Stollen is a traditional German Christmas bread, which is particularly associated with Dresden. When made at Christmas, it is also called Weihnachtsstollen or Christstollen.

As the result of a Papal proclamation in the mid-17th century, the bakers of Dresden were allowed to add butter and milk to the mixture, which made a much better sweet bread. It is shaped into an oval and dusted thickly with icing sugar and is supposed to resemble baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes. It is a yeast-risen dough that is enriched with butter and flavoured with spices, dried fruits, peel and nuts.

Variations can include the addition of glacé cherries or a seam of marzipan running through the length of the bread. This variation uses the basic Stollen recipe and turns them into rolls similar to Chelsea buns. They freeze very well and, if they go stale, can be used in bread and butter pudding.

Stollen Sticky BunsIngredients

Strong white flour500g

Soft brown sugar15g

Fresh yeast15gor 1½ tsp dried yeast Warm milk200ml


Mixed spice10g


Orange or lemon zest, grated10g




Chopped mixed peel30g

Flaked almonds30g

White marzipan250g

Egg, beaten for glazing1

Icing sugar50g

Boiling water60ml


1. Prepare a yeast batter by mixing together 100g flour, the sugar, yeast and warm milk. Set aside until bubbly for about 20 minutes in a warm place.

2. Sift the remaining flour into a large bowl with the salt and spice. Rub in 55g of the butter and add the grated zest. Beat the eggs and add them to the yeast batter with the flour. Mix well to a soft but not too sticky dough.

3. Knead for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Put into a bowl and leave in a warm place, covered with cling film for about an hour or until doubled in bulk.

4. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

5. Roll out the dough to a square measuring approximately 30x30cm.

6. Melt the remaining butter and brush half of it over the bread dough. Spread the fruit and nuts over half the dough. Fold the other half over the fruit and nuts and press down and roll gently with the rolling pin to secure the fruit into the dough. Do not make the dough too much larger. Roll the marzipan into a sausage that will measure approximately 30cm. Brush with butter once more and lay the marzipan down the length of the dough. Fold over to encase and seal carefully.

7. Using a floured knife, cut into approximately 12 buns. Flatten each one slightly and place on the baking sheet. Cover with greased cling film and leave to prove for between 15 minutes and half an hour until 1½ times its original size.

8. Brush the buns with egg glaze and bake in a 190°C oven for 15 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack. While still warm, mix the icing sugar and water together and brush over the buns. Alternatively use apricot glaze to give the sticky effect.