What Is Stollen, The German Christmas Fruitcake? A Peek At Its History. Bonus: Recipe Inside

Let's steal some warm and freshly baked Stollen!

by Ankita Mazumdar
What Is Stollen, The German Christmas Fruitcake? A Peek At Its History. Bonus: Recipe Inside

Christmas means you have to have a cake. Whether it is a fruit cake, a rum cake or a plum cake. A good amount of warm, gooey and delicious cake is a want during the holiday season. This winter try an authentic German Christmas Fruitcake, Stollen. It has been around for over seven hundred years and it is the most popular flakey and moist cake during Christmas. Let’s bake it and get to know more about it!

What Is Stollen?

  • In simple words, Stollen is the German Christmas Fruitcake. In Germany, it is known as Christstollen. 
  • Essentially it is a bread, baked with yeast, dried fruits, nuts, raisins, candied citrus peels, and spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, mace, cloves, brandy, or rum that express the warmth during this Christmas season.
  • This delicious baked goodness is heavily dusted with a coat of powdered sugar which becomes reminiscent of the white wintry wonderland in Germany. How adorable! Along the same lines, there is also a legend that says the way it is shaped and a layer of powdered sugar symbolises the swaddled baby Christ.
  • Over the years this Stollen has been modified with yummy variations of almonds, poppy seeds, a cheese called quark, higher butter content, and more. Would be be down to trying these new variations of stick to the good old Stollen?

Let’s Take A Look At Its History

  • The first of its kind, Dresdner Christstollen, dates back to 1329. With time, this German Christmas fruitcake was refined into what Stollen is today. 
  • Stollen used to be a bland and hard pastry until 1650. Till this time, milk and butter were forbidden by the Catholic church during Lent, a catholic tradition. This year Prince Ernst von Sachsen tried to lift the ban but thankfully, it was later lifted in 1490.
  • Now, slowly this stale Stollen was infused with milk, butter and a whole lotta new ingredients to make it a sweet and delicious Christmas cake. Thus, Germany had a special Christmas fruitcake.
  • Every year, the German Christmas market, Dresdner Striezelmarkt, showcases the largest Stollen baked of the year. It is paraded through the street on a horse-drawn carriage. The Mayor gets to taste it first and then it is cut into thousands of pieces and sold. The proceeds go to charity. 

Also Read: Pantone’s Colour Of The Year 2024 Is Peach Fuzz. Make 5 Peach Fuzz Cocktails This Christmas Season

Now It Is The Time To Bake This German Christmas Fruitcake


  • 500 gm of flour
  • 10 gm of yeast
  • 200 ml lukewarm water
  • 30 ml of rum
  • 5 gm of powdered cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 50 gm of butter
  • 150 gm of marzipan
  • 150 gm of melted butter
  • 100 gm of raisins, cranberries, citrus peel (chopped) and nuts
  • 50 gm of sugar
  • 10 gm of salt
  • Powdered sugar


  • You have to soak the dry fruits in rum and cinnamon for over a month to infuse them in rum nicely.
  • Take a bowl, beat the sugar and butter, then add the eggs and beat again.
  • Take lukewarm water, put yeast in it and let it active properly. Add this mixture to flour and salt. Now make a dough.
  • Add the soaked nuts along with the sugar and butter mixture. Mix the dough well and keep it aside for 15 minutes.
  • Now, take the dough and roll it out nicely. Take small pieces of marzipan and then roll it again. Shift to a baking tray.
  • Let the bread rest for some time at room temperature. For at least 30 minutes.
  • Next, bake the Stollen delicious goodness at 170 degrees for 25 minutes
  • Take it out, let it cool and brush it with melted butter and give a nice thick coating of powdered sugar.

Also Read: Enjoy A Delightful Christmas Relishing These Parsi Winter Desserts & Sweets

Voila, your flakey and moist German Christmas Fruitcake, Stollen is ready.

Merry Christmas!

Cover Image Credits: Canva

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