Our Easiest Stollen

This baking powder version of a classic yeasted holiday favorite (a.k.a. The I-Don't-Have-Time-To-Make-Stollen Stollen) is quick, easy, and absolutely delicious. The recipe combines dried fruits and toasted almonds in a tender, buttery dough, with a blizzard-like coating of confectioners' sugar. Even better it makes two loaves: one to enjoy, one to wrap and give away.

Prep
25 mins
Bake
40 to 45 mins
Total
2 hrs 5 mins
Yield
2 loaves
Our Easiest Stollen

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 325°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet, or line it with parchment.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the cold butter to form uneven crumbs. 

  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the ricotta, egg, vanilla, and flavoring. 

  4. Toss the fruit and almonds with the flour mixture; then add the wet ingredients, mixing until most of the flour is moistened.

  5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it two or three times, until it holds together. Divide it in half. 

  6. Roll each piece of dough into an 8" x 7" oval about 1/2" thick.

  7. Fold the dough in half lengthwise, leaving the top edge of the dough about 1/2" shy of the bottom edge.

  8. Press the top edge firmly to seal it to the dough below; this creates the traditional stollen shape. Place the shaped stollen on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the other piece of dough.

  9. Bake the stollen until they're very lightly browned around the edges, about 40 minutes. A sharp paring knife inserted into the center should come out clean when done.

  10. Remove the stollen from the oven, and transfer to a rack. While the stollen is still warm, brush with 2 to 3 tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle generously with confectioners' or non-melting sugar.

  11. Allow the stollen to cool, then brush with butter and sprinkle with sugar again. Wrap in plastic wrap until ready to serve.  

  12. Plastic-wrapped stollen will keep well for 2 weeks or so at room temperature

Tips from our Bakers

  • Unlike standard stollen, this version doesn't keep for weeks on end. However, it was fresh as fresh could be a week after we made it; and still good 2 weeks out. By the end of the third week, it was starting to get that dry, stollen-type texture you might be used to... so we'd say enjoying it within 2 to 2 1/2 weeks after baking would give you your optimal stollen experience.
  • A number of readers have asked for a substitute for ricotta cheese. You won't get as smooth-looking a result using the following substitutions, but the stollen will still be very tasty. Reduce the butter to 2 ounces (1/4 cup). Work 3 ounces cream cheese and the butter into the flour as directed. Mix the egg and vanilla with a generous 1/3 cup milk (instead of with ricotta). Proceed as directed in the recipe.
  • To make a gorgeous deep-gold stollen, replace the ricotta cheese with 1 cup pumpkin purée. Follow the recipe directions as written, no changes necessary.