Christmas Stollen

December 2021

One of our favourite treats at this time of year is Stollen, the German equivalent of the Christmas cake. While we were living in Germany, we generally bought a Stollen at the local store, but since moving to the Outer Hebrides, we’ve decided instead to bake our own Stollen at Christmastime.

Enjoying a slice of Stollen with a cup of tea or coffee, or even a glass of mulled wine (which we also make ourselves), really brings back memories of past Christmases spent in Germany. This is the recipe we use:

INGREDIENTS (for one large, two medium or four small loaves)

  • 1 packet (7g) dried yeast
  • 500g plain white flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 200g margarine
  • Juice and grated rind of one lemon
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 140ml soya milk
  • 150g sultanas
  • 200g marzipan
  • Icing sugar to dust


  1. Soak the yeast in a little lukewarm water for 10 minutes to activate it.
  2. Sieve the flour, add the salt and rub in the margarine. Add the lemon rind and almonds. Mix the lemon juice, yeast mixture and soya milk together, then pour it slowly over the dry ingredients, stirring until a dough forms. Knead the dough.
  3. Cover and leave in a warm place for two hours until the dough doubles in size.
  4. Fold in the sultanas: press the dough flat, sprinkle on a handful of sultanas, then fold the dough over. Do this a few times until all the sultanas are used up.
  5. For two medium-sized loaves, cut the dough in half. For four small loaves, cut into quarters. Roll out each piece of dough into an oblong shape on a floured surface.
  6. For medium-sized Stollen, use 100g of marzipan per loaf; for small Stollen, use 50g per loaf. Roll each piece of marzipan into a sausage shape, the same length as the rolled out dough.
  7. Place the marzipan in the middle of the dough and fold the dough over lengthways. Press the edges together. Place upside down on a greased baking sheet and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for the following cooking times:
    • Large Stollen: 15 mins at 200°C (fan 180°C), then 30 mins at 170°C (fan 160°C)
    • Medium Stollen: 10 mins at 200°C (fan 180°C), 25 mins at 170°C (fan 160°C)
    • Small Stollen: 10 mins at 200°C (fan 180°C), then 20 mins at 170°C (fan 160°C)
  8. Let the Stollen cool, then brush the top with milk. Using a sieve, sprinkle with plenty of icing sugar. Serve with tea or coffee or a cup of mulled wine.

[Note: If not consuming immediately, store the loaf in an airtight container and consume within three days.]

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