Best German Christmas Stollen Recipe – Mutti's Quarkstollen
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Ah, the wonderful aromas of freshly-baked homemade Stollen wafting throughout the house at Christmas time. Can you smell it? The sweetness of dried fruit and candied lemon mingling with the scent of nuts and the zesty aroma of grated citrus peel. What a festive treat!
A traditional German Stollen recipe can be intimidating if it's your first time baking with yeast. Or perhaps you are too busy to spend hours in the kitchen. Well, Mutti's easy Christmas Stollen recipe is perfect when you're in a hurry - no yeast is used - and it tastes so-o-o-o good!
Hold on a minute! A traditional German Stollen bread made without yeast? Really?? Yes, really!!
There are many variations of Stollen. The recipe I am sharing with you here may not use yeast, but it has all of the same traditionally delicious and aromatic fillings as the yeast-based version.
The difference is the use of Quark (a fresh cheese that is often used in German cuisine) and baking powder. This means easier and quicker. Best of all, it tastes just as wunderbar as the original version. Perfect for the busy holiday season!
This German Christmas cake recipe is a favorite, not only because it's so quick and easy, but it stays so moist.
Quark, Cottage Cheese, or Greek Yogurt???
The name for this German recipe is Quarkstollen, but for me, the way my Mutti made it, it was her Cottage Cheese Stollen. This is because Quark can be so difficult to find outside of Germany, especially back in the 1950s and 60s. This called for some creativity!
I recall my Mutti taking cottage cheese (since it's all that was available at the local grocery store where we lived in northern Ontario, Canada) and putting it into a sieve. Then, she'd take a wooden spoon and press it through the sieve. That was her way of creaming the cottage cheese.
That's the way I used to do it as well, until I decided to use my blender to cream the cottage cheese. So much easier!
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Easier still? I've started making my Stollen using a full-fat Greek yogurt. (This recipe also includes a center filling of marzipan, which is very traditional, and so yummy!)
But did you know you can easily make Quark at home? So, use whichever you have. Either buy (if you can find it!) or make the Quark. Blend the cottage cheese. Use Greek yogurt. Any which way, you'll end up with a super easy, super moist German Christmas Stollen.
How to make Mutti's easy Stollen recipe
Let me tell you how easy it is to make this wonderfully German Christmas cake recipe. It helps if you gather and measure all of your ingredients ahead of time. That makes it easier to throw it all together. Which means you'll be enjoying the delightful Christmas scents of your Stollen in no time!
Once you've gathered your ingredients (see the recipe card below for the full list), preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Then grease and flour a baking tray (or line it with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat). We don't want the dough sticking to the tray!
Next, mix 3⅓ cups of flour with 2 teaspoons baking powder and sift them into a large mixing bowl. Sifting is important. It helps get rid of any lumps in the dough. Then make an indentation in the center.
Take 2 cups cottage cheese (that has been puréed in a blender), along with 3 large eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, ¾ cup sugar, a pinch of salt, 1 tablespoon each grated lemon peel, chopped almonds, and raisins, and 3 tablespoons each mixed chopped candied fruit and candied peel. Add them to the indentation you created in the center.
Now this is where it gets fun! Time to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty! Mix it all together until you've got a nice firm dough, and knead it LIGHTLY. You will need to wet your hands to keep the dough from sticking. If the dough is too moist, add a little bit of flour until you've got the right consistency.
On a floured work surface, shape your Stollen dough into a long roll that is oval. Press the dough down on one side, lengthwise, to give it that classic Stollen look. Place it on the prepared tray. Either grease it or use a silicone baking mat as I did above.
Place the tray in your preheated oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes until golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Transfer your baked Stollen to a wire rack. Be sure to place a sheet of parchment paper underneath the rack for easy cleanup.
While it's still warm, brush melted butter all over the top of the loaf and its sides.
Last, but definitely not least, sift powdered sugar (also called confectioners' sugar or icing sugar) all over for that lovely festive look, reminiscent of a snowy winter wonderland, and let it cool.
Now, time to enjoy your non-yeast German Christmas cake recipe. So wunderbar with a hot cup of coffee or tea!
