Stollen: a booze-soaked fruit-filled German yeast bread with a powdered sugar coating and a sweet marzipan center, weighing approximately 100 pounds and eaten during Christmastime. Not to be confused with the less-coveted fruitcake, this dense, sugary treat is toothsome and bursting with flavor. Each loaf of this bread with a rich history is meant to resemble a swaddled baby. The recipe has changed over the years, as more spices and ingredients became widely available, and is now tastier than ever. The traditional recipe is full of eggs, butter, and milk, but this vegan stollen recipe swaps eggs for aquafaba, butter for vegan butter or margarine, and cow’s milk for non-dairy.
Vegan Stollen Recipe with Marzipan Filling
I’m not entirely sure that I’d eaten stollen before last year, when my friend Kevin suggested I make some for a German-themed holiday dinner we were hosting. I did some research on the dessert, then chose a medley of dried fruit and nuts (golden raisins, dried cherries, dried cranberries, slivered almonds, and crystallized ginger) to soak in booze (Grand Marnier and rum).
The bread involves soaking the fruit and nuts in liquor overnight, then making a buttery orange yeasted bread dough that will then be filled with marzipan, baked, and coated in a sugary crust. It takes quite a bit of time and effort to make, but if there’s any time of year to make it, it’s in the middle of winter when you hopefully have a bit of time off of work or school for the holidays.
It’s a Weird Dough
The first time I made this recipe, I was so worried about the insides not baking thoroughly due to all of the moisture from the fruit and booze. The dough actually did not rise very much, which was the first thing that made me nervous. Then when the loaves had baked for 30-35 minutes and still felt doughy inside, but I could not bake them any longer without burning the crust, I entered full freakout mode. I continued with the recipe, hopeful that the texture would change as it cooled and the flavors melded. Then, when I cut open the loaves, they were magically bready with the only doughiness coming from the marzipan. It was a Christmas Miracle™.
Moral of the story is, test out the recipe to get a feel for how weird this dough is before serving it to people. Because the dough is unlike other bread doughs since it’s chock full of butter, fruit, marzipan, and booze.
When sourcing marzipan, be careful not to choose a brand that contains egg whites, or confuse marzipan with almond paste. To avoid this altogether (or if you accidentally bought almond paste), you can make your own marzipan! Many marzipan recipes just involve mixing prepared almond paste with additional egg whites, powdered sugar, and maybe some almond extract. Luckily, I have my Almond Paste recipe published in my last post for Italian Rainbow Cookies. Start by making the almond paste, then add a few extra ingredients to turn all or some of it into marzipan.
Vegan Marzipan Recipe
For every 1 cup of prepared almond paste, use 3 cups of powdered sugar, 1/4 cup aquafaba, and vanilla extract to taste. Place the almond paste in a food processor, then gradually add the powdered sugar, aquafaba, and almond extract. Process until smooth and pliable, like Play-Doh. Add more powdered sugar if needed. Wrap in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator or freezer until ready to use.
Now that you have your egg-free marzipan ready to go, it’s time to make stollen!
Get the recipe:
- 1/2 cup EACH golden raisins, dried cherries or cranberries, crystalized ginger, and slivered almonds
- 1/3 cup Grand Marnier or other orange-infused dark liquor
- 2 tablespoons rum (or more Grand Marnier)
- 1/3 cup non-dairy milk
- 2/3 cup melted vegan butter or margarine, cooled
- 1/3 cup aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 package) active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup marzipan, store bought or homemade
- 1/3 cup melted vegan butter or margarine
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Combine the dried fruit, nuts, and liquor in an airtight container. Cover, then let sit at room temperature for at least 8 hours, or overnight. Turn and shake the container to coat the fruit and nuts every so often.
- Combine non-dairy milk, melted vegan butter, aquafaba, sugar, yeast, and vanilla extract in a large bowl, or a stand mixer equipped with a dough hook.
- Combine the flour, orange zest, spices, and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet, stirring between each addition, until a dough is formed.
- Knead the dough for 8-10 minutes, or until a smooth ball is formed.
- Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap, and set in a warm place to rise for 1 1/2-2 hours.
- After rising, drain the fruit and nuts, pat dry with a paper towel, and add to the dough. Add more flour if the fruit and nuts makes the dough wet. The insides will not cook properly if the dough is too wet.
- Break the dough in two and roll out each portion into a thick rectangle.
- Take 1/2 of your marzipan and roll it into a rope about 1-inch wide and as long as the length of your dough rectangle. Repeat with the other portion of marzipan.
- Place each marzipan rope in the center of a rolled out portion of dough, then wrap around the marzipan, pinching the edges to seal, then forming the dough into an oblong loaf shape.
- Place each loaf on a baking sheet and cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap and let rise for another hour.
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Bake the stollen for 35 minutes or until firm and golden. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
- While loaves are still slightly warm, brush them with the melted margarine.
- Combine the sugar and ginger, then sprinkle and pat onto the loaves after brushing with margarine.
- When the loaves have cooled completely, pat with powdered sugar, then wrap tightly with plastic wrap until ready to serve.
If you purchase store bought marzipan, be sure to check the ingredients. Many brands contain egg whites.
What are your favorite holiday treats? Have you made vegan versions of any of your family’s traditional recipes?
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