Family Favorite: Christmas Stollen

It is not Christmas in the Bulbrook house without stollen. My mom makes several loaves of this German Christmas bread every year, and we eat it at almost every occasion around the holidays–especially on Christmas Eve, with a glass of champagne, and on Christmas Day breakfast, slathered in butter and accompanied by a strong cup of coffee. This year, we’ve moved the celebration from Boston to Palm Springs, so I assumed the mantle of making the family’s Christmas stollen supply. (No pressure!)

I’ve been working off my mom’s xeroxed, faxed, and scanned recipe from an old Sunset Magazine with her notes (and it looks like someone else’s?) in the margins. Here’s my take on this quick version of what is traditionally a yeast bread. Make this 2-3 days ahead so it has time to mellow in your fridge and let the flavors develop. The loaf above is the gluten-free version.

The best part is the vanilla sugar on top. (You can put some in the crease in the center, too.) To make it, just stick a vanilla bean in an airtight container of sugar for a couple of days at room temperature. It’s so good, you’ll find yourself dusting all of your holiday baking with it…


xx Anna

Christmas Stollen

Yield: 3 medium loaves

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or replace with gluten-free flour and add 1 1/2 tsp. xantham gum and 1/2 tsp. guar gum)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 3/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 1 cup cottage cheese, blended or strained until smooth
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla (I used bourbon vanilla)
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 2 tbsp. rum (or water)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (or currants)
  • 1/4 cup silvered almonds
  • 1/2 cup chopped golden raisins
  • 3 tbsp. melted butter
  • 4 tbsp. vanilla sugar

Pre-heat oven to 350F. Mix the dry ingredients together very well, and cut butter in with a pastry knife or food processor until the mixture resembles coarse meal. In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients, raisins, and nuts, except for melted butter and vanilla sugar. Mix wet and dry ingredients until dough is just moistened through and can be formed into a ball. Knead dough a few times on a floured surface until smooth. Divide dough into 3 even parts, then flatten each part into an oval. Moisten the top with a little butter, then fold dough so the top section is a little smaller than the bottom. Bake on a parchment-lined cookie sheet for 20-30 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the center resists light pressure. Set on a rack to cool, brush with the rest of the melted butter, and dust with vanilla sugar. Store in air-tight wrapping for 2-3 days in the fridge or freezer to mellow for 2-3 days to mellow. Re-heat wrapped in foil in a warm oven, then slice and serve with or without butter.



Filed under Bread, Christmas, Dessert, Gluten-free, Winter

3 responses to “Family Favorite: Christmas Stollen

  1. Anna — beautiful loaf, picture perfect! I am glad you grew into a taste for our Christmas stollen. Can’t wait to try it. XO


  2. HP

    This looks delicious Anna B! Happy Birthday!


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