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.
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, ¼ 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:
Vegan Stollen Recipe
Dairy-free and vegan stollen recipe filled with marzipan, dried fruit, and nuts. The fruit and nut mixture has to soak overnight, so complete that step the night before you plan to make the stollen.
For the fruit and nuts:
- ½ cup golden raisins
- ½ cup dried cherries or cranberries
- ½ cup crystallized ginger
- ½ cup slivered almonds
- ⅓ cup Grand Marnier or other orange-infused dark liquor
- 2 tablespoons rum, or more Grand Marnier
For the dough:
- ⅓ cup non-dairy milk
- ⅔ cup melted vegan butter or margarine, cooled
- ⅓ cup aquafaba, (liquid from a can of chickpeas)
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast, (1 package)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup marzipan, store bought or homemade
- ⅓ cup melted vegan butter or margarine
- ½ cup sugar
- ¾ teaspoon powdered ginger
- 1 cup powdered sugar
To prepare the fruit and nuts:
- 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.
For the dough:
- 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 ½-2 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 ½ 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 don't have Grand Marnier, you can use plain brandy or rum, and add orange zest or orange extract the liquor before pouring over the dried fruit and nuts.
If you purchase store bought marzipan, be sure to check the ingredients. Many brands contain egg whites.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 432Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 198mgCarbohydrates: 68gFiber: 3gSugar: 39gProtein: 5g
All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on seitanbeatsyourmeat.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimates.
What are your favorite holiday treats? Have you made vegan versions of any of your family's traditional recipes?
I love Stollen! I hadn't had it in years, but last year I found a vegan one at Aldi and it was so great.
I also love pfeffernusse, though the ones they sell here have gelatine in them so they are not even vegetarian, let along vegan. But a couple of years ago a friend brought me some vegan pfeffernusse back from Berlin, and I was so happy.
I really need to start making some of these favourites myself.
thank you for the lovely recipe, finally I found vegan and yeast free Stollen. The only bit I would like to still change though in the recipe is the sugar. we are refined sugar free tribe and I have to think of an alternative. Could you recommend any other sweetener that would do instead of sugar? I am planning on making it for this Christmas 🙂 thank you Love out Maria
If you're refined sugar free, maybe use coconut sugar or date sugar instead? Alternatively you could probably sweeten with maple syrup, but adjust the wet/dry ingredient ratio accordingly (meaning you might need some more flour to compensate for the extra liquid). Kelly would know better than I but it sounds like you'll just need to do some tinkering.
To make marzipan from almond paste, do you use vanilla extract or almond extract? You originally said vanilla and then later said “add the almond extract” please and thank you because I am baking it today! Thank you so much for making this recipe!
It should be vanilla extract, but either one is fine based on your personal tastes.
I have followed the recipe exactly and the dough is so tough and brittle. Not elastic at all, is it supposed to be like this? I’m wondering whether to bother trying to proof and bake or just start again?
Sorry you were having issues with the dough! Did it end up working out? This dough can be very tough and dense due to the liqueur and other additions. It's not very malleable and doesn't rise much, but it should cook thoroughly once baked.
I couldn’t even get the dough to stick together, I just had crumbles on crumbles. Maybe I did something wrong. I ended up throwing it out, sadly.
My parents always had stollen made by my great aunt on Christmas while I was growing up, but now that she can’t make it anymore I told my mother I would give it a try. I was not a fan of it (I believe my great aunt used what is now known as the Pillsbury recipe, filled with store-bought candied fruit mix and topped with a thick icing).
I decided to give this recipe a go for myself (and as a practice run), and it’s truly divine! I had a few alterations: I did not have orange liqueur and subbed a hard orange ginger beer for the soak. I also ended up adding some water to the dough before the first proof in order to make it come together. Finally, I used about half the topping ingredients listed.
Quick question, do you have any advice or a good technique for sealing the dough around the marzipan? Mine ended up not fully sealed, popping apart, and leaking on this, my first, attempt.
I'm so glad you liked it, Kit! Soaking the fruit in orange ginger beer sounds delicious.
For making sure the dough stays sealed, I would pat a tiny bit of flour on the seam, and pinch it shut with more flour on your hands, then place the seam face down. The dough is so tough and slippery that the flour might help it adhere to itself, kind of the opposite of using water to seal dumplings or pierogi when the dough is dry. Or if the stollen dough is dry, using water before pinching.
Or using less marzipan if it's too stuffed! Since the recipe calls for marzipan by weight, there might be some variation in the volume of marzipan depending on the type.
I made it again and sealed it with water; worked perfectly! Thanks again, it’s so good. ?
This was by far the worse stollen dough I have ever tried. It was stodgy and crumbly like a cookie dough. Even adding more liquid could not save this.
Try a different recipe, don’t waste you time with this one.
I made this recipe and it turned out great. I used different dried fruit and coconut sugar, but for the most part I followed the recipe as is. I did need to add some additional oat milk. I wanted a recipe that didn’t take days and was straightforward. I compared several recipes and I’m glad that I went with this one.
I'm glad you liked the recipe! Any kind of dried fruit and sugar would be great in the dough. Even though there is the overnight step of soaking the fruit, it's a pretty quick recipe. 🙂
My son and myself used your recipe today to make this most delicious stollen... via zoom. It smelled wonderful, looks and tastes great. The past few years we have started a tradition of making stollen together at Christmas time. The first year’s were fair to good, last year an absolute disaster and this year, with your recipe and the video, I believe we reached perfection. It was bitter sweet as I cancelled my flight to visit over Christmas but thankfully we could still make stollen together. A great recipe... My son I believe followed your recipe closely , I used more tropical dried fruit such as mango and pineapple with the cranberries plus rum mixed with orange extract.... I wish I could add photos!
Hi Marieta! I'm so glad you and your son liked the recipe, and it's so sweet you were still able to make it together over zoom even though you couldn't see each other this year. Your tropical fruit version sounds delicious! If you want to share photos, you could share on the Seitan Beats Your Meat Facebook page, or email me. 🙂
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Interesting recipe - am thinking of trying it. I grew up with traditional Stollen (my mother came from Leipzig, the heart of "Stollen country" she said. We never had the marzipan in the middle, and it was till good. (I think, technically a marzipan-free Stollen is made for Advent, and a richer Marzipan Stollen for Christmas.).
I question your strong use of ginger - I think the predominant spice in traditional Stollen is cardamom and vanilla.
Th other thing that Stollen bakers might like to know is details on the "how". My mother would soak the fruit a day ahead of time, so it was well-infused. The purpose for letting the Stollen age a few weeks or more is that the rum from the fruit infuses the dough over time.
Also, while they were baking (she would make about 4), she would mix vanilla sugar in with the powdered sugar. The, when the hot loaves came out of the oven, she would immediately brush them with melted butter, and liberally sprinkle the sugar mixture overtop of them and let them sit until cool. This would create a lovely powdery "crust" on them. She would then sprinkle a bit more more sugar on top, wrap them in aluminum foil and put in a cool place to mature. The first one would be cut the first Sunday in Advent, and the others over the Advent/Christmas period.