Are you wanting a new holiday bread that most Americans don’t serve often during the holidays?  Something along the lines of a tender sweet bread that will ‘wow’ your guests?  This Christmas Stollen Traditional German Holiday Bread is just perfect for your holiday entertaining.

Most of us have been really missing out on one of the most delightful international sweet breads served at Christmastime! Stollen!

An ancient tradition in Germany, stollen is a heavy but moist, cake-like yeast bread that is fruit-filled (oranges, currants, and lemon-zest), cinnamon-spiced and sugar-dusted sweet bread that is hard to resist! When you slice into this little bread, it’s not the same as ‘fruit bread’ that we’re familiar with here in the States . . . you know that overly sweet, almost candy-sweet saturated fruits condensed into a little bit of bread. This is mostly bread with tiny bits of fruit giving it a very subtle, not overpowering hint of fruit. A generous dusting of powdered sugar on top gives the perfect amount of sweetness and at the same time lends reminders of a freshly fallen snow in December!  

A must on any traveler’s bucket list, no matter how early or late one visits, is to visit Bavaria, Germany during Christmastime. It’s magical!

Shop windows are filled with holiday food specialties of the region.

Stollen is a cake-like fruit bread made with yeast, water and flour, and usually with fruit zest added to the dough.  Candied orange or citrus peel, raisins, almonds, and spices such as cardamom and cinnamon are added. Other ingredients, such as rum, nuts, other dried fruits, and marzipan can also be added.  The dried fruits are macerated in rum or brandy for a an over-the-top superior tasting sweet bread.  Yet, the dough is not very sugary-sweet as most American fruit breads are. The finished bread is sprinkled with powdered (confectioners) sugar.  Weighing in around 4 pounds, Stollen is a sizeable bread, however, smaller sizes can also be prepared.  The bread is slathered with melted butter and then rolled in sugar as soon as it comes out of the oven, resulting in a very moist bread.

Oh my goodness, hot melted butter plus sugar?  I’m delirious just thinking about it!

The history of the Dresden type Christmas Stollen goes back to the 15th century.  The shape of Stollen bread and the dusting of powdered sugar symbolize the baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes, so it was called Christstollen.  

ChristStollen” is said to have originated around the year 1329, during those Middle Ages that we know so little about.  Apparently there was a contest by the Bishop of Nauruburg in which bakers in Dresden, Germany were challenged to make a wonderful bread using the finest available butter, sugar, raisins, citron and any other ingredient that was suitable to the recipe.  Turns out that the Bishop was really jazzed about the results of the contest and declared that a certain quantity of grain was to be saved every year to bake Stollen.

The ‘official’ Dresden Stollen is produced in the city of Dresden and distinguished by a special seal depicting King Augustus II the Strong and only produced by 150 Dresden bakers.  Stollen loaves originally weighed in at a hefty 30 pounds!  Wow, that’s a pretty big bread!  Stollen became such a part of Dresdeners’ lives that it was cut and served with special, Stollen-only utensils.  Also traditional was to set aside the first cut slice to ensure that the family would be able to afford Stollen the next year and the last piece of stollen was saved to ensure the family had enough food for the coming year.

While traditions change over time, the joy of eating Dresden Stollen has yet to change.

Now if preparing this delightful sweet bread isn’t in your busy schedule (and boy do I ever get that!) and yet you still want to give it a try and serve during your holiday festivities . . . I scoured the web to find the most highly rated and recommended imported German Stollen.

Now, if you’re like me, you don’t have a lot of time in your super-busy schedules, right?  I mean really!  I’ve got a full-time job and I know that most of you work whether at home or elsewhere, even raising children is a full-time job.  I baked the Stollen in my photos, but there are some good, reputable, pre-made, and ready to slice Stollen available. 

These Stollen have different prices, but these are the top 3 (in order) ranked Stollens to buy online and delivered to your door (watch out for those nasty porch pirate thieves)!  Two of them come in nice tin boxes (that you can re-use for something else later on)!  I hope that these product links are helpful for you in your Christmas entertaining!

Make sure that you check on the final due date for ordering in so that it is delivered in time for Christmas.

$13.00 – $16.00

Christmas Stollen Traditional German Holiday Bread

Christmas Stollen Traditional German Holiday Bread

With love to my husband and children of German descent.

Stollen is a rich, sweet cake filled with fruits and nuts, and Stollen from Dresden are particularly well-known. A masterpiece of baking, treasured around the world. The product's long shelf life also makes it a perfect gift for any food lover. A very special Christmas treat. By law of the European Union, commercially sold Dresden Stollen can only be made in Dresden based on certain standards.


  • 2-1/2 cups raisins
  • 4 tablespoons rum
  • 8 cups flour
  • 1-2 cups milk
  • 2 packages  dry yeast (or 2 cubes of fresh yeast if available)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 lb unsalted butter
  • 3.5 oz almonds ground or finely chopped
  • 4 oz candied lemon peel finely chopped
  • 4 oz candied orange peel finely chopped
  • Unsalted butter for coating
  • Confectioner's sugar for dusting


  1. Soak raisins in rum overnight.
  2. Combine flour, milk, yeast, sugar, salt and butter to form a smooth yeast dough.
  3. Incorporate almonds, candied lemon and orange peel, nutmeg and raisins, one after another always kneading the dough thoroughly.
  4. Let rest for 1 hour.
  5. Knead the dough once more, divide into two and shape two Stollen loaves.
  6. Bake for about 1 hour in a preheated oven at 350° oven.
  7. After baking the Stollen, brush them with melted butter and dust generously with confectioner's sugar.
  8. Stollen has a long shelf life and can be made weeks ahead of Christmas.