Holiday Stollen

Historians have traced this special holiday bread back to the year 1400. Prepared for the winter solstice, this rich bread is filled with dried or preserved fruit. There are probably as many recipes for stollen as there are little German grandmothers. The commercial production of Dresden stollen is carefully licensed to regulate quality and authenticity. Authentic or not, this recipe is delicious. I personally love it lightly toasted in the morning with a little unsalted butter on top along with a cup of coffee.
By / Photography By Chef Terri Milligan | November 15, 2013



Combined the mixed fruit, dried cherries or raisins and Kirsch. Mix and cover. Let sit while preparing the sponge.


In the bowl of your mixer, place the water and honey. Sprinkle the yeast over the water. Let rest for 10 to 15 minutes until the mixture is foamy. Add the milk and 1 cup of flour.

Cover with plastic wrap and let mixture ferment for 30 minutes.


Add the softened butter, sugar, egg, lemon zest, salt, cardamom, nuts and 2 cups of the remaining flour to the sponge. Mix with a flat paddle attachment until combined. Add the fruit mixture along with the Kirsch and mix to combine.

Gradually add the remaining flour (¼ cup at a time) until the dough begins to pull away from the side of the bowl. Continue to add flour a little at a time until the dough doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl. It should be slightly tacky but not wet.

Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and knead the dough for 5 to 6 minutes until smooth. Place in a greased bowl and cover with a lightly woven kitchen towel. Let dough rise for 1 to 2 hours until doubled in size.

Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half and roll each piece into a 10 x 6 inch rectangle. Brush lightly with the cinnamon sugar butter. Fold in half lengthwise to within one inch of the opposite side. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise until doubled (about 1 hour). Repeat with remaining piece of dough.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place stollen in oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Internal temperature using an instant thermometer should be between 200 and 210 degrees.

Remove from oven and drizzle with the powdered sugar icing. Decorate with nuts and extra pieces of dried fruit.


the Fruit
  • 1 cup mixed candied fruit plus 2 tablespoons of fruit for decorating final stollen
  • 1 cup dried Door County Montmorency cherries or golden raisins
  • 3 tablespoons Kirsch (cherry flavored brandy)
the Sponge
  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) of active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup warm water (approximately 110 degrees)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 cup milk, scalded to approximately 110 degrees
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
the Dough
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • ½ cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 3 to 4 cups flour plus a little for dusting your work area
  • ½ cup chopped nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts or pecans plus 2 tablespoons for final decoration
the Filling (mix together)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons sugar for the icing (mix together)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons warm water
  • 2 teaspoons butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • Extra dried fruit and nuts for decorating the top of the finished Stollen
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