an even layer, then prick it with a fork. Put it in the fridge for 30 minutes. Then bake it for 15-20 minutes.
To make the sponge, mix the butter and golden caster sugar together. Then whisk in eggs and almond extract. Finally fold in ground almonds, baking powder and self raising flour. Spread the mincemeat over the baked pastry.
Gently spread the cake batter over the top and spread it out. Sprinkle over some flaked almonds. Bake it for 35 minutes until it is a lovely golden brown. When it is fully cool, mix icing sugar with water and pipe it over the sponge in a zig zag pattern, then cut into squares.
How long do the Mince Pie Bakewell Squares last for and can you freeze them?
They will last for 3-4 days in an airtight container in a cool place. To freeze the squares, wrap the cake well in cling film or put it in an airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Can you make this recipe with plain/all purpose flour?
Self raising flour, which is very commonly used in the UK where I am based, already contains a raising agent and a little salt too. Therefore if you want to swap it for plain or all purpose flour, you will need to add some additional baking powder and also a little salt if you like. Some people like to add salt to cake recipes and some don't, so I'll leave that up to you as it won't affect the bake. The general advice is to add 2 teaspoons baking powder (a measuring teaspoon, not the kind you stir your coffee with) per every 200g plain or all purpose flour. So for this recipe you'd need to add an additional 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder. Please note, I have not tested this recipe using plain or all purpose flour.
What size tin do you need for this recipe?
This recipe is best made in a 12" x 9" (36.5cm x 26cm) traybake tin with deep sides (4cm or 1.5"). However, if you'd prefer to make it in a smaller 9" square tin, check the recipe card notes section for details on how to change the measurements and baking time.
How many people does this recipe serve?
It completely depends how you slice it up, which is great because it makes this such a versatile cake for parties and gatherings. I love a big chunk of cake so I cut it into 12 slices, but for a party you may prefer to cut it into smaller slices so it feeds more people. You can cut into 16 slices, or even 24 slices.
Can this recipe be made with shop bought pastry?
Yes, if you prefer you can use shop bought shortcrust pastry. Roll it out and trim it to size, then bake as per the recipe instructions.
Can this recipe be made gluten or dairy free?
Yes! For gluten free you can replace the self raising flour with a gluten free self raising flour blend, and the plain flour with a gluten free plain flour blend. If you only have a gluten free plain flour blend, you will need to add additonal baking powder for the cake sponge. The general advice is to add 2 tsp baking powder per 200g flour, so for this recipe you'd need to add 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder. You may also like to add ¼ tsp Xantham Gum for better texture. For a dairy free version, use a dairy free baking spread for both the cake and pastry.
Can this recipe be made into cupcakes or a larger cake?
More tips for making the Mince Pie Bakewell Squares:
- The icing on top is optional, but it does make the squares look extra special!
- For an extra festive twist, add some orange zest to the cake batter.
- Make sure to check the label if you buy shop bought mincemeat. Most varieties are vegetarian nowadays, and contain vegetarian suet. However suet is traditionally made from animal fat so always check the label if you are serving this bake to vegetarians.
If you have any questions about this recipe, or if something went wrong and you need help, please use the comment form below and I will get back to you. You can also get in touch with me on my Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. I'd love to hear from you!
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Mince Pie Bakewell Squares
For the pastry
- 150 g Butter cold
- 300 g Plain flour
- 35 g Caster sugar
- 3 tbsp Cold water or milk
For the sponge
- 250 g Butter or baking spread softened
- 250 g Golden caster sugar or regular caster sugar
- 4 Eggs large
- 1 tsp Almond extract
- 125 g Self raising flour
- 125 g Ground almonds
- ½ tsp Baking powder
- 400 g jar of Mincemeat
- 50 g Flaked almonds
For the icing
- 2 heaped tbsp Icing sugar
- Water to make a thick paste
- Grease and line a 12" x 9" traybake tin
- Start by making the pastry. Rub the butter into the plain flour and caster sugar. Add the cold water and bring the mixture together to form a dough
- Tip the dough into the tin and spread it out into an even layer, prick it all over with a fork. Chill it in the fridge for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4
- Bake the pastry for 15-20 minutes, take out and set aside. Leave your oven on
- Make the sponge by creaming the butter and the golden caster sugar together, ideally using an electric mixer
- Whisk in the eggs and almond extract
- Gently mix in the ground almonds, baking powder and self raising flour
- Spoon the mincemeat over the part baked pastry base and spread it out
- Gently spoon the sponge over the top and spread it out. Sprinkle over the toasted flaked almonds
- Bake for 35 minutes or until it is a lovely golden brown and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean
- When fully cool, mix the icing sugar with water and pipe it over the sponge in a zig zag pattern
- Cut into squares and serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days