Sweet-toothed vegans, your time has come – because the shops are now awash with plant-based mince pies.
Invented in the middle ages, early mince pies contained a mix of conventional meat and chopped fruit. As the years went by, the animal protein was dropped in favor of more sweet ingredients. Now, mince pies are crumbly pastries filled with spiced fruity goodness.
However, not all mince pies are made equal, and nor are they all vegan. Many still use butter or animal shortening in their recipes, which is why finding the perfect plant-based pie can be a bit of a mission.
Move over, Mariah Carey and Michael Bublé, there’s a new Christmas battle in town – because everybody wants to be crowned the best vegan mince pie maker.
UK plant-based mince pies to try
Marks and Spencer
Part of the highly successful Plant Kitchen range, these mince pies take a traditional shortcrust pastry case and see it stuffed with a well-rounded mincemeat before being topped with a star-shaped lid.
They look cute and taste great, and a bit of M&S is basically a British tradition during the holidays.
A little spicy and a bit boozy, OGGS took the luxury vegan mince pies route while keeping an eye on its environmental footprint.
OGGS claims that its brandy-infused pies have been made using emissions-reducing manufacturing processes. They also come in fully recyclable packing. Bonus points for an excellent filling-to-case ratio.
Holland & Barrett
Looking after vegans and the gluten-free crowd, health food chain Holland and Barrett has brought back its popular shortcrust sweet treats for another year.
Time your purchase well, and you may find that these are part of the festive “3 for 2 Mix & Match” promotion that will make them even better value.
The Authentic Bread Company
Laced with cognac and made using all organic ingredients, vegan mince pies don’t get much more luxurious than these.
The addition of flaked almonds makes these pies stand out from the crowd, as does the tangy citrus peel. The spirit of Christmas is alive and well in these pricey (almost £5 for four!) but delicious snacks.
Another star-adorned product here, this time from Yorkshire’s Lottie Shaw’s bakery. Known for its local treats including spiced “Parkin” cake, it’s given the ultimate post-Christmas dinner treat a vegan makeover and kept all the traditional bakery pastry mouthfeel.
Sweet and fruity, these vegan mince pies feel special enough to warrant a glug of plant-based double cream.
And now for an accidentally vegan entry that is tasty and different from the rest. The Co-op bakery mince pies contain no animal products and are made using puff pastry instead of the usual shortcrust alternative.
The result is a lighter and pleasantly different vegan mince pie that feels more evergreen as a snack than seasonal. The filling can be a little scarce, but thanks to a crunchy sugar topping, you won’t notice.
Buy them at participating local Co-op stores
Recipes: make your own vegan mince pies
Give Me Plant Food
Stine Andersen took her love for veganism and cooking, brought them together, and created her popular blog and YouTube channel, Give Me Plant Food. Though Danish, she regularly embraces traditional foods from around the world, including Indian dahl and, now, vegan-friendly British mince pies.
Instead of brandy, rum is used to amplify the spicy fruit filling, and creative license is encouraged when cutting festive shapes in the pastry lids.
Nadia’s Healthy Kitchen
Nadia created her food blog – which specializes in nutritious, simple recipes – after she embarked on a “healing journey,” centered around changes in diet and lifestyle.
Her vegan mince pies, said to contain less added sugar than conventional versions, are also gluten-free, making it perfect for almost any amateur baker to have a bash at making some festive treats.