Advent Stollen Recipe

This traditional holiday sweet's origin might surprise you.
Stollen is a German fruit bread with a long holiday tradition.

Stollen

Stollen is a German fruit bread with a long holiday tradition.

Related To:

Served during the holidays, this sweet German bread laden with dried fruit, nuts and dusted with powdered sugar wasn’t always the treat we know today. In 14th century Germany, the use of butter or milk was forbidden during the advent season and stollen contained only flour, oil and water and was a food to be eaten during times of fasting.

In 1491, bakers in Saxony petitioned the church to allow the use of butter for advent baking. Their request was granted to a select few. Others were permitted the privilege as well, but only when a tribute was paid. The Christmas bread was transformed when the ban was lifted. Soon the use of dairy and other rich ingredients, including candied fruits, nuts and rum made the bread a coveted baked good considered the food of royalty. Dresden became the city most associated with the regal bread and, even today, fewer than 150 bakers are permitted to use the seal that indicates the Christmas bread can be sold as “Dresden Christstollen.”

Today, stollen is a beloved staple of the holidays either baked at home or available for purchase a few weeks each year. Recipes vary widely and the meager loaf that once represented sacrifice is now a rich and flavorful seasonal delight.

Try your hand at this advent bread with this easy recipe for the traditional bread. And if anyone asks if you bought this delicious holiday fruit bread with a royal pedigree, tell them no. It’s stollen.

Yes, I hear you groaning. But as I bake this bread each December, that terrible joke is part of my holiday tradition.

Stollen

  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1/4 cup brandy, rum or apple juice
  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 6 teaspoons dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

Combine raisins, cherries, cranberries, orange zest and brandy. Cover, shake and set aside.

Sift together flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl.

Add warm (not hot) milk, melted butter, eggs and vanilla and mix until dough holds together.

Add raisin mix and almonds to dough and mix to fully integrate.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and pliant.

Form the dough into a ball and place in a large, oiled bowl.

Cover and let rise for one hour or until doubled in size.

Punch dough down, divide into two pieces and roll into two flat ovals about 8x12 inches.

Brush dough with melted butter.

Combine cinnamon and brown sugar and sprinkle over dough to coat.

Fold ovals in half lengthwise and pinch edges to seal.

Place loaves on a greased baking sheet, cover and allow to rise 45 minutes.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes until golden brown.

Transfer to wire racks to cool.

Once cool, sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar.

Next Up

Chelsea and Cole DeBoer Shared Their Ultimate Holiday Traditions with HGTV, and We're Ready to Copy Them All

Treats, magical decor, family fun — the Down Home Fab hosts know how to celebrate the holidays. Take a look into their rituals, then try them for yourself.

Endlessly Customizable Layered Cheesecake Bars

Just one pan of these 3-in-1 cheesecake bars will fill your entire dessert tray or a Christmas tin for gifting. Get creative by swapping in your own fillings and toppings, or use our easy guide for the season’s most tempting flavors: Cookies ‘n Cream, Peppermint Patty and Pecan Pie. They all come from one pan and the variety is sure to please a crowd.

Gift or Enjoy: Endlessly Customizble Christmas Shortbread Cookies Recipe

Whether you're gifting them or serving them at a holiday party, we'll help you fill your Christmas cookie tray with ease. We’ve formulated one easy shortbread dough to be the base for three different cookie flavors. Cranberry-Orange and Toffee-Chocolate Chip are enticing and holiday appropriate, while Smoked Cheddar-Jalapeño offers an unexpected savory bite. Whatever their favorite flavor — this sweet or savory shortbread cookie recipe promises something for everyone.

Edible C9 Christmas Bulb Cookie Ornaments

Celebrate the holidays in retro style with a delicious cookie that doubles as a Christmas tree ornament, a party favor or a fun, homemade food gift. C9 bulb-shaped cookies are decorated in a rainbow of royal icing colors, with twinkling sanding sugars to match.

Homemade Christmas Cookies for Dogs Recipe

No pups on the naughty list here! Santa knows that all dogs are nice year-round, so they deserve a special homemade holiday treat. Chicken broth and sweet potato give these cut-out cookies the flavor of a holiday dinner, while nutritional yeast gives them cheesy flavor without adding any dairy products.

82 Best Advent Calendars of 2023

The most wonderful time of the year is almost here! Count down the days to Christmas with our favorite Advent calendars for kids and adults.

The Best Holiday Advent Calendars for Kids

Every day during the holiday season is magical for kids — particularly when they have an Advent calendar to open daily.

How to Make Ice Cube Tray Chocolate Covered Cherries

These holiday favorites are made with the help of ice cube trays.

How to Make Minty Hot Chocolate

Take your hot cocoa to the next level with this recipe from HGTV Magazine.

How to Make Spiced Hot Chocolate

Take your hot cocoa to the next level with this recipe from HGTV Magazine.

Go Shopping

Get product recommendations from HGTV editors, plus can’t-miss sales and deals.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.