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This is the best stollen recipe! A professional pastry chef gives you step-by-step instructions for a traditional stollen bread that is moist and flavorful. You can make this stollen recipe with or without marzipan!

Stollen Studded Fruit

Stollen is my favorite Christmas bread of all time and must be made along with fruit cake! When I was little, I would wait all year for them to appear in the grocery store then I would gleefully dig into a loaf before we even made it out of the store. It’s been a long journey from that little girl to professional pastry chef, but I am here to give you all my best tips and tricks for flavorful stollen bread that is never dry.

The buttery, soft dough is flavored with lemon and orange zest. I’ve packed the dough with as many almonds, pecans, walnuts, raisins and candied orange peel as it can hold! Brushing the loaves with melted butter and coating with sugar helps keep the stollen moist and locks in the flavor! I will show you how to make stollen bread with or without marzipan in the center!

What is Stollen?

Stollen is an enriched, yeasted bread that is traditionally served at Christmastime. The dough is flavored with lemon and orange zest and contains nuts, raisins and candied citrus peels. The warm loaves are dipped or brushed in melted butter then coated in sugar to help preserve the bread.

Stollen Wood Cutting Board
Pumpkin Herb Dinner Rolls Rosemary
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Should stollen be eaten warm?

Stollen bread is delicious with butter and jam either warm or at room temperature.

Why use a sponge in this Stollen recipe?

A sponge is a bread-making technique where you mix a portion of the flour with the yeast and all of the liquids. In this recipe that is milk and water. The sponge not only activates and gives the yeast time to start fermenting, but also allows the gluten network to begin forming. This decreases the total amount of time you have to mix or knead the bread and will make the whole process faster!

Stollen Baking Sheet

Stollen Recipe Ingredients

  • Dry Active Yeast: These little dry active yeast guys require the added step of hydration, but they are fast yet controllable.
  • Whole Milk: I generally use whole milk in yeasted breads for the added flavor and fat. It has a lower water content and the extra fat helps keep the rolls tender and moist.
  • All Purpose Flour: I prefer to use all-purpose flour in the majority of my bread recipes because it has the perfect amount of gluten for developing a strong network but remaining tender and soft.
  • Butter: Unsalted butter allows you to control the flavor of the dough while still adding all the buttery goodness!
  • Sugar: There is a little bit of sugar here for flavor, caramelization of the crust and also to give the yeast an easy and readily accessible food supply to get the party started!
  • Lemon Zest: Be sure to zest only the bright yellow parts of the lemon peel for the most concentrated flavor and to avoid the bitter white pith.
  • Orange Zest: Just like with the lemons, be sure to zest only the dark orange parts of the orange peel for the most concentrated flavor.
  • Kosher Salt: Kosher salt is lass salty than table salt and a teaspoon weighs less than other finer ground varieties. It adds flavor but also contributes to the dough structure. I factor the kosher salt into the hydration that the dough needs.
  • Candied Orange Peel: I used store-bought candied orange peel for this bread but, if you have the time, homemade candied orange peel would be even better! The flavor of store-bought is rarely as good because they use the whole rind rather than just the flavorful peel.
  • Raisins: I use dark raisins in this bread but you could also use golden raisins, or a mix of both!
  • Almonds: I use whole, blanched (peeled) almonds in this stollen recipe. Traditionally the almonds are untoasted but you can certainly bake with toasted almonds if you prefer the flavors.
  • Pecans: I love to use Southern pecans in baking. Nothing beats fresh, plump pecans. But any pecan halves will do. If you keep them for longer than a month or your kitchen is consistently warm, store them in the freezer to preserve freshness.
  • Walnuts: I use whole, untoasted walnuts in this recipe. Walnuts go bad before other nuts especially when stored in a warmer room. I always taste them before using them for baking. Store them in the freezer for extended freshness.
  • Marzipan: I use marzipan for stollen rather than almond paste, but marzipan is optional. It has a bit more sugar and generally a few other additives. You can use almond paste if you like but just be sure it will hold its shape when rolled.
Stollen Crumb


  • Nuts & Fruits: The ones I’ve listed are the traditional selections but you can use any variety of dried fruits and nuts that you like!
  • Mini Stollen: I used to make this stollen recipe into bite-sized versions at the restaurant for a VIP giveaway treat. This same recipe will yield 110 mini stollen bites. Chop the nuts before adding to make for a more even distribution, then divide the dough into 35g pieces. Shape like rolls and bake in sprayed mini muffin tins.
  • Marzipan: The marzipan center in stollen bread is optional. I love the added sweetness, moisture and almond flavor of the marzipan! It will add to the total cost of the bread and one more step, but this stollen recipe can be made with or without marzipan baked inside.
Holiday Loaf Overhead

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does homemade stollen keep?

Homemade stollen is brushed or dipped in melted butter to help preserve the bread. It will keep well wrapped for a month at room temperature or 3 months frozen. If stored at room temperature, it will gradually dry out. I prefer to eat homemade stollen within 3 days for the best flavor and texture.

How do you store homemade stollen?

Store wrapped well in plastic wrap. Stollen can be stored at room temperature or frozen. Storing stollen in the refrigerator will dry it out faster and I do not recommend it.

Can you freeze stollen?

Baked stollen freezes beautifully. I find it easier to pre-slice before wrapping and freezing. That way I can take out as many or as few slices as I want! You can also freeze the whole loaf and thaw at a later date.

