Our Easiest Stollen

This baking powder version of a classic yeasted holiday favorite (a.k.a. The I-Don't-Have-Time-To-Make-Stollen Stollen) is quick, easy, and absolutely delicious. The recipe combines dried fruits and toasted almonds in a tender, buttery dough, with a blizzard-like coating of confectioners' sugar. Even better it makes two loaves: one to enjoy, one to wrap and give away.
Prep
25 mins
Bake
40 to 45 mins
Total
2 hrs 5 mins
Yield
2 loaves
Our Easiest Stollen

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 325°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet, or line it with parchment.
  2. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl.
  3. Cut the cold butter into small chunks, then blend it into the flour mixture to form uneven crumbs.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the cheese, egg, vanilla, and flavors.
  5. Toss the fruit and almonds with the flour mixture until evenly distributed. Then combine the wet and dry ingredients, mixing until most of the flour is moistened.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, and knead it two or three times, until it holds together. Divide it in half.
  7. Roll each piece of dough into an 8" x 7" oval about 1/2" thick.
  8. Fold each piece of dough roughly in half, leaving the edge of the top half about 1/2" short of the edge of the bottom half. Should you fold the long way, or the short way? The long way will give you a longer, narrower stollen, with shorter slices; folding the short way will give you a wider, fatter stollen, with longer slices.
  9. Use the edge of your hand to press the dough to seal about 1" in back of the open edge; this will make the traditional stollen shape. It's also the familiar Parker House roll shape, if you've ever made them.
  10. Place the shaped stollen on the prepared baking sheet.
  11. Bake the stollen until they're very lightly browned around the edges, about 40 minutes. A cake tester inserted into the center should come out clean.
  12. Remove the stollen from the oven, and transfer to a rack. Brush them each with 2 to 3 tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle heavily with confectioners' or non-melting white sugar.
  13. Allow the stollen to cool, then brush with butter again, and sprinkle with sugar again. Wrap in plastic wrap until ready to serve. Plastic-wrapped stollen will keep well for 2 weeks or so at room temperature.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Unlike standard stollen, this version doesn't keep for weeks on end. However, it was fresh as fresh could be a week after we made it; and still good 2 weeks out. By the end of the third week, it was starting to get that dry, stollen-type texture you might be used to... so we'd say enjoying it within 2 to 2 1/2 weeks after baking would give you your optimal stollen experience.
  • A number of readers have asked for a substitute for ricotta cheese. You won't get as smooth-looking a result using the following substitutions, but the stollen will still be very tasty. Reduce the butter to 2 ounces (1/4 cup). Work 3 ounces cream cheese and the butter into the flour as directed. Mix the egg and vanilla with a generous 1/3 cup milk (instead of with ricotta). Proceed as directed in the recipe.
  • To make a gorgeous deep-gold stollen, replace the ricotta cheese with 1 cup pumpkin purée. Follow the recipe directions as written, no changes necessary.