The late Queen's mince pie recipe, as revealed by royal pastry chefs

If they were fit for Queen Elizabeth II then they must be good...

Make mince pies fit for a queen. (L: PA Images, R: Getty Images)
Make mince pies fit for a queen. (L: PA Images, R: Getty Images)

Mince pies are an easy, festive treat that many families bake at Christmas. But when searching for a recipe online, you're spoilt for choice. Surely, though, there can be no better choice than the exact variety the late Queen used to tuck into every year.

Royal pastry chefs previously shared the exact mince recipe used for the Royal Family and their guests during the festive season, so we can replicate them too.

There’s one catch though. These mince pies technically require a few months preparation, so they might be more suitable for next Christmas - unless you cut some corners...

Prince Charles Eating Chocolate Biscuits And Mince Pies With Eight Year Old Jack Seymour, In The Red Top, And Other Children,  At A Reception For Ill Children Held At Clarence House. On The Table Are Duchy Of Cornwall Products.  (Getty Images)
The King eating chocolate biscuits and mince pies at a reception for ill children held at Clarence House. (Getty Images)

“Everything from the mincemeat to the pastry is handmade by the small team in the kitchens at Buckingham Palace. The mincemeat is made months in advance and stored in the pantry,” the royal website states.

That explains why royal pastry chef Kathryn Cuthbertson’s golden rule is to “give yourself plenty of time” to make her creations.

“Pastry is not something that likes to be rushed,” agrees chef de partie, Victoria Scupham.

Read more: Your ultimate Christmas dinner shopping list

Woman rolling pastry dough. (Getty Images)
Give yourself plenty of time for the pasty. (Getty Images)

Their other top tip is to keep your hands cold whilst working with pastry, to keep it at the right consistency – a tip any budding bakers can benefit from all year round.

Seeing as the royal chefs typically create more than 1,200 mince pies each festive season, it's probably advice worth following.

And the good news is, while the prep is a little more extreme, the actual ingredients aren't far off what you would expect from a traditional mince pie recipe.

You’ll need a fairly well-stocked alcohol cupboard, though. It calls for not one but four different spirits; brandy, port, rum and sherry.

These are all mixed with the most sumptuous of Christmassy ingredients, from currants to ground nutmeg and cinnamon.

The entire recipe is as follows:

Read more: Eight classic Christmas cooking mistakes – and how to fix them

Royal festive mince pie recipe


For the Mincemeat
zest and some juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
zest and some juice of 1 unwaxed orange
2 tablespoons brandy
1 tablespoon of port
1 tablespoon of rum
1 tablespoon of sherry
120g (1 cup) suet
160g (3/4 cup) golden sultanas
100g (1/2 cup) raisins
100g (1/2 cup) mixed peel
100g (1/2 cup) currants
1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1.2 teaspoon ground cloves
160 (6oz) russet apples, peeled and grated
500g (1lb 2 oz) sweet pastry
Egg washed for sticking lids on the bases
Granulated sugar for the top of the mince pies before baking
Icing sugar for dusting

12 hole non-stick shallow baking tray /
mince pie tin 32 x 24 cm/ 12.5 x 9"
fluted or plain cutters

Read more: How many calories are your favourite festive drinks racking up?


  1. Place all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and stir. Then add all the liquid and grated apple and allow to soak for at least one week in a 1kg jar sat in the fridge or pantry.

  2. Preheat the oven to 190° C (375° F, gas mark 5)

  3. Roll the sweet pastry into a sheet approximately 2 to 3 mm thick, place on a tray, and allow to rest in the fridge. Once rested, cut tops and bottoms for your mince pies using fluted or plain cutters (selecting sizes to fit your tin). Place the pie bases into the tin and prick them with a small knife or fork to prevent the pastry from rising during the baking.

  4. Spoon a teaspoon of the home-made mincemeat into the base and egg wash the edge of the pastry to enable the lids to stick. Place the mince pies in the fridge to rest for another 30 minutes, then add a pastry top to each, egg washing it and pricking a small hole in the top to allow the steam to escape. Sprinkle with granulated sugar.

  5. Place the baking tray on the middle shelf of the preheated oven and bake the pies for about 15 minutes, or until the pastry turns golden and the mincemeat starts to boil slightly. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before taking the pies out of their tin.

  6. Sprinkle the mince pies with icing sugar and serve immediately. To add a festive feel, the mince pie tops could be shaped with a star cutter or perhaps a holly-shaped cutter.

Watch: Best mince pies for Christmas 2022 taste tested