Stollen (German Christmas Cake)

Serves 10

Based on an authentic North German recipe raised with baking powder rather than the usual yeast, this sumptuous Christmas “bread” is studded with dried fruits and conceals a layer of marzipan.  Allow two days for the baked stollen to mature and develop the optimal flavor and rich crumbly texture before serving.


  • ½ cup (4 ounces) cottage cheese, preferably organic (the whey will drain more easily from the curds; regular brands can contain a lot of gum)
  • ½ cup (2 ounces) raisins
  • ¼ cup (1 ounce) dried Zante currants
  • Finely grated zest of 1 small lemon
  • ⅛ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum
  • 1 large egg
  • 1½ ounces gluten-free marzipan
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes
  • ½ cup (2½ ounces) white rice flour, plus extra for forming loaf
  • ¼ cup (¾ ounce) potato starch
  • ½ cup (2 ounces) tapioca starch
  • ½ cup (1½ ounces) almond meal
  • ½ teaspoon guar gum or xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ cup (1¾ ounces) sugar
  • Pinch fine sea salt
  • 1½ tablespoons (¾ ounce) unsalted butter, melted
  • Confectioners’ sugar


Heat the oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment.

Spread the cottage cheese out in a fine sieve set over a bowl. Allow to drain for 15 minutes or so and discard the excess liquid.

Combine the raisins, currants, lemon zest, almond extract and rum and let stand for 15 minutes. Beat the egg lightly, blend in the drained cottage cheese and reserve. Roll the marzipan between 2 sheets of plastic wrap into an 8 x 2½-inch strip and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour mix ingredients and stir with a whisk. Make a well in the center and add the egg mixture. Using a fork, stir to form a stiff paste. Mix in the butter cubes using a pastry blender or your fingertips. Add the reserved fruit, and mix with your hands to incorporate into the dough.

Dust a work surface lightly with rice flour. Gather and press the dough together in the bowl, turn out, and knead lightly. Form into a ball, and roll into an oval approximately 10 x 7 inches. To form the traditional shape, sandwich the strip of marzipan inside the dough, but make the upper half of the “sandwich” slightly less wide than the lower half, forming a shelf along the outer edge.  Be sure to seal the marzipan inside the dough.

Transfer the loaf to the baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350° F and bake for about 30 minutes more, until risen and light golden brown.

Remove from the oven and immediately brush the loaf with the melted butter. Sift a generous layer of confectioners’ sugar on top. Let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Enclose the loaf in a plastic bag, leaving airspace on top to avoid disturbing the topping, and store for 2 days in the refrigerator to mature. Serve at room temperature, quite thinly sliced.

Nutrition Analysis:  240 cal, 11g fat, 40 mg chol, 105 mg sodium, 31 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 5g protein.

Recipes © copyright 2013 by Jacqueline Mallorca.

The author of more than a dozen cookbooks, Jackie Mallorca’s latest titles include The Wheat-Free Cook: Gluten-Free Recipes for Everyone and Gluten-Free Italian.