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Shortcut Stollen

Servings 2 loaves


  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped dried fruit I used golden raisins, dried cranberries, pineapple, apricots and dates
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds lightly toasted
  • 1 pint sour cream 16 ounces I used light
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons buttery sweet dough flavor optional
  • 7 ounces almond paste
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted (for first brushing)
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted (for second brushing)
  • confectioner's sugar for coating
  • extra flour for pans hands and surfaces


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a large sheet pan with parchment and sprinkle it with a light layer of flour. Set aside. (I used a half sheet pan)
  2. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add butter pieces and using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture looks crumbly. You're not looking for pea sized pieces this time, you just want to mix the butter into the flour and insure it's mixed throughout. As soon as you don't see any chunks, left, you're done.
  4. Stir in lemon and orange zest and toss in the flour mixture until zest pieces are separated and incorporated into the flour mixture.
  5. Stir in the sliced almonds and chopped dried fruit making sure you separate any that are sticking together. Toss them in the flour until they are well coated and distributed throughout the mixture.
  6. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together sour cream and eggs until fully combined. Whisk in the buttery sweet dough flavor, if using.
  7. Add the sour cream mixture to the flour mixture and stir with a sturdy spoon until combined. Batter will be thick and sticky.
  8. Scrape dough out onto a well floured surface, sprinkle a little flour on top and fold in half. Pat down and fold in half again adding only enough flour to keep it from sticking to the surface or your hands. You may need to do this 6 or 7 times or until your dough feels like it's coming together in a less sticky soft ball. This is the same process used in Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits in the step where the dough is lightly kneaded. See that post for a video of how to do this.
  9. Once your dough has come together, divide it in half. Take one half and, with floured hands, pat it into an oval about 1/2" thick on one side of the pan. Your measurement doesn't have to be exact. I just patted it into an oval that was wide enough for me to fold over and was about 1/2" thick.
  10. Divide almond paste in half (mine was in a tube, so I just cut lengthwise down the tube.) Take half of the almond paste and shape it into a long flat strip about the length of your oval. Place the long strip of almond paste just off center lengthwise on your dough oval. Using floured hands, fold the oval almost in half lengthwise over the almond paste. Stop about a 1/2" to 1" from the edge so that you get a traditional stollen shape. Press to seal and insure that no almond paste is peeking out of the edge. The dough is still going to be sticky, but it should be manageable. I forgot to flour my pan and it was difficult to fold the dough over, but it still worked out fine. You'll see bits of dough that are still stuck to my pan. The lightly floured pan will help yours not to stick. Don't worry if they don't look perfect. They're going to be covered in sugar later and they will be beautiful!
  11. Repeat process with the other half of the dough.
  12. Bake for about 40 minutes or until lightly golden on the edges and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Mine took exactly 40 minutes.
  13. As soon as it comes out of the oven, brush the tops of the hot loaves with the 4 Tablespoons of melted butter, then dust generously with confectioner's sugar. Allow loaves to cool. I let mine cool right on the baking pan, since
  14. When loaves are completely cool, brush them with 2 Tablespoons of melted butter, using more if necessary to completely coat the previously sugared surfaces. Again, dust generously with powdered sugar. Slice and serve or wrap each completely cooled loaf in plastic wrap and store at room temperature. Loaves will keep for about 1-2 weeks.

Recipe Notes

*I think the bread is best the first couple of days. After that, it begins to dry out a little. However, if you take a slice and toast it in a toaster oven, it will bring it back to a moister state...and it will be warm and a little toasty and delicious. Be sure to use foil when toasting or your topping will melt onto the bottom of your toaster oven.

*The next time I make this, I'm going to try soaking the fruit first either in hot water or other flavored liquid (you could use rum or other spirit.) I would drain the fruit really well before adding it to the mixture. I would also add them after the liquid ingredients instead of before since they will also be wet. I think the re-hydrated fruit will help prevent the loaf from drying out. I'm not sure how it will affect the texture, so I need to test it out before confirming how it will work.

*I chopped all the dried fruit up into about the size of raisins or dried cranberries.

*You can shape your almond paste anyway you want. You can make it a round tube or flatten it even further. You could even double the almond paste if you want more filling. This amount was perfect for us.

*I used light sour cream, but you could use full fat.

Adapted from Irish Rosie's Irish Soda Bread and King Arthur Flour's Our Easiest Stollen

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