German Stollen Recipe {A Christmas Tradition!} - Plated Cravings (2024)

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German Stollen is loaded with rum raisins, candied fruit, and nuts. This traditional German Christmas recipe is a very special treat that has a long history and is very popular during the Holidays. It needs a bit of time to develop its flavor but is totally worth the effort and tastes great with a cup of coffee!

We love to bake Christmas treats with the whole family during the Holiday season, especially German Christmas cookies and cakes, likeVanillekipferl (German Vanilla Crescent Cookies),German Lebkuchen, orNut Corners (German Nussecken).

German Stollen Recipe {A Christmas Tradition!} - Plated Cravings (1)

Stollen makes a great eatable gift during Christmas time. This delicious baked treat needs a bit of time to develop it’s flavor so it can be made days or even weeks ahead of time! German Stollen is traditionally baked 3-4 weeks before Christmas and then stored covered in powdered sugar in a metal tin. It keeps for months!

My grandmother used to make quite a few of them and gave them as presents to her friends and family for Christmas. Baking Christmas stollen takes a bit of time because it is a yeasted dough and it needs to be shaped in a special way and then it needs to be buttered and sugared after baking but it is well worth the time and effort.

I have to admit the first time I made Stollen myself it didn’t look like it should. Stollen tends to spread while baking and I didn’t put aluminum foil around it. It looked like a cowpat but still tasted great. So now I always use the aluminum foil trick and my Stollen turns out great. Let me show you how I make it!

German Stollen Recipe {A Christmas Tradition!} - Plated Cravings (2)

Tips and Tricks for making the best German Stollen

  • Make this recipe 2-3 weeks before you want to eat it for the best flavor!
  • The raisins and candied peel are important in this recipe, don’t leave them out or try to substitute them or it won’t taste like traditional Stollen.
  • If you can’t use rum to soak the raisins in you can use water or sweet apple cider instead. It’s important to soak the raisins because they add moisture to the Stollen.
  • If you can’t find ground mace you can leave it out. The stollen will still taste like stollen.
  • This recipe works best with fresh yeast but instant yeast or active dry yeast make good substitutes. Always make sure your yeast is fresh and still active. It’s best to store it in a cold and dry place and to keep an eye on the best before date.
  • The dough will not rise a lot because of the amount of fat and added fruit/peel. So don’t worry.
  • The stollen is baked completely when it sounds hollow.
  • As soon as you take it out of the oven brush it with butter. Don’t wait until it has cooled or it will not soak up the butter.
  • Make sure to cover the Stollen with lots of powdered sugar. Before wrapping it in parchment paper, sprinkle some powdered sugar on the paper before putting the Stollen on the parchment paper so the bottom of the Stollen is also covered.
  • You can eat the Stollen as soon as it is cooled but the longer you wait the better it will taste!

German Stollen Recipe {A Christmas Tradition!} - Plated Cravings (3)

How to make Stollen

To make Stollen you need a few specialty ingredients. Rum soaked raisins add flavor and sweetness to the Stollen. It’s super easy to make them but the raisins need a few hours to soak up the rum so it’s best to combine them the night before you want to bake the stollen and store them in the fridge. On the next day, the raisins will have soaked up all the rum and are ready to be added to the dough.

Another not that common ingredient in this recipe is the candied lemon and orange peel. In Germany, these two are easily available in every grocery store during the Holiday season but you can also order them online (Candied Orange Peel, Candied Lemon Peel) or you can make your own. I have never tried to make it myself but people seem to have a lot of success with this recipe.

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To shape the Stollen, put the dough on a large enough baking sheet covered with parchment paper and shape it into one or two oval-shaped loaves. I like to make to medium sized Stollen from this recipe because then I can gift one to friends and keep one for us. Stollen is very rich and sweet so you can get a lot of slices out of one loaf.

Use a rolling pin to flatten the middle of the loaf so that you have two bulges. Flatten one of the bulges like you see in the second picture below. and fold it over (See picture). You might have afew cracks after you’ve done this but just use your fingers to press the dough back together and smooth it out where it cracked. Stollen tends to spread so after folding the Stollen you need to fold an aluminum foil ring to keep the Stollen in shape.

This DIY version works better than the Stollen baking rings you can buy because the width is adjustable and you don’t have a baking pan lying around that you only need once a year. To make the aluminum ring for the stollen, fold a long piece of aluminum foil three times and form a ring with it. Secure it with some metal clips (they need to be oven proof) or press the ends together firmly and fold it around your unbaked Stollen.

