Posted by: Erica Retrochef | December 7, 2015

Mincemeat Swirlybuns

I’ve always associated mincemeat with pies. Buzz loves making mincemeat pies… and I love eating them.


But now, we’re doing “mincemeat swirlybuns”, which apparently is the way to break mincemeat out of the dessert category and put it in breakfast instead.

3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine
2 packages Fleischmann’s Active Dry Yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 egg
4 cups unsifted flour
1 jar (1 pound, 12 ounce) Borden’s None Such Mince Meat
confectioner’s sugar icing

Scald milk: stir in sugar, salt and margarine. Cool to lukewarm. Dissolve Fleischmann’s Yeast in warm water in large bowl. Stir in lukewarm milk mixture, egg and half the flour; beat until smooth. Stir in rest of flour to make stiff batter. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Refrigerate at least 2 hours. (It may be refrigerated up to 3 days.)

Divide dough in half. On floured board roll one half into 18″x9″ rectangle. Spread with half the Mince Meat filling. From 18″ side roll up as for jelly roll. Seal edges. Cut into 1 1/2″ slices. Place in greased muffin cups, cut side up. Repeat with rest of dough and filling. Cover: let rise in warm draft-free place until doubled, about 1 hour. Bake at 350°F. 20 to 25 minutes, or until done. Frost with confectioners’ sugar icing while warm. Makes 24 beautiful buns.

Some retro recipes try hard to make your life easy, teaching shortcuts and time savers and simplicity.


This is not one of those recipes.


Of course, if I was really into simple, time-saving recipes, there’s no way I’d be doing a blog like this.


Seriously, yeast-based cinnamon rolls (or “mincemeat swirlybuns”) are not fast.


There’s ingredients to be measured, the dough needs to be left to rise, it needs to be rolled out…


But there is a lot to be said for those time-consuming recipes.


It lets you spend time in the kitchen with your loved ones, asking for help getting innumerable ingredients measured.


It teaches compromise, as you dispute whether the rectangle has been rolled out to the correct size but eventually decide it doesn’t really matter that much anyway — the longer you argue, the longer until you get to eat mincemeat swirlybuns.


It teaches acceptance, when your imperfectly rolled and cut swirlybuns look all kinds of wonky — but seriously, who really cares? Nobody has eyes in their mouth.


These were tasty, like cinnamon roles but with more spice-warmth and full of fruit. The recipe makes an awful lot, though — two dozen muffin-sized buns is a challenge for even a hungry family to finish before the leftovers get stale.

I ended up taking about half of them to work, where I learned that a lot of my born-in-the-South colleagues had very little experience with mincemeat. Luckily, most of them liked this (except for one person who hates raisins), so there’s even more votes of confidence for this recipe than usual!

Shelf Life Taste Test


  1. nitpick: cinnamon rolls, not roles. I can almost taste these. A very old fashioned recipe indeed. But I know from the past all that work going into yeast rolls or breads, you might as well buy a pre-made thing (cinnamon rolls, danish, coffee cake, or King Cake for Mardi Gras) because the bland yeasty bread overwhelms everything else, and tastes EXACTLY like store-bought.

  2. Was this made from real mincemeat? In the UK people told me I made fruitmince, not mincemeat – because it lacked the suet. Still, those look AMAZING, and yes, if we were all into shortcuts all the time, where would the fun of whining be? This seems a great sub for fruitcake, even!

    Or is that sacred unto the South, too? 😉

    • I’ve seen two kinds of mincemeat here in the states, only two: one is in a box and one is in a jar, and one has actual beef/suet in it, the other is all fruit. If you can find it in a store at all, it will be on the label.

    • While I am a fan of the “traditional mincemeat,” with not just suet but bits of ground beef in it, the rest of the family is less enthusiastic. So this was made from an all-fruit variety.

  3. Swirlybuns…best name ever!!!!! These look fab too. xx

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