Stollen (Weihnachtsstollen)

German Stollen Cake Recipe

Stollen (also known as Weihnachtsstollen or Christstollen at Christmas) is a traditional German fruit loaf. It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when Stollen was first made, but over the centuries it has developed from a very basic pastry – probably eaten by the peasantry – to an enriched bread with religious significance. The traditional baking of Stollen is probably most closely linked with Dresden in the east of Germany where it has played a vital role in the city’s Christmas markets since – it is claimed – the 14th Century.

As with many traditional foods all over the world, there is significant regional difference in the way it is prepared. However, I’m a proponent of the best-known variety; a rich, spicy bread with a “sausage” of homemade marzipan – nutmeg in this case – running its length. Much like gluhwein, this rendition of Stollen has become a firm favourite in German Christmas markets across Europe and it isn’t as tricky to make as you might think.

Stollen Recipe

Feel free to play with the flavourings in this recipe – I’ve seen pistachio marzipan used and glacé cherries included in the mixture. To be honest, as long as you’re inclined to use a little of your common sense, it’s hard to go wrong when flavouring Stollen. Experiment within the recipe a little – it’s a joy!

Can you tell I can’t wait for Christmas this year?


Makes one large loaf


• 325g strong white bread flour

• ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg

• ½ tsp ground cinnamon

• ½ tsp ground ginger

• 40g caster sugar

• 150ml whole milk

• 7g sachet of yeast

• 1 egg, beaten

• 110g salted butter, softened

• zest of 1 lemon

• zest of 1 orange

• 120g sultanas

• 50g raisins or currants

• 30g candied peel

• 300g homemade marzipan

• Icing sugar for dusting


1. Gently warm the milk and pour into a jug, mixing in the yeast and 1tsp of the sugar – set aside to froth. Meanwhile, sieve together the flour, spices and remaining sugar.

2. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and tip in the milk mixture, egg and softened butter. Bring this together with your hands into a soft dough. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes until smooth and springy. Pop in a clean bowl and leave in a warm place to double in size (1-2 hours).

3. Once doubled in size knead your dough once more to knock it back, before incorporating the dried fruit, zest and candied peel with further kneading. Roll the dough out into a rectangle of roughly 8” by 10”.

4. Shape your marzipan into a sausage that fits just inside the rolled dough. Fold the shorter edges over the marzipan and roll into a “log”. Transfer the loaf onto baking parchment and return to a warm place to prove for an hour.

5. Preheat your oven to 190C/180C (fan) and bake your stollen for 35-40 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. Set aside to cool on a wire rack before dusting generously with icing sugar and decorating unnecessarily.

Weihnachtsstollen Recipe Recipe For Stollen

Cost: Of course, bread enriched with so many delicious flavours and spices – not to mention the butter and marzipan – is always going to be a little more expensive than your average loaf. However, one small slice at a time is certainly enough where Stollen is concerned – though you’ll probably want more. Still, the entire loaf should set you back a relatively reasonable £3.50!


43 comments on “Stollen (Weihnachtsstollen)

  1. chefseangallagher
    December 11, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    This is absolutely gorgeous.

  2. Charlie Brock-Lowthian
    December 11, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    That looks delicious. I entirely approve of anything with a log of marzipan through it (see also, Ritter Sport Marzipan)

  3. Andrea
    December 11, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    Absolutely gorgeous! I love the marzipan log running through! What a treat!!

  4. cathynd95
    December 11, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    I have made such a fruit bread before, but never with marzipan log in it. Cannot wait to give this one a try!

    • frugalfeeding
      December 12, 2013 at 5:52 pm

      You should – it’s a wonderful thing 😀

  5. Katrina Tauchen
    December 11, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    Oh my goodness, so pretty!

  6. Jo Blogs
    December 11, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Oh I so need to make this! Actually, I was thinking – I swear I’ve made your marzipan before (without the nutmeg) but can’t for the life of me think why. I think I’m going to make a smaller quantity and make this beautiful stollen with it 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      December 12, 2013 at 5:52 pm

      I’m sure you haven’t – that was my first ever marzipan 😀

      • Jo Blogs
        December 12, 2013 at 5:54 pm

        You mention it’s a good food recipe originally – it’s that which I think I’ve done. I remember the orange in it in particular…

        • frugalfeeding
          December 12, 2013 at 5:57 pm

          Ahha – that sounds right. I don’t usually use other people’s recipes, but it sounded perfect…

          • Jo Blogs
            December 12, 2013 at 5:57 pm

            I know – I was a little shocked 😉

          • frugalfeeding
            December 12, 2013 at 6:00 pm

            Don’t make me feel more guilty than I already do! 😀

          • Jo Blogs
            December 12, 2013 at 6:00 pm

            Lol one in a blog-time ain’t bad mister 😛

          • frugalfeeding
            December 12, 2013 at 6:02 pm

            I suppose not… 😀 – I’ll not do it again. Promise!

