The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts



This stollen recipe is excellent. Wonderful. I baked it three times last Christmas season and have already baked a batch this year.

But is it authentic?

I have no idea.

Let me be the first to admit that I've never had real German stollen, and the only Panettone I've had have been the ones you get at the grocery store in a cardboard box this time of year (which I love). My family has "authentic" Christmas cookie and fruitcake recipes (which I'll try to post in the next few weeks), but as far as the yeasted breads go, what I know I've gotten from books and other websites. And, as you'll see, I'm a typically shameless American about co-opting and distorting other people's traditions. Thus, even though I've never had an authentic stollen I have the gall to go out and publicize my (mis)interpretation of these kinds of traditional breads.

That disclaimer out of the way, let me repeat that this recipe is awesome. It is basically the recipe from Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice that I've tweaked a little.

Stollen Makes 1 large or 2 small loaves

1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4-5 teaspoons (or 2 packets) instant or active dry yeast

2 cups dried fruit (raisins, golden raisins, dried cherries, dried apricots, etc.)
1/2 cup Grand Marnier, brandy, rum, or schnapps
1 tablespoon orange or lemon extract and/or grated lemon or orange rind

2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg
4 tablespoons (1/2 a stick) butter, softened
1/4 to 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup almond slivers or marzipan

Butter or oil
powdered sugar

Warm the milk to approximately 100 degrees. Mix the yeast into the milk and stir into the flour. Cover with plastic wrap and ferment for 1 hour until the sponge is very foamy.

While the sponge is fermenting, combine the dried fruit and the liqueur. This time I used a package of the Sunmaid "Golden & Cherries" mix that is easy to find in stores here supplimented with a half cup of regular raisins.

When the sponge is ready, combine the remaining flour, salt, sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Stir in the sponge, egg, softened butter, and enough water to form a soft but not sticky dough. Stir in the dried fruit and knead in a mixer or by hand for 5 to 10 minutes.

Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic or a damp towel, and set aside to rise for 45 minutes to an hour.

On a floured surface, shape the dough into something like a rectangle, either by rolling it out or pressing it with your hands.

Place the marzipan or slivered almonds in the center of the loaf. Fold the dough closed and shape the loaf into something resembling a crescent.

(Yes, my loaf does look like an internal organ. That wasn't intentional.)

Cover the loaf loosely with plastic and set it aside to rise for approximately an hour to an hour and a half. While it is rising, preheat the oven (and baking stone, if you use one) to 350 degrees.

When fully risen, bake the stollen for approximately 20 minutes. Rotate it and bake it until the internal temperature is approximately 190 degrees. In my oven that took an additional 30 minutes.

Remove the stollen from the oven. While still hot, brush the top of the loaf with butter or vegetable oil and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Supposedly stollen is delightful if you wrap it in paper and let it dry out for a few days. A loaf has never lasted long enough in my house for me to find out: this specimen lasted less than 24 hours.

Related Recipe: Stollen


helend's picture


I have eaten "authentic" German stollen (in Germany!) where it was on the breakfact menu along with about 20 other breads and pastries, as well as the biggest breakfast buffet of hot and cold foods I have ever seen.

Also we have had stollen from a bakery.

Neither actually had marzipan in because it was after Christmas but I am told by German friends that it is a mtter of taste. Most were rather more batard in shape - one was round.

My stollen recipe and the ones you and Qahtan have posted all look much the same. I ususally raise the dough plain and then knead in the dried fruits before shaping the loaf with marzipan down the middle. Some recipes suggest you drizzle thin glace icing over once it's baked.

The only way we have it left over is if I make a double recipe (in Delia Smith's "The Joy of Christmas" the finished result is HUGE!) It is fantastic toasted and spread with best butter.

If I ever manage a photo I will post my next attempt.

Isn't Christmas a great time for baking!

hotbred's picture

What makes it great, the stuff is in it! Its rough cut.& made by hand it looks it! also made w. love u wrap it up, what a gift to give a friend, thoughtfullness no other word . I make them every christmas,about 8 or 10 every yr. when u knock on a door w a stollen in your hand and the door is opened,usually their mouth is opened also. youput yourself in their place,if someone,your friend down the street knocked on your door Keep up the good work & make one fore a good frend he will love it!!!

cake diva's picture
cake diva

I stumbled upon Floyd's stollen recipe created Nov 20, 2005. I soaked in orange liqueour whatever dried fruits I could find in the pantry.  Now mind you, I am new to bread making;  this is the second loaf that I ever tried, and wow!  The bread came out fabulous, and tasted sooooh good!  What a confidence builder!  I feel with this community and all the online videos I've been watching the last few days, I can do this really well.

