Christmas Cake Tarts – An alternative to Mince Pies

I am always looking for ways to use up leftovers. Due to the excessive amount of Christmas cakes I have been making for my cookery lessons I have ended up with coupe of half eaten fruit cakes. One is last year’s vintage and one that was made just a few weeks ago.

christmas cake tarts

Both cakes are utterly delicious but in very different ways. The mature cake is rich, dark and heavily Brandy laden after months of ripening beautifully in a dark toy cupboard. The most recent cake is fragrantly fruity and plump with Sherry with the added crunch of dried figs.

Having also taught a class how to make mince pies recently, I also happened to have some leftover pastry sitting in the fridge and that is how this recipe came to me one evening. Think mince pie made with Christmas cake and not mincemeat and filled with a classic egg and cream mixture and a touch of sugar. These are my Christmas Cake Tarts.

christmas cake tarts

The result was something that resembles a cross between a bread and butter pudding and a custard tart. I did top them with nutmeg, my favourite spice of the moment, hence the reminder of those  bright yellow, brown speckled treats from the baker’s shop of the 70s.

If you happen to have any leftover Christmas cake or indeed Christmas pudding then this could provide you with the perfect way to use up them up. They are even better served with whipped Brandy cream or Brandy custard. They also freeze very well too.

One-Ingredient-November-2013-450x450 I am entering these festive tarts into One Ingredient, hosted by my partner Nazima at Franglais Kitchen. The theme this month is Fruits of the Vine.

Credit-Crunch-Munch-1 I am also ending it over to Credit Crunch Munch this month guest hosted by Sarah at Dinner with Crayons. The challenge is run by Helen at Fuss Free Flavours and Camilla at Fab Food 4 All.

Tea-Time-Treats-Logo These tarts also fit with Tea Time Treats hosted by Karen at Lavender & Lovage and Kate at What Kate Baked. This month the theme is Dried fruits. 


Christmas Cake Tarts
Serves 12
A perfect way to use up any leftover Christmas cake or pudding.
Write a review
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
  1. For the pastry :)
  2. -120g plain flour,
  3. -60g unsalted butter,
  4. -2-3tbsp cold water,
  5. For the tarts :)
  6. -100g crumbled up Christmas cake or pudding,
  7. -150ml double cream,
  8. -2 eggs whisked,
  9. -1tbsp caster sugar,
  10. -Nutmeg for the topping
  1. For the pastry :)
  2. 1. Place the flour and butter into a bowl and using your fingertips mix together until you achieve fine breadcrumbs,
  3. 2. Add in 2tbsp cold water and bring the mixture together until it forms a ball of dough. You may need to add up to 4tbsp of water, adding it bit by bit to prevent the dough becoming too wet,
  4. 3. Once the pastry has come together, wrap it in cling film and leave it to rest in the fridge for at least half an hour before rolling it out.
  5. For the Christmas Cake Tarts :)
  6. 1. Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees,
  7. 2. Butter a 12 hole bun/muffin tin,
  8. 3. Roll out the pastry and using a cutter, cut out circles of pastry large enough to fit snugly into the bun/muffin tins,
  9. 4. Press the circles of pastry firmly into the bun/muffin tin making sure it comes fully up the sides so that the egg mixture will remain in the part cases and not escape,
  10. 5. Add the crumbled Christmas cake into the pastry shells,
  11. 6. Whisk the eggs together with the cream and sugar in a jug and then pour the mixture equally over the 12 tarts,
  12. 7. Top with a sprinkling of nutmeg,
  13. 8. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes,
  14. 9. Serve with plenty of cream or custard, preferably laced with Brandy.
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  1. THANKS so much for this FABULOUS entry into Tea Time Treats and what little festive treats they are too Laura! LOVE the photo too! Karen 

  2. LOVE this idea! Can’t wait to try it out on my Italian family as we don’t have mince pies here in Italy!

  3. Oh how wonderful. Pass one this way, I need a treat right now. This miserable weather and dark is getting me down : (

  4. I love the idea of these.

  5. I love the idea of a cross between bread and butter pudding and custard tarts, these look yummy.

  6. What a great recipe Laura, wish I’d had it years ago. For years I would buy a small Christmas Pudding as only myself and my son like dried fruit and every year it would go unused as we were always too full after a roast to eat it! Thank you for entering Credit Crunch Munch:-)

  7. So pretty Laura and I bet they’re delicious. I love finding creative ways to use up leftovers so these are ideal. Those snowflakes have got me in a right festive mood :-)

  8. What a gorgeous little recipe! I’m trying to convince myself that Christmas food (pudding, mince pies, mincemeat) are something I should like and these look like the perfect place to start!

    • I remember you saying you aren’t too keen on all the festive flavours. I think I like how old the recipes taste, with all the spice and the rich indulgent fruits it reminds me of the history of food and tradition.

  9. This is a great way to use up some leftovers and turn them into something delicious! Very festive!

  10. What a great idea. They look delicious and festive. I love the sound of the texture – cakey and crumbly and moist. xx

  11. What a great idea. These sound delicious and look like a great festive alternative to mince pies. I have four rather ancient christmas puddings lurking in the back of the cupboard. Perhaps I should unearth them!

  12. They look so good Laura – and I have some leftover fruit cake looking for a use…

  13. These sound delicious, what a good idea!  I love the sound of figs in this years Christmas cake – I put prunes in mine this year, thought they would have an affinity with all that brandy!

  14. I’m always looking for ways to use up the inevitable leftover Christmas pudding and this seems like a great idea !!

  15. These are so clever – I never would have thought about trying this but now I really want to =)

  16. What an inspired idea! A perfect way to use the leftovers and appeal to all those non- mince pie lovers out there. Hope the classes are going well? I’m sure they must be super popular! 

  17. Fantastic idea, great to see an alternative to mince pies! Thanks for entering into CCM.

  18. Clever idea Laura. REally pretty too. I like the idea of using up old cake like this. I wonder if it would work with pudding equally well?


  1. […] 32. Christmas Cake Tarts by Laura of How to Cook Good Food: These little tarts that Laura says are alternatives to mince pies look so pretty and seasonal and make good use of left over Christmas cake, which is a great way to use all of those fruity crumbs! […]

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