German Christmas stollen with marzipan unlike the English Christmas cake is actually a bread and not cake. Marzipan is an essential ingredient, but if you prefer not to add it, you can make it without the marzipan too.
Ingredients for German Christmas Stollen
Some dried fruits, some fresh, some sugar, and some bread making ingredients. That’s all it takes to make this stunning dessert.
Ingredients List for German Christmas Stollen:
- 2 cups blanched almond meal (ground blanched almonds)
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
- 3 tablespoons water
- pinch of salt
- Fruit and nut mix
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup sultanas
- 1/2 currents
- 1/2 cup candied fruit
- 1 cup blanched almond slices
- 1/4 cup rum (or brandy)
- The dough
- 1 cup warm milk (about 110 degrees F)
- 3 teaspoons dry active yeast
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- zest of 1 lemon
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground mace
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- icing sugar for dusting
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Making the Marzipan
In a food processor add the almond meal and icing sugar. Pulse until you have a smooth homogenous consistency. Then add the almond extract and the water and pulse again until you have a smooth paste like consistency.
Sprinkle some icing sugar on the counter and roll the marzipan out. Divide it into two halves and roll each half into a ball. Wrap each log in plastic wrap and set it aside. I like to place it in the fridge while I make the dough.
Fruit and Nut Mix
What Christmas dessert is complete without a little booze? Well, you guessed it. This Christmas dessert definitely needs booze – Rum to be specific.
In a medium mixing bowl, mix the raisins, sultanas, currents, and almonds. Pour 1/2 cup of rum over the fruits and nuts and mix well. This will allow the fruits to soften a little as they absorb the delicious flavour of rum. Don’t worry, the alcohol evaporates so kids will be able to enjoy the dessert as well. Set this aside and let the rum do its thing.
Dough for the German Stollen with Marzipan
This Christmas dessert is a yeast based bread – just like most other bread. So, the first thing you need to do is activate the yeast. Heat 1 cup of milk to about 110 degrees F. To this add 3 teaspoons of dry active yeast and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Sugar helps the yeast bloom. Let it sit for about 15 mins.
While the yeast is blooming, in a large mixing bowl, add 1/2 unsalted butter (room temperature), and 1/2 cup sugar and cream. Add 1 egg and the yolk of a second egg as well as the zest of a small lemon. Mix well to combine the sugar, butter, and eggs. By. now the yeast should have bloomed. Add that to the bowl and mix well.
It’s time for the spices. Mix the mace, cardamom, and cinnamon to the bowl and mix well. This step will ensure that all the spices are evenly spread into the dough.
Now you can add the 4 cups of all purpose flour to the bowl. This will form a dough. Sprinkle some flour on a clean surface and place the dough on it. Add the fruits and nuts to the dough. Make sure you try and get the fruit and nuts with a spoon in case there is some of the rum left over that was not absorbed by the fruits. You don’t want to make the dough too soft.
Adding the Fruits and Nuts
Mix the fruits and nuts well into the dough and knead the dough well – for about 5 or so mins. Put the kneaded dough back into the bowl and put a damn cloth on top of the dough. Let it sit in a warm place for about 1 hour so it rises and doubles in size.
Making the Loaf
Now that you have the dough ready. It’s time to make the loaf. To make the loaf, divide the dough into two equal parts. Roll one in a ball and place it on a floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the ball into a 9 inch circle. Place one log of the marzipan into the middle of the circle.
Fold one side of the circle about 2/3 of the way over to the center of the circle. Make sure to wrap the filling under the fold.
Now it’s time to fold the other end over about 2/3 of the way. Pinch the fold well so that you get a little bump on the top of the loaf. Pinch both ends of the loaf as well, so that the filling doesn’t ooze out of the sides.
The loaf needs to rise a second time. This is the difficult time consuming part. The second rise. By this time I am so ready to make my cup of coffee and just have the stollen already. But, alas, it’s not time to eat just yet. Cover the loaf with some plastic wrap. I use the same wrap that I used for the filling (less waste).
Place parchment paper on a 9×13 inch baking tray and place the loaf on it and let it do the rising on it. I place the loaves in the oven and let them proof there – in the proofing tray or in the oven with the bread proof setting. If you don’t have that setting on your oven, no worries. Just set the oven to about 100 degrees and let the loaves rise in that. Else, you can just place them in the oven without turning them on.
