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Need fruitcake/Christmas stollen recipe......please fellow chow hounds!!!

i'm searching for good fruitcake or stollen recipe. Ate a great one a couple years ago and can't get it out of my mind!!!

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  1. This is the one we do (although, in truth, most years we buy a rich fruit cake for Christmas)


    1. Here's my MIL's recipe for fruitcake. It weighs about 7 lbs when it comes out of the oven.
      1 lb. butter
      3 cups sugar
      10 eggs
      2 tsp. vanilla
      4 cups flour
      1 tsp baking powder
      1 tsp. mace
      1 tsp. salt
      1/2 lb each of red candied cherries, green candied cherries, red candied pineapple, green candied pineapple, all cut
      1 lb. golden raisins
      1 qt. pecans
      1 qt. walnuts
      Cream butter and sugar together, Add eggs and vanilla, beat well. Sift dry ingredients together, add to creamed mixture and beat well. Stir in fruits and nuts. Pour into large tube pan that has been greased and lined with heavy paper. Bake at 275 for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until tests done. Drizzle with apple brandy. Cool. Wrap in plastic wrap and store in cool place in airtight container to "ripen". About 1/2 hours before cake is done, brush the top with light corn syrup. Decorate with fruits and nuts. Return to oven for final baking. This is a light-colored fruit cake.

      2 Replies
      1. re: vafarmwife

        Looks good and if I decide to make this recipe I'd like excellent not run of the mill candied fruit but excellent. So my question is who sells real fresh candied fruit?

      2. I just started to buy my ingredients to bake some.

        Edited to add - there is Fruitcake and there is Stollen. They are two very different "animals".
        My recipe is very close to Dresdner Marzipan Stollen.

        Ingredients for 1 large or 2 medium size Stollen

        500g Raisins I usually mix dark and golden Raisins
        125g Currants (if not available, substitute dried Cranberries or different brands of Raisins)
        100g diced candied lemon peel (Citronat)
        100g diced candied Orange peel (Orangeat)
        250g peeled slivered or sliced Almond
        1/4 liter Milk
        175 g Sugar ( I use Sugar and Honey 1:1 ratio)
        500 g unsalted Butter
        120 g fresh yeast (2 cakes) or 6-9 packs of dry yeast
        3 eggs
        1.5 kg all purpose flour (bread flour is best) have more flour on hand, depending on size of eggs, temperature etc., this will vary upwards.
        about 250 g Almond paste
        about a cup of Rum
        (grated lemon peel)
        about 200g slightly browned unsalted butter to pour over the still hot loaves
        lots of powdered sugar for sifting on top of buttered loaves ( resembling snow layered on
        firewood) One can add a touch of Vanilla sugar here

        The evening before soak fruits and Almonds in Rum. (Place into bowl, pour slowly Rum over the mixed ingredients. Mix well every so often.
        Baking day
        Have all ingredients at room temperature

        In a large bowl place the lukewarm milk and crumble in yeast. Add a touch of sugar and flour and mix. Let yeast dissolve and rise a bit. It should be foamy. Then add slowly eggs, flour, butter, sugar/honey, lemon peel. If the dough gets firm enough to handle, turn onto kneading board. Flour the fruits and Almonds separately a bit and add to the dough. Add the Almond paste in small pieces. While kneading, adjust the amount of flour, do this until the dough is firm and smooth and doesn't stick anymore. Let it rest for an hour or so, punching it down once in a while. Then shape dough into thick oval slice and fold lengthwise. Make a cuff from aluminum foil (take long piece and fold twice lengthwise) and place around the oval loaf. Use a pin to hold it together. This will give the Christstollen its traditional form.
        Let rise in the pan again (ca. 20 min.) and bake at 335 for about 60 - 80 minutes on middle rack. Adjust this according to your individual oven.
        Remove the Alu-cuff and pour the very hot gently browned butter over the hot Stollen. Then, using a spoon, grind the confectioners Sugar through a sieve, layer-on the sugar to about 1 cm thickness. Add vanilla sugar if you like.
        Wrap tightly when cooled down in aluminum foil. Next day find a cool spot to store them.
        Prepared like this, these Stollen will last for months.

        2 Replies
        1. re: RUK

          Fruitcake and stollen share candied fruits/nuts in them, but are very different. As you see from the posted recipes, Stollen is a yeast based, light-crumbed bread, while fruitcakes are flour/leavener/egg risen.
          I am a dark fruitcake girl.. will look for my recipe for you, but the above one is pretty good. As you say, a lot of the quality comes from the good candied fruits. I get mine at a place in Seattle called Big John's PFI. Fine imported angelica, pineapple, golden raisins, etc.
          I marinate my fruits in a combo of brandy & rum for a week before baking. Then, after baking I wrap each loaf (I use small disposable loaf pans so I get a number of loaves from a recipe so I can give them away. A small loaf goes a long way as you slice thinly and it is RICH!) in cheescloth, and brush with brandy. The loaves then go in a big popcorn tin to ripen. This is the stage that makes them awesome; let age for at least a month, brushing the cheescloth weekly with more rum/brandy. They can be aged for several months. I like to make now, and keep for at least 6 weeks of aging before starting to gift them.
          Sometimes, when I am readyto unwrap them and prepare to gift/serve, I have rolled out marzipan to cover the loaves, and decorated them like wrapped gifts with marzipan ribbon and little marzipan leaves. So pretty! Or just wrap in nice cellophane and ribbon.

