Viennese whirl mince pies are a delicious twist on the classic recipe, with a buttery, crumbly Viennese swirl topping instead of the traditional pastry lid. Once you’ve tried them, you won’t look back!
It’s hard to believe the festive season is almost upon us once again. It’s even harder to believe that until now, I haven’t published a recipe for mince pies. I have the Christmas cake, the Christmas pudding and even the turkey sorted, but not a single mince pie recipe. Until now!
I fancied trying something a little different this year. I’ve always wanted to try Viennese whirl mince pies – the thought of a mince pie topped with a buttery shortbread-like swirl sounded delicious to me. They are everything I hoped for and more.
I’m over the moon with how this recipe turned out – the orange pastry is short and crumbly yet so easy to work with, the mincemeat filling is basically the essence of Christmas and the Viennese topping melts in your mouth. I now believe these are the ULTIMATE mince pie.
Yes, they are a little more indulgent than your average mince pie, but why not? It’s the festive season, after all.
Nigel Slater writes in his beautiful book “The Christmas Chronicles” that Christmas “is not the time for parsimony”. I couldn’t agree more.
If you’re expecting company this December, make a batch of these beauties to serve with glasses of spicy mulled wine. Who can resist a freshly baked, warm homemade mince pie? Not me, that’s for sure. Pass the brandy butter, please.
A pretty Christmas box filled with these delicious mince pies would make a gorgeous homemade Christmas gift.
Looking for a quicker, slightly easier alternative to mince pies? Try these beautiful mincemeat almond shortbread bars instead!
recipe notes for viennese mince pies
the orange pastry
- Want to know why the pastry is so melt-in-your-mouth tender? Cream cheese. Even just a small amount will give your dough a flaky, tender texture. An added bonus – cream cheese pastry is a dream to roll out. Just make sure and use full fat cream cheese – low fat versions won’t work.
- orange zest gives the pastry an extra festive touch.
- I add a small amount of ground almonds to the pastry. Ground almonds can often make pastry a little dry and too crumbly, but the cream cheese helps to eliminate this.
I adore mince pies and make them every Christmas. I usually use this homemade mincemeat recipe but I’m certainly not averse to buying a jar of mincemeat – you can buy some really nice ones these days. I also have a recipe for last minute chocolate cherry mincemeat which is rather delicious.
Please don’t be tempted to go overboard when filling the pastry cases with mincemeat. A teaspoon per pie is more than enough. If you overfill the cases, the filling will bubble up and leak everywhere, causing your mince pies to stubbornly stick to the tin. They will be a devil to remove.
This could possibly be classed as gilding the lily, but a little ball of marzipan nestled inside the mincemeat filling is a delicious addition……
the viennese whirl topping
This is fairly simple – you just need butter, icing sugar, plain flour and a little cornflour. You mix all the ingredients together until you have a smooth but fairly stiff mixture.
The mixture will seem quite stiff when you’re piping it on top of the pies, but if it’s too soft the topping will just melt in the oven and you won’t have that pretty distinctive swirl on top.
It’s actually a good idea to chill the pies for about 15-20 minutes before baking – I wouldn’t normally recommend doing this for other mince pie recipes, but this will prevent the Viennese swirls from losing their attractive shape.
can you freeze Viennese mince pies?
Yes! It’s best to freeze them unbaked. Pop in an airtight container and freeze for up to three months. Bake from frozen for about 25 minutes or until piping hot in the middle.
more christmas baking to try
- Amaretto Christmas cake
- Brandy snaps
- stilton and walnut star biscuits
- chocolate fudge crinkle cookies
- chocolate peppermint cookies
- Christmas Linzer cookies
- mincemeat muffins
- Mary Berry’s easy mincemeat loaf cakes
For even more festive recipes, check out my Christmas archives!
did you make this reciPe?
I hope you enjoyed it! Let me know what you thought of it by leaving a comment below and rate the recipe by clicking on the stars in the recipe card.
- FOR THE PASTRY
- 200g plain flour
- 50g ground almonds
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- finely grated zest of one orange
- 100g very cold butter, diced
- 25g cold full fat cream cheese
- one egg yolk
- about 400g mincemeat
- FOR THE VIENNESE WHIRL TOPPING
- 150g soft butter
- 150g plain flour
- 2 tablespoons cornflour
- 50g icing sugar
- To make the pastry, place the flour, ground almonds, salt and orange zest in a large bowl and stir lightly to mix.
- Add the cold diced butter and using your fingertips, rub the butter into the dry ingredients, lifting them above the bowl as you do so. Stop when the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add the cream cheese and egg yolk and mix until you have a smooth, pliable dough - in my experience this dough comes together very quickly so it shouldn't take much mixing.
- Wrap the dough in cling film and chill the dough for at least 30 minutes.
- Roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface to about the thickness of a one pound coin. Using an 8cm round fluted cutter, cut out rounds and use to line a 12 hole mince pie tin (see recipe notes.)
- Fill the pastry cases with one teaspoon of mincemeat each. To make the Viennese topping, beat together the butter, plain flour, cornflour and icing sugar. You should have a smooth but fairly stiff mixture. Place this mixture in a piping bag fitted with a 2cm star nozzle. Pipe a neat swirl on top of each pie.
- Chill the mince pies for 15-20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180C/160Fan/350F/gas mark 4. Bake the pies for about 20 minutes or until light golden brown. Leave to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes before gently removing and transferring to a wire cooling rack. Serve warm dusted with a little icing sugar, if desired.
If you don't have a mince pie tin, you can use a 12 hole bun tin (the kind you use to make fairy cakes) or a muffin tin instead. If you use a bun tin you'll get around 18-20 mince pies and 8-9 with a muffin tin.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 339Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 66mgSodium: 231mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 2gSugar: 6gProtein: 5g
Calories and nutritional information are provided by a third party application and should be viewed as indicative figures only.