I used to have very strong opinions about fruit mince pies – I hated them! But a couple of years ago I cracked the code on fruit mince and turned them into something that I loved. Making several batches of fruit mince pies every Christmas has now become a tradition. I love giving them as homemade Christmas gifts, packaged in a little cellophane bag with a pretty ribbon. My family, friends and neighbours go nuts for them. This year I will of course be making them, but I wanted to try something different too.
Enter this Fruit Mince Wreath that is as delicious as it is pretty. It’s like a fruit mince pie and a cinnamon roll had a baby. It’s perfect to share – just cut into generous slices. It makes such a lovely afternoon tea or dessert, either on its own or with custard. However, I wouldn’t be opposed to serving this for a decadent Christmas Day breakfast either!
The fruit mince mixture is easy to make, just some stirring, chopping and grating involved. I really think using freshly grated ginger and lemon or orange rind instead of packaged mixed peel makes a huge difference. The flavours in your fruit mince will be the most delicious if you make it the day before and allow it to sit overnight. The fruit will get plump and infused with the flavours of spices and rum. However if you don’t have time for that, just give it an hour or so. And of course, feel free to add your favourite dried fruits – swap out peaches for the apricots or figs for the dates, or use a mixture. The recipe is very forgiving, so make it your own!
As for the dough, it couldn’t be simpler to make. It doesn’t require a mixer and has barely any kneading! It’s the perfect recipe to try if you’re a bit nervous around yeasted dough or want to make it with the kiddos. The dough is easy to roll out, shape and work with too, which is great for a recipe like this. It bakes up beautifully too, soft and perfect and smells soooo good in the oven.
To shape the dough into the wreath, roll it out into a large rectangle and then roll it tightly as if you’re making a cinnamon roll. Instead of slicing into little discs, we are carefully slicing the roll lengthwise, leaving a little space at the top. Then twist the two long pieces together and shape them into a circle, exposing some of the delish fruit mince filling in the process. If you have an extra person around the house, it might be good to enlist their help with the rolling and shaping step! It just seems way easier with an extra set of hands.
The wreath shape is so fun and festive. I love how it looks when baked, with a decorative ribbon tied in a bow at the top. A dusting of icing sugar completes the pretty picture. I thought about making a glaze but it’s perfect as it is. Of course – feel free to make rolls if the wreath is too overwhelming. They will still be beautiful, delicious and single-serve. I would definitely recommend serving this still warm and fresh from the oven, although it does reheat quite nicely too.
And lastly, if you make this Fruit Mince Wreath or any of my other Christmas recipes, please let me know here in the comments or over on Instagram. Please take a pic and tag me @spicyicecream. I absolutely love to see your photos of the recipes you’ve made!
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Fruit Mince Wreath
This Fruit Mince Wreath is as delicious as it is pretty. It’s like a fruit mince pie and a cinnamon roll had a baby. It’s perfect to share, cut into generous slices. It makes such a lovely afternoon tea or dessert, either on its own or with custard. However, I wouldn’t be opposed to serving this for a decadent Christmas Day breakfast either!
- 200 g sultanas
- 100 g dried cranberries
- 80 g dates, de-seeded and chopped
- 80 g dried apricots or peaches, finely chopped
- 150 g brown sugar
- 1 apple, grated
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon Chinese five spice or mixed spice
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely grated
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest, finely grated
- 50 g butter, melted
- 30 ml spiced rum (optional – use black tea if you prefer no alcohol)
- 1 cup milk, warmed
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 7 g dried yeast (1 packet)
- 3 cups plain flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 60 g butter, melted
- Demerara or raw sugar, to sprinkle
- Icing sugar, to serve
To make the fruit mince filling mixture, place all ingredients into a bowl and mix well to fully combine. Set aside for at least 30 minutes to infuse. I love to make it the day before. You can make this days ahead and keep covered in the fridge if you like!
To make the dough, place the warmed milk, oil and sugar into a bowl. Sprinkle over the yeast and 1 cup of flour. Fold in carefully, cover and set aside in a warm place for 1 hour.
Add the remaining flour, plus baking soda and baking powder to the yeast mixture. Roll out the dough on a large piece of greaseproof paper to form a 25cm x 45cm rectangle.
Brush dough with half the melted butter, and sprinkle evenly with the fruit mince. Roll to enclose.
With a small, sharp knife, cut the roll down the middle lengthwise, leaving a 3-4cm gap at the very top. On a hot day, you may need to refrigerated the log for 15 minutes before cutting it. Turn the two halves cut side out and carefully twist them together and form into a wreath/circle, pressing the two halves together to join them. It can be really helpful to have someone help you with this step!
Transfer the wreath on the baking paper to a baking tray. Allow to rise, lightly draped with a clean tea towel or plastic wrap for a further 20-30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
Brush the wreath with the remaining butter and sprinkle with a little raw or demerara sugar. Bake for 45-55 minutes, rotating at the halfway point. I also chose to insert a small metal ramekin into the centre of the wreath about halfway through baking to ensure that the middle ‘hole’ remained intact and the dough didn’t spread too much into the center. When it’s fully cooked, it should be golden and sound ‘hollow’ when tapped.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm, dusted with icing sugar and custard (optional but highly recommended!). This Fruit Mince Wreath is best served on the day it’s made but can be stored in an air-tight container and reheated in the oven or microwave the next day.