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When the Stollen is done brush it with melted butter. This adds flavor and makes the Stollen moist. It will soak up all the butter. Then you have to sprinkle it with granulated sugar and then with a generous amount of powdered sugar until it is completely covered. You are aiming for about 1/4-inch thick layer of powdered sugar.

This might sound like much but it will keep the stollen preserved and helps to keep the flavors in the Stollen. Don’t worry you can brush it off before eating but it’s important that you don’t skip this step.

After letting the Stollen cool completely, it will get sprinkled with powdered sugar again before being wrapped in parchment paper and then in aluminum foil. This way it keeps fresh and doesn’t dry out. Put the wrapped Stollen in an airtight zipper bag or a metal tin for 2-3 weeks! It gets better and better with time. A perfect Christmas treat!

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5 from 6 votes

Stollen Recipe

By: Julia Foerster

This traditional German Christmas Stollen recipe is a very special treat that has a long history and is very popular during the Holidays.

Prep Time: 1 hour hour 30 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour hour

Total Time: 2 hours hours 30 minutes minutes

Servings: 2 Stollen


For the rum raisins (Make one day in advance):

  • 2 cups raisins
  • 3 tbsp rum, dark works best

For the Stollen:

  • 4 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (3 sticks)
  • 1/2 cup candied lemon peel
  • 1/2 cup candied orange peel
  • 1 1/3 cup almond meal
  • 1 oz marzipan, see my recipe
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 lemon, peel
  • 1/2 tsp ground mace
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 oz Fresh yeast, or 3 Tbsp active dry yeast

After baking:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Cups - Metric


  • One day in advance, mix the raisins and the rum together and let the rum infuse the raisins overnight.

  • On the next day, heat up the milk until it's lukewarm. Mix the milk and the yeast with a fork until the yeast is dissolved in the milk. Add a little bit of sugar and 3 tbsp flour. Cover and let the mixture sit for 20 minutes.

  • Add flour, mace, fresh lemon peel, sugar, salt butter, almond meal, and marzipan, knead until a smooth dough forms. Now it's time to add the candied lemon peel, candied orange peel and the raisins to the dough.

  • Cover the dough and let it rise for 1 hour. Preheat your oven to 347°F. Knead the dough again. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper, put the dough on it and form an oval-shaped loaf. You can make one big Stollen or two smaller ones. Use a rolling pin to flatten the middle of the loaf so that you have two bulges. Flatten one of the bulges and fold it over (See picture).

  • Take a piece of aluminum foil and fold it to form a 4-inch high stripe. Pin the ends together to form a circle which should be the size of your Stollen. Put it around your Stollen. Bake the Stollen for 45-60 minutes.

  • Take it out of the oven and brush the liquid butter over the Stollen. Sprinkle the sugar onto the Stollen and then 2/3 of the powdered sugar. Let it cool off. Sprinkle with remaining powdered sugar. The butter and sugar make it durable.

  • The Stollen can break easily, so be careful. Transfer it to a cake rack and leave it till the next day to make sure it's completely cooled down.

  • Wrap the Stollen in parchment paper and then put aluminum foil around, put it in a zipper back and store it in a cool place for 1-4 weeks. The flavors will infuse the Stollen and it gets better and better. Before you serve it, sprinkle another layer of powdered sugar on top.


Recipe originally published in December 2015. Updated with an improved recipe, more detailed instructions, and new pictures.


Calories: 4481kcal | Carbohydrates: 564g | Protein: 57g | Fat: 231g | Saturated Fat: 121g | Cholesterol: 494mg | Sodium: 773mg | Potassium: 2017mg | Fiber: 31g | Sugar: 215g | Vitamin A: 5770IU | Vitamin C: 36.5mg | Calcium: 405mg | Iron: 21.1mg

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German Recipes

About Julia Foerster

Hi, I'm Julia! Born in Germany, I call Canada now my home and love to share my favorite dishes with you! Here you'll find hundreds of recipes, all made from scratch, with lots of tips and detailed step-by-step instructions.

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German Stollen Recipe {A Christmas Tradition!} - Plated Cravings (2024)


What is the tradition of stollen in Germany? ›

Stollen or Christstollen is a tradition dating back to 14th century Germany. Germans baked stollen loaves at Christmas to honor princes and church dignitaries, and to sell at fairs and festivals for holiday celebrations.