How to properly store your German Christmas Stollen
Let your Stollen cool completely at room temperature before storing. Here are a few options:
- wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil
- wrap it in waxed or parchment paper and place in a sealable plastic bag
- keep it in a cool place, out of direct heat or sunlight, such as your pantry (for shorter storage) or fridge (for longer storage)
- freeze it for extended storage, up to several months
Did you know?
Here are some interesting facts about the origin of Stollen:
- It dates way back to the 15th century in Dresden, Germany.
- It was first created as a fasting bread to celebrate Advent, the four-week period leading up to Christmas and the celebration of the birth of Christ. In fact, its unique shape is meant to symbolize baby Jesus swaddled in linen cloth, laying in the manger. That's why German Christmas Stollen, or Weihnachtsstollen, is also known as Christstollen.
- They had very strict regulations when it came to baking this German Christmas bread. The bakers of Dresden actually had to swear an oath not to make any changes to the original recipe, otherwise they would have to pay a fine. We Germans take our food very seriously!!
- There's a fun tradition in the city of Dresden where they host a Stollen Festival every year. A giant Stollen is baked and then paraded through the streets. Then it is sliced and handed out to the delighted onlookers. What a yummy way to celebrate the Christmas season!
Above, I've made this "Quark" Stollen with my own tweaks, using Greek yogurt and stuffed with a roll of marzipan.
This is one of my quick and easy Christmas recipes.
Quick because the traditional Stollen takes HOURS to make. Plus, you don't have to wait 2–3 weeks for the loaf to age. You get to enjoy it right away!
Easy, because it's all made in one bowl and you get to use your hands!
Plus, it's the perfect recipe to do with your little ones and a wonderful way to pass on your German heritage.
Ready to make this German Christmas cake recipe?
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Mutti's Christmas Stollen Recipe – Quarkstollen
Mutti's easy Christmas Stollen recipe is great way to get in touch with your German Christmas roots, especially when you're in a hurry. No yeast is used and it tastes so-o-o-o good! It's a yummy fruit loaf that could easily be served throughout the year. But, somehow, I keep it just for Christmas. That way, it really is a special treat that makes the Christmas celebration that much more special.
Makes 1 loaf
- 3⅓ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 cups full-fat cottage cheese, puréed in a blender
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- pinch salt
- 1 tablespoon lemon peel, grated
- 1 tablespoon almonds, chopped
- 1 tablespoon raisins
- 3 tablespoons mixed candied fruit, chopped
- 3 tablespoons mixed candied peel, chopped
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- Preheat your oven to 375°F.
- Grease and flour a baking sheet or use a silicone baking mat.
- Mix the flour with the baking powder and sift the mixture into a large bowl. Make an indentation in the center.
- Add the cottage cheese, eggs, vanilla, sugar, salt, lemon peel, almonds, raisins, and candied fruits and peels into the indentation.
- Mix to a firm dough with your hands and knead LIGHTLY. If it is too moist, add a bit of extra flour.
- On a lightly floured surface, form the dough into an oval shape. Press dough down on one side (lengthwise) to give it its traditional shape. Wet your hands to keep the dough from sticking. Place on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake 50 to 60 minutes until golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Transfer your baked Stollen to a wire rack. (Place a sheet of parchment paper underneath the rack for easy cleanup.)
- Brush the melted butter over the warm loaf and sift the powdered sugar over it.
- Let cool and serve.
- Use Quark or full-fat Greek yogurt instead of cottage cheese.
- You can use orange peel instead of the lemon peel.
- You can add more raisins or nuts, etc. if you wish. I've increased them to about ⅓ cup each.
- Add in some almond extract for more almond flavor.
- You can substitute ground almonds for chopped almonds.
- Make another German Christmas cake recipe that uses Greek yogurt and is filled with marzipan. You'll find the recipe for it here.
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12.31.2023 revision update
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Christmas Stollen Recipe made Just like Oma
By Oma Gerhild Fulson
This easy German Christmas Stollen recipe uses cottage cheese or Greek yogurt to keep it moist. Make this when you're in a hurry - no yeast is used-- anytime of the year!
Ingredients: cottage cheese/Greek yogurt,
mixed candied peel,
mixed candied fruit,
For the full recipe, scroll up ...
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