German Christmas Stollen

➡️ Looking for traditional German Christmas Stollen recipes in 2023? On this page, you can learn how to make stollen bread in 23 steps at home, one of the most popular German Christmas bread recipes.

➡️ Use this easy sweet bread recipe to bake a traditional stollen for Christmas with simple and tasty ingredients just like in Germany.

➡️ Don’t miss your chance to learn in the video below how to make German Christmas stollen at home using a traditional stollen bread recipe from scratch!

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How To Make German Christmas Bread from Scratch

What ingredients do you need to make German Christmas stollen?


1) 300 g/10 oz of raisins
2) 30 ml/1 fl oz of dark rum
3) 50 g/1.7 oz of dry yeast
4) 1 tbsp + 150 g/5.5 oz of granulated sugar
5) 100 ml/3.5 fl oz + 400 ml/13.5 oz of cow milk
6) 2 tbsp + 1 kg/35 oz of all-purpose flour
7) 1 tsp of cinnamon powder
8) 1 tsp of cardamom powder
9) 1 tsp of fine-granulated salt
10) 20 g/0.7 oz of vanilla sugar
11) grated zest from a lemon
12) 2 egg yolks
13) 400 g/14 oz + 50 g/1.7 oz of melted butter
14) 250 g/9 oz of walnut core
15) 250 g/9 oz of dried cranberries (you might use instead dried apricot or another dried fruit to your taste)
16) some caster sugar for garnishing

How to make German Christmas stollen from scratch?

German Christmas Stollen

1) place raisins into a small bowl, pour over them the rum, mix to combine the ingredients together, then wait about 6 hours to soften the raisins
2) break yeast into small pieces, place it into a larger bowl, and add over it about a tablespoon of granulated sugar
3) warm about 100 ml/3.5 fl oz of milk up to about 40 C/105 F (just to be lukewarm), then pour it over the yeast into the large bowl
4) sprinkle over milk with two tablespoons of flour, cover the bowl and wait for about 10 minutes to activate the yeast
5) melt 400 g/14 oz of butter over medium temperature, then wait to cool to room temperature
6) meanwhile, sieve 1 kg/35 oz of all-purpose flour and place it into a bowl
7) sprinkle over flour with about a teaspoon of cinnamon powder and cardamom powder
8) add to the bowl salt, powdered vanilla sugar, salt, and lemon zest
9) add to the bowl egg yolks and the ingredients from the yeast bowl
10) pour 400 ml/13.5 fl oz of milk into the bowl and the cooled melted butter, then knead all the ingredients until you get a smooth and non-sticky dough
11) sprinkle some flour on the working surface and knead the dough a couple of minutes more, place it back into the bowl, then cover it with foil and wait about 30 minutes to leaven
12) in the meantime, chop coarsely walnut core with the knife or kitchen robot
13) add walnut and dried cranberries into the raisins bowl, then mix well all the ingredients up
14) place the leavened dough back on the working surface and spread it into a thick sheet
15) place dried fruits over the dough, then fold repeatedly the dough to combine well ingredients
16) put the dough back into the bowl, cover it with foil and wait again for 30 minutes
17) place dough on the working surface and split it into two equal pieces
18) put each dough piece into a loaf pan, cover the pan, and wait for about 15 minutes to leaven
19) place pans into the preheated oven at 180 C/360 F and bake until the cakes are golden brown on top (about 30-40 minutes, less or more, depending on the stove)
20) melt about 50 g/1.7 oz of butter, take the pans out from the oven and brush the stollen with butter until you use it entirely
21) wait to cool the sweet bread to room temperature, then sprinkle over it caster sugar abundantly
22) cover the German Christmas stollen bread with kitchen towels, then place it into a wooden crate (recommended)
23) place the crate into a well-aerated and lukewarm place and wait about a week before serving (if you resist the temptation to taste the German Christmas stollen immediately! )

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Final Notes for the German Christmas Stollen Recipe

➡️ Sweetbread is a traditional dessert for Christmas in many European countries and each of them has available a lot of homemade cake recipes.

➡️ While in Central and Eastern European countries most sweet bread recipes are made with sweet leavened dough and walnut or poppy seed paste filling, in other countries are traditionally made sweet bread recipes with unleavened dough.

