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Due to popular demand I’ve developed these Gluten Free Stollen Bites which are the perfect mini treat to accompany a mulled wine or add to your festive party table.
I have to admit that I have actually eaten a couple of the brands you find on the market in recent years. It’s mainly the Aldi or Lidl ones as they didn’t have dairy or egg in them but I’ve noticed more recently that egg has crept back in so no good for me too now.
Technically these aren’t Stollen Bites, rather more Stollen Mouthfuls, but you can understand why the latter wouldn’t make a very appealing recipe title!
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History of the Stollen
Did you know that stollen dates back to the 1400’s and was originally a far less rich and extravagant bake, it originates from Dresden in Germany and every year there is a Stollenfest at the Christmas Market.
Some historians believe that the shape of this bread reminded the locals of the entrance to a mine tunnel reflecting the silver and tin mining in the area of DresdenRecipes from a German Grandma – The History of Stollen
If you have a spare moment while your Stollen bakes I highly recommend checking out the article linked to the quote above. It’s fascinating to read about the origins of the Stollen for example; stollen was baked in loaves weighing in at 30lbs!
The original recipe is a yeast bread with added candied fruits, currants, lemon and orange peel and cardamon among other spices. I haven’t added cardamon to my stollen recipes though as this is a rarer spice for families to have normally. Instead, I add cinnamon and clove for that festive warm and sweet spice flavour.
Does Stollen always have marzipan in it?
This was the next part of my research because I noticed that the earliest dating recipes had no mention of marzipan. I came across www.dresdnerstollen.com which I found to be a great source of information, not just to clarify the marzipan question, but also to clear up the other variations of stollen I’d seen mentioned.
To answer the question Does Stollen always have marzipan in it? The answer is no. This is an optional extra. In fact, the Dresdner Christstollen is a protected name and given a brand seal and to be an accepted stollen, you have to ensure the right ingredients are used, in the right ratio.
Augustus the Strong, probably Saxony’s most famous elector, was also a self-confessed stollen enthusiast. In 1730, when the court was at the Zeithain Encampment military exercises, he called upon Dresden’s bakers to create a giant stollen for himDresdner Stollen – Stollenfest
According to the history books, it took 100 bakers to make the stollen and it weighed 1.8 tons. Every year, on the Saturday before the Second Advent, Stollenfest takes place in Dresden – this year it returned on the 3rd December after two years of cancellations in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.
How to make Stollen Bites
To make these Stollen Bites you need a little bit of preparation because I like to soak the breadcrumbs and fruit in brandy.
The stollen dough is quite fragile and IT WILL CRACK when you go to roll it, don’t fret about it, it adds to the charm of the bake and gives you more crevices for icing sugar to sit – delicious!
The Top Tip I have for you is BUTTER, and lots of it. Obviously for the dairy free version [pictured] I use a plant based butter but to get the familiar crust of iced sugar on top of eat bite I brush liberally with softened ‘butter’ twice.
There is no egg in traditional stollen but for the gluten free version I’ve added egg or a flax-egg to help with binding the dough.
STEP ONE; soak the breadcrumbs and fruit in brandy, almond extract.
STEP TWO; beat the caster sugar and fats together until light in colour.
STEP THREE; add the remaining dry ingredients and mix into a sticky dough
STEP FOUR; roll out the dough, add your marzipan sausage and roll up like a sausage roll, then cut into 12 bites.
STEP FIVE; brush with butter and bake, cool slightly then brush with butter again and dust liberally with icing sugar.
How to make the marzipan softer for these stollen bites
I’ve yet to work out the perfect way to make the marzipan filling less dense although I do admit to having gotten close. In one of my more experimental moods I tried kneading the marzipan until it softened and then wrapping it in the stollen dough. This work pre-bake but post bake and cool down period and we’re back to a harder lump of marzipan (not a bad thing, I love marzipan anyway you present it to me!)
