Originally a mixture of pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and barley formed into a doughnut-shaped cake, fruitcakes have been a Christmas “delicacy” since Roman times. Today’s fruitcake dates back to the Middle Ages, when dried fruit, honey and spices were added to the Roman cake as a way to preserve the fruit. This Christmas, very few East End bakeries are offering fruitcakes (for the obvious reasons).
Some bakeries, however, are offering a traditional German fruit bread called stollen, short for christollen. What’s the difference between this German bread and fruitcake, you ask? The most obvious difference is in its shape. Stollen is formed in an oval to represent baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes, contrary to the doughnut or untraditional loaf shape of a fruitcake. Additionally, stollen is much less dense than fruitcake, though it does contain similar candied fruits and nuts. If you are curious to taste high-end fruitcake or its German counterpart this Christmas season, head to one of these three East End bakeries before they sell out!
The Blue Duck Bakery is one of the only North Fork bakeries to offer both fruitcake and stollen. The secret to their fruit mixture is that they soak figs, dates, currants, raisins, citrons, pecans and walnuts in whisky for an entire year, balancing the naturally sweet cake with an array of intense flavors. Their stollen is available through the new year and is a popular gift. Greenport hours are Monday, Thursday to Friday 9 a.m.–4 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m.–5 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Southold hours are Wednesday to Friday 8 a.m.–4 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m.–5 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m.–4 p.m. 130 Front Street, Greenport. 56275 Main Road, Southold. 631-333-2060, 631-629-4123, blueduckbakerycafe.com
Ye Olde Bake Shoppe
A quintessential Southampton bakery, Ye Olde Bake Shoppe offers a traditional German stollen made with the baker’s grandmother’s original recipe. Their stollen is no ordinary dessert, as they soak their candied fruits and almonds in rum for days prior to the baking. The end result — a sweet and delicious bread — makes the wait worth it! They’re open Thursday to Saturday, 8 a.m.–3 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m.–1 p.m. 17 Windmill Lane, Southampton. 631-283-6553
Krieg’s bakery touts four generations of authentic German Stollen, made with a dough infused with pure almond paste and featuring many citrus fruits. These include cherries, pineapple, and currants, all of which have been soaked in a bath of alcohol. They’re open Tuesday to Saturday 7 a.m.–5 p.m. and Sunday 7 a.m.–4 p.m. 39 West Montauk Highway, Hampton Bays. 631-728-6524, kriegsbakeryhb.com