Thanks guys!  This is a great family! 

rolls's picture

i once saw stollen being made by a german baker( i think)  it was on tv. i remember printing the recipe but haven't tried it yet. this was years ago. but i remember it looked really delicious. i know 'soft and tender' better describes meat but that was my impression at the time lol.  it looked really special though if anyones interested you can find this probably in the archive at the australian msn site, freshtv was the food program.

it'd be nice if someone could make it and post a pic. im new to this site some of its a bit technical for me  but im reading the handbook at the moment and its helping heaps i'd love to be able to get the hang of the bread formula and make my own recipes!

grilledsardine's picture

Thanks in advance for this recipe. I have not tasted it yet, but I did just finish baking it and it looks  awesome. I grew up with Stollen and have not had homemade Stollen since my German grandmother died. I think this recipe is pretty authentic, if that matters to you. I did quite a bit of research. A lot of the German recipes make the "sponge" in the middle of all the flour. But maybe you need fresh yeast for that? Another thing the German recipes call for.

I'm not a huge fan of candied fruit. I ended up using golden raisins and currants. I also added orange zest and used cardamom instead of cinnamon. oh and no almonds. I might try a version with the marzipan.

In case you are curious and know German, the end of this video has great instructions on how to make the typical Stollen shape. I followed that.

pinar's picture

It looks yummy, i will try it right away but i would like to know what is the weight of the stollen when it's baked as 1 large loaf?


berryblondeboys's picture

We make "My Heart's Brown Stollen" every year form Laurel's Bread Book every year. Again, don't know how 'true' to stollen it is, but we love it.

Shellipsm's picture

OH MY YUM!  I just made this, and I'm thinking that we'll keep it, and I'll make another one to send off to the folks!


The ONLY difference, is I did 20 minutes, rotate, and 20 minutes, getting to 160 degrees - perfect!


THANK you for an easy to follow, and YUMMY recipe.

bookbrainz's picture

Thank you for what looks like a reasonably uncomplicated recipe. It is 2 1/2 days till Christmas . I was concerned that I had to have marzipan in it which I don't really like, so it's good to know you can make it with just dried fruit. I like the orange liqueur twist.

I have also purchased panetone and I will be pained if they are both the same!


If you are in NZ you can get stollen in some branches of Countdown/Foodtown; in my area Sunnynook on the North Shore. It looked rather lumpen and unattractive so didn't buy it even though a german woman told me that's where she buys it! So I will take your advice for the shape. It is so hot here this December that I will have no trouble getting the yeast to 'work.'

Happy christmas eating and cooking.


helga j.'s picture
helga j.

I made this stollen dough last night, stuck it in the fridge and finished it this morning.  It's a terrific recipe.  Just ate 3/4 of a loaf still warm from the oven (I portioned it into 4 small batards, so the loaves are not huge, haha).  Changes I made:

I used only 1 packet of yeast (not a fan of using too much yeast).  My loaves look exactly like the photos (the rise and crumb, not the shape). Added some cardamom and nutmeg and an extra T of sugar, used dates/raisins/dried cherries & cranberries, used half AP and half bread flour, also sliced up 2/3 of a tube of almond paste for the center of the loaves.  Baked on parchment, on a stone, the bottoms got a bit browner than I like, but the bread is moist and delicious!!  Giving the other 3 loaves away to the neighbors.

Thanks for the recipe!!


dcraig23's picture

Hello, I registered on this forum just so I can comment on this recipe. I am German, born and raised, and have been living in MN for about 10 years. I grew up close to Dresden where Stollen is a really big deal. They are quite expensive and no one would think of baking them at home. When I'm in the US around Christmas time I get sentimental and miss Stollen which belongs to Christmas just like a Christmas Tree. I found this recipe in 2009, and am so glad I did. It is a very acceptable substitute for Dresdner Stollen! My tips for the most authentic Stollen: less cinnamon (about 1/2), a tad of cardamom, clove, and nutmeg. For the dried frui,t stick with raisins and currants and add some candied lemon peel (check by the seasonal baking stuff in your store). Traditional Stollen does not have almonds or marzipan but those variations are available also. I happen to like almonds in my Stollen and therefore use Amaretto to soak the raisins - yum!

A real great recipe for expats and curious foodies alike!


pbdeguzman's picture

Im a novice baker and I tried thie recipe from BBA and my loaves came out flat, dense with a dull crust and crumb. I could still taste some of the alchohol when i bit in. But once toasted the alcohol evaporates a little and the taste is quite good. Bulk fermentation gave a  modest rise just as the recipe said and afterwhich, the dough seemed promsing and looked and felt great! But the second proofing did not give any rise at all even after 5 hours of prrofing. (i waited!!)The crust was dull and the bread was over all flat and dense. Any insights as to what I did wrong. Could it be the 1/2 cup brandy?

PanHands's picture

if you guys want authentic Stollen, (which is a designated bread and must contain certain ingredients to be called Dresdenerstollen) you can order it online now.(shipping and handling is quite steep to ship to the US) However, if you want to know if you’re on the right track, just read the ingredients on the back. The ingredients aren’t in graduated quantities, meaning yeast might be listed as the first ingredient, which is obviously not the heaviest ingredient used. YES, stollen containing almonds IS traditional, however marzipan isn’t. Although it is a popular style, just not the original. 

the ingredients on the back of the box are as follows:

white flour, raisins, butter, lard, sugar, almonds (both sweet and bitter) water, yeast, candied lemon peel, candied orange peel, candied citron,  milk powder, salt, and flavoring.