➡️ Such examples of sweetbread with unleavened dough are walnut beigli and poppyseed beigli, which are coming from Austria and Hungary but have been adopted under different names in almost all the countries that were part of the Habsburg Empire.

➡️ Germany features a special fruit bread recipe which is called stollen. There are more stollen recipes available, however, one of them is usually prepared during the Christmas season and for this reason, it’s named German stollen bread (Christstollen in German).

➡️ The most popular German Christmas stollen recipe is shared on this page with step-by-step instructions to make it from scratch. Even if it seems a bit hard and time-consuming to prepare, in reality, it’s not so difficult, so I invite you all to try the recipe out and prepare a traditional German recipe for the Christmas holidays.

➡️ Enjoy the Christmas stollen bread with your family and friends! Merry Christmas! Read more about the origins of the stollen bread origins here!

FAQs about German Christmas Stollen Bread

What is German Christmas Stollen bread?

German Christmas Stollen bread, often referred to simply as Stollen, is a traditional fruitcake-like bread that is popular during the Christmas season in Germany. It is typically made with a rich, buttery yeast dough enriched with ingredients such as dried fruits, nuts, spices, and sometimes marzipan. Stollen is known for its distinctive shape, often resembling a loaf with a slightly tapered or folded center.

What is the history behind German Christmas Stollen bread?

The history of Stollen dates back several centuries. It is believed to have originated in the city of Dresden in Germany during the 15th century. Initially, Stollen was a plain, simple bread made with flour, yeast, oil, and water. Over time, it evolved into the enriched and festive version we know today, symbolizing the baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes. Stollen became associated with Christmas traditions and is now enjoyed throughout Germany and beyond during the holiday season.

What are the key ingredients in German Christmas Stollen bread?

The key ingredients in German Christmas Stollen bread include flour, yeast, butter, sugar, milk, dried fruits (such as raisins, currants, and candied citrus peels), almonds or other nuts, rum or other spirits, spices (such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom), and powdered sugar for dusting. Marzipan, a sweet almond paste, is sometimes added to the center of the Stollen for an extra treat.

How is German Christmas Stollen bread traditionally prepared?

The preparation of German Christmas Stollen bread involves several steps. First, the dough is prepared by combining the ingredients and kneading them until smooth and elastic. Then, the dough is left to rise until doubled in size. Next, the dough is shaped into a loaf with a fold or taper in the center, representing the swaddling clothes of the baby Jesus. After the final proofing, the Stollen is baked until golden brown. Once cooled, it is traditionally brushed with melted butter and generously dusted with powdered sugar.

Can I make German Christmas Stollen bread at home?

Yes, German Christmas Stollen bread can be made at home. While the process requires some time and effort, it can be a rewarding and festive baking project. There are numerous traditional Stollen recipes available that provide step-by-step instructions on preparing the dough, incorporating the fruits and nuts, shaping the Stollen, and baking it to perfection. Homemade Stollen can be a delightful addition to your holiday celebrations or a thoughtful homemade gift for loved ones.

How long does German Christmas Stollen bread stay fresh?

German Christmas Stollen bread has a relatively long shelf life and can stay fresh for several weeks when stored properly. It is traditionally baked in advance to allow the flavors to develop over time. Once cooled, Stollen is often wrapped tightly in foil or plastic wrap and stored in a cool, dry place. Some people even recommend letting the Stollen “age” for a few weeks before consuming, as it can enhance the flavors and texture.

Is German Christmas Stollen bread gluten-free or vegan-friendly?

Traditional German Christmas Stollen bread is not inherently gluten-free or vegan-friendly, as it typically contains wheat flour, butter, milk, and eggs. However, with the increasing demand for dietary alternatives, there are gluten-free and vegan Stollen recipes available that use alternative flours, plant-based fats, non-dairy milk, and egg substitutes. These recipes provide options for individuals with specific dietary restrictions or preferences to enjoy a modified version of Stollen.

How is German Christmas Stollen bread traditionally served?

German Christmas Stollen bread is typically sliced and enjoyed as a treat during the holiday season. It can be served as part of a festive breakfast or brunch, enjoyed with a cup of hot tea or coffee, or offered as a dessert after a holiday meal. Some people like to warm the Stollen slightly before serving or accompany it with a dollop of whipped cream or a spread of butter.

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