  7. Korena in the Kitchen
    December 12, 2013 at 5:19 am

    Looks fantastic Nick!

  8. angelica | table twenty eight
    December 12, 2013 at 7:51 am

    This looks absolutely delicious – I’m a HUGE marzipan fan!

    • frugalfeeding
      December 12, 2013 at 5:48 pm

      Thank you – I only like the homemade stuff, but it is delicious.

  9. EmmaMT from
    December 12, 2013 at 9:39 am

    Nom, Nom, NOM!!! I love marzipan and this is seriously making my mouth water!!!!!

  10. Mama's Gotta Bake
    December 12, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    A gorgeous loaf!

  11. lemongrovecakediaries
    December 12, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    I have never made stolen before, but it looks like a great little Christmas snack.. Could you freeze the leftovers – I wasn’t sure how the marzipan would react in the freezer.

    • frugalfeeding
      December 13, 2013 at 10:03 am

      It definitely does and it isn’t too difficult either! It lasts for up to a week easily, but you could definitely freeze it – I’m sure the marzipan would survive. I’d leave it to defrost naturally overnight.

  12. Chica Andaluza
    December 13, 2013 at 7:48 am

    Aha – I wondered what you had planned for your beautiful marzipan! A slice of this on Christmas morning with a glass of bubbles (oh and coffee, of course) would go down a treat. Not sure what my Italian panettone eating family would say – probaby “we’ll have both please”!

    • frugalfeeding
      December 13, 2013 at 9:59 am

      Katherine has been eating a slice every morning. Unfortunately I’m feeling a bit under the weather and really don’t fancy it! It is delicious though. I think both would be acceptable!

      • Chica Andaluza
        December 14, 2013 at 8:58 am

        Oh dear – hope you’re feeling well again soon. Thank goodness for Katherine…would hate to think of the Stollen going to waste 😉

        • frugalfeeding
          December 16, 2013 at 3:33 pm

          I never usually get ill – I think I caught it from her actually. She’s been eating it consistently though, which is good.

  13. movita beaucoup
    December 15, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    Stollen was one of my most favourite things to make at school last year – yours looks perfect! We had a long production line of bakers which included dunking the stollen in massive pots of melted butter and then rolling in copious quantities of confectioner’s sugar. Best production line of all time…

    • frugalfeeding
      December 16, 2013 at 3:28 pm

      Yep – that sounds like a pretty good production line. I need to do myself one of these schools 😀

  14. huntfortheverybest
    December 17, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    it looks lovely!

  15. Cheesy Biscuit
    December 18, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    Beautiful pictures and recipe!

  16. juliachewsthefat
    January 13, 2014 at 3:47 am

    My dad and I make stollen at Christmas as well. It’s become somewhat of a family ritual (despite our lack of German ancestry). Ours doesn’t contain marzipan, but I love that you use it…and that you make your own! Glad to have found your site! Happy eating 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      January 13, 2014 at 9:33 am

      Fantastic – marzipan or not, it’s a delicious bread! I hope you enjoy my recipes!

  17. Kafka
    December 1, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    While I feel it’s my German duty to point out that this is not really a Stollen, it looks like a really yummy and much easier to make alternative. I like all the spices (especially ginger) – might give it a try when my homemade “real” one is eaten up :-))
    Stollen is essentially a yeasted cookie dough (flour, butter and yeast), that’s what makes it so good and also gives it the ability to make your entire family gain a few kilos within a week, lol. It’s not that much of a hassle to make, but tricky for the unexperienced.

    • frugalfeeding
      December 4, 2014 at 2:00 pm

      I know, I know. 😉 – I like easy-to-make. Perhaps I’ll make a real proper one some day! After all, I do rather like visiting Germany.

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