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Stollen's richness is similar to that of brioche, but dried fruit makes it sweeter and gives it a more interesting texture. Serve this rich holiday treat in thin slices as breakfast bread or with afternoon tea. Like fruitcake, stollen improves with age and can be made up to three weeks in advance.

  • Yield: Makes 4 large loaves

Source: Martha Stewart Living, February 1996


  • 3 packages active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (100 degrees to 110 degrees)
  • 11 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 cups milk, warmed
  • 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) plus 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for bowl
  • 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 1/4 cups currants
  • 1/2 cup Cognac
  • 2 1/2 cups golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • Peel of 4 oranges, diced
  • Grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 pound citron, diced
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups blanched almonds, chopped
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting


  1. In a small bowl, combine yeast and 1/2 cup warm water, and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. In a large mixing bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Stir in milk and 1 1/4 cups melted butter. Add dissolved yeast and eggs. Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and knead until fairly smooth.

  2. In two separate bowls, soak currants in cognac, and raisins in orange juice. Let each stand for 10 minutes.

  3. In a medium-size bowl, mix together currants and raisins with their soaking liquids, the orange peel, lemon zest, citron, apricots, and almonds. Work mixture into dough. Continue kneading for about 10 minutes. If dough is sticky, knead in more flour, but be careful not to overwork.

  4. Place dough in a large buttered bowl. Cover bowl with a kitchen towel, and let dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours.

  5. Punch down the dough, and cut in quarters. Roll each piece into a 12-by-8-inch rectangle. Brush with melted butter, then fold one long side to the center. Fold other long side over first side, overlapping it by 1 inch. Turn dough over, taper the ends, and place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat for remaining 3 loaves, using a second parchment-lined baking sheet for the third and fourth loaves. Cover loaves with plastic wrap; let rise again in a warm place, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

  6. Heat oven to 350 degrees, with two racks centered. Bake stollen until golden brown, about 35 minutes, rotating the sheets between the racks halfway through baking. Cool on wire rack; dust with confectioners' sugar, and serve.

Reviews (5)

  • cdcavaliere 9 Dec, 2014

    I have been making this stollen since I saw it in one of Martha's Christmas books about 20 years ago. I have varied the dried fruit to include cherries and cranberries. I also divide the dough in half when mixing in the dried fruit. I make sure not to add too much flour when kneading for a very tender bread.

  • old deer 13 Sep, 2012

    your site has really helped me with my course level 3 patisserie thanks for being there

  • MarioJohn 21 Dec, 2011

    This stollen recipe is truly worth the time and the ingredients. The only thing I do differently is I divide the boarded dough in half and knead in half the fruits and nuts. It makes it a lot easier than trying to handle the full amount. I let them rise in individual large bowls and the split each into three for a total of six loaves. This stollen is as good as any I've ever had or have made before I found this recipe - it's simply Wunderbar!

  • rambob0612 9 Dec, 2011

    I have been making this stollen recipe ever since I first saw Martha make with her Mother on her first show. This reminds me of everything Christmas. I manage to make enough to give to friends and family a healthy portion of the loaves that I make. I usually double the batch. It is a great recipe and gets many accolades. It would not be Christmas without it. Thank-you Martha for always making the holidays special for me and my family.

  • feltmaker 16 Dec, 2007

    I love this recipe, I usually make smaller loaves to send to my Brothers for Christmas. My mother used to make stollen for gifts and I love continuing the tradition. My Mom used to bake them months in advance and freeze them, I find just making them a week in advance is perfect, then I don't have to freeze them and the flavor does improve with age.

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