I have managed to get closer to the softer consistency by breaking down the marzipan into lumps and adding to a bowl, then gently warming it in the microwave and adding some soya milk to loosen it. This does make it impossible to roll into the sausage shape to add to the stollen dough but it can be spooned onto the dough and wrapped to enclose in the same way.
I’ll leave the choice in your hands, the photos in this post are the rolled marzipan not gooey marzipan. I would love to hear if you try the more fiddle version and what you think to it…did I get it right? Is it more like the original squishy version – do tell.
How to store these festive bites
These stollen bites last very well indeed. You can keep them in a Tupperware container or tin for a week and if they begin to get too stale then you can simply pop them in the microwave for 10 seconds to freshen them up to have with a cuppa or glass of my Homemade Dairy Free Baileys Liqueur Recipe.
Other festive free from recipes
There seems to be an increase in homemade gift ideas this year which I for one am thrilled about. I don’t know about you, but I get so disheartened to see all the plastic tat in stores this time of year. Most of it likely to end in landfill. So the idea of making gifts, especially edible ones is a lovely idea.
These Stollen Bites look so pretty presenting in a little box with tissue paper and a bow but what about my Homemade Original Baileys for a gift idea, you can make this recipe and decant it into 4 small drinks jars for a mini tipple.
Another idea is to make my Brandy Chocolate Truffles; again these look so pretty in a little presentation box
Gluten Free Christmas Gift Guide
Gluten Free Stollen Bites Recipe
If you make it and like the recipe I would be eternally grateful if you popped back and commented leaving a star rating as this will tell search engines that this recipe is worth checking out and others will get to find it in searches.
Gluten Free Stollen Bites
- 50 g caster sugar
- 25 g fat (I use Trex white vegetable fat)
- 25 g butter or butter alternative (I use Flora plant butter) plus 50g extra for brushing
- 50 g gluten free bread crumbs
- 75 g dried mixed fruit I always add an extra table spoon of candied peel
- 40 g ground almonds
- 2 tbsp brandy
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 0.5 tsp cinnamon
- 0.5 tsp clove
- 1 egg or flaxseed alternative 1 tbsp flaxseed in just 50ml water
- 1 tsp psyllium husk optional but does help with structure
- 125 g gluten free self-raising flour
- 130 g marzipan rolled out the the thickness of your middle finger
- First, you’ll need to make your breadcrumbs, choose your usual gluten free bread and blend into fine crumbs, add the brandy, almond extract, egg [or flaxseed alternative] and fruit, leave to one side to soak.
- In another bowl combine the caster sugar, vegetable fat and butter/dairy free spread until light in colour.
- Add the breadcrumb and fruit mixture and mix thoroughly.
- Now add the ground almonds, flour and spices the mixture should come together into a sticky but manageable dough.
- At this point you can keep the dough for later and it will stay fresh in the fridge for a week in Tupperware.
- Roll out your dough into two rectangles to approx. 22x12cm and 1/1.5cm thick.
- Brush liberally with melted and cooled butter/dairy free spread and place the roll(s) of marzipan in the centre.
- Roll the stollen dough like a mini sausage roll encasing the marzipan.TOP TIP: The dough is fragile, it will likely crack, don't worry, you can squash together most of them but leave a few for effect.
- Cut into half and then each half cut into thirds. This will give you 6 stollen bites per rectangle (assuming your making the original size recipe).
- Place all the bites onto a baking tray lined with baking paper.
- Brush again with butter or dairy free spread and pop into a preheated oven on 200°C | 180°C fan | 400°F | Gas 6 for 14-16mins, your stollen may brown due to the butter you’ve brushed on the surface so make sure it doesn’t catch.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10mins then brush liberally with more dairy free spread/butter. Dust excessively with icing sugar, wait 5mins and if the fat starts to bleed through, dust again.
- Allow to cool completely before serving.
Click ‘Christmas Store’ to see gluten free Advent Calendars and search for other free from gifts
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