Baking the Christmas Stollen
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
Once the loaves have risen for about an hour, bake the loaf for 30-35 mins. You will be able to smell it baking all over the house. They are ready when you see the loaves have browned from the top and look a little bit like a regular loaf of bread. Get it out of the oven and turn the oven off.
As soon as the loaves are out of the oven, spread a tablespoon of butter all over each of the loaves. I use a brush to spread the butter, so it’s evenly spread. If 1 tablespoon isn’t enough, use a little bit more. The point is to cover the whole loaf with butter. And immediately sprinkle a generous amount of icing sugar on the butter. I use a sieve to sprinkle it, so it is spread evenly and there are no lumps.
Although the Christmas stollen is ready and you are really dying to cut a slice and enjoy it, it’s way too hot for now to cut into. If you try to cut a slice, it will crumble, so it’s best to let it rest for about 15 mins before you do.
Now you are finally ready to make that long awaited cup of coffee, slice it into the bread, and enjoy!
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Amazing German Christmas Stollen with MarzipanCourse: DessertCuisine: EuropeanDifficulty: Medium
My classic German Christmas stollen is full of dried fruits, nuts, and spices and is filled with a homemade marzipan center.
2s cup blanched almond meal
1 cup icing sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 tablespoons water
pinch of salt
- Fruit and nut mix
1 cup raisins
1 cup sultanas
1/2 cup candied fruit
1 cup blanched almond slices
1/4 cup rum (or brandy)
- The dough
1 cup warm milk (about 110 degrees F)
3 teaspoons dry active yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
zest of 1 lemon
4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground mace
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
icing sugar for dusting
- To make marzipan add the almond meal to a food processor. Add the icing sugar and pulse until you have a smooth homogenous consistency.
- Add the almond essence and the water and pulse again until you have a smooth paste like consistency.
- Sprinkle some icing sugar on a counter and place the marzipan on it. Mit it again using your hands and divide it into two halves.
- Wrap each half in plastic wrap and set aside to cool.
- Fruit and nut mix
- In a medium sized bowl, mix the raisins, sultanas, currents, and almonds.
- Pour the rum over them and mix well.
- Set aside while you make the dough.
- The dough
- Heat the milk to about 110 degrees F.
- Pour the milk into a bowl or measuring cup. To this add the active yeast and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Set aside to let the yeast bloom – for about 15 mins or so.
- While the yeast is blooming, cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the egg, the egg yolks, and lemon zest to the butter and sugar and mix well.
- By now the yeast should have bloomed. Add it to the bowl and mix well.
- To this add the cardamom, mace, and cinnamon and mix well.
- Now add the all purpose flour to the bowl and mix well to form a dough.
- Drop the dough on a well floured counter and add the fruit and nuts to the dough. Do not add the liquid that is left over in the bowl.
- Knead the dough well and mix the fruit and nuts into the dough so that they are evenly spread. Kneading takes about 5 mins.
- Put the kneaded dough back into the bowl and cover it with a damp cloth and set aside. The dough needs to rise for about an hour.
- Once the dough has risen, punch down the dough to remove any air bubbles.
- Divide the dough into two equal halves and form balls.
- Take one ball and roll it into a 9 inch circle (about 1/2 inch thick).
- Place one cooled marzipan roll in the center of the circle.
- Roll one side of the dough over the marzipan – this should only cover about 2/3 of the circle.
- Now roll the other side over so it comes on top of the first fold and goes a little over.
- Mix the reserved egg white with 1 tablespoon of water and lightly coat the open top so that it stays closed during baking.
- Pinch the two ends of the loaf (where the marzipan is still sticking out) and form a loaf.
- Repeat steps 13-18 for the second loaf.
- The loaves need to be proofed again. Cover the loaves with some plastic wrap (I use the same wrap I used for the marzipan – less waste).
- Place the loaves in a warm place to proof them for about an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Line two 9×13 inch baking sheets with parchment paper and place one loaf on each of the trays. Bake the loaves for about 30 – 35 mins. The loaves will rise and brown slightly when ready.
- As soon as you remove the loaves from the oven, spread 1 tablespoon of butter on each of them.
- Dust icing sugar all over them. The butter will help the icing sugar stick to the loaves.