Delicious Mini Stollen Loaves are studded with fruit, spiced with Christmas flavours and have a wonderful marzipan centre. They make a fab alternative to Christmas cake and are perfect for gifting too !
These little sweet treats are even more delicious to eat warm as the marzipan oozes out of the middle.
I wanted my take on stollen to deliver the full flavours of Christmas but within miniature loaves using an easier and quicker recipe. So I’ve kept the essential ingredients of a traditional stollen and packed a real taste of Christmas into miniature form.
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Even with making individual loaves, this is an easy stollen recipe and the dipping and dusting of the loaves takes no time at all.
I’ve made these mini versions with a lighter dough so it’s a quicker rise whilst also giving a lovely soft texture. Unlike a richer dough, my dough is ready after one and a half hours.
Also, in terms of timings, there’s no need to soak the fruit in alcohol beforehand. Instead, I’ve added Amaretto to the melted butter for dipping the loaves before dusting them with icing sugar.
The months before Christmas are always extra busy at the Kitchen Shed but I really do love it. There’s a sort of countdown to Christmas feel in having made all my onion chutney and luxury mincemeat so I can concentrate on Christmas baking.
OH doesn’t like marzipan so when I make Mini Stollen I have no problem holding back one or two from each batch as they’re the perfect treat for one!
What is Stollen ?
Stollen, which can be dated back to the 15th century, is a German Christmas bread filled with fruit, candied peel and spice. There are different versions including almond, poppy seed, marzipan and the famous stollen from Dresden where the bread is said to have originated.
The shape of stollen and its dusting with icing sugar is meant to bring to mind the infant Jesus in swaddling clothes. Knowing this, it’s easy to see why you might see stollen in Germany referred to as Christstollen.
What equipment do I need ?
- I use my KitchenAid stand mixer to knead the dough, it makes light work of kneading . Don’t worry if you haven’t got a stand mixer, all you need is a bit of elbow grease and you can easily knead by hand.
- A 12 hole mini loaf tin or baking tray. I use the Masterclass mini loaf tin.
- 2 x shallow bowls or dishes for coating the baked stollen
What ingredients do I need ?
- Bread flour – I use Marriage’s white bread flour which has a high gluten content, essential for a soft and fluffy stollen bread.
- Yeast – I like to use Dove’s Farm instant yeast (often called fast action yeast or quick yeast) because it’s so easy to use.
- Sugar – you only need three tablespoons in the dough as I find the dusting with icing sugar brings plenty of sweetness to stollen.
- Bicarbonate of soda / baking soda – just a quarter of a teaspoon to add extra lightness to the finished stollen loaves.
- Spices – you will need cinnamon, mixed spice and vanilla extract.
- Unsalted butter – to enrich the dough and give it flavour. Also, melted butter is used as a dip for the baked loaves.
- Buttermilk – I love to use buttermilk because it gives the stollen bread a “lift”, delivering a lovely soft loaf.
- Dried fruit – I’ve used a mix of raisins and sultanas.
- Mixed peel – essential in a stollen but one of my pet hates is ready cut mixed peel because it just doesn’t really taste of orange and lemon. To bring a true citrus flavour to stollen I find it best to buy candied orange peel and candied lemon peel as whole pieces and then them cut to size.
- Marzipan / almond paste – I’ve used 225g of marzipan. After a little experimenting and taste testing, I found that 15 grams per stollen was just the right amount. Anymore and it tends to dominate the stollen itself.
- Optional: Amaretto – feel free to use rum or brandy if you don’t want the almond hit.
- Plenty of icing sugar/powdered sugar – sieve a couple of times so you get a really fine dusting on your stollen.
- Use the same quantity of regular milk with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or white wine vinegar. This gives it an acidity similar to that of buttermilk.
- Add the lemon juice or vinegar to your milk, give it a stir and then leave for five minutes. The milk will then have become thicker and clumpy and is ready to use.
- Alternatively, you can use a 50 / 50 mixture of yoghurt and milk as a buttermilk substitute.
How to make Mini Stollen Loaves
Make your dough:
Firstly, warm the buttermilk in the microwave for one minute. The liquid temperature should be tepid to warm so as to encourage the yeast to start working – too much heat will kill the yeast.
