German Christmas Stollen

German Christmas Stollen

The Spruce

Prep: 35 mins
Cook: 55 mins
Soak and Proof: 13 hrs 25 mins
Total: 14 hrs 55 mins
Servings: 18 servings
Yield: 1 loaf
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
349 Calories
17g Fat
42g Carbs
7g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 18
Amount per serving
Calories 349
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 22%
Saturated Fat 10g 49%
Cholesterol 51mg 17%
Sodium 100mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 42g 15%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 14g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 1mg 5%
Calcium 44mg 3%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 163mg 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.)

One of Dresden's favorite holiday sweet breads is Christmas stollen. There's no need to take a trip to Germany because you can bake your own at home with little trouble in a few hours. Christmas stollen, or Christstollen, is full of nuts, raisins, and candied fruit, and creates a delicious holiday treat.

Like other Christmas fruit bread recipes, stollen is best when made weeks in advance. Storing the baked loaf for two to three weeks mellows and softens the flavor perfectly. Mark your calendar each year so you don't miss out on an opportunity to share this holiday tradition with your family.

"This was a moist and delicious stollen, and I'm sure I will make it again. The stollen has a soft, cake-like texture, with moisture from the fruit and butter. The bread wasn't overly sweet, but the confectioners' sugar sweetened it perfectly. Prep was fairly easy to make with a stand mixer." —Diana Rattray

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A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 cup (145 grams) dark and golden raisins

  • 1/4 cup (40 grams) candied lemon peel

  • 1/8 cup (20 grams) candied orange peel

  • 1/3 cup (50 grams) blanched almonds, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons (50 milliliters) dark rum

  • 1 (1/4-ounce) envelope yeast, 2 1/4 teaspoons, or 30-gram cake of yeast

  • 1 1/4 cups (295 milliliters) warm milk, divided

  • 1/3 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar, plus a pinch

  • 4 2/3 cups (595 grams) bread or all-purpose flour, divided

  • 1 large egg

  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest, from about 2 lemons

  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped, or 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 7 1/2 ounces (213 grams/15 tablespoons) softened unsalted butter, divided

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom

  • 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter, for brushing

  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    German Christmas stollen ingredients
    The Spruce
  2. In a medium bowl, soak the raisins, candied fruit, and almonds in the rum overnight, stirring occasionally.

    Rum-soaked fruit
    The Spruce
  3. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup of the warm milk with a pinch of sugar.

    Yeast in milk
    The Spruce
  4. Proof for 10 minutes, or until bubbles form.

    Proofing yeast
    The Spruce
  5. Mix 4 cups of the flour with the yeast mixture, egg, remaining 3/4 cup milk, 1/3 cup of sugar, lemon zest, vanilla, and salt using a spoon or in a stand mixer with the dough hook for several minutes. The dough should just come together and not be very smooth yet. Remove from the bowl and set aside.

    Mix German Christmas stollen batter
    The Spruce
  6. Cream 14 tablespoons of the softened butter and the remaining 2/3 cup of flour with the nutmeg and cardamom until smooth. Switch to the paddle attachment if using a stand mixer.

    Creaming the butter
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  7. Add yeast dough mixture to the creamed mixture and begin mixing with the paddle beater until incorporated and a dough begins to form. Switch to the dough hook and continue beating until the dough is smooth.

    Stollen dough and dough hook
    The Spruce
  8. Let the dough rest, covered, for 30 minutes.

    Covered stollen dough
    The Spruce
  9. Turn dough out onto a tabletop or lightly floured board. Knead in the rum-soaked fruit and almonds. Let rest for 15 minutes.

    German stollen dough
    The Spruce
  10. Return the dough to the floured board and form into a rectangle with 2 high sides and a dip in the middle. Fold one-third of the dough over to the middle, filling the dip. Pat into a stollen shape.

    Stollen dough for rolling
    The Spruce
  11. Fold a piece of aluminum foil several times on the 2 long ends to build walls for the stollen, so it holds the shape while baking. You may also use a stollen pan if you have one.

    Shaped foil for stollen baking
    The Spruce
  12. Let the stollen rise for 30 minutes in a warm place. Heat the oven to 350 F.

    Rising stollen
    The Spruce
  13. Dot the top of the stollen with the remaining 1 tablespoon softened butter. Bake loaves for 45 to 55 minutes, or until loaves are golden and done, about 190 F in the center. Cover with foil if it begins to brown too much.

    Stollen dotted with butter
    The Spruce
  14. Brush warm loaf with the melted butter and dust thickly with confectioners' sugar. Cool on a rack.

    German Christmas stollen loaf
    The Spruce
  15. Wrap tightly in foil and keep in a cool place for two to three weeks to ripen.

    Powdered German Christmas stollen
    The Spruce


  • Before baking, to avoid burning, remove any raisins that might be sticking out of the dough.
  • To get more butter into the bread, poke it all over with a toothpick before brushing the loaf with melted butter.
  • Miniature bottles of dark rum are exactly 50 milliliters. Some liquor stores carry them, though large 750-milliliter bottles are more common for this style of rum.

How to Freeze Stollen

Stollen may be frozen for longer storage. If you will be freezing the entire loaf, omit the melted butter and confectioners' sugar topping until it is defrosted. Wrap the stollen loaf or slices in plastic wrap and foil, then transfer to freezer bags. Freeze for up to three months.

Do You Eat Stollen Hot or Cold?

Stollen is traditionally served cold and for breakfast, but it can also be served warm and slightly toasted, whichever you prefer. Spread some butter or cheese on it for a delicious treat.