German Christmas Stollen

German Christmas Stollen

The Spruce

  • Total: 4 hrs 45 mins
  • Prep: 4 hrs
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Servings: 12 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
411 Calories
26g Fat
40g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 411
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 34%
Saturated Fat 14g 71%
Cholesterol 74mg 25%
Sodium 301mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 40g 15%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Protein 4g
Calcium 70mg 5%
*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.)

A favorite holiday sweet bread, Dresden has the most famous 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.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup/175 grams raisins (dark and golden)
  • 1/4 cup/50 grams lemon peel (candied)
  • 1/8 cup/25 grams orange peel (candied)
  • 1/3 cup/50 grams almonds (blanched, peeled, chopped)
  • 1 3/4 ounces/50 milliliters dark rum
  • 1 (1/4-ounce) envelope yeast (or 30-gram cake of yeast)
  • 1/2 cup/125 milliliters milk (warm)
  • 1/3 cup/50 grams sugar (white granulated; plus 1 pinch)
  • 4 2/3 cups flour (bread or all-purpose; divided)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 vanilla bean (or 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (ground)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom (ground)
  • 7/8 cup/200 grams butter (sweet, unsalted; 14 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 cup butter (melted)
  • 1/2 cup powdered 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.
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  3. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm milk with a pinch of sugar.

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

    Proving yeast
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  5. Mix 4 cups of flour with the egg, yeast mixture, 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 the butter and 2/3 cup of flour with the nutmeg and cardamom until smooth.

    Creaming the butter
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  7. Add the yeast dough back into the bowl and work the dough with a dough hook or by hand until the butter and flour mixture is completely incorporated. This should yield a smooth dough.

    Stollen dough
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  8. Let the dough rest, covered, for 30 minutes.

    Covered stollen dough
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  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 two 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
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  11. Fold a piece of aluminum foil several times on the two 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
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  12. Let the stollen rise for 30 minutes in a warm place. Heat the oven to 350 F.

    Rising stollen
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  13. Dot the top of the stollen with butter.

    Stollen dotted with butter
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  14. Bake loaves for 35 to 45 minutes, or until loaves are golden and done. Cover with foil if it begins to brown too much.

  15. Brush warm loaf with the melted butter and dust thickly with powdered sugar. Cool on rack.

    German Christmas stollen loaf
    The Spruce
  16. Wrap tightly in foil and keep in a cool place for 2 to 3 weeks to ripen.

    Powdered German christmas stollen
    The Spruce

Tip

  • 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.