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.
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.
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!
44 replies on “Stollen (Weihnachtsstollen)”
This is absolutely gorgeous.
Thank you very much 🙂
That looks delicious. I entirely approve of anything with a log of marzipan through it (see also, Ritter Sport Marzipan)
Hah, indeed – you can’t go wrong!
Absolutely gorgeous! I love the marzipan log running through! What a treat!!
Indeed it is! thank you 🙂
I have made such a fruit bread before, but never with marzipan log in it. Cannot wait to give this one a try!
You should – it’s a wonderful thing 😀
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Oh my goodness, so pretty!
Thank you – I thought so 😀
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 🙂
I’m sure you haven’t – that was my first ever marzipan 😀
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…
Ahha – that sounds right. I don’t usually use other people’s recipes, but it sounded perfect…
I know – I was a little shocked 😉
Don’t make me feel more guilty than I already do! 😀
Lol one in a blog-time ain’t bad mister 😛
I suppose not… 😀 – I’ll not do it again. Promise!
Looks fantastic Nick!
This looks absolutely delicious – I’m a HUGE marzipan fan!
Thank you – I only like the homemade stuff, but it is delicious.
Nom, Nom, NOM!!! I love marzipan and this is seriously making my mouth water!!!!!
You should totally make it 😀
A gorgeous loaf!
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.
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.
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”!
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!
Oh dear – hope you’re feeling well again soon. Thank goodness for Katherine…would hate to think of the Stollen going to waste 😉
I never usually get ill – I think I caught it from her actually. She’s been eating it consistently though, which is good.
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…
Yep – that sounds like a pretty good production line. I need to do myself one of these schools 😀
it looks lovely!
Thank you very much.
Beautiful pictures and recipe!
Thank you very much!
[…] Marzipanstollen Adapted from David Lebovitz and Frugal Feeding. […]
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 🙂
Fantastic – marzipan or not, it’s a delicious bread! I hope you enjoy my recipes!
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.
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.
[…] more alternative Christmas cake ideas, see my recipes for a classic Stollen, biblical Scripture Cake and somewhat unique Mince Pie […]