Stollen dates back to the Council of Trent in 1545 and was originally made from flour, yeast, oil and water. Modern Stollen variations include dried fruit, nuts and spices and are topped with powdered sugar or icing. This traditional German bread is enjoyed during the Christmas season.

Stollen is a German holiday treat also known as Weihnachtsstollen or Christstollen. We'll leave the pronunciation up to the professionals! The addition of raisins and dried or candied fruit to this bread gives it a colorful jewel-studded look, just perfect for a holiday dessert plate. Stollen recipes are passed down from generation to generation. You'll find different families have added their own unique twist over the years so there are many variations.

If you're ready to throw on an apron and make some homemade gifts from the kitchen, Stollen is a nice change of pace from the typical sugar overload the holidays bring. Yes, it still has a sweet glaze on top but the bread component is a lot more dialed back than your typical sugar cookie. You'll appreciate the lemon zest coming through and combining with the raisin, pecan and cherry flavors.

As a gift, Stollen is pretty economical to make. The pecans are probably the most expensive ingredient. Pick up a few basic ingredients and maybe some pretty ribbon, crank up the carols and your holiday list will be done in no time. Enjoy!

Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Difficulty: Easy


1 pkg. active dry yeast
1 Cup warm milk (110°F -115°F)
4 Cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon rind, grated
1/2 Cup butter or margarine
3 egg yolks, divided
1/2 Cup red and green candied cherries, chopped
1/4 Cup raisins
1/4 Cup pecans, chopped
1 Tbsp water


1/2 Cup confectioners' sugar
additional cherries, optional
1 Tbsp milk​


  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt and lemon rind
  3. Cut in butter until crumbly
  4. Add yeast mixture and 2 egg yolks, mix well
  5. Stir in cherries and pecans
  6. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 - 8 minutes
  7. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour; the dough will not double.
  8. Punch dough down and divide into 4 pieces
  9. Roll three pieces into 15" ropes
  10. Braid ropes, then place on a greased baking sheet
  11. Split the last quarter into two pieces and roll 2, 15" ropes and twist
  12. Press an indention down the center of the braided loaf
  13. Place twisted dough in the indention
  14. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes
  15. Beat remaining egg yolk and water and brush over loaf
  16. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes
  17. Cover with foil and bake 20 - 25 minutes longer, cool on a wire rack
  18. Combine glaze ingredients and drizzle over loaf, then decorate with cherries