Christmas Stollen Sweet Bread

Christmas stollen sweet bread recipe

​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic

Prep: 2 hrs 30 mins
Cook: 35 mins
Total: 3 hrs 5 mins
Servings: 20 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
189 Calories
10g Fat
24g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 20
Amount per serving
Calories 189
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 12%
Saturated Fat 4g 22%
Cholesterol 61mg 20%
Sodium 155mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 24g 9%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Protein 3g
Calcium 36mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

German stollen bread at Christmas time is an old tradition that was brought over to the U.S. by the Germans and Pennsylvania Germans. The recipes for stollen, a delicious sweet bread, can be very extravagant, however this simple and easy to make recipe for stollen is very easy to follow.


  • 1/2 cup water (room temperature)
  • 1 tablespoon /1/2 ounce active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup milk (room temperature)
  • 2 large eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 1/2 cup butter (soft)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon zest (1 small lemon)
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup mixed candied fruits
  • 1/2 cup almonds (slivered)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Christmas stollen ingredients
    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  2. In large bowl, mix together the water and yeast.

    Water and yeast
    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  3. Add milk, eggs, soft butter, sugar, salt, and lemon and stir.

    Add milk, eggs, butter
    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  4. Add 3 cups of the flour and mix well. Slowly add in remaining flour, enough flour to make a dough that follows the spoon around the bowl.

    Add flour
    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  5. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, adding more flour as needed until the dough is soft and smooth to the touch.

    Turn dough
    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  6. Place dough in large greased bowl. Turn dough over in bowl so that the top is also lightly greased. Cover with clean cloth and let rise in warm, draft-free place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

    Place dough in large greased bowl
    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  7. Punch down dough.

    Punch down dough
    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  8. Turn dough out onto lightly floured board and knead in candied fruit and almonds for 4 minutes or until the bubbles are out of the bread.

    Turn dough out
    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  9. Divide dough in half for two small loaves, if desired. Pat dough into a 1 1/2-inch thick oval. Fold in half. Set folded loaf on greased baking sheet and repeat with second half if you are making small loaves.

    Divide dough in half
    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  10. Brush loaf or loaves with melted butter. Cover and let rise in warm, draft-free place for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

    Brush loaf with butter
    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  11. Bake loaf at 375 F for 35 minutes or until the breads are golden brown.

    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  12. Remove loaves from sheet and let cool on rack.

    Remove loaves
    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  13. In small bowl, mix together confectioner's sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla.

    Mix sugar
    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  14. Put frosting on bread. Allow to set for 15 minutes.

    Put frosting on bread
    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  15. Serve and enjoy!

    Serve and enjoy
    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic


  • Lemon and orange zest can be gathered ahead of time. Make sure to only grate off the colored part of the peel. The white part, the pith, will make the bread bitter.
  • Keep yeast stored in an airtight container and in the refrigerator. Heat, moisture, and air kills the yeast and prevents bread dough from rising.
  • Store flour properly to keep it from spoiling.
  • You can use any type of milk in this recipe: whole milk, skim, low fat, etc. Milk can also be replaced with water and nonfat dry milk, or soy milk. There is a milk to dry milk powder conversion table. Use it to figure out how much dry milk to add to the water when replacing the milk in the recipe.
  • Egg substitute can be used in place of the egg.
  • Use bottled water instead of tap water to make your breads. Water softeners and chlorinated public water can sometimes kill the yeast needed to make your bread dough rise.

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