This is an authentic recipe for traditional German Christmas Stollen, a slightly sweet loaf with nuts, raisins, and candied citrus peels.
In our home we have a few holiday classics and this traditional Christmas Stollen is something we bake every year.
You may have seen them show up in supermarkets or specialty stores. Stollen is similar to Italian panettone, just a bit denser.
If you have never tried them, you are in for a treat!
Best of all, with this recipe you can make traditional Christmas Stollen quickly and effortlessly.
Aside from flour, sugar, a pinch of salt, milk, eggs, and butter you will need a few more classic holiday ingredients.
Raisins are good in this recipe. However, if you want to bake a more authentic Stollen, you will want to soak your raisins in rum over night. During baking the alcohol will evaporate but still retain their rum aroma.
Chopped almonds will give this stollen bite and crunch. You could blanch, peel, and chop your own or buy them already chopped.
Candied lemon peel is an essential ingredient in this traditional Christmas Stollen recipe. While you can buy it ready-made, I prefer to make my own. They are simple to make and won’t contain questionable ingredients.
How to make the traditional Christmas Stollen:
To the bowl of a standmixer, add 3 ½ cups of flour, ½ cup of warm milk, 1 tsp dried yeast, ¼ cup of sugar, 2 tsp vanilla sugar , 1 pinch of salt, ¼ tsp of freshly ground nutmeg, 1 tsp of ground cinnamon, ¾ cup soft butter. Mix until all the ingredients are well combined.
Cover with a towel or beeswax wrap and let it sit in a warm place until the dough has visibly risen.
Now add 4 oz of candied lemon peel, 4 oz chopped almonds, and 1 cup of raisins (preferably soaked in ½ cup rum over night).
You may want to put the dough on your kitchen counter and use your hands to mix all the ingredients together.
Shaping the Stollen
Using your hands or a rolling pin, roll your Stollen into a square. You can use the rolling pin or your hands to press down the middle of your Stollen.
Optional: You can add marzipan to your Stollen. It will taste great without but we always love to add 4 oz of marzipan. If you choose to do that, roll your marzipan the same length as your Stollen and press it in the indentation.
Now fold over the Stollen about 2/3 of the way. At this point, I like to pick any raisins that are sticking out or sitting on top and press them deeply into the dough. Otherwise, they like to become black and scorched when you bake your Stollen.
Transfer the Stollen to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Cover with a tea towel and let it sit in a warm place for 30 – 60 minutes or until visibly risen.
Baking the Traditional Christmas Stollen:
Once your Stollen has risen, bake it at 320˚F for about 50 minutes.
Brushing with butter and dusting with powdered sugar:
This is another essential step in Stollen-baking. Melt about ¼ -½ cup of butter and generously brush it all over the still warm Stollen.
After that, dust your Stollen generously with powdered sugar. I like to place the powdered sugar in a small sieve and moving it around with a teaspoon, dust the Stollen.
Eating or keeping the Stollen:
I understand if you want to eat your traditional Christmas Stollen right away. We often do. It looks and smells so good, it’s hard to resist.
However, I encourage you to tightly wrap your Stollen in foil and keep it in a cool place for about 3 weeks. The flavors will develop more making your Stollen even more delicious.
Alternatively, you can double this recipe, eat one Stollen right away and keep the other one for later. Ideally, you’ll want to bake this some weeks before the holiday season so that you can can impress both your family and friends with this authentic German Christmas Stollen.
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Traditional Christmas Stollen
- 3 ½ cups flour
- 1 tsp dried yeast
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla sugar or vanilla extract
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 whole eggs
- ½ cup warm milk
- ¾ cup soft butter
- 4 oz candied lemon peel
- 4 oz chopped almonds
- 1 cup raisins best to soak in ½ cup rum over night
- ¼ – ½ cup butter melted, for brushing the Stollen after baking
- ¼ – ½ cup powdered sugar for dusting the Stollen after bakign
- 4 oz marzipan optional
- Mix the flour, sugars, yeast, salt, spices, milk, eggs, butter either in a stand mixer or by hand.
- Cover the bowl loosely and let the dough sit in a warm place until visibly risen.
- Add the raisins, candied lemon peel, and chopped almonds. Mix until well combined. This can be done in the bowl or better with your hands on the kitchen counter.
- With your hands or a rolling pin, roll the dough into a big square. In the middle of the square, using your hands or the rolling pin, create an indentation the length of the dough. Roll the marzipan out the same length as the dough and place into indentation (if using).
- Fold the dough over about 2/3.
- Pick raisins from the surface and stick them deeper into the loaf (they'll blacken during baking if they're sitting on the surface).
- Transfer the Stollen onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Loosely cover the Stollen and let sit in a warm place for about 30 – 60 minutes or until visibly risen.
- Bake the Stollen at 320˚ F for about 50 minutes.
- Remove the Stollen from the oven and immediately brush generously with the melted butter.
- Dust the Stollen generously with the powdered sugar.
- This Stollen can be enjoyed immediately but for the best flavor, I recommend tightly wrapping it in foil and keeping it in a cool place for about 3 weeks.