Betsy's Stollen

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Betsy's Stollen

star rating (7) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

When Betsy Oppenneer's husband was in the Army years ago they were given orders to be stationed in Germany. She couldn't wait to taste a true German stollen. Much to her disappointment it was rather cake-like and dry. This is her version of a moist, lovely stollen perfect for the holidays.

1 cup raisins
1 cup mixed candied fruits
1/4 cup orange juice or rum
2 packages (2 tablespoons) active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 cup warm milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter or margarine, softened
7 cups (approx.) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon mace
2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup chopped almonds
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 cup confectioners' sugar
6 tablespoons (approximately) heavy cream
red and green candied cherries for garnish (optional)

Combine raisins, candied fruits, and orange juice or rum; set aside.

In a large bowl stir yeast into water to soften. Add milk, half the softened butter, 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, mace, lemon rind, and eggs. Beat vigorously for 2 minutes. This is a sponge; it has the consistency of cake batter rather than bread dough.

Cover the sponge with plastic wrap and a towel. Let rise for 30 minutes. It should be light and full of tiny bubbles.

Stir sponge to deflate. Add remaining half of softened butter, salt, raisin/fruit mixture, and almonds; mix well. Gradually add flour, a little at a time, until you have a dough stiff enough to knead. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead, adding more flour as necessary, until you have a smooth, elastic dough.

Put dough into an oiled bowl, turning once to coat the entire ball of dough with oil, cover with a towel, and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Turn dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface. Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a 9 x 13-inch oval. Brush 1 tablespoon melted butter on each oval. Combine 2 tablespoons granulated sugar with cinnamon. Sprinkle half the sugar mixture over one half of each oval lengthwise. Fold dough in half lengthwise to resemble a long Parker House-style roll. Carefully lift stollens onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Press folded side slightly to help loaf keep its shape during rising and baking. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes.

Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 30 minutes, or until internal temperature of stollens reaches 190°F. Immediately remove from baking sheet and cool on a wire rack to prevent the crust from becoming soggy. Let sit for 30 minutes before icing.

Combine confectioners' sugar with enough heavy cream to have the consistency of honey. Drizzle atop stollens. Cut red cherries into sixths and place spoke-fashion, to resemble flower petals, on top of stollens. Cut green cherries into fourths to make stems and leaves. Makes 2 stollens.

This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. III, No. 2, December 1991 issue.


  • 11/07/2012
  • lucysmom1953 from KAF Community
  • Thank you for the feedback on stollen shaping. The stollen i make doesn't actually unfold, it just sort of pops open so it looks like a partially open clamshell - or it just loses the definition and becomes an oblong. I do roll it out, but will try the eggwash. I usually use 1 1/2 cups of candied citron (from KA, of course), no raisins, no nuts, so perhaps the lightness is part of the culprit. I may try increasing the candied fruit to 2 cups, maybe that will help. Thanks again!
  • 11/05/2012
  • lucysmom1953 from KAF Community
  • I have not used this recipe, but for the last few years, have used a stollen recipe from your cookbook. It is absolutely wonderful in fragrance, texture, and moistness. My problem is in the shaping. I shape the stollen properly (like a parkerhouse roll), and when they go into the oven, they do have the proper shape, but many times as they cook, they "pop" open, or just turn into a long, oval loaf. Not a problem from a practical standpoint, but is there anything you can advise me to do to help my stollen retain the proper shape? thank you!
    Yes, try actually roll the dough out with a rolling pin or dowel into an oblong piece. Then fold from the bottom up about 2/3's of the way. If you need to, apply some egg wash or water to help bind the fold together. Turn off your convection if you have it on your oven. I am sort of surprised it unfolds as most stollen recipes are laden with heavy fruit, nuts etc. If you continue to have some problems, please contact our Hotline at 1-800-827-6836. Elisabeth
  • star rating 01/19/2012
  • Hilda from San Francisco
  • This is not Stollen. It is cinnamon raisin bread. Although Stollen recipes vary widely, this has about 1/4 to 1/2 of the the sugar and butter needed to make an actual Stollen with this much flour. It has a bread-like consistency and smell, and does not keep the way Stollen does (bake a month early and wrap well to let the flavors develop). This goes stale after a few days, like bread. Smelled great out of the oven, but not going to be made for Christmas in my household.
    I am sorry to hear that this Stollen version did not suit your tastes. Perhaps this one would be more to your liking: ~Amy
  • star rating 12/23/2011
  • AWaddell from KAF Community
  • What a WONDERFUL bread. It is so, so flavorful, soft and perfectly moist. This was my first-time making stollen (though I am an avid baker) and I researched a ton of recipes before finally deciding on this one. So glad I did. I didn't find it too labor-intensive at all. I started the process at 6pm in the evening and had two fresh loaves before I went to bed. I also didn't use any candied fruits--just regular dried cranberries, apricots, currants, figs and plums/prunes soaked in Kirsch and chopped into small pieces. I added some clementine zest, cinnamon, and almond extract to the dough as well, which I will certainly do again next time. Rather that use the butter & cinnamon filling, I went the "other" stollen route and filled mine with almond paste (rolled into a thin log). This might be my favorite part of the bread--you can toast your piece, then spread the "coin" of paste on top as a spread. It's amazing. I plan on making another batch next week, and will likely make it into 4 "regular" sized loaves also. The two I got out of last night's batch were enormous!
  • star rating 12/20/2011
  • melissawojcik from KAF Community
  • I just made 4 batches of this today and they came out beautifully! The preparation is labor intensive for sure--7 hours to make 4 batches--so be ready for that, it's a major commitment. The directions are great. The only thing I'm a little disappointed in is that the amount of fruits and nuts seems a little short in the final product, so I will bump that up when I make this again. Also, the two loaves this recipe makes are GIGANTIC. After 2 batches of gigantic loaves I realized I should just make 4 normal sized loaves from each batch. So that's what I did. The 4 loaves from 1 batch are the perfect Christmas gift size. Excellent recipe!
  • star rating 03/01/2010
  • Hester from Richmond VA
  • I've used this recipe for 3-4 years & without fail, it's always a success! Time & effort are the biggest drawbacks but the end product is definitely worth the trouble. The only clarification I would make to the recipe is to note that the butter & flour need to be divided - makes it much easier for mis-en-place. The loaves also freeze well but usually don't last long enough for that to be an option.
  • star rating 12/24/2008
  • Nancy from NJ
  • wonderfully delicious.....I have been making this version for a few years now, and it is THE BEST stollen ever !!