Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mincemeat Cake: Can You Believe You'll Want Seconds?

Even the last gasp of mincemeat – mince pies – are going out of fashion. What a shame we have lost touch with this old standby that dates back to the Roman Empire at the time of Christ, once packed in gallon-size wooden firkins by companies that specialized solely in making mincemeat.  True mincemeat originally contained beef as well as fruits, nuts and spices (Borden's Nonesuch Brand still does). It was a high protein preserved food.

The tradition of mince pies at Christmas goes way back, and they were once made in the shape of a manger. Given that the recipe continued to be used from Biblical times until now, it's a good food to put on your list for "foods of the Bible" - even if it wasn't mentioned in the bible, the Apostle Paul certainly could have eaten mincemeat while he was in Rome.  And incredibly, mincemeat even played a part in America's battle for freedom of religion, being banned (along with Christmas) by Oliver Cromwell in England and some Puritans in the Colonies as "too Catholic".  Just like the traditional American foods of Thanksgiving  really mean something important to America's way of life and freedom to worship, so, too, does eating mincemeat  at Christmas time. 

I miss mince meat pies at Christmas time. My dad's father, "Pawpaw", used to make them. He had been a cook for the Santa Fe Railroad track crews, and his pies were top notch.  The trouble is, every mincemeat pie I've tasted in my adulthood was like fruitcake: one piece is all I can enjoy. The flavor is overpowering.

But now I've found a solution. This Mincemeat Mayonnaise Cake is perfect. It uses one cup of mincemeat, so the flavor blends gently throughout the cake. With a thin cream cheese, frosting, it delights the tastebuds - and our taste for nostalgia!

It's an easy cake to make, but it takes a long time: it must bake for two hours! So start it when you have the evening at home. It is moist and dense, so it also keeps very well. You can make it days in advance and refrigerate it, icing on the day you plan to serve it.

Mincemeat Mayonnaise Cake

3 cups flour
1½ cups sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1½ cup buttermilk
1 cup mayonnaise
2 T orange marmalade or 1 T grated orange rind
1 T rum flavoring
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup mincemeat, reconstituted according to package directions (or half a jar if you are using Borden's Nonesuch brand in the jar)
1 cup walnuts or pecans (optional)

Mix flour, sugar, baking soda and salt together. Blend buttermilk and mayonnaise and gradually add flour mixture, stirring well. Mix in marmalade, vanilla and rum flavoring, then add mincemeat and walnuts.

Grease a 9” tube pan and line with greased parchment or waxed paper. If using a 2-part pan, set it on a sheet pan to catch oil that may will seep out through the bottom seam as the mixture heats up and drip onto the oven.  Bake at 325 degrees for 2 hours.  Turn out onto a plate and allow to cool.

A rather thin cream cheese frosting is good on this, or you could spread slices with cream cheese for a lovely breakfast treat.   

Here's my recipe for the frosting:
½ bag of powdered sugar
3 ounces (1/2 a carton) of cream cheese
½ cup whipping cream or milk
½ tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt

The one pictured is the one I made last night for our Christmas. I'll carry it up to Irving and ice it when we get there.  It will be fun to tell the grandkids they are eating cake with beef in it! LOL!
Wishing a Merry and Blessed Christmas to you and yours.  Thank you for reading my blog, and for spending your precious time here at Pecan Corner. May 2012 be a very good year for us all! :-)


  1. Hi, there Sis! I googled your blogspot and this was the 3rd blog that popped up...very cool. So I checked out the cake and instantly noticed the beautiful plate you were showing me. I'm going to try and make your tomato pie tonight, wish me luck! Love you! ~Mandy

  2. Oh so glad you enjoyed the tomato pie! I will blog the recipe soon but sent it to you in the mean time :-)

    Love you too! :-)



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