          1. re: RUK

            RUK, I'm going to try baking Christmas Stollen for the first time. My impression is that it gets better w/a little time, like fruitcake - am I wrong about that? Anyway, I'm always late.. (was late for my own wedding, probably will be late for my funeral, too, hahaha). This is a combo of all things I love: almonds, citrus peels & dried fruits soaked in booze - in fact, I have some cranberries I have had soaking for a long time (was going to use them for my biscotti). Guess I'll throw those in, too.

            Thanks for sharing - will tell you how it turns out!

            1. This is the recipe from my mother (who is German). This is a Christmas tradition with her and she gives away stollen to friends and neighbors every year.

              Go to store.
              Buy some Bahlsen Stollens (with the marzipan filling)
              Take them home.
              Remove shrinkwrap.
              Rewrap in aluminum foil.
              Give to neighbors and tell them they are homebaked.
              Omit the fact that the "home" in which they were baked was actually a factory.

              3 Replies
              1. re: nofunlatte

                I'm with nofunlatte's mother on the stollen - not sure if it's the exact brand, but we get a German stollen here in Bermuda that is all lush and marzipanny deliciousness.

                Fruitcake, however, I make, and like Harter's it's an English recipe - Jane Grigson's country Christmas cake - except it's Bermudian to soak all the fruit in black rum starting next weekend. That late, great Laurie Colwin describes it as:

                "Country Christmas Cake has a rich deep taste, as complicated as a brocade or tapestry, and makes a person think of those magnificent aged Sauternes....Hands down, it is the best I have ever made--and also the best I have ever eaten."

                It is light on candied orange peel and glace cherries - and heavy currants, sultanas, raisins, preserved ginger, apples cooked down to mush, dark marmalade...it's serious fruitcake

                  1. re: nofunlatte

                    hahaha - too funny about your mother's 'recipe'!!

                    I had an dear aunt who passed away quite a while ago. I'm Italian on my mom's side, but my Aunt Lucy did not like to cook at all. Well, my mom giver her some of her own homemade manicotti & she knew that Aunt Lucy served them to guests, telling them she made them herself.

                    I miss my aunts - and my mom - all the more around the holidays... we had some awesome Christmas celebrations at her house when I was a kid. Now that my own are close to starting their own families, I hope to be the one with some awesome celebrations. :D

                  2. I really like this tropical fruit fruitcake recipe, but then I love tropical flavored anything. It's just your basic fruitcake recipe with tropical substitutions:

                    2 c. dried tropical fruit mix (pineapple, mango, and papaya)
                    2 c. dried dates, chopped
                    1 1/2 c. pecans
                    1 c. raisins
                    1/2 c. red marachino cherries
                    1/2 c. green marachino cherries
                    1/2 c. shredded coconut
                    1 c. flour
                    1 c. sugar
                    3/4 t. baking powder
                    3/4 t. salt
                    1 1/2 t. vanilla
                    4 eggs

                    Heat oven to 300° F. Line large loaf pan (9 x 5 x 3) with aluminum foil; grease foil with shortening.

                    Mix all ingredients. Spread in pan.

                    Bake about 1 hour 45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If necessary, cover with aluminum foil during the last 30 minutes of baking to prevent excessive browning.

                    Remove fruitcake from pan, in the foil, to a cooling rack. For a glossy top, immediately brush top with light corn syrup. Allow loaf to cool completely and become completely firm before cutting, usually about 24 hours. Wrap tightly and store in refrigerator for up to two months

