Stollen's first documented appearance was in the 15th century in Dresden, Germany - but this was a far cry from the stollen we know and love. It was much plainer as the church forbade the use of butter or milk during Advent (a time of fasting). It took another hundred years or so for it to become the recognisable Christmas treat of today.


Nowadays, the traditional German sweet bread is packed with dried fruit, candied peel, nuts and spices and dusted with a generous layer of icing sugar – said to represent the swaddled baby Jesus.

An authentic Dresdner Christstollen has a strict recipe which outlaws the use of margarine (instead of butter) or any artificial flavours or preservatives. Try our traditional Christmas stollen with almonds & marzipan and then try our 10 unusual twists.

For more recipes find our stollen collection here as well as everything you need to know about stollen.

1. Stollen wreath

Stollen wreath decorated with icing and holly and ivy

For a beautiful centrepiece, this stollen wreath makes a great alternative to the traditional Christmas cake. The wreath is decorated with fondant icing, cranberries, pistachios and holly for an extra-festive touch.

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Check out our best edible Christmas wreaths.

2. Stollen mince pies

Stollen mince pies with mulled drinks and candles

Elevating mince pies with the flavours of marzipan, these shortcrust pastry bakes are sure to be a winner this winter. If you really want to get ahead this Christmas, they can even be made up to three months in advance and frozen. Discover our best ever mince pie recipes.

3. Spiced stollen plait

Spiced stollen plait with a couple of slices on a plate

For an aesthetically pleasing (and literal) twist on the classic, why not try a plaited stollen this Christmas. It's a fun challenge which yields beautiful results. Up for more? Our Christmas baking projects will keep kids entertained all holiday.

4. Vegan stollen

vegan stollen dusted with icing sugar on a black background

Vegans need not miss out this Christmas – and this version of the classic stollen more than delivers with brandy-soaked fruit and a layer of homemade marzipan. You'd never know it's completely plant-based. We've got plenty more vegan Christmas bakes where this came from.

5. Stollen muffins

Stollen muffins on a plate with blue ribbons

For a mini, portable version of stollen, why not bring these festive and fruity muffins along to your next festive coffee morning or brunch with friends? If you're after a speedy Christmas brekkie, we've got 10 quick Christmas breakfast ideas.

6. Stollen spirals

Stollen spirals on baking paper drizzled with icing

These stollen spirals combine all of the festive flavours of stollen with beautifully soft and moreish pull-apart buns. Drizzle with icing and allows your guests to tear them apart for pure unbridled festive enjoyment. If you're looking for more, discover our 10 twists on cinnamon buns.

7. Stollen babka wreath

Stollen babka on a grey background

This stunning showstopper is almost too good to eat. It may take a little bit more effort to make, you will be generously rewarded with the result, and we've made a foolproof step-by-step guide to help you along the way. Try our babka wreath grazing board with cheese & spiced cranberry jam for a fun savoury twist.

8. Marzipan-in-the-middle bundt cake

Iced marzipan bundt cake decorated with glacé cherries and on a glass cake stand

Forgotten to make your Christmas cake ahead of time? Marzipan and stollen combine to make a fantastic last-minute alternative to Christmas cake. Everyone will love the festive filling topped with soft cheese icing. We've got even more bundt cake recipes.

9. Stollen bites

Stollen bites dusted with icing sugar

Perfect for little hands (and big!), these bite-size versions of stollen are as delicious as they are portable. Pack them for a festive walk with friends, or keep them all to yourself – they will last in an airtight container for up to three days. See more of our Christmas make-ahead recipes.

10. Christmas stollen pudding

Stollen pudding in a white dish

If you find yourself to have an excess of stollen this year (never a bad thing), why not transform it into this squidgy, Christmas stollen pudding. It takes only 10 minutes to prep and requires just a handful of ingredients. Find our best leftover Christmas pudding recipes.

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