Add all your dough ingredients to the mixer bowl of a free standing mixer fitted with dough hook. Knead on a low setting for up to 10 minutes until your dough is smooth and elastic. Alternatively, mix ingredients in a large bowl until they come together and then knead the dough on a work surface.
Check your dough is ready using the window pane test.
The windowpane test is a consistently reliable way to check your dough is ready. Pinch off a small piece of dough and gently stretch it apart, pulling and rotating the dough into a thin membrane, or window pane, which is translucent when you hold it up to the light.
Place your dough in a greased bowl and cover. Leave in a warm place for about one and half hours or until doubled in size.
Now it’s time to turn out your dough and divide into 15 pieces (about 60g each)
Shape and flatten the dough pieces into rough almost oval shapes – the longest side should be about 7cm.
Divide the marzipan and shape into rolls 6cm long.
Place a piece of marzipan onto each piece of dough.
Gently roll up the dough and seal each end of your mini stollen with your fingers.
Place in the mini loaf tin or on your baking tray.
Cover and leave to rise for about 45 minutes before baking in the oven.
If using a loaf tin, leave to cool for about 5 minutes before removing the mini loaves from the tin and place on a cooling rack.
Dipping and dusting:
Melt butter and add Amaretto.
To finish, dip each mini loaf into the melted butter mix.
Lastly, dust with icing sugar.
How to store
Fresh is definitely best but having said that, Mini Stollen will keep for 2 to 3 days stored in an airtight container.
Can you freeze them ?
Yes you can but it is best to freeze the loaves unadorned.
Having ready baked Mini Stollen in your freezer is really handy when it comes to getting ahead with your Christmas baking. Dipping and dusting the loaves takes no time at all.
Simply defrost at room temperature before dunking in a melted butter and amaretto mix and then sprinkling with icing sugar.
More Christmas baking recipes….
Mini Stollen Loaves
- Stand Mixer
- Mixing Bowl
- 1 mini loaf tin or lined baking tray
- 2 x shallow bowls or dishes for coating the baked stollen
- 450 g bread flour
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 50 g softened unsalted butter
- 250 ml buttermilk or half milk and half natural yoghurt
- 100 g raisins
- 75 g sultanas
- 75 g chopped candied orange and lemon peel
- 225 g marzipan/almond paste
- 75 g melted butter
- 2 tablespoons Optional: Amaretto
- 150 g sifted icing sugar/powdered sugar
- Warm your buttermilk (or milk and yoghurt mixture) for 1 minute in a microwave on full power.
- Make the dough – I use a stand mixer so it’s simply a matter of placing the dough ingredients in the bowl and setting a slow speed for around 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Alternatively, place your dough ingredients in a large bowl and mix by hand until they come together before kneading the dough on a work surface.
- Place your dough in a greased bowl and cover.
- Leave in a warm place for about one and half hours or until doubled in size.
- Once doubled in size, turn out your dough and divide into 15 equal pieces (about 60g each)
- Shape and flatten the dough pieces into rough almost oval shapes slightly straighter on one side – the longest side should be about 7 cm.
- Divide the marzipan into 15 equal portions (about 15g each) and shape them into rolls 6cm long.
- Place a marzipan roll onto each piece of dough.
- Gently roll up the dough around the marzipan and seal each end of your mini Stollen with your fingers.
- Place in the mini loaf tin or on your baking tray.
- Cover and leave to rise for about 45 minutes.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 400°F / 200°C Fan / 180°C / Gas Mark 6 for 25 minutes until golden brown.
- If using a loaf tin, leave to cool for about 5 minutes before removing the mini loaves from the tin and place on a cooling rack.
- To finish your Mini Stollen, dip each mini loaf into the melted butter and then dust with icing sugar.
How to storeFresh is best but Mini Stollen Loaves will keep for 2 to 3 days stored in an airtight container.
Can you freeze Mini Stollen ?Yes you can but it is best to freeze the loaves unadorned. Christmas time can be hectic so having ready baked Mini Stollen in your freezer is really handy and a great way to get ahead with your baking.. Dipping and dusting the loaves takes no time at all.
Simply defrost them at room temperature before dunking in melted butter and amaretto mix and then sprinkling with icing sugar.
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