                    1. Family recipe, my third cousin once removed's wife Clara's (a lovely lady and a fantastic baker, cook, and gardener, sadly long gone). From a recipe card in my mother's hand, signed Love, Mom/1975.
                      CHRISTMAS CAKE (Clara's) - the rest of the (...) are my emendations (Canadians tend to call fruitcake Christmas cake)
                      2 lb bleached (golden) raisins
                      1 lb red & green (candied) cherries
                      2 lbs mixed (candied) fruit
                      3 rings pineapple (I use dried from Kam Man, haven't seen candied pineapple for sale recently)
                      almonds and pecans (the almonds always home-blanched, the amount of nuts up to you)
                      2/3 lb butter
                      2 c sugar
                      5 eggs
                      3/4 c milk
                      3 c flour sifted before measuring (I don't, i measure a bit light)
                      Prepare fruit (dump into your biggest bowl and stir together). Mix with 1 c flour. Cream butter, sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add milk alternately with flour. Stir in fruit (I put the cake mixture into the bowl with the fruit and squish it all together with my hands). Allow to stand overnight (raw eggs be damned). Bake in covered tins (I cover them with foil - mom) at 275 deg F for about 3 hours. Remove foil for last hour.
                      This makes enough for 3 5x9 in pans. I coat them with Crisco and line them with parchment, then grease that - my mom used brown paper bags.
                      No booze in this but you can do whatever you normally do with it, my mom didn't like liquor very much and did not like it in baked goods at all.
                      This makes a medium fruitcake(as opposed to light or dark) - almost all fruit.
                      I wing the fruit as long as I have the same weight.

                      1. Let me tell you!

                        I am a lucky,lucky girl to have a friend who makes and gives Christmas stollen every year. A few years ago she switched to the Rockenwagner stollen recipe after a story appeared in the NYT. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/16/din...

                        This thing is soooooooo delicious that even if you're a person who's not into dried fruit you will love, love, love it. I had to beg her to stop sending it to me because I couldn't keep myself away from it.

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: rainey

                          Thanks for this, I'm definitely making it this year. Sounds truly irresistible!

                          1. re: buttertart

                            It really is brilliant. It has lovely flavor and texture and the slightest satisfying crunch when you bite through the sugar crust.

                            I haven't had it for 3 years and the memory is still rich in my imagination.

                            Rockenwagner doesn't do it with marzipan but it would be so easy to roll out a ribbon of it and enclose it in the fold.

                            1. re: rainey

                              I am THERE! MIL and family love Stollen.

                              1. re: rainey

                                Better to knead the marzipan into the dough, I think it works better.
                                ( see my recipe above)

                                1. re: RUK

                                  I'll definitely keep that in mind.

                            2. re: rainey

                              I made this recipe for Christmas and it was soooo good!! My aunt actually took half of it home with her to give out to all of our relatives there. I have since been inundated with requests to make more. I used marzipan in one of the loaves and just folded the dough over the marzipan. It came out very good as well. Oh and I could not find citrus peel here so instead I just used about 1/4 cup of fresh orange zest in place of the peel and it worked out very well. This will now be my Christmas treat contribution every year;)

                              1. re: Redstickchef

                                So glad you enjoyed it. It does have sensational flavor, doesn't it? I like that it's built on a flavorful dough that doesn't rely on the fruit for it's appeal.

                                I have found candied citrus peel very hard to find as well but it's not all that difficult to make. I do orange peels just after Thanksgiving and I have them for stollen and to dip in chocolate as gifts for Christmas. In addition, both the syrup that you eventually boil them in and the sugar that you roll the candied peels in are bonuses. I use the syrup for pancakes and to sweeten iced tea and the orange scented sugar for cake.

                                I love that this stollen has primarily naturally dried fruit like cherries and raisins but the candied orange peel adds a lot.

                            3. I use James Beard's recipe as a base (American Cooking, something like that), but change it up by using about half whole wheat flour (or more, using Wheat Montana Prairie Gold), and I hate some of the candied fruit, so use dried fruit as well as candied cherries, lemons, oranges. I hate the green things, citron? I also use a mixture of different nuts. I brush either amaretto or gran marnier over it, sometimes making a glaze with some jelly/jam.
                              Hmmmm.... I may need to go get the stuff today, it sounds great! I like to make mini loaves.

                              1. This white fruitcake is very elegant

                                4 cups flour sifted
                                2 tsp baking powder
                                1/2 tsp salt
                                1 cup shortening
                                2 cups white sugar
                                1/2 tsp almond extract
                                1 cup pineapple juice
                                8 egg whites, beaten stiff
                                1 lb. golden raisins
                                1/2 lb green candied pineapple, diced
                                1/2 lb. red candied cherries, halved
                                1 lb blanched almonds, chopped
                                1 1/2 cups shredd coconut

                                Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together. Cream shortening and sugar until fluffy, add almond extract. Add dry ingredients alternately with juice. Fold in egg whites. Mix batter gently with fruits and nuts and coconut. Pour into large tube pan that has been lined with greased heavy paper. Bake at 275 for 2 hours or until tests done. Brush with light rum. Cool and store in airtight container.

                                1. The English Tea cake recipe in Nick Malgieri's "A Baker's Tour" (a book every baker should have) is brilliant. Light fruitcake with a layer of almond paste baked into it.