Will this stollen recipe multiply?

I have tested this bread recipe in a professional commercial bakery setting. You are only limited by the capacity of your particular mixer. I would strongly suggest measuring by weight when multiplying bread recipes. They are particularly sensitive to minute adjustments of flour and hydration. I scale all my bread recipes but it is particularly important when making a larger batch.

Can I ship stollen?

Stollen bread makes a wonderful Christmas gift and ships very well. For the freshest bread, wrap tightly in plastic wrap before packaging. A decorative Christmas tin or cellophane bag tied with a festive bow are easy ways to package stollen for shipping.

Holiday Loaf Wire Rack

Can you bake yeasted bread from frozen?

You can bake yeasted bread from frozen. Yeast continues to be slowly active in the freezer. A portion will also die. I do not suggest storing unbaked, shaped stollen in the freezer longer than a week.

Why does the salt go in after the rest of the ingredients in this stollen recipe?

We delay the addition of the salt in this stollen recipe because salt is hygroscopic. It will pull moisture from the dough and will prevent a smooth dough from forming in the initial incorporation phase. A large percentage of the moisture in this dough comes from the butter. Salt will steal that moisture and prevent the flour from hydrating properly.

How do you serve stollen?

You can serve stollen plain or warmed with butter and jam. {I have a killer mixed berry jam recipe you could make at home!} I think the stollen made with marzipan is delightful all by itself! The added sweetness of the marzipan center turns it into a tasty treat. You could also make a pretty phenomenal French toast or bread pudding with it!

Holiday Loaf Soft Inside
Stollen Delicious Sideview
5 from 1 ratings

The BEST Stollen Recipe

This is the BEST stollen recipe! A professional pastry chef gives you step-by-step instructions for a traditional stollen bread that is moist and flavorful. You can make this stollen recipe with or without marzipan!
Prep: 40 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Proof: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total: 2 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 2 loaves



Final Dough:



  • Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, sprinkle with some of the flour from the final dough, cover and ferment 10-15 minutes. The sponge is ready when the flour on top cracks.


  • Up to a day ahead of time, combine the sugar and the zests. This will draw out the oils in the zest and make for a more flavorful bread.
  • Combine sponge, butter, sugar, flour and zests in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix to hydrate on low 2 minutes. There should be no dry pieces of dough or unincorporated flour. If you are finding that there is still flour after 2 minutes, add 1 tablespoon of milk and finish mixing.
  • Switch to the dough hook attachment, add salt and mix to develop gluten on medium-low, approximately 4 minutes. Check for window pane by taking a piece of the dough and gently stretching it in a square shape. This is an enriched dough so you are looking for a smooth dough that can be pulled thin enough to let light through.
  • Place in oiled bowl and cover. Proof for 10 minutes.
  • Incorporate raisins, candied zest, and nuts by kneading into the dough. It is okay if all the mix-ins do not incorporate at this stage. You will have another opportunity during folding to try and get more inside! Place in an oiled bowl and bulk proof 20 minutes.
  • Uncover the dough and flip it over in the bowl. Starting at the top edge, pull the dough gently and fold it over itself. Turn the bowl a quarter turn and then repeat with all the sides. Shove any unincorporated nuts or raisins inside. Proof 20 minutes.
  • Divide dough in half, approximately 530g each. The quantity of mix ins can make it difficult to judge but you’ve got this!
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Pre-shape loaves into rounds. Flip each half over and fold the corners into the center. Flip it right side up so that the smooth side is up. Tighten the ball by gently pulling towards you with both hands. Rotate a quarter turn and repeat until a tight round has formed but it not cracking on the top. Cover and allow to rest 10 minutes. This allows the gluten to relax enough to final shape.
  • Using a rolling pin, roll and flatten each round into a rectangle that is about an inch thick. It will be 10-12 inches long. The short edges will be slightly rounded, which is perfect. Using a wooden dowel or the handle of a wooden spoon, roll 2 channels into dough longwise. The channels will divide the dough into approximate thirds.
  • If you are filling the dough with marzipan, divide it into two and roll each piece into a rope that is just a little shorter than the dough. Place the marzipan rope into the channel closest to you.
  • Lift top bump up and place it into the channel closest to you (the one with the marzipan) and fold the dough edge backwards to create loaves that have 3 ridges. The one in the middle should be higher than the other 2. Place on parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Proof 20-30 minutes. The dough will feel light and airy. You can refrigerate 10 minutes prior to baking to set the shape.
  • Egg wash and bake 30-40 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reads 185°F. You can also use a cake tester to test. The bread is done when the tester comes out clean.
  • Cool on sheet pan 10 minutes.
  • While warm remove any dark raisins and discard. Brush with melted butter and coat with granulated sugar. You can also coat it in half granulated and half powdered sugar.


Yield: 2 Loaves


Calories: 2917kcal | Carbohydrates: 404g | Protein: 57g | Fat: 128g | Saturated Fat: 47g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 21g | Monounsaturated Fat: 51g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 387mg | Sodium: 2921mg | Potassium: 2066mg | Fiber: 25g | Sugar: 131g | Vitamin A: 2320IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 407mg | Iron: 19mg
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
Calories: 2917
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Hi, I’m Chef Lindsey!

I am the baker, recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Chef Lindsey Farr. I believe in delicious homemade food and the power of dessert!

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