Christmas Stollen Recipe

Do you prefer Quarkstollen or Dresden Stollen ?

You can argue whether the stollen recipe with curd cheese (Quarkstollen), or a yeast stollen, based on the original Dresdner Christstollen, is the better German Christmas cake. In my opinion, it is just a point of personal taste. I for one, definitely favour the Quarkstollen.

Someone sprinkling sugar on a baked stollenThis is a delicious Quarkstollen

The tradition of Christmas stollen goes back to the 14th century, although the first stollen were rather simple, not as rich as they are today.

The famous Dresdner Stollen is a yeast-based cake, rich and moist. Originally, it was called "Strietzel", and the Christmas market in Dresden is still the Strietzelmarkt.

Since the German reunification Dresdner Stollen is a registered trademark. An "Original Dresdner Stollen" must be produced by one of the about 150 bakeries in and around Dresden.

Quarkstollen recipe

My stollen recipe is not so old, of course:). However, it has been used in our family for more than 60 years. It is a Quarkstollen recipe and very delicious. Try it!

Ingredients for a Quarkstollen

  • 500g (4 1/4 cups) pastry flour (Type 405)
  • 1 packet backing powder (15g or approximately 3 teaspoons)
  • 200g (1 cup) sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 250g (1 cup) dry curd cheese
  • 1 Lemon Flavor Essence
  • 35g candied orange peel
  • 35g candied lemon peel
  • 125g (1/2cup) soft butter
  • 125g (1 cup) coarsely chopped almonds
  • 250g Rosinen
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) rum

  • 75g (3/8 cup) melted butter to brush the stollen
  • 100g (1 cup) icing sugar

Directions to prepare the Stollen

1. Soak the raisins in rum for 24 hours.

2. Drain the raisins, you can keep the rum and add it to the stollen.

3. Drain the curd cheese in a fine sieve for an hour.

4. Beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl, then add one ingredient after the other while continuing mixing: sugar, soft butter, lemon flavour essence, curd cheese and the rum if you kept it.

5. Add almonds, candied orange peel and candied lemon peel.

6. Mix baking powder with the sifted flour, slowly add half of the flour to the stollen mixture using kneading hooks.

7. When the dough becomes too firm to handle with the mixer, add the rest of the flour and the raisins and knead the stollen with your hands until well combined.

Photo of someone kneading a dough with raisins for a German Christmas Stollen

8. Put the dough on a floured surface, flatten it and fold one half over to form one large stollen, put it on a piece of greased aluminium foil and form an edge with the foil.

This will result in a bread-loaf like Stollen, as in the picture on top of the page.

Or, you can divide the dough into two halves and fill two greased stollen pans. This results in a smaller Stollen, like the picture below.

Bake the stollen in a pre-heated oven at 180°C / 350°F for about 70 minutes. One large Quarkstollen needs longer in the oven than two small ones.

During the last ten minutes in the oven, brush the stollen with melted butter a few times .

Poke a thin metal stick into the stollen, when the stick comes out clean, remove the stollen from the oven.

Cool the stollen on a cooling rack, then dust it with icing sugar. Leave it on the rack for a few hours.

When the stollen is cold, wrap it in grease proof paper first, and then in aluminium foil.

Rita's Tips

  • Use a kitchen scale for best results, or see my flour facts and gram to cup conversion page for tips.
  • Dust the drained raisins with a little flour before you add them to the dough. This prevents that the raisins sink to the bottom of the stollen during the baking process.
  • If you don't like the coarse orange and lemon peel, use a food chopper to get smaller pieces.
Brushing a cake with butterBrush the Stollen with butter at the end of baking

Enjoy my German Stollen recipe!

Don't miss the cookie recipes and my other Christmas pages