German Stollen – a fruit bread style cake and Christmas tradition

German Stollen -- a Christmas cake and tradition (photo:
German Stollen — a Christmas cake and tradition (photo:

Stollen is a dense fruit bread like cake made with water, flour, yeast, and a variety of ingredients like raisons, citrus or orange peel, nuts, marzipan and others.

Its history goes back to Dresden but it is nowadays a traditional Christmas cake available all over Germany and importers started to make it available in many countries, among them the United States and Australia (check e.g. the ALDI stores in the latter countries).

Stollen tastes a little bit different, depending where you buy it. Some are more moist and others more on the dry side.

It’s said that the first Stollen were baked in the 15th or 16th century. Dresden, Germany, considers itself as the origin location for Stollen and therefore, Dresdner Stollen is a specialty and with that name only made in Dresden. Dresden Christmas Market, called Striezelmarkt, is a excellent place to explore Christmas traditions and eat Stollen, originally called Striezel.