Why is Christmas stollen so expensive? ›

Expensive ingredients like almonds, nuts, raisins, orange peel, essence of rose and rum were imported. Because the coronation occurred during the Christmas season, the bakers shaped the loaves to resemble a baby in swaddling clothes in respect for the Christ Child. Ask any baker: Stollen is a labor of love.

What does stollen mean in German? ›

Stollen (German: [ˈʃtɔlən] or German: [ʃtɔln]) is a fruit bread of nuts, spices, and dried or candied fruit, coated with powdered sugar or icing sugar and often containing marzipan. It is a traditional German Christmas bread.

What is the Christmas stollen supposed to symbolize? ›

Oblong in shape and sprinkled with icing sugar, the shape of the traditional German Christmas stollen symbolizes the Child Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes.

Why does stollen last so long? ›

This traditional German holiday bread was invented long before conventional refrigeration methods existed. As such it is designed to remain fresh and has a long shelf-life.

What is the difference between panettone and stollen? ›

Although their different shapes and textures suggest otherwise, panettone (tall and light) and stollen (long and dense) are made from a basic butter- and sugar-enriched yeast dough. Panettone typically contains candied orange peel and raisins; traditional stollen had candied lemon peel and dried cherries as well.

What do Germans drink with stollen? ›

Think of a Stollen as the love child of a fruit cake and a loaf of bread: it's typically baked from a yeasty dough (replete with dried fruit soaked in rum), then covered in icing sugar. Like you'd expect, you eat a Stollen in slices, often with your coffee or Christmas punch.

How long does German stollen last? ›

How long will stollen last? Stollen will last several months if kept covered in a cool, dry place. Stollen loaves are made in early November for the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays. Stollen loaves will become more moist and flavorful with age.

What is a fun fact about stollen? ›

The city of Dresden in Saxony has played a big role in the history of Stollen. In 1730 a Dresden baker named Zacharias baked a giant stollen so large, it took eight horses to pull it out of the oven. But most stollen today are about the size of a normal loaf of bread, usually covered with white powdered sugar.

Is stollen like fruitcake? ›

In Germany, fruitcakes (known as Stollen) don't quite resemble their American counterparts. Fruitcake vs. Stollen: Flattened with a chewy crust, Stollen is often baked more like a traditional loaf of sourdough bread.

Which German city is famous for stollen? ›

The most famous Stollen is probably the one made in Dresden (Dresdner Christstollen) first mentioned in the 13th century and only (officially) made by around 120 bakeries in the east German city.

Is stollen a cake or bread? ›

Christmas stollen, known in Germany as Christstollen, is a yeast bread that is baked with dried fruits, candied citrus peel, nuts and spices.

What common ingredient was missing from the first stollen recipe? ›

The common ingredient missing from the first stollen recipe was marzipan. At first, the church forbade the use of butter, which prevented the inclusion of marzipan in the recipe. Only around the 15th century was marzipan added to the recipe.

Does stollen have alcohol? ›

Stollen is a kind of fruit bread, made from a leavened dough, containing almonds, raisins, and special spices, and coated in powdered sugar. Many stollen bakers in Dresden also include a bit of alcohol, although there are also alcohol-free varieties which include marzipan and chocolate, for example.

What is the tradition of the stollen cake? ›

Traditional Christmas Stollen

The cake's distinctive shape, which it retains to this day, originates from “the Infant Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes”, who was venerated in Mediaeval Christianity. It is made from flour, butter, raisins, almonds, marzipan, candied peel, water, yeast, salt, spices and rum.

What is a fact about stollen? ›

Stollen History

Dresden Stollen is said to have originated in 1329 as a result of a contest offered by the Bishop of Nauruburg. Bakers in the region produced a wonderful bread baked with the finest butter, sugar, raisins, citron and other specialty ingredients.

What is the origin of German stollen? ›

Stollen's origin dates back to 15th-century Germany, a time when culinary traditions were deeply intertwined with religious practices. Originally made from simple ingredients due to church-imposed fasting, it has evolved, mirroring the changing tides of history.

What does the name stollen mean? ›

Origin of stollen

1. 1925–30; <German Stolle(n), literally, post, support; so called from its shape.

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