                                  1. Hmm, perhaps the OP was affected by the recent snowstorm in the North East USA, losing power....?

                                    1. I have been using this recipe for the last few year and been very happy with the results( and so have our customers http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe...
                                      I make a couple of changes.
                                      Bitter almond essence instead of the extract
                                      Some lemon and orange zest

                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: chefj

                                        It does read like a nice recipe, but I just couldn't see myself adding some of the ingredients. I suppose this makes a very americanized version of a Stollen?

                                          1. re: chefj

                                            I should probably mention that I grew up in the former East Germany, so when it comes to Stollen, I am more geared to the old traditional recipes of that region and I am baking them myself for over 40 years.
                                            Now I have never known a homemade Stollen to contain Bitter Almond essence or extract, on the other hand it is commonly added to store bought Stollen.( available here in the USA) I think we look for that nice "almondy" flavor too but rather add a good quality Almond paste instead.
                                            I can taste the difference between store bought and home made simply by the addition/omission of Almond essence or extract and it doesn't hit me in a good way, since many years ago high quality ingredients were not always on hand, so a baker had to use essence instead of the real ingredient. So there is the mental association of a perhaps lesser product. I am not saying that this is so, it is just perceived that way.
                                            Also, we would never add Cardamom and we never add candied Cherries, since Cherries usually go into fruitcake, not into Stollen. Now fruitcake is a typical American cake/bread.
                                            Btw I didn't mention it in my recipe - my Mil used Lard and sometimes even collected Chicken and Duck fat instead of or mixed with the Butter. Using a 50:50 mix of clean Lard and Butter makes for a better texture than just using Butter.
                                            Sorry for just seeing your question just now, I didn't check back on this thread. But I am happy you asked.

                                            1. re: RUK

                                              Thank you for posting your family recipe but as you must know there are many variations with in Germany depending on where and when the recipe came to be. Some of which do include the ingredients that I mentioned.
                                              I find that the recipes that use marzipan or almond paste tend to be heavier which I do not like personally.

                                                1. re: RUK

                                                  Personally, marzipan never makes it into the stollen, it makes it into my stomach long before I even get home from the grocery store. I heart marzipan, food of the GODS I tells ya! :)

                                      2. I have an awesome family recipe for a very dark, nut and fruit laden Christmas Cake which weighs like a TON when it comes out of the oven. The batter is mostly there to hold the nuts and fruit together, that's how packed full of goodness it is. It issimilar to a number of ones posted here, except that it also uses pineapple juice in the mix, along with molasses as a sweetner. My hubby hates fruitcake, but love love LOVES this one. I can post it if required, but IMHO the thing that makes the difference is that I age my cake at least a year in our pantry fridge. I baste it regularly and liberally with spiced rum, and flip it over every 3 months. This is the key to a great Christmas cake.
                                        Every year I make a cake, but put it in the fridge to age for a year. There is always one in my pantry aging. :)

                                        1. My fruitcake ritual: http://acookinglife.typepad.com/a_coo...

                                          I've converted many a fruitcake hater over the years, and currently have to carefully pick and choose who gets to pay $35/each for the few that get sold.

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: GG Mora

                                            Wow, GG.. this recipe is better than mine! I just may have to try yours this year. This is the week for fruitcake baking planning.
                                            I love some of the different ingredients. Burn't sugar essence, cocoa powder. I am in agreement with you about candied fruit, and also use dried apricots, pears, etc. in leiu of those.

                                            1. re: gingershelley

                                              If you can get ahold of a really good Italian import store, it might be an idea to replace the North American version of candied fruit with the Italian version. I've tried both and let me tell you, the Italian candied fruits are out of this world! I used it when making Pannetone the traditional way in Florence Italy a few years ago. i've never seen these candied fruits where I live, but I imagine a bit of Google research would do wonders? :)

                                              1. re: freia

                                                thank you everybody for your tips and recipes....it looks like i have a lot to think about!!!

                                            2. re: GG Mora

                                              Note to GG- on the fruitcake thread, no less! I still make your special grilled cheese sandwich, which you or Mr. Mora came up with as you were getting your season ready for Christmas fruitcake (posts back to 2002 or 2004!!) I just finished a delicious grilled cheese sandwich a few minutes ago, with cranberry sauce, laced with dried fruitcake fruit. Many thanks and good wishes, these years later,

                                              Florida Hound

                                            3. For a light fruitcake, I love this golden fruitcake from Bon Appetit: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                              I use dried cranberries instead of dates, pecans instead of pine nuts, and cut the marzipan smaller. I've done it in 8 of the mini paper loaf pans for gift giving.

                                              1. The Delia recipe referred to in the first reply is a bit of an English institution, and the one I make every year for Christmas. If you are after a slightly lighter fruit cake which is perfect without icing (of course you don't have to ice the Delia one, but it would be a bit naked without it!) try a Dundee cake. I make a few of these every Christmas and give them to my neighbours. Here's the Saint Delia recipe:


                                                1. Sollen from Davis Bouley , East of Paris cookbook